PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Rhode Island Foundation has awarded an additional $550,000 in grants from its COVID-19 Response Fund to nonprofits that are helping state residents cope with the coronavirus pandemic, the foundation announced Wednesday.
The vaccine rollout has given people hope, but many Rhode Islanders are still out of work and struggling to pay their bills and put food on the table.
“Even though the situation appears to be improving, we never stopped raising money and making grants to benefit Rhode Islanders hit hard by the crisis,” foundation President Neil Steinberg said in a statement. “We will continue working with dedicated and generous donors from throughout the state and tireless nonprofits partners as Rhode Island moves from crisis relief to long-term recovery.”
The fund was set up a year ago at the outset of the pandemic in partnership with the United Way of Rhode Island. It has now made $7.3 million in grants to nearly 150 nonprofits.
The latest grant recipients include Bradley Hospital, Crossroads Rhode Island, the Da Vinci Center, Dorcas International Institute, the Housing Network, the Interfaith Counseling Center, New Englanders Helping Our Veterans, Sacred Heart Elderly Day Care and The Samaritans.
Nearly 500 additional cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in Rhode Island, but the state Department of Health had no new virus-related fatalities to report on Wednesday.
Of the new cases, 399 were people who tested positive for the first time on Tuesday, and the rest were in people who tested positive for the first time on previous days.
There have now been almost 135,000 known cases of the disease in the state, while the death toll held steady at 2,606.
The number of people in the hospital with COVID-19 dropped to 112 as of Monday, the lowest one-day total since early October.
Almost 309,000 people in the state have received a first dose of a vaccine, while more than 181,500 have now been fully vaccinated.
POLICE MEMORIAL PARADE
An annual Rhode Island parade that honors fallen police officers has been canceled for the second year in a row.
The Aquidneck Island National Police Parade scheduled for May was called off “due to the pandemic and following Rhode Island/CDC Guidelines,” Newport Police Lt. April Amaral said in an email to The Newport Daily News.
The parade that dates to the early 1980s honors law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty the year prior.
MOVIE THEATERS CLOSING
Two Rhode Island movie theaters forced to temporarily close during the pandemic have shut down for good.
Showcase Cinemas will not reopen its Warwick Mall location, mall General Manager Domenic Schiavone told WJAR-TV.
Showcase’s lease was set to expire in about a month, and Schiavone said the company decided not to renew. A Showcase spokesperson said the company had no comment.
South Kingstown Cinemas 8 announced Tuesday on Facebook that it was closing. The pandemic made it “economically impossible" to reopen, the post said.