Governor Dan McKee today signed an executive order to engage communities in the state's vaccination efforts and reduce vaccine hesitancy. Photo provided by Governor McKee's office.

Governor Dan McKee today signed an executive order to engage communities in the state’s vaccination efforts and reduce vaccine hesitancy.

The executive order directs the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) to engage cities and towns as full participants in administering and expanding Rhode Island’s vaccination efforts. The order further directs RIDOH to update its comprehensive state and local level communications and outreach plan to reduce COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. Finally, the order encourages all state and municipal employees to receive the vaccine when they become eligible and urges them to become advocates and ambassadors to increase participation in Rhode Island’s vaccination efforts.

“We know that the fastest way out of this pandemic is through getting shots in arms quickly and simply,” said Governor McKee. “Vaccines are how we get Rhode Islanders back to work, it’s how we get our schools reopened and our small businesses back in business. As as state, we must do everything we can to overcome vaccine hesitancy and build trust with Rhode Islanders of every background from every community. That’s why my administration is committed to engaging all 39 cities and towns to spread the word that these vaccines are safe and will save lives.” 

Governor McKee was joined at the signing by Central Falls Mayor Maria Rivera, North Providence Mayor Charlie Lombardi, Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza, Westerly Town Manager Mark Rooney, RIDOH Director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, Major General Christopher Callahan and Thomas McCarthy, Executive Director of the State COVID Response.

This story was originally published on March 5, 2021.

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore 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 previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

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In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
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