Town of Foster declares a State of Emergency



March 16, 2020

Declaration of State of Emergency

WHEREAS, on January 30, 2020 the World Health Organization designated the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, outbreak as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern;

WHEREAS, on January 31, 2020 the Rhode Island Department of Health established an Incident Command System response to COVID-19;

WHEREAS, on January 31, 2020 the United States Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar III declared a public health emergency for the entire United States to aid the nation’s healthcare community in responding to COVID-19;

WHEREAS, on March 9, 2020 the State of Rhode Island Governor Gina M. Raimondo issued Executive Order 20-02 declaring a state of emergency due to the outbreak of COVID-19;

WHEREAS, on March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of COVID-19 to be a Pandemic;

WHEREAS, on March 11, 2020 the President of the United States addressed the nation about the threat posed by the outbreak of COVID-19 and announced a restriction on international air travel from 26 European nations for a period of thirty days starting on March 12, 2020;

WHEREAS, on March 11, 2020 the United States State Department issued an extraordinary global health advisory;

WHEREAS, on March 15, 2020 the outbreak of COVID-19 has spread to every continent except Antarctica and infected more than 152,000 people, causing approximately 5,700 deaths;

WHEREAS, the number of countries that are experiencing community transmission of COVID-19 continues to grow;

WHEREAS, community transmission in the United States has occurred in over two dozen states and is an immediate public health threat to the elderly and those with underlying health conditions;

WHEREAS, cases of COVID-19 have been documented in the State of Rhode Island;

WHEREAS, the State of Rhode Island and various public health officials have reached out to the Town of Foster to take steps to contain the spread of COVID-19;

WHEREAS, the Town of Foster needs to take additional measure to limit the spread of COVID-19;

WHEREAS, Rhode Island General Laws §§ 30-15-12 and 30-15-13 permits the Town Council President to declare a state of emergency for the purpose of, among other things: providing for the cooperation in epidemic prevention, preparedness, response and recover; preparing for emergency health threats that require the exercise of extraordinary governmental functions; providing the town with the ability to respond rapidly and effectively to potential or actual public health emergencies; and reducing loss of life;

WHEREAS, Rhode Island General Laws §§ 30-15-9€(4) and 30-15-12(b) permits the Town Council President to suspend the provisions of any statute, regulation, or requirement prescribing the procedures for the conduct of town business, or the orders, rules, regulations of any town department, board, or agency, if strict compliance with the provisions of any statute, order, rule or regulation would in any way prevent, hinder or delay necessary action in coping with this emergency; and

WHEREAS, Rhode Island General Laws §§ 30-15-9(e)(3) and (7), and 30-15-12(b) permits the Town Council President to transfer the direction, personnel, or functions of town departments and agencies or units thereof for the purpose of performing or facilitating emergency services; to control ingress and egress to and from high risk areas, the movement of persons within the area, and the occupancy of premises therein; and to take appropriate measures for the protection of health, safety, and welfare of the people of the town and to prevent or minimize the loss of life.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Denise L. DiFranco, by virtue of the authority vested in me as the Town Council President of the Town of Foster, pursuant to the Rhode Island General Laws and the Town of Foster Code of Ordinances, including but not limited to Title 30, Chapter 15 of the General Laws do hereby order and direct the following:

A state of emergency is hereby declared for the Town of Foster due to the dangers to health and life posed by COVID-19, and the City/Town’s disaster emergency plan is hereby activated.

The Town pf Foster’s Emergency Management Agency is directed to activate the town’s emergency operations center and all necessary town emergency response plans, policies, compacts, and agreements, to create and establish mobile support units, and to activate and deploy disaster response teams and disaster response workers to perform disaster response services.

All town departments, agencies, or quasi-municipal agencies and boards and commissions preforming executive functions shall cooperate fully with the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) and Foster’s Emergency Management Agency in all matters concerning this Order. Efforts to provide emergency disaster relief to the Town of Foster should be coordinated by and through Foster’s Emergency Management Agency.

All entertainment licenses and special event permits, whether for night clubs, concerts, live music, or other events, are hereby revoked during the period of this state of emergency. The Town will not be issuing any entertainment licenses or special event permits during the period of this state of emergency.

Bars and restaurants within the borders of the Town may provide take out and delivery services only (per order of the Governor).

Town officials are directed to cancel all non-essential official town meetings, limit the travel of town employees, and postpone all public events during the period of this state emergency.

All town offices and operations shall otherwise remain open until further notice and shall continue to otherwise operate in their ordinary course of business.

Pursuant to the emergency powers granted by the Rhode Island General Laws, and any other applicable provisions of state or local law, I shall from time to time issue additional directives, orders, and recommendations as circumstances require, either written or verbal.

Nothing in this Executive Order shall constrain duties and powers of the Town, the Town Council President, or Foster Emergency Management Agency authorized by Title 30, Chapter 15 of the General Laws.

This Executive Order shall take effect immediately and remain in full force and effect through March 19, 2020, and, with the consent of the Town Council, it shall continue in effect and automatically renew for a period of seven (7) days through March26, 2020.


So Ordered:


Denise L. DiFranco

Foster Town Council President


Sunday, March 15, 2020

The Town is following the guidance of the Governor’s Office and joining many other Rhode Island cities and towns in declaring a State of Emergency.

All non-essential public meetings will be cancelled and rescheduled at a later date.

All Town offices and departments may operate on a modified schedule and may restrict in-person business activities.  Residents are encouraged to call before coming to Town Hall.

For ongoing, up-to-date information concerning  COVID-19 refer to:

Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

World Health Organization (WHO)