Photo Credit: Kenneth C. Zirkel |This work is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

The City of Newport today announced that it is hosting a pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinic on Wednesday, April 21st for members of the City’s BIPOC community.

BIPOC is an acronym that stands for Black, Indigenous, and People Of Color.

The city says that the one-day event is being held as part of a statewide effort by the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) to ensure the equitable distribution of vaccine doses to high-density urban neighborhoods.

Working in partnership with community stakeholders including Conexion Latina Newport, the Newport Health Equity Zone (HEZ), the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) and the RIDOH, the clinic aims to vaccinate as many as 900 Newport residents, with a particular focus for those in the Black, Indigenous, LantinX and People of Color community.

Vaccines will be administered throughout the day at the Gateway Visitor’s Center. And while pre-registration is required, photo ID is not. Free transportation is also being offered through RIPTA, which operates an exterior passenger hub at the visitor’s center. 

“We were happy to work with Mayor Jeanne-Marie Napolitano and City Manager Joseph J. Nicholson, Jr.,” said RIPTA CEO Scott Avedisian in a statement. “We know that the City, like our State, is committed to getting as many people vaccinated as possible.”

Avedisian noted that last week, Gov. McKee announced that RIPTA is offering free transportation to people traveling to vaccination sites located on existing RIPTA routes, as well as RIde program paratransit passengers. 

All those interested in receiving the vaccine should visit or dial (401) 846-7426 ext. 1.  For more information on accessing free public transit, passengers are asked to visit, email, or call (401) 781-9400. 

Once a vaccination interest form is complete, users will receive an email link to register for Wednesday’s clinic for those who have indicated that they can register themselves online. Those needing assistance in registering will be contacted by one of the City’s community volunteers.

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 -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

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

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.