Your Coronavirus Update – Today, April 23, 2021
RHODE ISLAND & VICINITY
Rhode Island Vaccinations: All adults – Fri/Sat at The Dunk (9am-6pm) and Sockanosset (7am-9pm) – walk in without appointments for vaccines. Free RIPTA transportation.
Facebook users in RI will see an alert in their newsfeed that they are eligible to be vaccinated and connect people to RI’s COVID vaccine site to book an appointment. This new alert is part of Facebook’s commitment to get 50 million people vaccinated.
TF Green has seen 667% increase in daily travelers since April 2020
Rhode Island DLT may bring back the need to document unemployed are looking for work.
Theatre by the Sea will not open for in-person performances this year.
URI graduation in-person commencement ceremonies that start Friday, May 21, and end Sunday, May 23, at Meade Stadium.
Connecticut will offer free summer camp for about 24,000 children using $11M in federal COVID-19 relief funds
Massachusetts plans to set aside 20,000 vaccine appointments at the Hynes Convention Center next week specifically for nonwhites, as reported in NewBostonPost.com
Green Animals Topiary Garden in Newport is now open
RI Calamari Festival being planned for 9-11 in Narragansett
RISE UP RI is starting a petition to state and district officials to end mandatory experimental testing on student athletes.
Plymouth, MA parade and fireworks canceled for this year.
The Rustic Drive-In movie theater reopens tonight.
The website to apply for Shuttered PerformanceVenues grants in RI is not functioning for the past week.
The University of Rhode Island late Wednesday said it will allow its entire campus community to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine at a nearby state-run clinic, after contagious variants of the coronavirus were identified on campus over the past month.
Armando Bisceglia, owner of the Federal Hill Restaurant, Bacco Vino & Contorni, is off the ventilator at a Boston hospital and is being taken out of the ICU, on the road to recovery.
Another 1,406 people vaccinated on Saturday at the mass vaccination site for the BIPOC community – bringing a total of 4,068 – well done!
Bishop Tobin of the Diocese of Providence has now been vaccinated and encourages others to do so.
Boston’s Old North Church has reopened.
The Rhode Island Department of Health has been awarded $1,481,992 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to expand COVID-19 genomic sequencing.
The USGA, having canceled the Senior Open in RI because of COVID-19 announced that the Newport Country Club will hold the 2024 U.S. Senior Open, June 27-30.
15 community colleges in Massachusetts will require vaccinations to return to school in the fall.
Fenway is listing rescheduled new concert series, starting in July – all tentative for now.
Emerson College, Northeastern, and Boston University will require vaccinations to return in fall.
New Bedford, Fall River vaccination rates among lowest in Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, Barnstable saw more than four times the number of new residents in 2020 compared to 2019, putting the Cape Cod town at number four on the Times’ list of places that saw the largest influx of residents. In Western Massachusetts, Pittsfield came in at number six.
RIPTA no-cost trips will enable everyone who wants to get to a vaccine clinic to get there easily. State vaccination sites and many pharmacy vaccination sites are located on existing RIPTA routes. Go to: www.ripta.com and enter travel information in the easy-to-use trip planner on the homepage. It will tell them which routes will take them from their starting point to their destination, and what walking distances may be involved. The website also has detailed maps and timetables for every RIPTA route.
Providence has a new COVID-19 Response partnership with Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island registering Providence residents who are members of their health plan for open vaccine appointments at city-organized vaccine clinics. Call 1-800-459-6019 Monday through Friday, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Dr. Jha has said that it is “pretty safe to be out and about without a mask” – he expects states to be lifting outdoor mask regulations – unless it is large groups for long periods of time. Indoor events will remain for some time with a mask recommendation.
Pop-Up COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic was held April 21st for Newport Hospitality Workers set for April 21st from 10am-8pm in downtown Newport.
