Newport Mayor Jamie Bova, informed of Providence’s declaration of a state of emergency, said Newport might consider some of the same restrictions that Providence is enacting as the nation continues to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza said the city is revoking all event entertainment licenses — for night clubs, concerts, and live music, and special events for at least two weeks. While bars and restaurants can remain open, the mayor said they are limited to 100 people, regardless of size.

“It is not something that we in Newport have considered yet, but it is something that we should consider,” Bova said.  “We are in new territory and new information comes in every day. I have not been informed if the governor’s office is considering such a response, but I also have not yet asked that specific question. “

Meanwhile, Councilor Napolitano told What’s Up Newp in response to an inquiry about what she thought about Mayor Elorza’s decision, “Mayor Elorza called me yesterday morning inquiring how we were going to vote”.

Joseph Wendelken, Public Information Officer told What’s Up Newp in response to the same inquiry, “We are evaluating the situation and will update our guidance accordingly”.

The Providence action has put a halt to a myriad of events, including Trinity Repertory Company’s performances of A Tale of Two Cities

The declaration by Elorza and comments by Bova, follow a day of a series of cancellations of signature sports and entertainment events and venues. March Madness has been cancelled, professional basketball and hockey suspended, the Major League Baseball season opener postponed. Broadway has gone dark, college campuses silent, and schools in some areas of the country closed. New Bedford’s Zeiterion Theater has closed through March 31.  

Meanwhile, President Trump’s Wednesday night remarks did little to stem the fears of investors as the Dow continued to plummet. While the president praised a testing system that he never mentioned in his remarks, critics, including the Federal Government’s top infectious – disease doctor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, told Congress the system was failing.

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Frank Prosnitz

Frank Prosnitz brings to WhatsUpNewp several years in journalism, including 10 as editor of the Providence (RI) Business News and 14 years as a reporter and bureau manager at the Providence (RI) Journal. Prosnitz began his journalism career as a sportswriter at the Asbury Park (NJ) Press, moving to The News Tribune (Woodbridge, NJ), before joining the Providence Journal. Prosnitz hosts the Morning Show on WLBQ radio (Westerly), 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday, and It’s Your Business, also on WBLQ, Monday and Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Prosnitz has twice won Best in Business Awards from the national Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW), twice was named Media Advocate of the Year by the Small Business Administration, won an investigative reporter’s award from the New England Press Association, and newswriting award from the Rhode Island Press Association.