The Newport City Council received their weekly COVID-19 crisis update from City Manager Joe Nicholson on Thursday, May 7th.

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Nicholson: Reviewed latest data and updates from the Governor.

Bova: Ask City Manager what the process of outdoor seating for restaurants will look like? Nicholson said it would be nice if they could standardize an approach, but each situation is going to be unique. Nicholson said they will look at and cooperate with any ideas that businesses come up with. Nicholson reminds Council that there isn’t clear guidance or date set for restaurant outdoor dining yet from the Governor.

Nicholson says restaurants and businesses will have to get creative, the City can’t get creative for each business. City administration will be very cooperative to work with businesses. Nicholson said he will bring reasonable plans from businesses to Council for review.

Napolitano: Brought up that restaurants have been participating in Lt. Gov’s calls and restaurants have been sharing the challenges they see coming with the restrictions (plastic wrapped utensils, etc).

Ceglie: On parking, Nicholson and Ceglie say residents should make sure they get their residents stickers, put them on their car. If you’re waiting for your sticker, they have been mailed.

Bova: Asks about limiting parking in the City. Nicholson says that the City is continuing to look at parking issues.

Bova: Says she had two different liquor stores that need to do license transfers. Asks how license transfers are being done right now. License transfers require public hearing, notices to go out, and more. Nicholson said he needs to get together with City Solicitor to find out how in this environment to honor the normal process.

McLaughlin & McCalla: Question for Nicholson – in short, is the City doing everything it can to benefit form Federal funds? Nicholson said that he is advocating for the funds to help support municipalities.

Bova: Brought up the 14-day quarantine order and hotels/short term rentals.

Ceglie: Asked if there would be penalties for people not wearing masks in public: Short answer from Nicholson – penalties haven’t been crafted from RIDOH. Haven’t come out yet. Because we are under a State Of Emergency, Nicholson said those violations could be considered civil penalty – fine up to $500. Details and guidance to come from state on that.

Chief Dugan: Said everything is going well. in emergency response. They’ve seen a slight decline in calls for flu-like symptoms. In the last 14 days, they’ve had 4 days where they didn’t transport anyone with symptoms. Down to just 92 families requesting access. Meals on Wheels going to end of month with delivery to approximately 350 people.

Chief Dugan: Says they are doing well with PPE. Island wide emergency services are working together on inventory.

Newport City Council’s next regular council meeting is scheduled for May 13th at 6:30 pm.

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