*This page was last updated on 7/24/2020 at 1:00PM*
Below is a list of operational changes that will help maintain the health and safety of Providence residents and employees while minimizing the disruption to city services. The operational changes will go into effect at 12:01 AM on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, and will be in place until further notice, pending additional guidance from State and Federal Health officials. This page will be updated as additional services are added or services are restored or altered.
City buildings will open to the public on Monday, June 22 in a limited capacity and subject to COVID-19 related guidelines.*** In-person city services will be available Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 8:30AM to 4:30PM, with the exception of the Department of Public Works providing counter service from 8:30 AM to 12:00 PM on operational days.
The public should use the following entrances when conducting business at the buildings listed below:
Providence City Hall
- The visitor’s entrance is now located at the back of the building on Eddy Street. Visitors should enter through the green ADA-accessible door.
444 Westminster Street
- The visitor’s entrance is located through the courtyard between this building and the Roger Williams University building. The ADA accessible entrance can be found on the other side of the building through the Greene Street parking lot.
- Staff and Visitors enter through the main door of the Public Works complex at 700 Allens Ave.
Public Safety Complex. The visitor’s entrance continues to be the main entrance accessible on Washington Street.
City buildings will be closed on Wednesdays for cleaning. On operational days, each department will be staffed at half capacity to comply with social distancing guidelines. Visitors will also be asked to observe the guidelines below to protect the health and safety of staff and visitors.
- Upon arrival to city buildings, all staff and visitors will be asked screening questions and have their temperature taken before entering the building.
- Face masks will always be required and hand sanitizer will be available throughout the building. Social distancing measures such as traffic flow indicators, plexiglass barriers, and capacity limitations have been put in place, and separate entrances and exits have been identified at each building, as informed by recommended best practices.
- Residents should continue to use remote and online city services as much as possible to limit exposure when possible.
As part of the temporary modifications, the following city services and offices will remain FULLY OPERATIONAL:
- All emergency services including Police, Fire, Emergency Medical Services, and—for life safety matters only— Animal Control will continue regular operations.
- The City’s contracted curbside trash and recycling collection will continue as regularly scheduled. Please note this does not include privately contracted dumpsters.
- Mayor’s Center for City Services will continue to take calls from 8:30AM to 4:30PM, Monday-Friday, and will continue to address concerns submitted through the PVD311 app or website.
- Licensing will continue to receive documents online or through the mail.* New licenses and renewals can be applied for online via Viewpoint. Email if you have any questions.
- The City is hosting a COVID-19 test site in partnership with The Providence Community Health Centers (PCHC) and the State of Rhode Island at Robert L. Bailey IV Elementary School. The City is also working to support Clinica Esperanza in Olneyville that currently offers drive-thru COVID-19 testing to Providence’s frontline communities. These tests are free of charge and information, including immigration status, is confidential. If you have symptoms, call your primary care physician. For more information on these test sites and how to get tested, click here.
The following city services and offices will REMAIN OPERATIONAL WITH LIMITATIONS:
- Waterparks across the City except for Fargnoli Park will open for Friday, June 26 from 12:00PM to 5:00PM Monday-Saturday. All bathrooms and concession stands will remain closed.
- The Roger Williams Park Botanical Center, Carousel, and Museum of Natural History will open for Wednesday, July 1 on a limited basis and following recommended sanitation and social distancing guidelines.
- All outdoor athletic fields, courts, and other sports facilities are open and available for organized youth and adult sports activities following social distancing guidelines, current group size restrictions in accordance with RIDEMand an approved permit.
- Playgrounds will be open for public use, with Play Ambassadors on-site from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday to greet visitors, remind them of social distancing guidelines, provide hand-sanitizer and masks, clean each play area twice a day, and connect families to Eat, Play, Learn PVD programs in the parks. All visitors are asked to follow the social distancing and hygiene recommendations on park signage with or without play ambassadors on site.
- Users should sanitize hands before and after play and not share equipment.
- Users waiting to utilize a section or area of the field should wait outside the field of play until previous users have vacated to ensure proper social distancing.
- North Burial Ground will be open to the public seven days a week beginning Sunday, June 14 from 8:00AM to 4:00PM weekdays and until 6:00PM on weekends. Guests must observe social distancing guidelines and group sizes must not exceed 15 individuals.
City planning applications, licensing, and permit reviews, including building, plumbing, mechanical and electrical, will require residents and businesses to use online and email tools for submission of materials and payment. In cases where this is not possible, documents can be dropped off at specified times or submitted through the drop-box located at the back entrance of 444 Westminster Street (accessible by the parking lot on Greene St). **
- All Public Works requests will be handled on a case by case basis as it relates to the safety and sanitation of the city. *
- The Inspections of buildings and other infrastructure will continue as regularly scheduled.*
- Tax Collection will be accessible online, by phone, or by mail. Mailed payments should include quarterly coupons and a personal check, certified check, or money order payable to the City of Providence.*
- The 2020 tax sale cannot be held in City Hall because of the health emergency, but it is not canceled. It will be held online. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with the on-line tax sale process, which is used in other jurisdictions.
