Governor Dan McKee and the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) today announced an additional round of Vaccinate the Ocean State COVID-19 Mini-Grants are available to community-based organizations and faith-based communities looking to do COVID-19 vaccine promotion. The grants will also support work to get community members access to COVID-19 testing, masks, and expanded COVID-19 education.

“Community engagement is key to our COVID-19 response,” said Governor McKee in a statement. “Community organizations throughout Rhode Island have done so much throughout this pandemic to support the people in their neighborhoods and communities. This mini-grant opportunity will give them the chance to sustain that vital work and help get as many Rhode Islanders vaccination against COVID-19 as possible.”

This is the third round of Vaccinate the Ocean State COVID-19 Mini-Grants that are being made available. The grant program is funded by the CDC Health Disparities Grant. The mini-grants range from $2,000 to $4,975, and more than 45 total grants will be distributed from a pool of $223,000.

Preference will be given to applicants that will serve communities harder hit by COVID-19 and communities with lower COVID-19 vaccination rates. Individuals and for-profit institutions are not eligible for funding.

“Through our Health Equity Zone (HEZ) initiative, RIDOH has established strong relationships with our community partners,” said Director of Health Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH. “Every neighborhood is unique, and our partners know how best to reach the people who live in the communities they serve. We understand that people still have questions about COVID-19. These mini-grants will help our partners provide clear and accurate public health information.”

The deadline to apply is Friday, September 30 at 5 p.m. More information about the mini-grants is available at

A Virtual Technical Assistance Conference will be held on Friday, September 24 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. to answer any questions. The conference will be accessible at the following Zoom link:

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. Although not the founder or original owner, Belmore has been with What'sUpNewp since its early beginnings in 2012.

Belmore was born in Providence, Rhode Island; grew up and graduated high school in Coventry, Rhode Island; and lived in Newport, Rhode Island for more than ten years. He 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 and his wife, Jen, as well as their two dogs (Aero and June), recently moved to Alexandria, Virginia. Belmore travels back and forth to Newport every couple of weeks to cover events, work on story ideas, to meet with What'sUpNewp's on-the-ground contributors, to visit friends, and to eat as much seafood as possible.

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