Nursing Homes


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Dear Friends,

I love our district and how we step up for each other. Neighbors are checking in on each other, shopping for each other and making sure they're ok. I've been calling older neighbors together with the Summit Neighborhood Association just to say hi, let folks know what resources are available and connect people with volunteers. If you have some time to make calls, let me know and I'll get you set up. And, if you find yourself in need of a little extra help one week, or if you can sign up to help, the form is here. You can also call me or send me a note.

There is lots of new information about COVID-19 and our state response every day. The Governor has a press conference daily, usually at 1 p.m., and information from the conference is posted at You can watch the press conference on the Governor's Facebook page, on WPRI, or on Capitol TV, here.

Yesterday, the Governor announced the criteria for reopening the state. We want to get back to seeing people, working and living less physically distance lives, and we
need to wait until it is safe to do so. The state will be assessing the following when making decisions about whether or when to loosen current restrictions:
  • Has the rate of spread of COVID-19 continued to decrease? 
  • Does the state have the capacity to quickly identify community spread on an ongoing basis before a major outbreak occurs? 
  • Does the state have necessary supports in place for vulnerable populations and for anyone in quarantine? 
  • Does Rhode Island's healthcare system have the capacity and the PPE to handle future surges? 
  • Do businesses, schools, child care facilities, faith leaders, and recreational spaces have plans for long-term social distancing? 
  • Is the state prepared to reimpose measures, or reclose certain sectors of the economy, if it becomes necessary? 
The Governor also announced that every Rhode Island child who is eligible for meals in school will be getting Pandemic-EBT benefits. Since Providence has universal school meals, this means that all Providence families with children in the schools will be receiving additional money on their EBT cards if they currently receive SNAP benefits, or will receive a new card in the mail with the benefits on it. More information is  here

Nursing Homes

I am very concerned with the high level of COVID cases in our nursing homes. I have been talking to the Department of Health and know that they are working hard to improve the conditions for workers and residents. Staff should be receiving hazard pay and should not be working at more than one nursing home right now. All increases in reimbursement to nursing homes should pass through as higher wages for workers. Staff at the nursing homes should have access to adequate personal protective equipment such as, at a minimum, surgical masks. And, we know that there is a state-wide and national shortage of face masks. 

Nursing homes in our neighborhood have reported high numbers of COVID-19 cases: Summit Commons, Charlesgate, and just over the line in Pawtucket, Oak Hill. This WPRI article has numbers in it. The dedicated CNAs and other nursing home staff who show up to care for residents are truly critical workers and heroes. They deserve our thanks and better working conditions. Please join me on Wednesday afternoon at a car rally in support of them at Charlesgate at 3 p.m. We'll be meeting up by the Providence Fire Fighter Union Hall, 92 Printery Street in Providence which is close to the nursing home. The Facebook event with more information is here.  

For more frequent updates, follow me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, or write to me at You can also call or text me at 401-400-2338.


Community Resources for COVID-19 

General Information

Providence has a website with current COVID-19 information here: You can also call the city hotline at 3-1-1 with questions for the city services folks.

RI Department of Health
The RI Department of Health has current information, guidance, links to announcements about openings and closings and more here: 
The COVID-19 hotline is 401-222-8022 for any COVID-related questions. 

Health Insurance
A special enrollment period for Rhode Islanders without health insurance is now available through April 15th, 2020 to qualified individuals who are uninsured. Visit to enroll, or call customer support or use our web chat function between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Monday – Friday at 1-855-840-4774. For anyone who is concerned that they need to be tested for coronavirus -- or anyone who is seeking care because of coronavirus exposure -- coverage will start retroactively.

School will be on-line through the month of April.  More information from the RI Department of Education at 401-222-4600 or and the Providence Public Schools online learning hotline: 401-456-0686

Breakfast and lunch are available for children at Hope High School (and locations throughout the city and state), and dinner is available at the Vincent Brown Rec Center (and rec centers throughout the city). Meals for the week are distributed on Tuesdays and Fridays. More information is here

TDI and Unemployment
Including information for self-employed and contract workers

If you are sick or quarantined with COVID you can apply for Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI):

If you are laid off or the place where you work closes, you can file for Unemployment Insurance:

The state has removed the 7-day waiting period for unemployment and new federal laws will help extend how long people can collect unemployment.

The state urges you to use the web site before using the phone if you are able to.

The federal government will be introducing new support for independent contractors and self-employed people, including unemployment benefits, through the CARES Act.
Contact the RI Department of Labor & Training at 401-462-2020

National Freelancers Relief Fund

National COVID-19 Restaurant Workers Emergency Fund:

Information for artists and other self employed people:



RI Commerce Corporation 

Small Business Hotline

(401) 521-HELP


Microsoft 365 is available to all RI Small Businesses. More information about this, and other programs as they are put into place are on the Commerce Corporation's website,, or call the hotline.


Economic Industry Disaster Loans 

The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans to Rhode Island small businesses and private non-profits suffering substantial economic impact from COVID. Offering up to $2 million in loans per business at a 3.75% interest rate for businesses, 2.75% rate for nonprofits.

Reporting Business Impact

RI is asking the federal government for support for the business community. If your business has been impacted by COVID-19, please fill out the Estimated Disaster Economic Injury Worksheet for Businesses. This may help RI get federal support. 




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