Members of Newport City Council received their weekly COVID-19 update from Newport City Manager Joe Nicholson today at 4:30 pm.

The update was via Zoom and the call was open to the public to listen in. No public comment was welcome during the call.

Updates from the City Manager

  • Nicholson: Reviewed latest statewide data.
  • Nicholson: Delayed start of parking sticker season to June 1st.
  • Nicholson: Access to King’s Beach (out on Ocean Drive) had to be closed after some incidents over last weekend.
  • Nicholson: Has had discussions with town of Middletown, Chamber of Commerce, and Discover Newport on an outline of how we can help in reopening the economy.
  • Bova: Asked Nicholson about out of state visitors. Nicholson said they did visit more than 2,000 homes owned by out of staters when this began. Has had discussions about day trippers. Nicholson believes that the State Police and National Guard will be out on the access points to Newport this weekend and going forward and will be informing motorists that if you come to Newport or Rhode Island that there is a 14 day quarantine period. Nicholson says City will do a better job using digital signage of informing motorists of quarantine requirement. Nicholson says call Newport Police Department to file complaints.
  • McLaughlin: Spoke about how cities and towns in Massachusetts are putting stronger requirements than state is. Inquired on whether the city should enforce different things to get different outcomes .
  • Leonard: Raised concerns about Newport Police Department dispatchers and what they are telling people who call to file complaints – “dispatchers shouldn’t be telling people that there’s nothing they can do.”
  • Ceglie: Reminds all that “you have to call the police” if you have a concern
  • Napolitano: Concerned about people having the rights to visit and travel in and around Newport – questioned whether the City could handle if everyone starting calling and complaining about neighbors.
  • McCalla: Asked the City Manager to push out and share information on where enforcement’s are stationed to check on out of state visitors.
  • McLaughlin: Asked City Manager what the plans are for the Cliff Walk. Nicholson said the city is going to be more aggressive on parking restrictions. “Our concern is pushing parking into neighborhoods, which is going to happen anyway”. Nicholson says that they are going to start with Ochre Court. We’re going to make parking more inconvenient.
  • Ceglie: Asked about CCRI testing site – Nicholson said it has not “stood up” yet, but it may be by the weekend. Permission was just granted today, it’s an ongoing thing. “Hopefully it will be stood up this weekend”, Nicholson said.
  • McLaughlin: Spoke about deaths in hospitals and that many deaths haven’t happened in hospitals. Nicholson confirmed that data and info from the press briefing earlier today.
  • McLaughlin: On where cases are. Nicholson said he doesn’t know where the 31 cases in Newport are, but “has some ideas of where they could be based on the heat map”. “I think we’re trending in the right direction,” Nicholson said.
  • Taylor: On testing site at CCRI, says she has been getting a lot of questions about who will be served at that site. Nicholson said he doesn’t know but he knows that it will be a walk-up site and drive-up site. “I think they are having those discussions tomorrow,” Nicholson said. “I know that it’s not going to be limited to certain organizations or patients”, Nicholson says it will be like CVS site where you click the link and set up an appointment.
  • Leonard: Brings up that Westerly Hospital is treating people with plasma, hopefully that’s a good sign.
  • Bova: Asked about working committee (to reopen economy in Newport) and how they wanted to start gauging if people are interested in participating. Nicholson said he wants to be careful with formation of too many committees. ” I don’t think we’re ripe for those kinds of committees yet, but we’re going to get there.” Nicholson says he is drafting a survey to see what people’s real stressors are. “Then we will have to mold something that’s going to help these businesses”, Nicholson said. Nicholson said that there is also something regional happening.
  • Napolitano: Spoke about the success of Lt. Governor/SBA’s business call that happened earlier today.

As of Tuesday afternoon, 7,926 Rhode Islanders have now tested positive, with 266 currently hospitalized (84 in ICU, 55 on vent). There have been 239 COVID-19 associated deaths.

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Positive Cases in Newport County include 31 in Newport, 25 in Middletown, 22 in Portsmouth, 7 in Jamestown, 10 in Little Compton, and 43 in Tiverton.

According to weekly COVID-19 data provided by Rhode Island Department of Health (last updated on April 23), Village House Nursing and Rehab in Newport has between two – four positive COVID-19 cases. They have reported no COVID-19 associated deaths.

That data is being reported for long term care and assisted living facilities with two or more resident cases. There are no other long term care facilities or assisted living facilities currently on the list.

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