Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 03-12-2020

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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WOONSOCKET – The chief medical officer of Landmark Medical Center said on Tuesday he expects Rhode Island will see more cases of COVID-19 before the outbreak sub- sides, but emphasized that's no reason for people to panic. Part of the reason for the increase, said Dr. Glenn Fort, chief medical offi- cer and an infectious disease specialist at Landmark, is the wider availability of test processing sites for coronavirus test kits. As of this Friday, March 14, Rhode Island Hospital will be able to process test kits in addition to the R.I. Department of Health, making it easier for those with even minor symptoms to undergo testing. As a result, he expects to see more cases of varying severity identified in the weeks ahead. "I think that will calm the fears. We'll realize that most people are going to do well, most people aren't going to have significant symptoms," he said. While 80 percent of coronavirus patients are expected to be able to recover at home, the hospital has pre- pared a surge unit for those who will require medical treatment. The unit, a previously unused space that was undergoing renovations when the out- break began, is located on an isolated floor away from the rest of patients. Because health officials have not yet determined if the disease is airborne, said Fort, coronavirus patients will be kept in the surge unit or in negative pressure rooms that do not share air circulation with the rest of the hospi- tal. "It's something we've been planning for," he said. On Monday, Gov. Gina Raimondo Landmark preparing for coronavirus patients By LAUREN CLEM Valley Breeze Staff Writer lauren@valleybreeze.com BREEZE PHOTO BY LAUREN CLEM DR. GLENN FORT, chief medical officer for Landmark Medical Center, stands in the hallway of the surge unit that has been prepared to treat possible coronavirus patients. See LANDMARK, Page 14 NORTH SMITHFIELD – It's been nine months since Halliwell Memorial School closed its doors for the final time last June, and many of the campus's buildings remain just as teachers left them. Inside the class- rooms, books line the shelves and banners congratu- lating students hang from the walls, while last year's lessons are still written in red marker across the whiteboards. Except for those class- rooms where vandals have broken in, scattering glass and school sup- plies across the floor, the buildings might simply be empty for a school break, awaiting the return of stu- dents after the summer months. Last Saturday, March 7, about 50 residents and town officials toured the property before engaging in a community conversation about its future in the Halliwell cafetorium. Ideas ranged from a senior center to a dog park, most of them focused on using the property as a multi-use recreational space. "We need a new library. We need a new police station. We need something for seniors," said Claire O'Hara, a town councilor who pre- viously taught at Halliwell. Town weighs options for Halliwell property By LAUREN CLEM Valley Breeze Staff Writer lauren@valleybreeze.com See HALLIWELL, Page 18 O'HARA WOONSOCKET – An eviction dispute and subsequent bankruptcy filing in the state of New Hampshire have temporarily delayed a local company's plans to bring passenger bus and rail service to the Blackstone Valley, potentially jeopardizing a planned stop in Woonsocket. Boston Surface Railroad Company, the transportation company founded by local entrepreneur Vincent Bono, remains locked in a tenancy dispute with the Rhode Island Department of Transportation. The agency first accused the company of fail- ing to make lease payments on the Woonsocket Depot train station last spring, setting off a series of legal proceedings in state and federal court. Bus, train plans could exclude Woonsocket By LAUREN CLEM Valley Breeze Staff Writer lauren@valleybreeze.com See TRAIN, Page 18 ©2020 THE VALLEY BREEZE Serving North Smithfield Blackstone and Woonsocket Breeze THE VALLEY FREE MARCH 12-18, 2020 6 Blackstone Valley Place, Building 3, Suite 307, Lincoln, RI 02865 Rachel A. Baboian, Au. D. Doctor of Audiology Licensed Audiologist FREE Hearing Screenings FREE Hearing Aid Checks & Cleanings Just call to schedule an appointment! Today's hearing aids are barely visible, highly effective and easy to afford. Come hear for yourself with a RISK FREE 30-day trial! www.hearforyouri.com 401-475-6116 FOR UNCOMPROMISED QUALITY & VALUE Josh's Roofing Josh was born into the business 40 years ago. He is a second generation roofer. • RESIDENTIAL / COMMERCIAL ROOFING Unmatched Quality Attention to Detail Because You Have to Trust Who You Hire – WHY TAKE A CHANCE? 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