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Friday, March 20, 2020

Charlestown halts just about all in-person town business

Town Hall
Special Notices!
March 19, 2020

Town of Charlestown
4540 South County Trail
Charlestown, RI 02813


Due to the recent concerns regarding the Coronavirus and the latest guidance from federal, state and local officials, the Town of Charlestown is
urging all residents to call or email before coming to Town Hall
  and to take advantage of online, mail and drop box services.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

Administrator                          401-364-1210   /
Animal Control                       401-364-1211    /
Building/Zoning                      401-364-1215   /
Emergency Management                                /
Geographic Information         401-364-1214   /
Harbor Master                                                 /
Information Technology                                   /
Municipal Court                     401-364-1210   /
Parks & Recreation               401-364-1222   /
Planning                                401-364-1225   /
Public Works                         401-364-1230   /
Senior/Community Center     401-364-6998   /
Tax Collector                          401-364-1234   /
Tax Assessor                         401-364-1233   /
Town Clerk                             401-364-1200   /
Treasurer                               401-364-1235   /
Wastewater                            401-364-5030   /

In addition to traditional media outlets daily press conferences will be live streaming on the Governor's Facebook page:

Wood River Health Services

The coronavirus situation continues to be extremely fluid.
The RI Department of Health continues to send new and updated guidance and recommendations regarding our response to COVID-19.  Based on these recommendations and directives, the following changes are immediately in effect:
Dental Services and Hours of Operation
For the health and well-being of our patients, staff and community, WRHS Dental Department no longer see patients for routine, non-urgent care through April 6th). With the guidance of the RIDOH, we will reevaluate if we can return to our regular schedule at that time. We have already begun reaching out to patients with non-urgent appointments through April 6th to reschedule upon return to our regular operations.
Additionally, we will be seeing only those patients with urgent or emergency dental needs who do not show COVID-19 symptoms and who respond negatively to screening questions.
The dental hours through April 6th will be:
Monday 8a-6p
Tuesday 8a-6p
Wednesday 8a-6p
Thursday 8a-7pm (** the only change)
Friday 8a-5p

WIC Services and Hours of Operation
Wood River Health Service's WIC Program will no longer be doing in-person appointments, effective immediately.
  • WIC clients will be contacted as it gets closer to their scheduled appointment
  • All appointments will be conducted over the phone
  • WIC checks will be mailed to our clients
  • Substitution on certain food items are allowed during a state of emergency. A list of items that are acceptable will be mailed, along with the checks.
  • Unfortunately, the much-anticipated E-WIC card will be delayed for a bit longer
 Please call our WIC office at 401-387-9638 if you need more information

Thank you for trusting us with your healthcare


Alison Croke
President &CEO
Wood River Health Services
(401) 539-2461

National Grid
Implements Additional Actions
to Protect Customers, Employees During Pandemic

Company enhances precautionary measures, remains focused on delivering safe, reliable energy

March 18, 2020

National Grid has implemented additional steps to protect customers and employees during the COVID-19 pandemic while continuing to ensure the safe, reliable delivery of electricity and natural gas across its Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island service areas. The company's employees will continue to focus on delivering essential customer services, while temporarily suspending non-essential work that requires access to customers' homes or businesses. 
"Ensuring the health and safety of our customers and employees remains our top priority," said Badar Khan, National Grid's Interim U.S. President. "As conditions continue to evolve, we are taking additional precautionary actions to mitigate exposure and reduce the impact of the novel coronavirus on our customers and the communities where we live and serve." 

Services Continuing
  •          Emergency response - As always, our customers should contact us for all gas and electricity-related emergencies, such as outages, downed power lines and gas leaks.
  •          Electricity and gas service -- We do not anticipate any service disruption to our customers at this time. We have a comprehensive emergency response plan in place to keep the lights on and the gas flowing for customers.
  •          Customer-requested service - We will continue to respond as usual to essential customer needs, such as turning on or off gas and electricity services (i.e. for a customer move), subject to municipal permitting and work restrictions.
  •          Regular billing and ability to make payments - Our regular billing process will continue. Customers are encouraged to manage their National Grid accounts online. We offer a variety of payment and billing optionsdesigned to make transactions easy and convenient. Our call center representatives remain at the ready to assist customers, but those calling in may experience longer than usual wait times.
  •          Payment assistance - We encourage customers who are struggling to pay their National Grid bill to contact us as soon as possible for assistance. In addition, we offer a number of solutionsto support our customers, including our Consumer Advocates who provide crisis
intervention support for those in need, working closely with state and county social service agencies and community assistance organizations. 

Activities Temporarily Paused
  •          Collections activities & disconnections - On March 13 we temporarily suspended collections-related activities, including service disconnections, to lessen any financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. These policies will remain in effect at least until the end of April, when we will evaluate their continued need.
  •          Non-essential planned electric outages - We know many individuals are working from home and children are home from school. We are limiting planned service interruptions during this time.
  •          Non-essential electric & gas related services - Services such as manual meter reads, oil-to-gas conversions, gas service upgrades, and meter changes, may decrease the ability to keep social distance. Therefore, they will be paused. In the case of manual meter reads, this could result in estimated bills for some customers.
  •          Energy efficiency on-premise services - We are temporarily suspending all energy efficiency service activities that require home or business visits, such as energy audits.

Beware of Scammers
Scams related to the COVID-19 outbreak are on the rise. Imposters claiming to be National Grid employees may contact customers to collect past due balances, even promising a savings on the next bill or threatening to disconnect service. National Grid never demands direct payment through the use of a prepaid debit card and never accepts payment through these cards. For additional tips on how to protect against utility scams, visit

Protecting Our Customers as We Continue Delivering Safe, Reliable Energy

We have implemented additional measures that will allow us to safely continue providing essential services to our customers. Our field employees are taking precautionary measures and are required to strictly follow CDC guidelines, including:
  •          Frequent handwashing and use of sanitizer
  •          Avoiding touching mouth, nose and eyes
  •          Keeping a safe distance from anyone self-quarantined or sick
  •          Staying home if they are sick
If it is necessary for our field workers to enter a customer's premise for emergency or essential response, our employees will:
  •          Avoid handshakes
  •          Ask that every person on the premises maintains a personal distance of six feet or more at all times
  •          Ask that anyone on the premises who is or may be ill remain in a separate room apart from the area where our representative will be performing service work.
  •          Wear disposable latex or nitrile gloves to prevent contact with possible contaminated surfaces.
If a customer is ill or quarantined:
  •          If anyone in the home is ill or quarantined, we ask that they advise our field representative BEFORE allowing entry.
National Grid's pandemic team continues to meet daily and we're closely monitoring all developments associated with the evolving pandemic.  We're also sharing our preparedness plans with regulators, federal, state and local officials, emergency response organizations, customers and other key stakeholders.  We will continue to closely monitor this situation, review and adjust our policies and ways of working as necessary, and will keep the lines of communications open with our employees, customers and all stakeholders. Additional information on National Grid's pandemic preparedness and a customer Q&A can be found at

Town of Charlestown, 4540 South County Trail, Charlestown, RI 02813