Today’s Data – April 22, 2021
Tests – 19,275 – Positives – 318 – Percent positive – 1.6%
Hospitalized – 140 – In ICU – 23 – Ventilated – 20
Deaths in hospital – 3 – New Admissions – 16 – New Discharges – 29
Vaccinated – 500,595- Both shots – 340,575
Today’s Data – April 21, 2021
Tests – 17,961 – Positives – 296 – Percent positive – 1.6%
Hospitalized – 153 – In ICU – 26 – Ventilated – 21
Deaths in hospital – 0 – New Admissions – 25 – New Discharges – 27
Vaccinated – 490,765 – Both shots – 336,913
Today’s Data – April 20, 2021
Tests – 12,649 – Positives – 318 – Percent positive – 2.5%
Hospitalized – 153 – In ICU – 30 – Ventilated – 23
Deaths in hospital – 1 – New Admissions – 16 – New Discharges – 13
Vaccinated – 482,233 – Both shots – 333,476
Today’s Data – April 19, 2021
Deaths: 0 (4 over weekend)
Tests – 5,267 – Positives – 188 – Percent positive – 3..6%
Hospitalized – 136 – In ICU – 27 – Ventilated – 21
Deaths in hospital – 4 – New Admissions – 15 – New Discharges – 28
Vaccinated – 477,041 – Both shots – 330,237
Governor’s Update – 4/22/2021
Good news to share – schools doing much better opening up – vaccinations plentiful for all – stay the course. Restrictions will be lifted today.
More than ½ million in RI have rec’d one dose. 1/3 of state is fully vaccinated. More than 80% of 75+
More vaccines received than RI anticipated – appointments available now.
May 7th and May 28th key dates:
On May 7th – With 3-foot distance, masks not needed outdoors – still needed indoors.
Gyms, restaurants, houses of worship – 80% capacity, 3 feet spacing in and out.
Catered events – 200+ indoors; 500+ outdoors – removing testing requirements except for proms.
May 28th: lift all capacity limits – require 3 feet spacing – masks required indoors. This is for all businesses.
Restaurants are almost doubling capacity and that includes tips for servers.
Weddings – regular dancing this summer at their weddings. No need to change your wedding to another state.
Sports – April 26th – opening higher risk – karate, wrestling – including high schools are back. Spectators are also back. Bldg capacities and mask wearing inside. May 28th – out of state tournament restrictions lifted. Book these events all summer.
All the new opportunities are meant for those who are fully vaccinated. Then we need to remain vigilant.
5.8% of of positive cases had only school related exposures reported.?? 4.0% of cases?had both K12 and non-K12 exposure reported.?? 90.1% of cases had no reported school related exposure.?
Business updates – all good news w/conditions and rules:
Reopening May 7th: 80% occupancy with 3-foot spacing indoors and out. More tables in restaurants. More patrons. More people in gyms. This is meant for those fully vaccinated. If not, be extremely cautious in protecting your health and your household’s health.
Restaurants – no capacity outdoors (with 3-feet spacing). No longer a cap for seating. Still no standing bar service. Bars outdoors CAN have standing service.
Testing no longer required for catered events. Bars/cocktail hours – still must have testing indoors.
Venues of assembly – 80% up to 500 indoors, no cap outdoors, 3 ft. spacing
May 28th – 100% capacity, all industries, 3-foot spacing indoors. Bars can take down plexiglass. Open dance floors with masks indoors and outdoors. TY to industry advocates.
Some churches, synagogues, etc. may want to partner with DBR or state to make facilities “healthier” with ventilation, etc. We are there to help.
All adults now eligible. 75% of new appts going to those 16-39. 5 state run sites, 3 regional sites, dozens of pharmacies, etc. for a total of 150 sites.
Partnered with RIPTA for free transportation.
Piloting walk up vaccination clinics. Fri/Sat at The Dunk (9-6) and Sockanosset (7-9) – walk in without appointments for vaccines.
Booster shots: thinking about integration into normal methods of healthcare.
By May 28th, we intend to have a good proportion of the state vaccinated.
