Steve Conti
Steve Conti
11:00am - 6:00pm

1540 Updates Archives for 2020-11

Today We Pause

On this day – we pause…

November 30, 2020/RINewsToday


Beginning today, Rhode Island is entering a two-week pause. These temporary restrictions are crucial to prevent overwhelming our hospital system, save lives, and avoid a more severe lockdown. You can watch the video below for a list of the rules that will be in effect during the pause, or read on to see the list in writing.



The following will remain open:

  • All Pre-K-8 classrooms will stay open. Health experts like Brown’s Dr. Ashish Jha have advocated for keeping these schools open, and we know how important in-person learning is for kids’ intellectual, social, mental, and nutritional health.
  • Childcare is essential for working parents, and we’ve been able to operate a safe childcare system that has become a national model during COVID. 
  • Manufacturing and construction jobs, with regular surveillance testing for workers.
  • Personal services like hair and nail salons.
  • Healthcare appointments. Please do not put these appointments off. We saw that in the spring, and today we’re seeing significant delayed health issues.


The following will be limited during the pause:

  • Superintendents may choose to shift high schools to limited in-person learning. Students with special learning needs and others who need in-person instruction must continue to receive it.
  • Social gatherings are still limited just to those in your immediate household.
  • Indoor dining will be scaled back to 33% capacity and continue to close early. Restaurants will be required to only seat members from the same household together at one table indoors.
  • Retail will stay open with the existing capacity limits of 1 person per 100 sq. ft. for most retail and 1 person per 150 sq. ft. for big box stores.
  • Houses of worship can remain open, but with a maximum of 25% capacity, and we encourage everyone to consider worshipping virtually.


The following will be closed during this two-week pause:

  • Most colleges and universities are finishing their semesters remotely.
  • All offices that can work remotely are strongly encouraged to do so.
  • Bar areas in restaurants and bars will be closed for the full two weeks. Drinks can still be served to customers seated at tables.


Recreational venues like bowling alleys, theaters, and casinos will also be fully closed, as will indoor sporting facilities, gyms and all group fitness classes, and organized sports other than college and professional sports.


Tomorrow morning, an alert will be sent to your phones with a reminder about these new measures.



This will not be easy, but I am pleading with you to take it seriously. Choosing to gather with those outside your household will have ripple effects that will increase the strain on our hospitals and put lives at risk. Please, put health and safety first, and stay home for the next two weeks as much as possible.


We’re all in this together.


-Gina Raimondo


Governor P.S.: Information is our greatest weapon in the fight against COVID-19. If you or someone you know wants to sign up to receive these emails, you can use this link

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: A "pause" begins in Rhode Island today in the battle against COVID-19.  The Patriots won against Arizona yesterday.  A High Wind Watch today for most of RI and southeastern Massachusetts.

>>Rhode Island 'Pause' Begins Today

(Providence, RI)  --  Today is the beginning of a two-week "pause" period ordered by Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo to try to slow down COVID-19.  The resurgence of the virus has led to the Ocean State's healthcare system running out of room for patients; two field hospitals in Providence and Cranston are set to open soon.  Recreational venues and sports facilities must close, but not restaurants, which must reduce their capacity to 33 percent.  The state also directed pre-K-through-eighth-grade schools to stay open, but a number of districts plan to resume post-Thanksgiving classes online.

>>State Rep, Senator Issue Statement About COVID Testing

(Providence, RI)  --  Two Rhode Island General Assembly members are sounding the alarm about COVID-19 testing availability for the state's most vulnerable residents.  State Representative Julie Casimiro and Senator Louis DiPalma are imploring Governor Raimondo to provide easier access after hearing reports that some are having great difficulty in getting tests and results, according to a State House news release.  Raimondo last week promised testing would be sped up and more would be available for those with symptoms and for asymptomatic people.

>>Pawtucket City Hall Closed During Pause

(Pawtucket, RI)  --  City Hall in Pawtucket will be closed to the public during the two-week Rhode Island "pause" that starts today.  Mayor Donald Grebien, who himself has contracted coronavirus, says as cases continue to increase, the city needs to ensure the health and safety of its employees and residents.  People can call City Hall departments or use a drop box outside of the municipal building.  They can also use the city website, Pawtucket-RI-dot-com.

>>Patriots Beat Arizona In Foxboro

(Foxboro, MA)  --  The Patriots are staying alive in the NFL playoff hunt after a 20-to-17 win over the Arizona Cardinals at Gillette Stadium Sunday.  Kicker Nick Folk hit a 50-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Pats to the victory.  New England is now 5-and-6 and heads to Los Angeles for games against both LA teams next Sunday and Thursday.

>>High Wind Watch For Parts Of Rhode Island, Massachusetts

(Undated)  --  The National Weather Service has most of Rhode Island under a High Wind Watch today, except for the northwestern part.  It is in effect from the afternoon until the evening as southerly winds of 25 to 35 miles per hour with gusts up to 50-to-60 are possible.  The High Wind Watch also covers southeast Massachusetts.  Damaging winds could blow down trees and power lines.

>>Providence Man Faces Charges In RI, MA

(Worcester, MA)  --  The Worcester County, Massachusetts District Attorney's Office is announcing charges against a Providence man in a local fentanyl-dealing investigation.  The D.A.'s office says Willie Washington was arrested last week in Milford, Mass for allegedly selling fentanyl to an undercover federal agent.  A search warrant was then served on Washington's Providence residence, which reportedly led to the discovery of more drugs and several firearms.

Jim McCabe/djc           RI) MA)
Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

11-30-2020 01:24:15

Your Coronavirus Update - Today Nov. 29, 2020

Your Coronavirus Update – Today, Sun, Nov. 29, 2020

November 29, 2020/RINewsToday


Photo: United Airlines has begun flying Pfizer vaccine shipments and repositioning their planes throughout the US to get ready to fly as early as next week.




There are still plans to open the field hospital in Providence some time next week. It will be run by Lifespan, and they have announced plans to staff it with agency medical staff.  When (and if) the Cranston location opens, it will be run by Care New England and be staffed also by agency staff, and volunteers. Both sites are intended for recovering COVID19 patients.


Pawtucket Public Library is now providing high-speed internet to its front walkway, bench, front steps and adjacent library parking lot. It is available 24/7. This is part of Ocean State Libraries initiative.


Crossroads Rhode Island has announced the opening of a temporary emergency shelter with sleeping accommodations for up to 30 individuals on Pine Street in Providence.


Prompted by a shortage of medical workers, the state has activated a Code Triage Level I, and Slater Hospital has responded by informing staff that any vacations they had scheduled are canceled.


