COVID-19: UPDATES, CLOSURES AND CANCELLATIONS

Updated as of November 17, 2020

***Looking for the latest on the COVID-19 virus? Check health.ri.gov for regular updates and briefings. The town of Middletown is actively monitoring the situation and will provide news here as well as through social media and other informational outlets as necessary. We will keep this page updated as new announcements are made. The state has set up a 24/7 public hotline — (401) 222-8022 — staffed with health care professionals for those with questions about the coronavirus or how to self-quarantine.***

Middletown Town Hall is open for business by email, phone and online programs; the building is restricted to public access until further notice.  Residents and businesses are encouraged to use online services, online forms, drop-off boxes and mail to complete town business.  These precautions are being implemented in light of recent developments with the Coronavirus pandemic. These actions are taken to protect the health and safety of our residents by protecting the health and safety of our employees who work in these buildings.

Anyone needing assistance or information is encouraged to contact the Town of Middletown by sending an email to MiddletownHelps@middletownri.com and your request will be forwarded to the appropriate department.

Here is a list of departments and contact information if you need assistance in completing your business with the town:

Town Clerk, (401) 847-0009, wmarshall@middletownri.com

– Vital records (birth, marriage, death), licenses, canvassing and election, land evidence records, municipal and probate court, cemetery, Town Council matters, short term rental applications

Building and Zoning, (401) 847-5769, clogothets@middletownri.com

– building permits and inspections, zoning enforcement, short term rental inspections

Tax Assessment and Collections, (401) 847-7300, gdurgin@middletownri.com

– tax payments, motor vehicle tax inquiries, tax exemption forms, tangible tax, sewer collections, property valuation

Finance Department, (401) 846-4478, mtanguay@middletownri.com

Human Resources, (401) 846-5781, cbennett@middletownri.com

Planning, (401) 849-4027, rwolanski@middletownri.com

Middletown Prevention Coalition, Lori Verderosa, (401) 845-0409, msaptf@middletownri.com

Town Administrator, (401) 849-2898, sbrown@middletownri.com

Anyone may drop off envelopes for any town department at the drop box located outside the town hall near the ADA entrance at the rear of the building; this box will be checked daily.

——-

Other Town buildings remain closed or restricted to public access, but employees will respond to phone calls and emails:

  • Middletown Senior Center, (401) 849-8823, akaull@middletownri.com
  • Middletown Fire Department, non-emergency calls (401) 846-1031, rmccall@middletownri.com
  • Middletown Police Department, non-emergency calls (401) 846-1104, wkewer@middletownri.com
  • Middletown Department of Public Works, (401) 846-2119, toloughlin@middletownri.com
  • Middletown Refuse and Recycling, (401) 842-6519, wcronin@middletownri.com

Middletown Public Library has limited in-Library Service hours and Curbside Contactless Service for patrons.  Learn more at middletownpubliclibraryri.org/library-covid-19-response/

or by contacting library personnel at (401) 846-1573, ext. 1 (circulation) or middletownpubliclibrary@gmail.com.

For accurate and up-to-date information, please consult the following websites, and scroll to the next section:


Recent updates by department:

TOWN ADMINISTRATOR

  • STATE OF EMERGENCY: On Monday, November 16, 2020, the Town Council held a public meeting via telecommunications and approved the extension of the state of emergency for the Town to December  14, 2020.
  • OPEN MEETINGS: On June 12, 2020, Governor Gina Raimondo extended the deadline for public meetings to use telephone or electronic communications for the purpose of conducting open and transparent meetings that are accessible to the public by issuing Executive Order 20-46, which extends the deadline to July 12, 2020:  “Public bodies conducting meetings, as those terms are defined by Open Meetings Act, are hereby relieved from the prohibitions regarding use of telephonic or electronic communication to conduct meetings, contained in Rhode Island General Laws §42-46-5(b), and are required to make provisions to ensure public access to the meeting of the public body for members of the public through adequate, alternative means.”  The full executive order may be found here https://governor.ri.gov/newsroom/orders/.
  • COURT: Beginning in June, Municipal Court and Probate Court are taking place in the Town Council Chambers.  Anyone with a court date who is scheduled to appear before the judge is asked to:
    • use the east entrance near the ADA doors on the back right side of the building;
    • wear a cloth face covering;
    • observe strict social distancing at all times.  This may require that you wait outside the building after checking in.
    • respect that the rest of Town Hall is still closed to the public

    For questions or inquiries about Municipal or Probate Court matters, please contact the Town Clerk’s office at (401) 847-0009.

