The following was provided by the City of Newport.

The City of Newport has declared a State of Emergency in order to more effectively address the threat presented by the COVID-19 virus.

The declaration, which was signed into effect by City Manager Joseph J. Nicholson, Jr. on Sunday, follows a recommendation from Gov. Gina Raimondo and will be in place until further notice. Its intent is to provide the City with more flexibility to manage day-to-day operations in light of the evolving nature of the situation.

The most visible implication of the declaration involves public meetings.

Effective immediately, all municipal board and commission meetings, including the Newport City Council, Zoning and Planning Boards, and Historic District Commission are cancelled until further notice, along with Municipal and Probate Courts.

City Hall, however, will remain open for business, operating under normal hours, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

Visitors to City Hall are being asked to be mindful of CDC recommendations in mitigating the spread of germs, and individual departments will be making adjustments to staffing and operating procedures in order to comply with guidelines set forth by the Governor’s Office and the Rhode Island Department of Health.

Residents are strongly encouraged to make use of the City’s online and mail in services in order to conduct City business, and anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms should avoid visiting City buildings and stay home.

While to date, there have been no presumptive cases or positive tests of COVID-19 in Newport, this declaration recognizes the importance of taking appropriate mitigation actions in order to prevent the spread of the virus not only in Newport but across the region and leaves open the possibility that further actions may be taken as the situation develops.

In addition to following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Rhode Island Department of Health, Newporters are encouraged  to sign up for the City’s EAlert system at www.CityofNewport.com/Alerts. A full list of cancellations and advisories can be found on the City’s dedicated COVID-19 website at www.CityofNewport.com/COVID19

Questions related to the City’s response to the COVID-19 virus can also be directed to COVIDQuestions@CityofNewport.com.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. Although not the founder or original owner, Belmore has been with What'sUpNewp since its early beginnings in 2012.

Belmore was born in Providence, Rhode Island; grew up and graduated high school in Coventry, Rhode Island; and lived in Newport, Rhode Island for more than ten years. He currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals.

He and his wife, Jen, as well as their two dogs (Aero and June), recently moved to Alexandria, Virginia. Belmore travels back and forth to Newport every couple of weeks to cover events, work on story ideas, to meet with What'sUpNewp's on-the-ground contributors, to visit friends, and to eat as much seafood as possible.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.