RI Schools – The Providence Journal reports that Barrington, Narragansett, Burrillville, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Foster-Glocester, Narragansett, Cumberland, Westerly and Lincoln have opted to continue in-person schooling.


PC Hockey Game postponed due to coronavirus test concern


Wickford Festival of Lights canceled.


21 East Greenwich firefighters now have COVID19 – leaving 8 on the job and reciprocal aid programs in place with nearby cities.


Bryant University men’s basketball team’s scheduled season opener against Stony Brook Wednesday was canceled after a positive COVID test by a person who had possible contact with the Stony Brook team. The person who tested positive is described as a Tier 1 individual — which includes players, staff and officials, all of whom undergo testing three times a week. Bryant will open its season at Syracuse at 3 p.m. Friday.


Rhode Island Veterans Home is in need of clothing and shoe donations for their residents. Contact Activities Director Alysa Boyle


4 Members of the Narragansett Police Dept. now test positive

25% of Rhode Islanders are food insecure, according to the RI Food Bank annual report – this reverses a trend in better economic and employment times of as low as approx.. 9%.


Lt. Gov on new Small Business help from state: Per Gov. Raimondo’s press conference on Wednesday, here is the link to the new RI on Pause Grant: – Review FAQs on site. For more information, email or Call (401) 574-8484   NOTE: Regarding the new grants – The grants will represent taxable income, per IRS guidance. The Division will mail recipients a Form 1099 in early 2021 showing the amount of their grant, which they will have to report as income on their tax returns for the 2020 tax year.


RI businesses with recent compliance violation orders:


Ultimate Salon – Providence


Town Pizza – East Providence


Wickford Village Antiques & Collectibles – North Kingstown


Kelly’s Laundromat – Woonsocket


Silver Lake Pizza – Coventry


West’s Bakery – Hopkinton


RI Data:


Friday’s Data: Nov. 27, 2020 (2 days data; testing sites were closed on Thanksgiving)


Deaths: 6 (4 deaths in-hospital)
Total tests: 6,858
Total positives: 463
Percent positive: 6.8%
Hospitalized: 319 (New hospitalized: 33; discharges: 52)
ICU: 37
Ventilated: 23





United Airlines has begun flying the first Pfizer vaccine shipments from Brussels to Chicago. They are also repositioning their planes throughout the US to be ready to ship massive amounts of vaccine coast to coast as soon as next week. The vaccine needs supplies of dry ice on board and super-cold storage units. The airlines has said “it will support vaccine distribution on a global scale”.


The Supreme Court granted requests from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and two Orthodox Jewish synagogues to block enforcement of a New York executive order restricting attendance at houses of worship. Both the diocese and the synagogues claimed that the executive order violated the right to the free exercise of religion guaranteed by the First Amendment, particularly when secular businesses in the area are allowed to remain open.  Justice Gorsuch filed a short, separate opinion in which he emphasized that “[e]ven if the Constitution has taken a holiday during this pandemic, it cannot become a sabbatical.”


In Greece, as part of a pre-Christmas lockdown, schooling here is being held live online with teachers sitting in closed classrooms or broadcasting on state television. The shutdown expanded to all school grades on Nov. 16.


The SantaCom pub crawl is canceled in NYC.


All four quarterbacks of the Denver Broncos are out of play, having tested positive.


Safe Set is a technology company supplying everything “safety” for television and movie sets – from remote-operated robotic cameras to tracking technology that helps enforce social distancing so productions can begin again.


The Berkshire Mall in Lanesborough, MA, may be a possible location for jury trials.


Disney increased its layoffs to 32,000


LaMar Jackson tests positive amid Ravens outbreak


Santa Clara County, CA is asking all residents to stay home and limiting non-essential businesses, saying their hospitals will be overrun in 3 weeks.


LA has a stay-at-home order – “All public and private gatherings with individuals not in your household are prohibited, except for faith based services and protests, which are constitutionally protected rights.”


Bally’s stock (Twin River, formerly) has doubled in 2020.

The Boston Resiliency Fund created in response to the coronavirus pandemic has made another $1.75 million in grants to 17 nonprofits that serve the community,


Boris Epshteyn, GOP advisor and media analyst, tests positive


Assistance programs to expire after Dec. 31th:

  • Homeowners can’t request penalty-free forbearance for federally-backed mortgage payments – also rental assistance and eviction restrictions
  • The CDC order halted evictions.
  • Student loan paused payments.
  • Unexpended state aid from the CARES Act
  • Extended unemployment will expire.


Spain’s new infections have peaked and numbers are trending downward


German chancellor Angela Merkel has called on the EU to close all ski resorts over Christmas and New Year in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus – Austria has signalled that it has no intention of closing its ski resorts.


5,000 Alabama students are not in-school or doing at home learning – officials are not sure where they have gone – private/religious school – or out of the system.


Russia continues to test its Sputnik vaccine – volunteers are called “test bunnies”.


38% of workers in Boston say they will not return to bus or train or car-pooling to work, but will now drive in to work alone. This is up from about 23%


Astra-Zeneca made an error in the trial on dosing amounts, and will need more time to come to market.


North Korean hackers tried to hack into Astra-Zeneca’s computers.


Fauci says he’s worried about what coronavirus case numbers will be 3 weeks after Thanksgiving


Online groceries: Orders are up 560% in the past week


74% of people plan to shop online this weekend to avoid crowds, per a Deloitte survey.


Four employees who work at the Winthrop Marketplace in Winthrop, MA tests positive and the city is urging shoppers who were there to get tested.


Tests are inconclusive if convalescent plasma helps with severe coronavirus with conflicting results.


The Vermont National Guard is in the midst of reconstructing a 250-bed field hospital that had been taken down this summer.


While there is more good news on the vaccine front, for now Americans need to “hunker down” and prepare for a difficult winter ahead, according to Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency medicine physician and a visiting professor at George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health.


San Francisco considering more shutdowns due to coronavirus upticks.

Posted in 

Leadership profile - Junior Jabbie, Banneker Supply Chain Solutions

Leadership profile – Junior Jabbie, Banneker Supply Chain Solutions

November 27, 2020/Ann Clanton


by Ann Clanton, Contributing Writer – “Speak Up”


An unforeseen opportunity in Covid-19 times…


Promoted to President and Chief Executive Officer, by Banneker Industries Founder, Cheryl Snead, several years prior to her untimely passing in early 2018, Junior Jabbie balances the legacy with his own vision for the supply chain company.


