Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 07-23-2020

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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 4 of 39

NORTH SMITHFIELD BLACKSTONE WOONSOCKET EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | JULY 23-29, 2020 NORTH SMITHFIELD 5 NORTH SMITHFIELD – Before March, John Cunningham visited his mother, Anita Cunningham, several times every week. Anita had an apartment at The Villa at Saint Antoine and was used to regular vis- its from Cunningham and her son- in-law, John O'Rourke. Then COVID-19 happened, and those regular visits became weekly video chats. "It was rough," said Cunningham. "Only child, only parents, coming three to four times a week to not being able to see her." Last Wednesday, July 15, The Villa began allowing visitors for the first time in four months. On that day, about 30 families came in half- hour increments to visit with loved ones they hadn't seen since March. For Cunningham and O'Rourke, the reunion was emotional. "In a good way. A very good way," added O'Rourke. "But also still sad, since we can't hold her, hug her." On July 8, the Rhode Island Department of Health began allow- ing pre-scheduled, carefully con- trolled visits to the state's nursing homes and assisted living facilities. These facilities were placed on lock- down in mid-March to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Now, after 17 long weeks, the state's senior care facilities are slowly reopening their doors, though visitors have to comply with strict guidelines. At The Villa, this means scheduling visits in advance, going through a screening process and agreeing to stay six feet away from their loved ones. This last requirement seems to be the toughest for families, with sev- eral visitors to The Villa last week expressing distress they're not able to hug their family members. Still, the visits offer a sign of hope for those families who waited through the anxious early months of COVID-19 for the moment when they would see each other again. Last Wednesday, those visits took place at patio tables in the facil- ity's courtyard, where the morning breeze and casual setting almost masked the emotion of the event. But staff, watching from the edges of the courtyard to allow the fami- lies privacy, knew better. "All my staff is crying. They're so happy that families get to see this," said Tammy Summiel, administrator at The Villa. For some, the news that nursing homes would allow visitors had a special meaning. Randall Pugh moved into The Villa in February, about the same time his wife, Barbara, entered the Saint Antoine Residence next door. Since March, the couple has been unable to see each other, separated by a few hundred feet of lawn and miles of restrictions designed to keep both of them safe. "I want to sit down and just qui- etly have a talk with her," Pugh told The Valley Breeze. Last Wednesday, Pugh received his first visit in months from his daughters, Jennifer Restivo and Kathy Lombardi, but was still work- ing with staff to plan his reunion with his wife. The Residence, which has had more than 60 cases since the start of the pandemic, has its own set of guidelines for family vis- its. Saint Antoine staff said they had four married couples sepa- rated between the two facilities and planned to reunite all of them by the end of last week. Lombardi said it was the longest her parents had gone without seeing each other in 64 years of marriage. Not all nursing homes had the same experience. Per the Rhode Island Department of Health guide- lines, senior care facilities have to wait 14 days after their last identi- fied case before allowing visitors. That means some facilities are still counting down the days until they can resume family visits. It also means how long the visits will continue now rests on the state's ability to keep COVID-19 out of its nursing homes. "I just pray we keep it under con- trol in Rhode Island so they don't reverse this," said O'Rourke. Reunited: Families visit loved ones in nursing homes By LAUREN CLEM Valley Breeze Staff Writer ANITA CUNNINGHAM, left, enjoys a visit with her son, JOHN CUNNINGHAM, and son-in-law, JOHN O'ROURKE, at The Villa at Saint Antoine last Wednesday, July 15. BREEZE PHOTOS BY LAUREN CLEM RANDALL PUGH waves goodbye to his daughter, JENNIFER RESTIVO, following a brief visit in the court- yard of The Villa at Saint Antoine. Place your classified ad online at City of Woonsocket, Rhode Island Department of Planning & Development Division of Housing and Community Development SUMMARY OF SUBSTANTIAL AMENDMENT TO THE CITY OF WOONSOCKET'S FIFTH YEAR ANNUAL ACTION PLAN (PROGRAM YEAR 2019) COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT and EMERGENCY SOLUTIONS GRANT CARES ACT (COVID - 19) CV FUNDING e City of Woonsocket is proposing a revision to the 2019 Annual Action Plan (Year 5) to the 2015-2019 Consolidated Plan. e Annual Action Plan is a document that outlines the proposed use of federal funds for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME, and Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) programs for the program year of July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020. is amendment applies to the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) programs only. e changes to the 2019 AAP are summarized as follows: 1. Addition of a section regarding supplemental CDBG funds to address COVID-19 (CDBG-CV). 2. Addition of a section regarding supplemental ESG funds to address COVID-19 (ESG-CV). 3. Removal of overall PY19 cap on public services activities. 4. Removal of organizational and municipal caps on public service activities. 5. Language added about applying CDBG funds from any available federal source year to new and previous awards, at the Planning Department's/City's discretion, to expedite closure of older grant years. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Woonsocket is observing a modified public comment period of 5 days (minimum) in accordance with waivers issued by HUD. e immediate changes/activities to the 2019 Annual Action Plan will be available for review at when completed. Comments will be accepted via email and mail up till four (4) PM on Tuesday July 28, 2020. For more information or to comment, please contact: Christopher V. Carcifero, Department of Planning & Development, 169 Main Street, Woonsocket, RI 02895; 401‐767‐9232;

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Valley Breeze - The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 07-23-2020