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  • Writer's pictureJeanine Calkin & Team

Calkin releases information on Coronavirus

Updated: Jul 30, 2020

Getting through this Pandemic, together

The COVID-19 crisis is hitting many in our community.  Our neighbors are concerned with the health of themselves, their family and friends.  They are also concerned about their economic security.  I wish all who are personally affected and diagnosed with coronavirus a speedy recovery, and I understand that we need to do more to expand healthcare to all Rhode Islanders.  We also need to help individuals and families that are facing food insecurity, layoffs, and worries about mortgage, rent and/or student loan payments. Below are a list of actions I think are critical for the RI General Assembly to take now.  I've also listed some resources that may be helpful as we all get through these difficult times. Please feel free to reach out to me at if you'd like to discuss any of these principles or questions. - Jeanine Principles to get us through the crisis Our state must guarantee that every Rhode Islander has the healthcare they need during the coronavirus crisis, including guaranteeing:

  • Free and accessible testing and treatment for coronavirus, as rapidly as possible.

  • Free and accessible coronavirus vaccines, as soon as they are ready.

  • Free hospital beds, ventilators, and ICU units for everyone who needs them, as rapidly as possible.

Our state must guarantee that every Rhode Islander has housing during the coronavirus crisis, including guaranteeing:

  • A moratorium on evictions, foreclosures, and utility shut-offs.

  • Housing for homeless people and survivors of domestic violence.

Our state must guarantee that every Rhode Islander has enough food during the coronavirus crisis, including guaranteeing:

  • No systemic food insecurity.

  • Free food (via SNAP, WIC etc.) for anyone who cannot afford it.

  • Free delivery of food to people who cannot leave their homes.

Our state must guarantee that every Rhode Islander has enough income during the coronavirus crisis, including guaranteeing:

  • Unemployment insurance that provides all workers who lose their jobs with 100% of their previous income without delay, on a weekly basis, up to $75,000 per year.

  • Paid sick leave, paid family leave, and fair compensation for childcare.

Resources Think you might have coronavirus? If you think you are experiencing symptoms, you should call the RI Department of Health for instructions. (401) 222-2577

  • Patients have been advised to call this number first before going to their primary care physician or a clinic or a hospital. 

  • Ocean State Urgent Care is offering drive-through testing to people who qualify.

    • You will need to call this number first, before driving there, to see if you qualify. (401) 287-4440

  • These two Providence clinics are free:

    • Clinica Esperanza, Providence. (401) 347-9093

    • Rhode Island Free Clinic, Providence. (401) 274-6347

  • These community health centers do not require insurance and charge on an income-based sliding scale:

    • Blackstone Valley Community Health Center: Pawtucket & Central Falls. (401) 722-0081

    • Thundermist: West Warwick & Woonsocket. (401) 615-2800

    • Tri-County Health Center: Johnston & North Providence. (401) 351-2750

    • Providence Community Health Center: Providence. (401) 444-0570

    • East Bay Community Action Program: Riverside & Newport. (401) 437-1008

Employment Have you lost your job due to coronavirus?

  • You qualify for unemployment insurance (UI). You can apply through the RI Department of Labor and Training (DLT) website.

  • If you are a gig worker or independent contractor, it’s more complicated. But you should be eligible under the CARES act that just passed Congress. You can use this form to apply (NEW).

  • How much money can you get through unemployment insurance?

    • It depends how much you made at your previous job. The average Rhode Islander on unemployment insurance received weekly checks for 37% of their previous weekly income. The maximum weekly amount was $586 and the maximum duration was 26 weeks.

    • That’s now changed under the federal CARES Act. Recipients now get an extra $600 per week, for the first four months. And you can now receive unemployment insurance for 39 weeks, instead of 26.

  • If you can’t work because you've contracted coronavirus.

    • If you've contracted coronavirus and can’t work (even though your place of business remains open), you may be eligible for Temporary Disability Leave (TDI). You can apply through the Department of Labor and Training here.

    • Usually, applicants need to be out of work for a minimum of 7 days to qualify for TDI, but that requirement has now been waived.

    • Usually, applicants need official medical certification to qualify for TDI, but that requirement has now also been waived.

  • If you can’t work because you're taking care of a family member.

    • You can apply for Temporary Caregiver Insurance (TCI) through the Department of Labor and Training Website here.

Financial and Food Insecurity If you're struggling with food insecurity.

  • The state is giving out free meals to children who show up to special sites around the state at these locations.

    • Before calling, look up the food assistance organizations near you with these resources:

      • Here’s a list of organizations providing food assistance, organized by municipality.

      • Here’s a similar list with Spanish-speaking staff and volunteers.

      • Here’s an interactive map.

  • LETS (Let’s Erase the Stigma) is a community aid group provides groceries and home cooked meals to people. Fill out this form.

If you're worried about paying rent.

  • Unfortunately, there’s very little financial support to help cover rent.

  • However, on March 17th RI courts stopped holding hearings on evictions - acting as a moratorium on evictions.  Read more here.

If you're worried about having your utilities shut off.

  • The Public Utility Commission (which is a state agency that regulates utilities in RI) outlawed utility shutoffs (for gas, water, electric, and sewer services) until April 15th for residential customers. The PUC is meeting again on April 7th to discuss extending the moratorium.

  • The George Wiley Center can provide assistance to people who are worried about their utilities being shut off. (401) 728-5555

If you need to access the small business loan money in the federal stimulus package.

  • The federal CARES Act established 2 different loan programs.

    • 1. The first is the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance, which can provide a $10,000 grant to small businesses (that doesn’t have to be repaid) and additional loans (which may have to be repaid, depending on a variety of factors).

    • 2. The second is the Paycheck Protection Program, which provides loans to cover up to 8 weeks of payroll costs for businesses. These loans don’t need to be repaid if the business doesn’t lay anyone off, or re-hires everyone that it laid off by June 30th.

  • Information for both of these loan programs can be found on the Small Business Administration website.

Other services

  • If you are looking for help with child care or senior care, and you are a critical frontline employee, you can use this resource from

  • If you are quarantined and need help with food deliveries, you can use this resource.

  • If you need assistance accessing social services.

    • LETS (Lets Erase the Stigma) is a mutual aid group that can help you if you fill out this form.

  • If you need childcare.

    • LETS (Lets Erase the Stigma) is offering childcare to people who fill out this form.

  • If you want to volunteer to help others.

    • Fill out the Project LETS (Lets Erase the Stigma) community aid offer form.

Paid for by Friends of Jeanine

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