A Bryant University graduate (he received his undergraduate and Masters in Business Administration) Jabbie’s ascension to the position began a decade and a half ago. He has served in several capacities including Executive Manager of Corporate Operations and Executive Manager of Business Development and Customer Relationships.


A member of the 2018 Providence Business News “40 Under 40” class and an in-demand community and corporate board member, he gives of his time on issues that are important to the woman, Cheryl Snead, who brought him on as an intern years ago.


Today, as the Chief Executive Officer, Junior says, “the role of chief motivator to the Banneker Team is particularly difficult during this time of COVID -19. A team that consists of 100 operational, sales and administrative staff at the North Smithfield headquarters, with warehouses in North Kingstown and Indiana. Figuring out how to keep them motivated during Covid-19 when for many of the staff their work life is more stable than their homelife. For many, he adds, “the Banneker salary is the only family income”.


While he acknowledges COVID-19 can be difficult for many during this time, he also sees the pandemic as an opportunity for Rhode Island’s 2020 graduates entering the workforce. “College kids have an easier time having grown up with technology”. He does advise them that when meeting potential employers, you must differentiate yourself from other candidates by being involved outside of your college coursework.


Banneker Supply Chain is committed to being a good community partner, just as they are to customer service. The GenX CEO says that when it comes to social justice issues like the George Floyd case, “we should always have a response”. While corporations are not monolithic in their response, corporations, he says, “should be cognizant of issues of inequality among LGBT and people of color (POL)”.


Jabbie serves on the Board of Directors for Delta Dental of RI, the Northern RI Chamber of Commerce, the Rhode Island Manufacturers Association, the United Way of Rhode Island, and the American Heart Association Southern New England. He is also a Member of the RI Commodores and serves on the Strategic Planning Committee for SENEDIA.


Clearly the decision to bring aboard intern Junior Jabbie was the right one. It has led to Banneker Supply Chain being nurtured and growing, yet maintaining the values of its founder.


Under Junior Jabbie’s leadership the Banneker Foundation was established in 2019 to provide scholarships and resources for the causes of importance to Cheryl Snead.


To learn more about the Banneker Foundation contact the supply chain’s northern Rhode Island headquarters. You can also learn more at their website:




Ann-Allison Clanton was born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island. As principle of Ann Clanton Communications, Ann has more than two decades of experience as a communications and public affairs consultant. She has written features and profiles articles for the Providence American Newspaper and Ethnic Online Magazine.

Among the notable persons interviewed include former U. S. Ambassador Andrew Young, Dr. Cornell West, former Florida Congressman Allen West (R-FL) and Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey Circus first African American Ringmaster, Johnathan Lee Iverson.

Ann is the founder of the Rhode Island Black Film Festival and a founding member of the Southern New England Association of Black Journalists.

We Give Thanks....For You!

Leadership profile – Junior Jabbie, Banneker Supply Chain Solutions

November 27, 2020/Ann Clanton


by Ann Clanton, Contributing Writer – “Speak Up”


An unforeseen opportunity in Covid-19 times…


Promoted to President and Chief Executive Officer, by Banneker Industries Founder, Cheryl Snead, several years prior to her untimely passing in early 2018, Junior Jabbie balances the legacy with his own vision for the supply chain company.


A Bryant University graduate (he received his undergraduate and Masters in Business Administration) Jabbie’s ascension to the position began a decade and a half ago. He has served in several capacities including Executive Manager of Corporate Operations and Executive Manager of Business Development and Customer Relationships.


A member of the 2018 Providence Business News “40 Under 40” class and an in-demand community and corporate board member, he gives of his time on issues that are important to the woman, Cheryl Snead, who brought him on as an intern years ago.


Today, as the Chief Executive Officer, Junior says, “the role of chief motivator to the Banneker Team is particularly difficult during this time of COVID -19. A team that consists of 100 operational, sales and administrative staff at the North Smithfield headquarters, with warehouses in North Kingstown and Indiana. Figuring out how to keep them motivated during Covid-19 when for many of the staff their work life is more stable than their homelife. For many, he adds, “the Banneker salary is the only family income”.


While he acknowledges COVID-19 can be difficult for many during this time, he also sees the pandemic as an opportunity for Rhode Island’s 2020 graduates entering the workforce. “College kids have an easier time having grown up with technology”. He does advise them that when meeting potential employers, you must differentiate yourself from other candidates by being involved outside of your college coursework.


Banneker Supply Chain is committed to being a good community partner, just as they are to customer service. The GenX CEO says that when it comes to social justice issues like the George Floyd case, “we should always have a response”. While corporations are not monolithic in their response, corporations, he says, “should be cognizant of issues of inequality among LGBT and people of color (POL)”.


Jabbie serves on the Board of Directors for Delta Dental of RI, the Northern RI Chamber of Commerce, the Rhode Island Manufacturers Association, the United Way of Rhode Island, and the American Heart Association Southern New England. He is also a Member of the RI Commodores and serves on the Strategic Planning Committee for SENEDIA.


Clearly the decision to bring aboard intern Junior Jabbie was the right one. It has led to Banneker Supply Chain being nurtured and growing, yet maintaining the values of its founder.


Under Junior Jabbie’s leadership the Banneker Foundation was established in 2019 to provide scholarships and resources for the causes of importance to Cheryl Snead.


To learn more about the Banneker Foundation contact the supply chain’s northern Rhode Island headquarters. You can also learn more at their website:




Ann-Allison Clanton was born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island. As principle of Ann Clanton Communications, Ann has more than two decades of experience as a communications and public affairs consultant. She has written features and profiles articles for the Providence American Newspaper and Ethnic Online Magazine.

Among the notable persons interviewed include former U. S. Ambassador Andrew Young, Dr. Cornell West, former Florida Congressman Allen West (R-FL) and Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey Circus first African American Ringmaster, Johnathan Lee Iverson.

Ann is the founder of the Rhode Island Black Film Festival and a founding member of the Southern New England Association of Black Journalists.

A quiet Thanksgiving

A quiet Thanksgiving…by Michael Morse

November 25, 2020/Michael Morse


by Michael Morse, contributing writer


It’s not as if I didn’t have 364 days this year to get everything I need for the Thanksgiving Feast, but here it is, 3:30 on the day before and I’m compiling a list. Wine, beer, gravy, cranberry sauce, figs (yes that’s right, figs.)


Somehow all of these things, well, maybe not the figs, will be readily available. Millions of people shop for the same things, millions of turkeys, millions of gallons of gravy, millions of cranberries yet there is always more.


Unbelievable. Truly.