Next step is to focus on large businesses – college campuses – high schools (16-18 y.o.)
More vaccine than we’ve ever had.
Q: Employment crisis – what are we doing to get people back to work, etc.
A: We are working on a RI solution. We are talking to restaurants and businesses. Janitorial services, day cares, etc. Washington has a responsibility on this, too.
Q: Increase of virus in younger people – how young, etc.
A: Combination. 10-24 people increasing. <16 not yet eligible for vaccine, so those around them should be vaccinated. People are more active, sports, better weather, etc. More transmission from households than anything. Because of the variant, and more contagious the vaccine is. We are not at the end yet. 5.8% of of positive cases had only school related exposures reported.?? 4.0% of cases?had both K12 and non-K12 exposure reported.?? 90.1% of cases had no reported school related exposure.?
Q: Vaccine hesitancy among younger – messaging?
A: Ratchet up – go where the people are – not concerned yet – we’re going out to where the people are, Similar to BIPOC, teachers, etc. We are putting together a plan for a month.
Q: More marketing for youth?
A: Gov says not necessarily – need to go where the people are.
Q: BCBS will pay as long as there is a state of emergency – is that why you won’t call it off?
A: No – it’s the safety issue.
Q: Door to door in RI in hard hit communities?
A: We may do that in the future – first companies, colleges, etc. We’ve seen strong demand from our 20-30 year olds. Would like to see rate increase in 40-49.
Q: Unemployment insurance to require people to look for jobs –
A: Executive order is a possibility – legislation – etc – no state that’s figured this out yet. $300 supplemental we can use as an advantage.
Many new regulations beginning May 7th – and again on May 28th:
Look for detailed changes on Saturday
NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL
Millennials and Gen Z hesitate to get vaccinated – as demands for vaccines wane and supplies grow.
80% of Americans over 65 will have received at least one shot.
President Biden asks for employers to give time off for people to get a vaccine, pay them for that time, and allow paid sick time for those who have reactions – companies will be offered a tax credit equal to that cost.
Pres. Biden implies July 4th plans may need to be canceled if the country doesn’t do better.
CDC says wearing masks outside is still a recommendation as numbers are too high in the US.
Many museums are opening with free or reduced admission.
Two “fully vaccinated sections” at the Dodgers-Padres game on Saturday will be available for Fans 16 and older who show proof that two weeks have passed since a final vaccination dose.
UK: No masks in secondary school classrooms from next month under rule changes expected on May 17…BUT they will still be required in corridors, other areas
Restaurant work — especially customer-facing roles like server and host — is still seen as hazardous. “Some people are still concerned about getting the virus at an in-person job,” says Jed Kolko, chief economist at the jobs site Indeed
Many Americans who worked in hospitality have simply left the industry amid the pandemic. Anecdotally, there are servers and bartenders joining training programs to get new jobs in tech or finance.
Some employers say they can’t compete with unemployment insurance checks and that workers would rather collect benefits than go back to work. But a Yale group of economists found that unemployment benefits don’t create a disincentive for job seekers.
Service employees have long been treated as disposable workers. Now, with restaurants desperate to hire, the power is finally in the hands of workers, says Alice Cheng, founder of Culinary Agents, a hospitality job search site.
Facebook is removing millions of pieces of COVID misinformation – 16 million pieces to date – to help build trust in critical vaccines at this important time.
Stockpiling, government subsidies, pent up elective procedure demand and bolstered infection prevention protocols are expected to boost medical suppliers’ balance sheets.
Johnson & Johnson vaccine is back in use in Europe, with precautionary guidance for physicians – it is expected to be re-introduced in the US with similar precautions, as it is felt the benefits outweigh the rare complications.
The federal Restaurant Revitalization Fund has not yet been launched, but will spend its first 21 days limiting applications to businesses owned by women, veterans or minorities. What remains will eventually be open to restaurants around the country.
The Georgia Aquarium says some of its Asian small-clawed otters have tested positive for the coronavirus.
