Lincoln shuts down amid coronavirus crisis

Lincoln shuts down amid coronavirus crisis

LINCOLN – A formal state of emergency has been declared for Lincoln amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

The Town Council voted Monday to declare a state of emergency for town, which effectively paused all of the town’s licenses.

Everything but Class A (liquor store) licenses have been temporarily revoked, including victualing, alcohol and entertainment licenses.

As a result, Lincoln businesses including R1 Indoor Karting and Cinemaworld will be closed to the public.

“It covers all categories of entertainment – music, movies, arcades, bowling,” Town Administrator Joseph Almond said.

Almond said restaurants will have to close for dining in, but will be allowed for now to provide take-out services, in keeping with the governor's orders.

Lincoln’s public buildings closed on Monday morning, including the Lincoln Senior Center and Lincoln Public Library, and all town activities, including youth sports and Parks and Recreation programs, have temporarily ceased.

“Town Hall is locked down,” Almond said.

Lincoln police announced on Monday that the station would be limiting access until further notice and has requested that the public refrain from coming to police headquarters for non-emergency services such as VIN inspections and finger-printing services.

Several forms are available on their website, lincolnpoliceri.com, and accident reports can be accessed at crashdocs.org. Call 401-333-8481 for the accident number.

“We regret the inconvenience to the public at this time, but these measures are necessary to ensure the health and safety of our community,” Chief Brian Sullivan said.

Town employees will still be available over the phone to residents needing various town services, but all non-essential functions have been shut down, including most town meetings.

On Monday, Almond said they’re trying to work out whether the library can open for limited hours for dropping off books, or whether groups such the Technical Review Committee could meet this week.

Residents looking to pay their taxes should call Town Hall, but Almond said accounts will likely not collect interest or accumulate late fees during the closure.

Almond said they’re looking to provide an isolated spot in Town Hall where transactions can be made. “They’ll meet, do the transaction and then clean out the room,” he said.

Lincoln town officials are taking the declaration of emergency on a week-by-week basis.

With spring vacation moved from April to this week, the Lincoln School Department is preparing to go online.

Supt. Larry Filippelli said the district’s virtual learning plan has been submitted to the Rhode Island Department of Education for approval, but on Monday hadn’t received feedback or approval yet.

Filippelli said he would publicize the plan when it was approved.

He told The Breeze that the plan includes meal distribution sites for students at two schools.

Several businesses had already closed to the public before Gov. Gina Raimondo banned gatherings over 25 people this week.

Raimondo ordered Twin River Casino to close for one week starting on March 14, and will then reassess the situation.

The casino announced on Monday that it would donate approximately 2,765 pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables to the Amos House and Elisha Project, in addition to donating 500 hand sanitizers to Crossroads Rhode Island.