My garden still produces kale. It’s all that is left of the tomatoes, eggplants, peppers and marigolds. Everything else is gone, plants pulled out, composting somewhere, ready to fertilize next year’s crop. But the kale keeps on coming.


I like being in the empty garden and thinking of the people who started this Thanksgiving tradition. I don’t think it was the Pilgrims and Indians though. It goes further back than that. It must, for as long as there is life, and people to live it there is reason to give thanks.


As amazing as I find it that all I need is in the grocery stores the day before the official holiday, people much like myself found it amazing that corn, and fruit, and turkeys were available to them. They prayed and gave thanks to whatever entity or miracle of life provided the ingredients for their life sustaining gifts. Their bounty was no less miraculous than ours. They led simpler lives, had more modest needs, and were thankful that the earth provided what they needed to get them through.


For some crazy reason I was thinking about technology, and how I think we are much too dependent on other peoples’ genius. But in all likelihood, my grandparents thought that TV was ridiculous and a waste of time, and how the imagination is being replaced by images. They probably preferred the radio, at least that made you visualize what was being said!


Of course, their grandparents likely thought that the radio replaced books, and how the spoken word replaced the thoughts and images that symbols on a page provided. Think about that if you will. Symbols on a page creating images in your head, and those images when strung together creating a story.


But their grandparents preferred a story told around a fire and before that…


I don’t know. But I do know that I’m thankful for this life of mine, and all of the people in it.


And my garden.


Happy Thanksgiving!


Epilogue 2020


There is grace and beauty in a small gathering; everybody involved in the conversation, enough room for everybody to help clean up, nobody getting lost in the hustle and bustle, lots of laughs and just enough quiet reflection.


Some of my favorite Thanksgivings were spent with a few firefighters, on duty and wishing we were home but making the best of what we had. And what we had is what mattered most. 


We had each other.


This year’s Thanksgiving will be among your best. Gather those closest to you, eat with them, toast to their health, enjoy their company and celebrate all we have to be thankful for.

Even if you have to do it alone.


Image courtesy of Andrew Seivert, Salem Massachusetts Fire Department, quiet apparatus floor, the morning after a Thanksgiving fire.




Michael Morse spent 23 years as a firefighter/EMT with the Providence Fire Department before retiring in 2013 as Captain, Rescue Co. 5. He is an author of several books, most offering fellow firefighter/EMTs and the general population alike a poignant glimpse into one person’s journey through life, work and hope for the future. He is a Warwick resident.


Your Coronavirus Update - Today November 25, 2020

Your Coronavirus Update Today – Nov. 25, 2020

November 25, 2020/RINewsToday




The CDC is considering shortening the quarantine times from 14 days to 7-10 days, but would include more testing – pending official announcement.


Macy’s Parade has been cut by over 80% and will be held just in Herald Square.


The Car Center filed for bankruptcy.


Tourists in England can pay for a test and quarantine only 5 days now.


The death rate from Covid-19 is falling in the U.S., declining by a third since April—a signal of advancements in treatment of the disease.


European governments are planning to ease lockdowns in December 


Oxford study shows re-infection before 6 mos is highly unlikely.


StoryCorps has a great project that promotes the gathering of personal stories which they archive for future generations. Anyone can create personal stories by using StoryCorps’ physical studios or joining one of their upcoming virtual recordings. Developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the StoryCorps Connect project enables anyone to record a StoryCorps interview with a loved one remotely.


NYC synagogue fined $15K for holding wedding with 10,000 people


Operation Warp Speed held a live Facebook update and press conference – during this Azar announced that the night before they prepared information for the Biden Administration, per the GSA directive.


Of Massachusetts’ 400 public school districts, more than 37,000 students have been removed from their rosters this fall amid the coronavirus pandemic.


There are now two lawsuits seeking tuition and fee refunds from the University of Delaware for the pandemic-marred spring semester.


In Vermont, next week, when children return to school, they will be asked whether they attended Thanksgiving gatherings outside their households. Any students who attend events with more than just their immediate household will be required to take online classes for a two-week quarantine period, or to quarantine for a week and then have a negative virus test. The governor said he encouraged businesses to take the same approach with their employees.


Governors will be responsible for deciding where the first vaccine that is expected mid-December will go, according to the national Coronavirus Task Force. It will most likely be Pfizer’s and intended for front line workers, particularly healthcare workers.


The Dow passes 30,000 on news of new vaccines and therapeutics.


It is now thought that the original COVID-19 virus mutated early on, making its way around the world, and become far more contagious.


Essential workers are likely to move ahead of adults 65 and older and people with high-risk medical conditions when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signs off on Covid-19 vaccine priority lists, coming after health care workers and people living in long-term care facilities, a meeting of an expert advisory panel made clear Monday. The intention is to bring many people of color closer to the front of the vaccine priority line — should they want to be vaccinated — in recognition of the fact that the pandemic has disproportionately hit Black and Latino communities.


NYC to Impose ‘CoVID Checkpoints’ at Bridges, Tunnels, Train Stations This Thanksgiving


Panic buying of toilet paper has once again hit store shelves


Covid Cabanas: “A tent with heaters and with the sides open may be safe enough, and maybe even a space with one ‘wall.’ But those fully zipped up tents? Shudder. They are like virus incubators if anyone infected enters the space with you.”


The field hospital in Worcester is looking for staff as it has a severe shortage now and plans to open soon. Suggestions have been made to use National Guard.




Governor Raimondo will hold her weekly update today at 1pm. She is expected to announce major support for RI businesses and Thanksgiving announcements, as well as new restrictions which begin Nov. 30th.


The RI Small Business Coalition is planning a car rally and speaking program just before the press conference to encourage more release of CARES Act funds through a streamlined process. The event starts at 10:30am with speaking at 11am in the Parking Lot at 200 Hawkins Street, Providence.


Small Businesses to Host Car Rally for Additional CARES Act Relief      


On Wednesday at 11am, the RI Small Business Coalition will host a socially distanced car rally to call on the state to release an additional $150M in CARES Act funding through a simple, streamlined grant process. The speaking event will start at 11am, and the Lt. Governor McKee will be there in support of the small businesses. Participating will be:

  • RI Small Business Coalition
  • Chris Parisi, Trailblaze Marketing
  • Restaurant Industry
  • David Dadekian, Eat Drink RI
  • Wedding & Events Industry
  • Erica Trombetti, Infiniti Events
  • Luke Renchan Entertainment
  • Gym & Health Fitness Industry
  • Jo Ellen Hockenbrough, Providence Power Yoga
  • Judah Boulet, No Risk Crossfit
  • Travel Industry
  • Dianne Miguel, Global Travel
  • Performing Arts
  • Hugo Adames, The Talent Factory


All RI testing sites will close at noon on Wednesday (except McCoy which will be open 9-5 and Wickford Train Station from 9-7 Wed) and remain closed on Thanksgiving.


