CoronavirusGovernment

Rhode Island Foundation and United Way, Microsoft Providing Support to Rhode Islanders

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Governor Gina M. Raimondo and Director of Health Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH recently announced that several local and national organizations are offering free services to Rhode Islanders during the coronavirus public health crisis.

The Rhode Island Foundation and United Way of Rhode Island have launched a fund to support local nonprofit organizations on the front line of COVID-19 response efforts. The two organizations jointly established the COVID-19 Response Fund, quickly raising more than $1.5 million in initial contributions from individual and corporate donors. Gifts to the fund, in any amount, can be made with Rhode Island Foundation or United Way of Rhode Island. The two organizations will work jointly to provide financial support for organizations on the front lines of the COVID-19 response who are working to serve vulnerable Rhode Islanders.

Microsoft has agreed to provide their Office 365 E1 program for free for six months to all employers. The Office 365 E1 program includes web-based Microsoft Office applications, resources to support telecommuting such as meetings and instant messaging, as well as remote file sharing. Microsoft is offering this service nationally only to businesses managed by a Microsoft account rep that haven’t activated other Microsoft Office 365 trials in the past. But for Rhode Island, Microsoft has agreed to lift all restrictions on this offering. Microsoft is also offering a free online version of Office with email, video conferencing, customized hub for class teamwork with Microsoft Teams, compliance tools, and information protection to schools and students. Learn more here.

In addition, Governor Raimondo announced that the SBA has approved Rhode Island’s request for disaster declaration. Rhode Island businesses will now be able to access funds up to $2 million per business to help them meet their operating expenses. Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Businesses can also call Commerce’s small business hotline 521-HELP with any questions.

Dr. Alexander-Scott announced that Rhode Island has two additional cases of COVID-19. One individual is a man in his 50s. He has a recent travel history to many different locations, including Germany and the United Kingdom. The second case is a woman in her 40s. RIDOH is working to determine the origin of her illness. These individuals are both at home and are recovering. Rhode Island’s case count is now 23.

Additionally, Dr. Alexander-Scott announced that all oral healthcare providers should suspend nonessential, non-urgent dental care for the next 21 days. This is in line with guidance from the American Dental Association. RIDOH will revisit this guidance in three weeks.

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