COVID-19 Updates: Emergency Town Council Meeting; To-Go School Meals 

by | Mar 15, 2020

Green Door owner Susan Swanson decorating her storefront Sunday. “We can still make the store look pretty,” she said. They are open for business.

Above: The Mahoney family plays baseball at Academy Field Sunday.

By Elizabeth F. McNamara

The number of COVID-19 cases in Rhode Island held steady Sunday at 20, Gov. Gina Raimondo announced during what’s become a daily press conference. While that was good news, she said, “there will be more cases.”

The Town Council will meet in emergency session Monday at 7 p.m. at Town Hall to vote on declaring a state of emergency in the town, as outlined in the Town Charter. In addition, the council will vote on authorizing Town Manager Andrew Nota to take “any and all actions deemed necessary to address the ongoing emergency.”

At the council will also be updating residents on local preventive responses, impacts on both town and school services, and coordination with state and local agencies, as well as possible future actions. 

Residents are encouraged to follow the meeting via the livestream available on the town’s website HERE. Find the agenda here: Town Council Agenda 3/16/20.

Following a recommendation from Gov. Raimondo, Nota said East Greenwich would close its senior center. That means no more senior lunch program at Swift Community Center. Nota said the town is working on a plan to provide box lunches for seniors with the details still being worked out. 

The school district announced Sunday it would begin to provide “grab-and-go” lunches for all students 18 and younger at two locations – Eldredge Elementary (101 First Ave.) and Frenchtown Elementary (1100 Frenchtown Road) – starting Tuesday. Timing has yet to be announced.

Raimondo also ordered the closing of all child care centers in the state. 

Mainstreet Coffee was busy Sunday afternoon, despite official calls for “social distancing.”

The town’s Interfaith Food Cupboard, which operates out of St. Luke’s Church (99 Peirce St.), remains open, with hours from 10:30 to noon Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 

“We are open to all who need food assistance but would request that only one family member or person designated to pick up food come to the food cupboard as we want to minimize the number of folks coming into the building. People should bring their own recyclable bags. We will do our best to help anyone who shows up,” they said in a statement.

Here are some CDC guidelines to follow during this health crisis:

How can you help protect yourself? 

People can help protect themselves from respiratory illness by 

  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick. 
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Limit food sharing.

If you are sick, to keep from spreading respiratory illness to others, you should 

  • Stay home when you are sick. 
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.


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