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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates from the PHA

The Providence Housing Authority (PHA) is taking action to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We want to do everything we can to protect our residents, PHA staff, and others in our community. We are closely following the recommendations of public health agencies like the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) and the Center for Disease and Prevention (CDC), especially in light of the Governor’s Executive Orders. The PHA remains committed to continuing to provide high quality customer service throughout this difficult time.  Please continue on below for additional updates and notices regarding the PHA’s response to this epidemic.  

The PHA  is open and working diligently for the individuals and families we serve while practicing social distancing and limiting in-person interaction whenever possible.

Reducing the likelihood of getting or spreading the Coronavirus:

We ask that ALL non-essential visits to our high rise buildings be suspended.  For essential visits (such as CNA care, homemakers, food or medication delivery), please screen for key indicators of the virus (if you are not feeling well, traveled out of state or country, etc.) before allowing them to enter the building.

Health experts recommend the following:

  • Wash hands often for at least 20 seconds, using warm water and plenty of soap, especially after touching shared objects such as door handles.
  • Avoid touching your face, eyes, mouth and nose.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes, using a tissue or your forearm, not your hands.
  • Consider home preparedness and stocking up on extra groceries, medicines and other supplies. Contact your Resident Service Coordinator if you need assistance coordinating shopping, deliveries, etc. during this time.
  • If you have questions, contact your doctor or urgent care before you go into the office.
  • Practice “social distancing” which is to maintain 6 feet of separation from you and others at all times.
  • Avoid congregating in common spaces such as building hallways, lobbies, and laundry rooms.

If you or someone in your home has been out of the state or country in the past 2 weeks, you are asked to self-quarantine. This means:

  • Stay home.
  • Do not go to work, school, or public areas.
  • Do not use public transportation.
  • Separate yourself from other people in your home. As much as possible, you should stay in a different room from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available.

If you feel sick or are showing symptoms like fever, cough or shortness of breath, or have recently traveled out of the country, do the following:

  • Stay home except for attending medical appointments. Many providers are also conducting visits online or through the phone and you can ask if that is an option.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Telephone or email PHA staff  if you want help but please do not go to a PHA office. We want to help if at all possible, but also need to keep staff healthy to continue to serve our tenants and residents.
  • Call your doctor or medical provider, as needed, especially if you are over age 60, have chronic medical conditions, or are pregnant. If you do not have a primary care physician, please contact 2-1-1 for assistance identifying a provider.

Steps the PHA is taking:

Just a few ways the PHA is working with our residents, participants, vendors, partners, and the community at-large to slow the spread of the Coronavirus:

  • Offering appointments via telephone and accepting documents via email or fax whenever possible.
  • Cancelling in-person meetings and limiting face-to-face contact.
  • Screening customers for symptoms and indicators of the virus prior to entering units or in-person interactions such as picking up food boxes.
  • Hiring an outside vendor to clean all high-touch areas in all developments twice per day.
  • Contracting with an outside security vendor to amplify existing coverage by PHA Security Unit and Providence Police Public Housing Unit patrols.
  • Closing all community rooms and recreational spaces, except laundry rooms to prevent planned and unplanned gatherings and group meetings.
  • Postponing all PHA-sponsored events.  Working with resident leaders to postpone all regularly scheduled activities within the developments.
  • Limiting maintenance work within units to life and safety related items. Screening all residents for virus risk factors prior to entering the unit.  Our limited maintenance crews are continuing to work outside and within vacant units, wherever possible, and only while practicing social distancing.
  • Dropboxes or secure mail slots have been added to all offices. Please leave all PHA related documents there.
  • We are asking that rent be mailed with the rent statement to Providence Housing Authority, PO Box 40850, Providence, RI  02940-0850.
  • Began offering Food Boxes to seniors and disabled residents in-need living in our high rise communities.
  • All residents and participants were mailed guidance on our continued operations through COVID-19 and our staff members are conducting wellness checks by phone and/or emails (some may be from blocked numbers as our team works from home).
  • Asking residents to limit visitors, especially to our high rise communities.

Resident Resources

For a full list of resources, please click here.  Note – this list continues to change as we learn of new resources or changes to existing ones.

How can I get alerts or ask for help?

If you have questions related to the virus you can contact the State’s COVID-19 (Coronavirus) hotline at 401-222-8022 or dial 2-1-1 after hours.

For Providence-specific alerts, you can sign up for Code Red at http://www.providenceri.gov/pema/codered/.

You can also contact PHA staff members for assistance via phone or email.

For all non COVID related needs, contact your Resident Service staff or dial 2-1-1.

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