TOWN CLERK  The Town Clerk’s Office encourages residents and businesses to take advantage of its Online and Mail-in services in order to complete certain transactions or applications with the Town of Middletown.  You may also use the Town’s Payment drop box located on the west side of the Town Hall near the handicap entrance doors to drop off envelopes or documents.  Contact the Town Clerk’s office at 847-0009 or wmarshall@middletownri.com for more information or assistance.

Marriage, Birth and Death Certificates – To learn more about applying for vital records online, visit the RIDOH website at https://health.ri.gov/records/howto/getacopy/.  Return the application, payment and a photocopy of your driver’s license to the Office of the Town Clerk, 350 East Main Road, Middletown, RI, 02842.

Land Evidence (Deeds/Mortgages) –On the town’s website under Online Services, search under “Search Property Records” or https://i2f.uslandrecords.com/RI/Middletown/D/Default.aspx.     Your Land Evidence Filings can be mailed to us at Office of the Town Clerk, 350 East Main Road, Middletown, RI, 02842, or dropped off using the town’s Payment drop box outside Town Hall. Documents will be returned to you by mail if possible; otherwise we will make arrangements for you to pick up the documents.  Call the Town Clerk’s office at 847-0009 if you would like to make an appointment to have a recording done while you wait.

Probate:  For forms please visit the following website https://www.sos.ri.gov/divisions/business-services/probate-forms/.

Business Licenses:  Please contact the Town Clerk’s office by phone or email and we will assist you with the application process or the appropriate forms.

Short Term Rentals:  As of April 1, you may register online on the town’s website at https://middletownri.viewpointcloud.com/.

TAX ASSESSOR

  • Second quarter tax payments due December 10.  Payment may be mailed to Town Hall (350 East Main Road) or dropped in the Payment Box outside Town Hall near the ADA entrance (checked daily Monday through Friday.)
  • Town is now accepting applications for ACH payment of taxes -the form and instructions are found on the the Tax Assessor’s page here

BUILDING / ZONING DEPT

  • The Town of Middletown has been using an online permitting application that allows you to apply for permits, upload the necessary documents, receive approvals and make your payment online without having to come into the Town Hall. We have all been asked to be diligent and take steps to limit possible sources of transmitting the Covid-19 virus. Utilizing the permitting system is one way to achieve this while still allowing us to provide a necessary service. If you are not familiar with how the system works, feel free to call and we will be happy to guide you through the process.  To schedule an inspection – do not use the permitting portal or email. All requests for inspection must be made by contacting us by phone at 401-847-5769. If you are greeted by voicemail please select extension 1 and follow the instructions. Failure to request inspections using the voicemail system or speaking directly with someone in the office will likely result in a delay in responding to your inspection request.
  • Next Zoning Board meeting is November 10, 2020.

REFUSE AND RECYCLING

We ask our PAYT customers to be mindful of the huge task facing the employees of Republic Services in collecting the bags, barrels and bundles that have accumulated during the months when everyone has been sheltering at home.  The employees will do their best to clear all waste as efficiently as possible, but we ask our PAYT subscribers to be patient and supportive during this time.  Keeping everyone healthy and safe during this pandemic is our goal, and we appreciate everyone’s cooperation.