The CVS Charity Classic will not be held in 2021.


21 of 34 firefighters at one East Greenwich firehouse are positive – the firehouse has been shut and calls will be answered by mutual aid.


Brown Emergency Medicine has developed a new emergency medicine telehealth service, available from noon to midnight, seven days a week. Go to:


A Task Force has been formed by Rep. Shekarchi, expected to be the new Speaker of the House. It is designed to oversee the COVID-19 vaccine distribution, though this role has not been accepted by the Governor or the RI Dept. of Health. Dr. Michael Fine will be the medical adviser, and the task force will be chaired by Rep. Raymond Hull. Members are: Reps Karen Alzate, Pawtucket; Michael Chippendale, Foster, Glocester, Coventry; Kathleen Fogarty, So. Kingstown; Joshua Giraldo, Central Falls; Carol McEntee, South Kingstown, Narragansett; Michelle McGaw, Portsmouth, Tiverton, Little Compton; Mary Messier, Pawtucket; Thomas Noret, Coventry, West Warwick; and David Place, Burrillville, Glocester.


Stanley’s Famous Hamburgers, in Central Falls, has started a GoFundMe page it says it needs to save their restaurant.


SkillsRI is recruiting for the field hospitals. These paid positions are in both traditional healthcare roles and non-healthcare roles to support patient needs while the alternative hospital site is in operation. Go here for more info:


The Convention Center Field Hospital is set to open Dec. 1st. No opening date for Cranston’s.


RI Data


Deaths: 16 (of these, 4 were in-hospital)
Total tests: 11,268

Total positives: 812
Percent positive: 7.2%
Hospitalized: 323 (New hospitalized: 53; discharges: 27)
ICU: 30
Ventilated: 16

#MaskUpAmerica –

Posted in 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Field hospitals set up to handle an overflow of patients in Rhode Island are opening soon.  The Rhode Island House is establishing a task force related to the coronavirus vaccine; meanwhile, a local woman talks about taking part in a vaccine trial.  A growing number of Ocean State residents are food-insecure.

>>Field Hospitals To Open Soon

(Undated)  --  Pandemic-era field hospitals in Rhode Island are expected to open next week, according to multiple media reports.  The two field hospitals are at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence and on Sockanesset Cross Road in Cranston.  Officials say the coronavirus is causing regular hospitals in the Ocean State to reach their capacity limits.

>>COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force Established In Rhode Island House

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island House Speaker-nominee K. Joseph Shekarchi is establishing a House task force to oversee the state's implementation of the COVID-19 vaccine.  According to a State House press release, the purpose of the task force is in part to ensure that front-line workers, the health-compromised and the elderly are given access first.  The task force is also set to learn more about Rhode Island's involvement in a Pfizer pilot program to test vaccine distribution.  The first meeting is scheduled for December 2nd.

>>Woman Participates In Local Vaccine Trial

(Warwick, RI)  --  A Rhode Islander is speaking about her experience as a COVID-19 vaccine trial participant.  Denise DaPonte [[ day-PONT ]] took part in AstraZeneca's vaccine program through Omega Medical Research in Warwick last week.  DaPonte says she doesn't know if she received the vaccine or placebo.  She said she the coronavirus pandemic had left her feeling helpless, and she jumped at the chance to be part of the solution.  AstraZeneca has reported its vaccine to be highly effective as the drug company is in late-stage trials with the University of Oxford.

>>Rhode Island Food Insecurity Numbers Shoot Up

(Providence, RI)  --  A new report finds 25-percent of Rhode Islanders are food insecure during the coronavirus pandemic.  The RI Community Food Bank released an annual hunger status report on Monday that indicated the percentage jumped up from nine percent in 2019.  The pandemic has reportedly driven up food bank requests in Rhode Island by over ten-thousand people a month.

>>Big Tip Given To Servers At Barrington Restaurant

(Barrington, RI)  --  A Barrington restaurant says someone left a 21-hundred-dollar tip after stopping there Friday night. The tip left at the Blue Water Bar and Grill was directed towards three servers who have long-held jobs at the restaurant.  The tipper asked to remain anonymous but it was apparently left as part of the "2020 tip challenge".

>>Wrentham Outlets Won't Open At Midnight On Black Friday

(Wrentham, MA)  --  Black Friday hours have changed this year for the Wrentham Outlets in eastern Massachusetts.  The Wrentham Police Department says because of COVID-19 concerns, the outlets will not be open at midnight as has been the case in past years.  Instead, they will open at 6 a.m. Friday. 

Jim McCabe/Source Staff/djc         RI)

Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

11-25-2020 01:38:03

Your Coronavirus Update - Today Nov 24 , 2020

Your Coronavirus Update – Tues., Nov. 24, 2020

November 24, 2020/RINewsToday


Photo: Massachusetts Governor Baker launches a new public awareness campaign – #GetBackMass (see video, below)




Today, Regeneron will begin to be used as a therapeutic in the US.


Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak is both imploring residents to stay home, and encouraging out-of-state visitors to come to Vegas to spend money.


California Gov. Newscome is in quarantine after a possible exposure.


Massachusetts testing effort called “far short” of what is needed.


The MBTA is offering masks to all riders.


Survivors of loss from gun violence, mental health crises, racial injustice and the pandemic are all part of a coalition to call for the creation of a White House office of bereavement care. Adding service to the millions lost to coronavirus, on the civilian side, would be beneficial. Kenneth Feinberg, a victims’ rights attorney who is advocating for a new White House office to help Americans grieving loss from COVID-19 and other tragedies.


Gov. Cuomo announced he would be spending Thanksgiving with his 2 daughters and 89 year old mother – within an hour and social media backlash, Cuomo rescinded those plans.


New research shows that Ibuprofen does not show any correlation with the worsening severity of COVID-19 infection.


USA Today says Dec. 13 is the first possible day the vaccine could be administered – although the week after is more likely.


The CDC today said, “all people avoid travel on cruise ships.”


Colleges ask DeVos to extend the break from making student loan repayments for another year


New York has opened an emergency COVID testing facility as cases tripled on Staten Island


19 members of the House of Representatives have tested positive


England is also working to approve Pfizer vaccine and said it will do so “as fast as possible’


3 Million people are expected to pass through US airports


The Ravens football team has a few members testing positive


Pennsylvania has ordered bars closed at 5pm on the night before Thanksgiving


Los Angeles has entered a 2 week curfew, 10pm to 5am


The Governor of Oregon said reporting on your neighbor for having too large a gathering is encouraged.


