Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Resources

The 2019-20 coronavirus pandemic is an ongoing and continually-developing situation. We’re thankful for the patience and support of our community and neighbors during this time. The Town will be providing important public health and safety updates on this page as often as possible to keep you informed.

The following restrictions and guidance are in effect for the public as of March 28, 2020 until further notice (unless otherwise noted):

Concerned you might have COVID-19? Healthcare providers now have a specific system in place to consult with RIDOH on potential COVID-19 cases. If you are exhibiting any of the symptoms associated with COVID-19, call your healthcare provider first (unless you are experiencing a medical emergency). 

Stay Home Order: The Governor has signed an Executive Order requiring all R.I. residents to stay at home with the exception of traveling to work or to obtain necessary supplies.

Non-Essential Businesses to Close: All non-essential businesses in R.I. are directed to close. Those essential businesses include grocery stores, pharmacies, pet supply stores, hardware stores, liquor stores, etc. A complete list of essential businesses can be found on the website for the R.I. Dept. of business regulation.

Traveling into RI From New York: Persons traveling from the State of New York into the State of RI to reside are mandated for a 14 day self quarantine effective immediately. Anyone who is already residing in RI that has traveled here from New York in the past 14 days is mandated for a 14 day quarantine.

Traveling from Out of State: Persons traveling to RI from out of State to reside in Westerly should self quarantine for 14 days.

Large Retailers/Box Stores: Maximum numbers allowed inside of Large Retailers/Box Stores will be mandated by RI Department Business Regulation and will be monitored and enforced by each retailer. Also while in these locations you are reminded to practice Social Distancing.

Dog Park: The Dog Park at the Animal Shelter Will remain open but we ask that visitors practice social distancing of 6 ft.

Grocery Stores: Grocery Stores remain open but some have modified hours and have set hours for Seniors only. Officers will be making increased checks of Grocery Stores and all businesses.

Gyms: All Gyms and workout facilities are to remain closed until further notice.

Schools: All RI Schools will remain closed until April 3, 2020, Districts will arrange Distance Learning for all Students.

Hair Dressers, Barber Shops, Nail Salons, Tattoo Parlors: shall be closed.

Restaurants/Bars/Pubs etc.: As of midnight tonight will not be allowed to have dining in, only takeout and delivery services will be allowed, until further notice. These restaurants are allowed to also sell alcohol in closed containers (beer or wine) with a take out food order.

Playgrounds/Recreation Facilities: All Town playgrounds and recreation facilities will be closed, until further notice.

Day Care Centers: All Day Care Facilities are to remain, closed until further notice.

Town Meetings: All Town Meetings will be cancelled with the exception of Town Council Meetings that may be required in order to implement necessary Town response to COVID-19 or other Emergency Town Business.

Town Hall Services: The Town of Westerly is urging residents to use online and mail services, please see the Town Website www.WesterlyRI.gov for further information.

DMV Services: The DMV will not have Friday service at Westerly Town Hall until further notice.

Gatherings: There are to be no gatherings over 5 persons.

Westerly Senior Center: Westerly Senior Center is closed for all business except for lunch service. Lunches will be served as take out only.

Meals On Wheels: Meals on Wheels Service will continue as usual at this time.

Westerly Public Library: Westerly Public Library is closed until further notice.

Venue Events: Any venue that has an event planned is directed to cancel or postpone those events until further notice.

As we are all aware this is an ever changing situation and we will be posting updates and changes as they develop.

All of these restrictions will be monitored and enforced by Westerly Police Department.

Questions about COVID-19?

A call center was established for the community and employees of Yale New Haven Health and Yale University

Yale New Haven Health has established a call center for employees of the Health System and Yale University who have questions about COVID-19 and their role in protecting themselves and our patients.

Healthcare and human resources professionals from the Health System and University are available to answer your specific questions Monday- Friday, 7 am- 7 pm.

The call center is also available to our patients and the community who have questions about COVID-19.

The Yale New Haven Health COVID-19 call center can be reached at 203-688-1700.

General Information

Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

When greeting people avoid handshakes and hugs.

Be sure you have over-the-counter medicines and medical supplies (tissues, etc.) to treat fever and other symptoms. Most people will be able to recover from COVID-19 at home.

