Medical Center information

Fri, 03/27/2020 - 2:00pm

Dear Block Island Community,

The Town of New Shoreham updated the Emergency Ordinance on March 23 to protect the public health, safety and welfare of the community from COVID-19. A shelter in place order went into effect Tuesday, March 24 at 5 p.m. The Emergency Declaration is in effect through April 15 and enforces the guidance from Governor Raimondo and the CDC, with additional precautionary measures for Block Island. The Medical Center is grateful for the swift and decisive action by the Town Council and supports the measures outlined as prudent and protective of the entire Block Island community, and especially of our cherished elderly population.

Please read the entire ordinance at

"Shelter in Place" means remaining at your residence except for Essential Activities; however, people may leave their homes for outside activities such as walks and exercise, but social distancing must be maintained and the CDC “15 Days to Slow the Spread” and Rhode Island Department of Health guidelines must be followed.

We are aware that the ‘Shelter in Place” ordinance may increase distress experienced by individuals caused by social isolation from friends and family members. For this reason, we are requesting that starting today and in the coming weeks every Block Islander reach out by telephone every day to at least two individuals by telephone “just to check in.” We especially encourage everyone to think of our elderly or those who may live alone and reach out to them, ensure they are okay and that they have what they need. You do not need to be on Block Island right now in order to reach out to a friend, relative or colleague, or someone who may be isolated or alone. Please have a low threshold to encourage individuals who seem to be struggling to call the medical center for assistance. In addition, technology allows us to “virtually visit” with friends and relatives through online applications like “ZOOM” video conferencing or Apple FaceTime. Both are surprisingly easy to use and a FaceTime visit with a grandchild can work wonders to lift someone’s spirits. Some families and friends are finding this a positive way to connect during these times.

As the number of positive cases escalate around the region, it is imperative that we adhere to the guidelines put forth in the emergency ordinance.

Emergence of COVID-19 on Block Island would quickly over-run our limited island medical resources.

At this time there has not been and there is no suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 on Block Island.

However, it is safest for families and individuals to behave as if the virus is already here. In keeping with the shelter in place ordinance, eliminate non-essential outings and practice social distancing. We know that COVID-19 is easily transmissible, even in the absence of symptoms, through droplets in the air and by direct contact with others or contaminated surfaces. For this reason, at this time, social distancing applies to everyone, not just those who are ill. Individuals who are ill, even with seemingly mild respiratory symptoms should avoid contact with others including family members whenever possible until their symptoms have completely resolved. All travelers to Block Island are required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon return to the island.

The Medical Center recognizes the need for continued primary and urgent care of our patients and that unique health concerns arise in a time of uncertainty or crisis. We are here and continue to respond to our community’s needs. 

The Medical Center is scheduling telephone visits with Dr. Clark. Please call (401) 466-2974 ext. 3 Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to schedule an appointment. The Medical Center will continue to respond to all acute care and urgent issues. For physical therapy call Alison Warfel at (401) 466-2974, ext. 6.