COVID-19 Community Update
As many of you are aware, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has reached a critical pace. As a result, both Governor Raimondo and Mayor Elorza have declared a State of Emergency. Additional safety measures are in place that include cancelling major events, closing all city buildings (City Hall, all Recreation Centers, the Museum of Natural History) as of March 14th.
Spring break for Providence Public Schools will start Monday, March 16th. All PPSD schools will be closed at least until March 20th. I have been in communication with Superintendent Harrison Peters, and the district is working on the following steps:
I know we are all experiencing some anxiety. As a community, we need to be vigilant in taking the necessary safety precautions, and I am proud that local leaders are moving quickly to help contain this health emergency. I also know many of you are thinking about the impact on our most vulnerable neighbors.
- Students in grade 3-12 have been loaned laptops and tablets to use at home.
- Virtual learning plans for all grades will be posted on the PPSD website at providenceschools.org
- Students can get free “to go” meals at 8 places throughout the city from 11 am - 2 pm starting on Tuesday
- Only essential school staff will report to the School Department
- Emails and phone calls about school closures went out to all families
Yesterday, community leaders and various neighborhood organizations joined me on a call to devise a plan to aid our most vulnerable community members and provide information to keep folks informed.
I have updated my website to include a COVID-19 Information and Response page. This page will be updated as we hear about local resources. Please look here for links to the best health information, rules for paid sick days, resources for people who may lose wages, and other information.
Some neighbors may need help with basic needs. With partners from the Summit Neighborhood Association, Camp Street Ministries and Jewish Collaborative Services, we created the COVID-19 Neighborhood Aid Form so neighbors who need help or neighbors who can volunteer to help can be connected.
We are lucky to live in a supportive community of folks who are always willing to help.
Please continue to stay safe and follow all health and precautionary measures recommended by the RI Department of Health. Check on your neighbors, and stay tuned for additional updates.
Councilwoman Nirva R. LaFortune