In Reno, Burning Man hasn’t committed to whether an event will happen, but, if it does, organizers say vaccines will be required.
USDA announced it’llextend universal free lunch through the 2021-2022 school year “to reach more of the estimated 12 million youths experiencing food insecurity,”
Arizona’s governor lifts mask mandates for Arizona schools, allowing districts to decide
Spain to donate 5%-10% of its share of COVID-19 shots to Latin America
India is in full disaster mode as the coronavirus is overrunning the country.
An estimated that 129 billion face masks and 65 billion gloves are being used monthly. Unfortunately, while PPE is a necessary tool, its increased use is having detrimental effects on the environment, especially our oceans.
Ted Nugent tests positive for COVID-19 after refusing vaccine, falsely claiming “nobody knows what’s in it”
CVS has made 3 tests available over the counter:
Ellume COVID-19 Home Test Kit $38.99: The first rapid, fully at-home test to receive Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA for at-home use without a prescription. The test delivers results in 15 minutes through a free app downloaded to a smartphone, without the need for a second test. CVS Pharmacy is the first retailer to carry the Ellume Home Test Kit. It will be in select locations in RI and MA the week of April 19, with increasing availability on CVS.com and in most CVS Pharmacy locations by the end of May.
Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self-Test $23.99: Reliable fully at-home test for surveillance and frequent use delivers results in 15 minutes. The box contains two tests which should be administered twice over three days with at least 36 hours between tests.
Pixel by Labcorp Home Collection Kit: This PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test is the same test used by physicians across the U.S. Results typically are available within 1-2 days and can be accessed via the Pixel by Labcorp website. The test is available now at CVS.com and in select stores in AL, MA, RI and CT.
Half of all adults have had at least one shot – 1/3 have received both shots.
Researchers at Johnson & Johnson say they have yet “to establish a causal relationship” between a handful of unusual blood clot cases and the company’s COVID-19 vaccine.
Brazil is in chaos with an explosion of chaos.
India is running out of oxygen as their hospitals fill up with cases.
Regarding booster shots, Dr. Fauci said: “I believe by the time we get to the end of the summer and the beginning of the fall, we’ll have a pretty good idea whether we definitely or not need to get people boosts and when we need to give it to them,” he added.
In New York, the Johnson & Johnson vaccinations forced the rescheduling of at least 4,000 appointments last week and has slowed the city’s ability to vaccinate groups like homeless people, people with disabilities or older people who cannot leave their homes. City officials have said the ease of the one-shot vaccine made it preferable to other vaccines.
Fauci: ‘I Doubt Very Seriously’ U.S. Will Cancel J&J Vaccine
The global death rate from COVID-19 has now passed
West Virginia is offering remote workers cash and other enticements to relocate. Out-of-state participants who move to West Virginia will receive $12,000 along with passes for a year’s worth of whitewater rafting, golf, rock climbing, horseback riding, skiing, ziplining and other activities. The full relocation package is valued at more than $20,000.
Tennessee, like much of the nation, is finding that rural, white residents need a little more coaxing to roll up their sleeves for the shot.
Long Covid sufferers are seeking disability benefits.
Rome to Milan COVID-free trains will begin service
Beaumont Health in Michigan is turning to tents to handle the flow of people seeking emergency care as it deals with a crush of COVID-19 patients in suburban Detroit Economists coined the term “she-cession” to describe the pandemic-fueled economic downturn’s effect on the unemployment rate among women. While past recessions took a larger toll on men, the global job loss rate for women last year was 1.8 times higher than it was for men,
The Red Bee Group, a consulting firm for corporations and law firms is working on a study about the pandemic’s impact on women’s legal careers and say an exodus could be on the horizon. “People may not have left physically, but they are leaving mentally,” Liebenberg says. “Women are looking for legal employers that have more predictability for schedules and more flexibility. I think because of the pandemic, people are reevaluating what they want out of work.”