*Due to the late receipt of tax bills by taxpayers, first-quarter tax payments can be paid without interest or penalty through Friday, August 14. Taxpayers are encouraged to avoid a physical trip to City Hall and instead, to pay by mail or online. For taxpayers who pay in-person, City Buildings are closed on Wednesdays and screening will be done of all visitors.
The Recorder of Deeds maintains an on-line database of land evidence documents from August 1, 2004, to present. Documents for the Recorder of Deeds can be electronically recorded through www.providenceri.gov/deeds for larger volume recorders, or through USPS, FedEx, or UPS. Documents left in the dropbox will also be delivered to the Recorder’s Office.
RESEARCHING A DOCUMENT
- Providence now accepts electronic document recording (eRecording) through CSC. A computer, scanner, and internet connection are needed for eRecording. Submitters who are new to eRecording can speak with a CSC specialist by calling 866-652-0111 or learn more at the CSC website. Initiate your recording or learn more at www.erecording.com.
Tax Assessment services will be accessible online. Time-sensitive documents, such as homestead exemption applications, are available online and can be mailed to City Hall or emailed to and will continue to be processed. *
Vital Records will continue to receive documents for death certificates through the mail or using the City Hall drop-box located on Eddy Street. Birth, marriage, and death certificates can be requested online and will be provided through the mail. Providence residents who have all the required documentation can apply here for a marriage license. Staff will review the application 1 to 2 weeks after submission.
- In Addition, the State Department of Health has a dropbox for the Center of Vital Records. It is available Monday-Friday from 8:30 AM-4:30 PM. Certificates can also be mailed to the Center for Vital Records, 3 Capitol Hill Room 101, Providence, RI 02908. If you have any questions, please contact William Lyons, Death Registration Manager at 401-222-2804, or by email or Zuheil Figueroa-Lugo, Registration Manager at 401-222-4717 or by email .
Licensing will continue to receive documents online or through the mail.* New licenses will not be issued and all food, entertainment, and liquor licenses and licensing violation hearings will not be held until further notice.
Documents processed by the Recorder of Deeds can be mailed to City Hall or dropped-off during specified times.** Property history can be searched online, research prior to 2004 cannot be done at this time.
Commission of Human Relations complaint intake will be accessible online only.
All Finance and budget functions essential to core city operations and payroll will continue.*
The Providence Municipal Court will resume hearings beginning July 6. walk-ins will be accepted for parking, red-light camera and speed camera violations starting at 7:30 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, while moving violations will be heard on Tuesdays for those with hearings scheduled.
- Only one person at a time will be allowed in the courtroom to address a violation due to social distancing protocols. All night court has been canceled until further notice. Call (401) 243-6414 or visit the Municipal Court’s website for more information.\
Individuals and businesses may apply for special events permits online here. Film permits will be issued starting August 1, 2020.
The following city services and offices or buildings WILL BE CLOSED OR SUSPENDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE:
- netWORKri Career Center
- All Recreation Centers
- Entertainment license issuance
- Providence Port and Harbor*
*The Providence port and harbor are also closed to all commercial cruise line passenger vessels of all sizes and capacities and disembarkation is prohibited at any public or private facility within the city.
As the City of Providence recognizes the severe economic burden placed upon our restaurants and similar establishments holding liquor licenses, no action will be taken against licensees who suspend or cancel liquor liability insurance during this emergency.
- Please contact your insurance carrier for information on the suspension or cancellation of your liquor liability insurance in order to ensure that you can reinstitute the required insurance when the crisis has subsided and you are permitted to return to regular operation.
The following additional City services and offices will be AVAILABLE UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE:
- Grab and Go Breakfast and Lunch Services for youth 18 and under
- Grab and Go Dinner Meal Services for youth 18 and under
This is a rapidly changing situation. As the state’s recommendations to combat the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 evolves, the City of Providence will continue to evaluate the need to make additional changes to city services and operations. For more information on COVID-19 and best practices you can share, residents can visit our website, call to connect to the Mayor’s Center for City Services by dialing 3-1-1, visiting www.PVD311.com or downloading the PVD311 mobile app on your smartphone for 24/7 access.
Residents can register to receive CodeRED emergency notifications by phone, email, text, and/or mobile alerts for the latest updates from the City and to reach out to the Rhode Island Department of Health’s COVID-19 Assistance Line at 401-222-8022 Monday through Friday during regular business hours should they have additional questions.* Please note that there may be slight delays in carrying out these operations due to reduced staffing or helping address pandemic-related issues.**
Documents can also be submitted via drop-boxes located at City Hall, accessible through Eddy Street, and at the Doorley Municipal Building (444 Westminster Street), accessible through Greene Street. Drop-boxes will be checked twice a week, so processing may be delayed.