Warren amends State of Emergency

New restrictions in place, plastic bag ban eased


The Town of Warren on Monday amended its State of Emergency (SOE) declaration, adding provisions to the declaration that further restrict activities in the face of a spreading covid-19 virus.

The declaration will remain in effect until midnight Tuesday, April 14, but town officials say that date could be revisited as the crisis progresses. Most of the new rules in the SOE mirror those put in place previously by Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo. However, one, the measure — the suspending of Warren's plastic bag ordinance — is specific to Warren. Until further notice, single-use plastic bags are allowed for take-out, grocery shopping and other retail.

The measures included on the amended SOE are as follows:

  1. All Warren residents are required to stay at home unless traveling to work, traveling for medical treatment or obtaining necessities (food, medicine, gas, etc.). Warren residents may still go outside to exercise and get fresh air, however, they must practice social distancing while outside and avoid touching surfaces frequently touched by others.
  2. Any Warren employer with employees who live in other states shall use all means available to enable these employees to telecommute or make other work-from-home arrangements. This provision shall not apply to public health, public safety, or healthcare workers.
  3. Gatherings of more than five (5) people are prohibited in Warren. Gatherings subject to this restriction include, but are not limited to, community, civic, public, leisure, or faith-based events, sporting events with spectators, concerts, conventions, fundraisers, parades, fairs, festivals, and any other similar activity that brings together more than five (5) people at the same time.
  4. All non-critical retail businesses shall cease in-person operations. Critical retail businesses include, but are not limited to, food and beverage stores (e.g., supermarkets, liquor, specialty food, convenience stores, farmers’ markets, food banks and pantries), pharmacies and medical supply stores, compassion centers, pet supply stores, printing shops, mail and delivery stores and operations, gas stations, Laundromats, electronics and telecommunication stores, office supply, industrial and agricultural/seafood equipment and supply stores, hardware stores, funeral homes, auto repair and supply, banks and credit unions, firearms stores, healthcare and public safety professional uniform stores, and other stores and businesses identified as critical by the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation. Restaurants will be permitted to operate only for pickup, drive-through, and delivery in accordance with previous Executive Orders from Governor Raimondo and Town of Warren declarations of emergency.
  5. Article XIII of the Warren Town Code, entitled “Reusable Carryout Bag Initiative”, specifically Sections 11-364 through 11-368, are hereby suspended, and the use of single-use plastic bags by retail businesses, are hereby allowed for the duration of this third amended declaration of emergency.
  6. All of the other provisions of the declaration of emergency, first amended declaration of emergency and second amended declaration of emergency not amended herein shall remain in full force and effect.
  7. This third amended declaration of emergency shall remain in full force and effect until midnight on April 14, 2020, but is subject to renewal pursuant to law after that time.

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.