Dr. Fauci assures Americans that Santa is immune to coronavirus


Connecticut is reopening health care centers dedicated solely to treating COVID-19 patients amid a resurgence of the coronavirus, including in nursing homes and assisted living facilities,


The National Cherry Blossom Festival is scheduled to take place March 20-April 11 with a new format that organizers say is meant to honor the tradition of the festival while prioritizing health and safety during the pandemic


Quantas Airlines is saying you must have a vaccine for international travel


Italy is expressing panic over their ability to distribute any vaccine with officials saying they don’t even have a good system to distribute a regular flu shot.


Hong Kong is paying its residents $650 as an incentive to get tested. They get paid if they test positive.


Guitar Center, the largest retailer of musical instruments in the U.S., has filed for bankruptcy.


Vaccine costs: AstraZeneca’s vaccine is estimated to cost about $2.50 a dose. Pfizer’s vaccine costs about $20, while Moderna’s is $15 to $25, based on agreements the companies have struck to supply their vaccines to the U.S. government.


On Dec. 2 England will lift their 4-week stay-at-home order and shops, gyms, personal care businesses and leisure facilities will be allowed to reopen, and collective worship, weddings and outdoor sports can resume. Fans will also be allowed back into sports stadiums for the first time since March.


Football Conference on the East Coast is trying to make life easier for referees by using the same virus testing procedures, including delivering tests to referees homes, etc.


“Pregnant women are now squarely in the higher risk population, which makes thinking about a vaccine for them. Pfizer spokesperson Jerica Pitts said thecompany is working on a “potential pathway” to a pregnancy-related indication for the vaccine program, which would mean getting the vaccine approved for use during pregnancy. It is also currently doing early research – not yet conducting trials in humans – to see how the vaccine works in pregnancy, Pitts said. Experts are still debating when vaccines should in general be tested on those who are pregnant.


The Ad Council announced plans Monday for what it described as “one of the largest public education campaigns in history” to convince Americans to get inoculated when coronavirus vaccines become available. The nonprofit council has set an initial goal of raising $50 million from the private sector.


40% of US schoolchildren are attending only virtual classes


An IRS deduction for donations made during COVID19 is now a line item, for tax returns – you won’t need to itemize to take a $300 deduction.


Clorox says it is selling out of antiseptic wipes as fast as they can be made.




NEW: Massive testing will be underway in Pawtucket and Central Falls – paid for hotel/college rooms will be available for those who test positive – run by RI Dept. of Health. Also will be doing an asymptomatic program in schools for Pawt, Lincoln, Central Falls, and Providence. (announced by Angelica Infante-Green, RIDE)


All test sites in RI are closed on Thanksgiving.


The ACI is now reporting 169 prisoners/staff with coronavirus.


The Governor’s Workforce Board is putting a workforce training program on hold until there is a “clearer” budget picture, according to the Department of Labor and Training. The Incumbent Worker Training Grant — which was created to provide funding for continuing education, training, and upskilling of incumbent employees at existing Rhode Island employers with grants of up to $30,000 — is currently on “hiatus.”



Lifespan is imploring retired doctors and nurses, medical residents and students and others to join the cause. They are also recruiting from Huffmaster, a placement agency as they are experiencing a staffing shortage – and near to gear up to open the field hospital.


COVID testing — of hospital patients, of doctors and nurses, and of other people who come and go from nursing homes is being called for by The Rhode Island Health Care Association. RI had changed its rules to require only one negative test to be placed in a nursing home – the association wants two negative tests.


At least 100 people protested New Hampshire Republican Gov. Chris Sununu’s new mask mandate, chanting, “Breathe free or die,” and “We will not comply,” outside his Newfields home Sunday.


The University of Maine System is in the midst of an effort called “safe departure testing” to avoid sending students home for Thanksgiving with the coronavirus.


The federal prison system will be among the first government agencies to receive the coronavirus vaccine, though initial allotments of the vaccine will be given to staff and not to inmates, even though sickened prisoners vastly outnumber sickened staff, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.


Massachusetts has awarded $650,000 in grants to community and faith-based groups designed to help spread and reduce the spread of COVID-19 in communities of color in cities and towns hardest hit by the disease.


In Massachusetts, new rapid COVID-19 testing technology can be used for screening visitors at long-term care facilities


Starting 11/23, Warwick City Hall is closed – there are drop boxes for payment drop-offs – or contact individual departments for more info.


A first-ever Calamari Festival for Federal Hill for August of 2021, to attract 15,000 and promote calamari and the fishing industry, is on hold.


Mary Zanor, a spokeswoman for Planet Fitness, questioned Raimondo’s decision to shut down an entire segment of R.I.’s business community ‘despite zero data-driven evidence of significant COVID-19 spread at fitness facilities.’


RI Food Bank says 1 in 4 Rhode Islanders are food insecurity for Thanksgiving.


All employees at Tiverton Town Hall and those within the Department of Public Works will be tested for the coronavirus today after a worker tested positive a week ago.


West Warwick K-12 will go to Distance Learning 11/30 – 12/22.


Spirito’s Restaurant closed on Nov. 22nd “due to the restrictions” having to do with COVID19.


Governor Raimondo’s Message:


“As we head into the holiday season, please remember that we’ve made an important, immediate change to the state’s COVID-19 prevention guidance:


The social gathering limit has been lowered to a single household. This means you should not be spending time socially with anyone you don’t live with, including on Thanksgiving. It also means that you should not be traveling at all this Thanksgiving, whether it’s five blocks, the next town over, or crossing state lines. We’re asking you to stay home and celebrate only with the people you live with. 


I know that this isn’t easy — I’m going to be missing seeing my extended family in-person this year too. But the amount of community transmission is too high right now to take a chance, no matter how safe you may feel. Choosing to gather across multiple households puts yourself, the people you are with, and anyone you interact with for the next two weeks in danger of getting the virus. So while this may not be easy, it’s necessary, and I hope that you’ll find a way to celebrate with friends and family remotely. If we all do it, we can turn things around and save lives. We’re all in this together.”


Testing will be available starting this weekend at TF Green Airport


CVS is preparing to quickly begin vaccinations. CEO Larry Merlo interviewed on national CBS News:


Massachusetts is planning a statewide COVID-19 public awareness campaign that will run on television and digital platforms. The #GetBackMass campaign highlights the three steps everyone should take — wearing a mask, keeping a safe distance, and getting tested –- to protect themselves and their loved ones from the coronavirus.