  • Bulk Waste Pick Up: As of June 1, curbside pick-up of bulk waste items is again available to Pay As You Throw (PAYT) customers.  You buy a sticker from Refuse & Recycling program, then schedule a time for Republic Services to pick up the item at your home.  Bulk waste is collected the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of every month.  The cost of the stickers varies, depending on the item you want picked up curbside (most items are $20 or $25.)  Bulky Waste Price List may be found at https://refuse-collection.middletownri.com/bulk-waste-information/.Because the Department of Public Works building is now closed to the public, inquiries should be emailed to wcronin@middletownri.com or call (401) 842-6519 to leave a voice message.  You may also mail a check for the appropriate amount to “Refuse and Recycling, Middletown DPW, 9 Berkeley Avenue, Middletown, RI 02842” and the bulk waste sticker(s) will be mailed to you.  Please note, we cannot accept credit cards, payment must be by check or money order.

BUSINESSES

  • SURVEY FOR BUSINESSES (May 13 – 27, 2020): The Aquidneck Island Economic Recovery Partnership team is working to measure and track COVID-19’s economic impact, to learn how to best help businesses. Your insight and feedback are critical to developing a recovery strategy— please consider completing this survey.
  • Organizations here to help you: for small businesses negatively affected by COVID-19, you can find resources at the following sites:
  • Small Business Tech Support Program:  Connect Greater Newport (CGN) is partnering with CommerceRI to support the Small Business Tech Support Program.  Call Connect Greater Newport at (401) 855-2214 or call the state helpline at (401) 521-TECH.  More information about the program can be found here.  Commerce has partnered with Venture Cafe to use their existing online office hours booking platform. A list of companies offering free consultations may be found here.

  • MicroE Stabilization Grant Program: The Town of Middletown is participating in the Microenterprise (MicroE) Stabilization Grant Program offered through the state’s Office of Housing and Community Development for small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds are available to offer grants of $5,000 to qualifying small businesses located in Middletown. More information can be found here.
  • PPE Supplies for Small business support: The state will be distributing 500,000 masks and disinfectant solution to Rhode Island businesses through chambers of commerce and industry associations. These supplies will be available to small businesses with 50 or fewer employees, including retailers, restaurants, grocery stores, manufacturers, and others. Starting next week, businesses will be able to pick up a month’s supply of face coverings as well as a voucher for a gallon of disinfectant that can be purchased from any Rhode Island Ocean State Job Lot store. To obtain these supplies, businesses must show they’ve completed their COVID-19 Control Plan. Templates are available on ReopeningRI.com. For more information about supplies and to find a list of participating chambers and business associations, visit CommerceRI.com.
  • Free Laptops for Qualifying Businesses: Thanks to a generous donation from the Microsoft Corporation in partnership with Social Greenhouse Enterprise, Commerce RI will be distributing 500 laptops to Rhode Island small businesses with fewer than 25 employees. The state will prioritize small businesses that are owned by people of color, women, veterans, or lower/moderate income individuals. Applications are available on CommerceRI.com in both English and Spanish and are due on May 26th.

MIDDLETOWN PREVENTION COALITION

  • The Middletown Wellness Project and its related events have been postponed.

FIRE DEPARTMENT

MIDDLETOWN LIBRARY

  • Middletown Public Library is making materials currently in the building available for loan via curbside delivery. Email your request, along with your phone number, to the library mid.circulation@gmail.com. We encourage you to use this service after checking the library’s online catalog to be sure that the material is available in Middletown’s collection.
  • Children’s and teen’s library programs are canceled until further notice.
  • The Friends Bookstore closed until further notice

POLICE DEPARTMENT

PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT


 

What to know about COVID19, also known as the Coronavirus Disease

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the immediate risk to the general public for contracting the coronavirus remains low, they do suggest that now is the time for communities to start preparing.

Currently, there is no identified risk to the community. The Town of Middletown has been working closely with regional, state and federal agencies to ensure we are prepared, should the disease appear in our community. Below, you’ll find real-time information provided by the Centers for Disease Control, while to the right are local resources intended to provide you the information needed to be prepared to help stop the spread of the virus.

Current understanding about how the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spreads is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses. COVID-19 is a new disease and there is more to learn about how it spreads, the severity of illness it causes, and to what extent it may spread in the United States.

Person-to-person spread

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person:

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

  • People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
  • Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

How easily does the virus spread?

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained.

The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

 

RESOURCES