Statement from Town Manager Jim Kern

Fri, 03/13/2020 - 3:15pm

As the situation surrounding the coronavirus develops, we will be providing regular updates with information from local and state agencies regarding the status of the virus in our region and any actions being taken by local agencies.

We are closely monitoring recommendations from regional, state, and national officials, and are acting in accordance with their guidelines.

Through our Emergency Management Director, William McCombe, we are in continuous contact with the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) and the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH).

All medical directives and communications are being coordinated with the medical professionals at the Block Island Medical Center.

Likewise, the Block Island School District is coordinating with the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) regarding school operations.

There are contingency plans in place for actions such as school closure and postponement of public meetings. Any decision to take those or other steps will be coordinated with the appropriate state agencies and communicated to affected populations as soon as they are made.

Mr. McCombe also serves as the Director of Security for Interstate Navigation. We are closely coordinating with the ferry service regarding general transportation activity and transportation of affected individuals if the need arises.

There are no presumptive or confirmed cases of the virus on the island; however, it is prudent that we behave in a way that keeps everyone healthy. Recommended actions include:

  • STAY AT HOME:  If you have a fever, cough, or sore throat, please do not come to the Medical Center. You are asked to call in and will be directed by the medical staff.
  • KEEP IT CLEAN: Increase the frequency with which you wash hands and sanitize common spaces.
  • RECONSIDER TRAVEL: If you have guests traveling from areas impacted by COVID-19, encourage them to assess their risk of exposure to the virus and to reconsider traveling.
  • CONSULT THE RIDOH and CDC Websites:  Follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Rhode Island Department of Health.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call the police department, medical center or town hall. We thank everyone for following good health practices and being conscious of other people. For example, keeping 3-6 ft spacing from others and washing your hands for 2 minutes regularly during the day are practices that are strongly encouraged. Thank you in advance for your help in supporting a healthy Block Island.