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Veterans home gets $2M boost to protect residents from virus

May 21, 2021 GMT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Rhode Island Veterans Home is getting nearly $2 million in federal funding to help protect veterans from the coronavirus and ensure high-quality care, the state’s congressional delegation said in a statement Friday.

The aid stems from the $250 million set aside for state veterans homes that was included in the American Rescue Plan Act.

The emergency funding can be used to enhance care and treatment during the pandemic, as well as to enhance cleaning services, buy protective equipment, and temporarily expand staffing levels, they said.

“This new federal funding will help ensure the Rhode Island Veterans Home has the resources it needs to carry out its mission and provide residents with the highest level of care and treatment possible,” Democratic U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, an Army veteran, said in the statement. “These individuals served our country and now we have a sacred obligation to serve and care for them.”

The $121 million state-run veterans home in Bristol opened in 2017 and can accommodate about 200 residents. It provides social, medical, nursing, and rehabilitative services.

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DEPARTMENT OF STATE OFFICES

Some Rhode Island Department of State offices outside of the State House will fully reopen to the public on June 1, Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea said Friday.

Previously, an appointment was required to access in-person services because of coronavirus restrictions.

The reopening includes the Business Services Division and the Elections Division as well as the Rhode Island State Archives.

Secretary Gorbea’s Public Information Office, the State Library, and the Visitor Center are all located inside the State House, and their reopening will depend on when the governor’s office opens that building to the public.

Visitors will not be asked their vaccination status, and so masks will still be required for anyone entering the offices and for all employees interacting with the public.

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NEWPORT FIREWORKS

Newport’s July Fourth fireworks show is returning this year after being canceled in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, city officials said.

The tradition is scheduled to resume on July 4 at 9 p.m. with a rain date of July 5, Mayor Jeanne Marie Napolitano announced Thursday, according to The Newport Daily News.

The event will be designed with all relevant COVID-19 safety protocols in mind.

The city is also launching a fundraising campaign that will allow businesses and individuals to help pay for the display.

The event is costly, not just because of the fireworks display itself, but also because of related public safety and traffic costs, the mayor said.

More information can be found on thecCity’s website at www.CityofNewport.com/Fireworks.