Pay attention for potential COVID-19 symptoms including, fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you feel like you are developing symptoms, call your doctor.

More information is available from CDC.

People with general, non-medical questions about COVID-19 can visit www.health.ri.gov/covid, write to RIDOH.COVID19Questions@health.ri.gov, or call 401-222-8022. This is the COVID-19 Hotline that RIDOH has available to the public. The Hotline will be staffed from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (After hours people are being directed to call 211.)

Everyone can help stop the spread of viruses in Rhode Island.

Get your flu shot, and make sure the people around you do the same.

Wash your hands often throughout the day. Use warm water and soap. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

Cough or sneeze into your elbow. Viruses can spread by coughing or sneezing on other people or into your hands.

Stay home from work or school if you are sick.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.

Small Business Relief and Resources

The US Small Business Administration (SBA) signed an Economic Injury Disaster Declaration for the State of Rhode Island on March 17, 2020. Qualifying small businesses and private nonprofits now have access to low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to help overcome a temporary loss of revenue. To learn more or apply, visit the SBA’s online application and create an account or contact them at (800) 659-2955 or disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

SBA partners providing no cost virtual counseling to small businesses in need include the Rhode Island Small Business Development Center, Rhode Island SCORE, and the Center for Women & Enterprise (CWE). You can also click here to find more information on other local partners and state resources like CommerceRI’s Small Business Hotline: (401) 521-4357.

The Ocean Community Chamber of Commerce is actively working to promote continued patronage for local businesses and monitor the impacts of the COVID-19 response efforts on economic vitality in Westerly and the surrounding region. Please click here to access the Chamber’s online resource center that includes a listing of open food establishments and opportunities for free child lunches.

Microsoft is now providing free, six months access to its Office 365 tools to better enable remote collaboration, file sharing, and video conferencing (assistance to set up these tools is also included). Interested businesses can click here to learn more.

Small business support -  Rhode Island small business owners can now receive 45 minutes of free tech support via teleconference or over the phone. This service has been coordinated by Rhode Island Commerce and is being staffed by volunteers from some of Rhode Island’s leading tech companies. These experts will be available to help small business owners set up equipment to work from home, shift to online meetings and help with document management and security. Rhode Islanders can visit Commerce’s website or call 521-HELP to get started.

Medical and Wellness Resources

Click here to visit the Rhode Island Department of Health’s COVID-19 portal.

Click here if you are a parent, guardian, other adult seeking resources on talking to your kids about the current situation.

The Governor of Rhode Island has signed an executive order directing health insurers  to cover primary care, specialty care, and behavioral and mental health services conducted over the phone and online (commonly called ’telehealth’).

Utilities and Digital Services

The Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has issued an emergency order mandating that no regulated utility services will be terminated at this time. Utility service providers have also been directed to cease collection-related activities and is encouraging non-regulated utilities to do the same. Businesses are included under this order and direction. If your service is terminated, please call your utility provider first. If your provider is unable to help, please call the Division of Public Utilities and Carriers at (401) 780-9700.

Click here to learn more about Cox Communications’ Connect2Complete program that helps families in need connect to the internet.

Microsoft is now providing free, six months access to its Office 365 tools to better enable remote collaboration, file sharing, and video conferencing (assistance to set up these tools is also included). If you have an email address through your work or school, sign in using this link. If you’re using an email address like Gmail or Outlook, you can also sign-up for a version of Microsoft Teams by following this link.

Education Resources

Microsoft is now providing free, six months access to its Office 365 tools to better enable remote collaboration, file sharing, and video conferencing (assistance to set up these tools is also included). Learn more by following this link.

Evictions

If you are threatened with eviction, remember that you still have rights. Eviction is a legal process that requires action by a court. All courts that would be involved in an eviction process in the Town of Westerly are currently closed thru mid-April due to the ongoing public health crisis.

Consumer Protection and Price Gouging
If you see that the price of a product being sold in Westerly or another Rhode Island community has risen to a level much higher than what could be considered reasonable and fair, you could be a witness to an exploitative and unethical business practice that is illegal under state law. Reporting this can help protect other consumers. Please contact the RI Consumer Protection Unit at (401) 274-4400 or fill out an online complaint form if you witness price gouging.