Massachusetts Public Service Campaign Begins:

Posted in 

How RHode Islanders see themselves during a time of COVID

How Rhode Islanders see themselves, during a time of COVID

November 24, 2020/Richard Asinof


by Richard Asinof, ConvergenceRI, contributing writer on health


Photo: Kim Keck, president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of RI, talking at the virtual event for the RI Life Index.


The second annual RI Life Index offers a lens showing how Rhode Islanders perceive their lives, based on health, housing, economic and educational opportunities, revealing a broad consensus about how the state needs to improve its outcomes.


The virtual launch of the results of the second annual RI Life Index occurred on Monday morning, Nov. 16, a collaborative partnership between Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island and the School of Public Health at Brown University. [A link to a YouTube video of the entire 91-minute event is provided below.]


This year’s Index once again showcased the capability of data surveys and analysis to capture a better understanding of the lens through which Rhode Islanders perceive their own health and well-being, creating a mirror through which we can see ourselves, however dark the shadows, without the distortion from self-interest and corporate bias.


This year, amidst the greatest public health crisis in a century, the RI Life Index highlighted the ways in which the pandemic has made more visible the racial disparities and inequities in our communities, by itself a dramatic change in consciousness.


The larger question – how the survey can be translated into a plan of action – remains the ongoing challenge.


A public policy mirror
During a time when facts, evidence, and science have often seemed to have been “discarded” by political forces and social media manipulation, making it difficult to discern reality from conspiracy theory, the 2020 RI Life Index presented some incontrovertible evidence about how Rhode Islanders actually see themselves – a potential valuable tool in shaping public health policies and investment strategies, if elected officials, policy makers, and business leaders are willing to take heed.


For instance, last year’s inaugural RI Life Index highlighted the need for more investment in affordable housing. As a result, Blue Cross changed its Blue Angel investment strategy to focus on awards to spur affordable housing, channeling money to nonprofits working “at the intersection of housing and health.”


However, translating the Index’s findings into action – in essence “tying the bell on the cat” – has proven to be an elusive outcome. Efforts to create new affordable housing investments through a voter-approved bond still require the R.I. General Assembly to schedule a special election to be held sometime in early 2021. Legislators could have – but didn’t – include the bond as part of the Nov. 3 election.


As Brenda Clement, the director of HousingWorks RI, said during the panel discussion as part of the virtual event, findings from the 2020 RI Life Index reinforces the messages that housing advocates have been conveying for years. [See link below to ConvergenceRI story, “The path to prosperity still begins at the front door of your home.”]


“More than 146,000 Rhode Islanders are cost-burdened – that’s nearly 37 percent of our population that is spending too much on their housing costs,” she said, as reported by The Boston Globe. “And we know the issues that raises, particularly for lower-income workers.”


The man/woman/camera in the mirror
The virtual event began with a brief introduction by Dr. Ashish Jha, the new dean at the School of Public Health [who seems to be everywhere these days], followed by brief remarks from Kim Keck, the president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island, who will be departing her position at the end of December to lead the national Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. [The moment captured what might be described as a “peaceful transition” of power within the state’s public health hierarchy.]


Jha framed the import of the RI Life Index in the context of health equity. “Today’s discussion comes at a time in the middle of the biggest health crisis that we as a nation and the world have faced in the a century, the COVID-19 pandemic.”


While the global pandemic has affected all of us, Jha continued, “We know that it has not affected all of us equally. In fact, the pandemic has affected our most vulnerable communities and our most vulnerable individuals the most.”


The findings of the RI Life Index, Jha said, showed “the importance of hearing directly from the people of Rhode Island.”


What the Index captured, Jha said further, was the entire context in which people live their lives, the factors often referred to as the social determinants of health.


“We know that important, long-standing structural issues in our society, such as racism, racial inequities and poverty, end up having profound effects on health, both directly and through other mechanisms, such as limited access to healthy food, safe neighborhoods, and the quality and access to education that people want.”


Jha said out loud what many have been arguing for years around the issues of health equity: “While we care about things like universal [insurance] coverage, which is very important, and while we often focus on what happens in the doctors’ offices and in the hospitals, we have to known, and we do know from the data, that what is happening at home, what is happening in the neighborhood, what is happening in the school, has at least as profound an effect, if not more so.”


Ending on an optimistic, hopeful note, Jha said: “If we can apply that knowledge in [shaping] our policies and our approaches, I believe that we can make Rhode Island one of the healthiest places in the county to live in, if not the healthiest.”


Life factors
In her introductory remarks following Jha, Keck talked about the importance of context to the Index, focused on racial inequities that, translated, made it clear that Black lives and Latinx lives matter.


“We have known for a long, long time that ZIP Code matters more than genetic code,” Keck said. “But this year’s results also starkly highlight the greater challenges that Black and Latinx Rhode Islanders perceive in achieving the pursuit of health and well being. We must do better.”


Keck explained that the need to focus more on racial inequities was identified in feedback on last year’s RI Life Index. “When we shared results last year, we got some great advice from many of you [was the need] to focus on how perceptions [about health and well being] vary greatly, based on race.”


Since March, Keck continued, COVID-19 has had such a profound impact, shining a spotlight on racial inequities in Rhode Island and across the world. “And these inequities are impossible to ignore,” she continued. “If there is anything we have learned in this crazy, tumultuous year, [it is] we must be accountable for turning the tide on system racism and inequity in our state and in our country. Poverty and racism have an enormous impact.”


Room for improvement
In her presentation at the virtual event, Melissa Clark, a professor at the School of Public Health with expertise as a methodologist in survey research, characterized the results of the perceptions of health and well being were “mediocre at best” for many Rhode Islanders, with scores only in the 50-60 percent range and generally lower in the core cites.


Clark further said that the 2020 results analyzed in the RI Life Index “should be viewed specifically through the lens of the COVID-19 pandemic.”


Unlike the 2019 RI Life Index, when the survey was conducted during the spring months, the 2020 RI Life Index surveys were conducted during the summer months, because it would have been inappropriate to conduct the surveys in the spring this year, given that it would have been at the beginning of the state’s stay at home orders, “a time which none of us believed was appropriate to conduct a survey.”


Further, Clark emphasized that no comparison was being made to the 2019 RI Life Index findings, because “two data points do not allow us to say anything about a trend in one direction or another; we need at least three data points to make any comments about trends.


Clark also talked about the importance of the creation a new community group, the RI Life Index Coalition, which brought together “thought leaders and subject matter experts to be sure that we were asking questions in the right content areas, so that the Index can be used as a resource for organizations working to improve the lives of Rhode Islanders and develop viable solutions to the barriers identified.”


