NORTH KINGSTOWN – After the state officially entered phase three of the reopening process, North Kingstown Town Manager Ralph Mollis announced a series of COVID-19-related updates, including the reopening of government offices. Other updates included the status of the library, various parks and beaches, the senior center and the transfer station.
The announcement was issued ahead of the July Fourth weekend, with Mollis addressing the challenges faced by residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“These have been challenging times and our thoughts and support go out to members of our community who have lost someone they care about due to COVID or have experienced the effects both economically and physically of this pandemic,” he said. “While business-as-usual continues to be disrupted for many Rhode Islanders, we are doing all we can in North Kingstown to move forward in reopening.”
A recent development in that effort, Mollis said, was the reopening of government offices, with the by-appointment-only restriction being lifted last week. Municipal offices are now open to visitors wishing to do business with individual departments, Monday through Friday from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
A greeter will be stationed at the entrance of the municipal office building, with each visitor being asked to sign-in and provide information. Visitors will then be given a visitor’s badge and direction to the office they are looking to visit.
Visiting residents will also be required to wear masks, as will all employees servicing the public, however if a visitor is unable to wear a mask, “special arrangements will be made to ensure he or she is able to be accommodated,” Mollis said. Everyone inside the municipal office building is being encouraged to maintain a safe distance of six feet or more from others, as well.
“We continue to encourage everyone to utilize our virtual and online services whenever they are able to,” Mollis continued. “We are also asking all visitors, and employees, to refrain from visiting the municipal office building if they are sick.”
Mollis also issued updates about various town services.
The town beach, golf course, parks and playgrounds “all remain open,” Mollis said, adding that the town has hired “additional personnel to regularly maintain and clean” the town’s public restrooms at all public facilities.
The transfer station is also open and fully operational, while the town library “continues to gradually open under a limited basis as they have begun limited in-house services.”
However, the senior center is still closed because it is currently functioning as the town’s food distribution center.
“Due to the center servicing our most vulnerable population, we are hoping for some health guidance on reopening in some manner soon,” Mollis said.
Mollis said that North Kingstown has set its focus on the reopening process, in order to ensure the survival of businesses and to provide benefits to residents.
“North Kingstown has been at the forefront in doing all we can to pivot from the ‘closure’ required by the state due to COVID-19 to the reopening necessary for the economic survival of our business owners, as well as the social and mental health benefits that all residents are deserving of with a reopening,” Mollis said.
“This could not take place without the hard work, dedication, vision and contributions from the employees of North Kingstown,” he continued. “On behalf of a grateful community, I thank them.”
Mollis also encouraged residents to stay up to date on the North Kingstown’s reopening efforts by visiting the town’s website and social media platforms. He also suggested that residents sign up for Code Red, which can be found at www.northkingstown.org, adding that the business community can also use the viewpoint application process for assistance in reopening.