Central Falls restaurants, bars ordered to temporarily close dining rooms

Blackstone Valley

CENTRAL FALLS, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Central Falls Mayor James Diossa signed an executive order Monday that will close all dining rooms at restaurants and bars citywide for the remainder of the month.

Diossa said his reasoning is due to the “alarming increase in the number of COVID cases impacting Central Falls residents.”

“The second wave of COVID-19 is proving to be brutal to our state; but especially harsh in our
city as Central Falls residents continue to suffer a disproportionate burden of disease,” Diossa said. “Restrictions like these are difficult for businesses and workers, but we must do everything we can to preserve the health and safety of our residents and to preserve human life.”

Starting Thursday, all restaurants and bars must close their dining rooms, both indoors and outdoors. Under the executive order, the establishments are allowed to remain open for take-out and delivery.

This comes as the state sees a significant uptick in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

“As our case numbers and hospitalizations continue rising, it’s critical that we take targeted
interventions in our hardest-hit communities,” Gov. Gina Raimondo said in a statement. “I want to thank Mayor Diossa for his leadership during this crisis and his commitment to the health and safety of his constituents.”

Louie Augusta, owner of Stanley’s Famous Hamburgers, said his restaurant is struggling despite having reopened with 50% of its staff and limited dining capacity.

“It’s killed us,” Augusta said of the pandemic. “But we are going through this second wave, so we have to do what we have to do to keep everybody safe.”

As of right now, Diossa said restaurants will be allowed to reopen their dining rooms after Nov. 30, but only if there is an improvement in trends related to the virus.

“If we don’t control this as much as we can, we can overwhelm our system,” he said.

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