The robust data analysis in the 2020 RI Life Index featured interviews conducted between July and August in 2020, both in English and Spanish, with 2,126 surveys completed, with an intentional over-sampling of Black and Latinx Rhode Islanders, asking 18 questions. There were 650 surveys conducted by landline, 966 by cellphone, and 5610 through a web survey tool.


In addition to segmenting the survey responses by age, gender, education levels, sexual orientation, wealth, and race/ethnicity, the survey also broke down where the respondents lived, differentiating between core cities – Woonsocket, Pawtucket, Providence and Central Falls, where 25 percent or more of children are living the federal poverty levels – and other areas of the state.


In terms of demographics, half of the survey participants were female, and half were aged 18 to 49. One-third reported having a high school education or less. One-quarter lived alone; one-third lived in households with at least one child younger than 18, and one-third lived in a household in which at least one person had a disability. Half of the participants reported household incomes of less than $50,000.


The majority of respondents identified themselves as “non-Hispanic white, heterosexual/straight, and living in a non-core city.”


As part of the data collection for the 2020 RI Life Index there was an oversample of Black and Latinx participants, with responses from more than 250 individuals who identified themselves as Black or African American, and more than 560 individuals who identified themselves as Latino or Hispanic.


The interviews were conducted in partnership with the Siena College Research Institute, which has more than 40 computer assisted telephone interviewing stations and more than 100 experienced interviewers who were trained specially for the RI Life Index project.


Follow-up questions
ConvergenceRI asked a number of follow-up questions following the virtual event, which Carolyn Belisle, the managing director of community investment at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island, answered.


“These are all great questions,” Belisle said. “Our partners at Brown reinforce how important it is to convey the limitations of the RI Life Index survey data, especially in regard to your questions about data integration. The RI Life Index survey method is designed to be anonymous. Respondents are de-identified and all possible identifying characteristics are separated from the publicly available data.”


Belisle continued: “This intentional survey method allows for greater participation and typically richer data, which can then be used to reinforce existing data resources. The only identifier within our evaluation is the ZIP Code, which allows us to present results at a geographic level, but limits the ability for full integration of these results with other data sources.”


Further, Belisle said: “The principal survey methodologist for the RI Life Index suggests triangulation [vs. integration] of the data – that is, using or looking at it with multiple measures/data sources to capture or highlight opportunities or areas of greatest need.”


ConvergenceRI: Can the data collected as part of the second annual RI Life Index be integrated with the data collected by Health Equity Zones as part of their survey of community needs?
BELISLE: [See the response above regarding integration of data.] We are working with Chris Ausura, co-director of the Health Equity Institute at the R.I. Department of Health, and Morgan Duffney, Health Equity Zone program assistant at the Health Equity Institute, to facilitate specific sessions with the Health Equity Zones.


ConvergenceRI: In particular, ONE Neighborhood Builders has done a recent survey of the residents they serve about the most pressing needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. How can those findings be integrated with the findings of the RI Life Index?
BELISLE: [See the response above regarding integration.]


ConvergenceRI: United Way of Rhode Island is working on creating a database resource cataloguing all of its 211 calls. Is there a way to cross-correlate the datasets that United Way is developing with the RI Life Index findings?
BELISLE: [See the response above regarding integration.]


ConvergenceRI: Is there a way to translate the findings from the RI Life Index into actionable programs? Such as, transportation needs related to public transit?
BELISLE: We hope that stakeholders find utility in the findings of the RI Life Index. The RI Life Index offers a unique window into what state residents see as community strengths and those they believe to be significant challenges.


The RI Life Index provides further recognition of the need and also the framework for what needs should be prioritized. We hope these results compel action. Blue Cross will continue its investment in safe and affordable housing with the second year of the housing-focused BlueAngel Community Health grants going into effect in 2021. We are also exploring other opportunities with additional partners as well.


ConvergenceRI: Were there any specific inquiries related to the perceptions of the threat from climate change?
BELISLE: No, this was not a topic we included. We had so many topics we needed to ask about and we also had to be mindful of limiting the number of questions to ensure a high rate of participation.


To read full story:,6189



Richard Asinof
Richard Asinof, ConvergenceRI


Richard Asinof is the founder and editor of ConvergenceRI, an online subscription newsletter offering news and analysis at the convergence of health, scie

Tools for caregivers

Tools for the caregiver…

November 24, 2020/RINewsToday


Mental Health America (MHA) is proud to recognize November as National Family Caregivers Month – a time to celebrate the contributions of caregivers, provide them with tools that they need, and continue to advocate for individuals with mental illness.


There are over 53 million Americans who are unpaid caregivers to family, friends, and neighbors. Twenty-seven percent or nearly a third of adult caregivers are helping someone with a mental illness. Caregiving can often have a significant impact on the life of the caregiver in more ways than one. It can make maintaining your physical and mental health more difficult and may put a strain on work and social life.


As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, feelings of stress, worry, and isolation may have become familiar to all of us. Despite the current situation, caregiving-as-usual happens. Loved ones may have doctor appointments or there may be prescriptions to refill. Being a family caregiver is difficult in the best of circumstances. The stress and challenges of the role can have a huge impact on a family caregiver’s mental health, leading to more family caregivers experiencing depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, alcohol and drug addiction, and anxiety. 


It’s important for caregivers to take care of their own mental health. Supporting caregivers with information and resources can help them maintain their mental health and better serve loved ones with mental illness. 


If you are a caregiver struggling with your own mental health, visit to take a free, anonymous, and confidential screen.


In recognition of National Family Caregivers Month, MHA released a new report, The Strain of Caregiving: How Caregiver Involvement Reduces Distress and Conflict, which explores whether family caregivers feel involved in the care of their loved ones if involvement has an effect on their levels of distress and conflict in providing care, and the hope they have for their loved one’s recovery. Click here to download the report.


Fast facts about caregivers

  • 45% of caregivers for adults with mental illness are parents, 14% are adult children and 11% are spouses.
  • The need for caregivers is expected to continue to grow as the US older adult population increases.
  • Caregivers of people with mental illness are:
    • 7% more likely to feel they have been discriminated against at work because of their role than caregivers of people with a physical illness
    • 14% more likely to report high difficulty finding affordable services
    • 11% more likely to say they didn’t receive training
    • 21% more likely to feel high emotional stress (compared to caregivers of people with a physical condition)


Caregiver mental health resources


Being in a Relationship with Someone Who Has a Mental Illness


For Family and Friends


Mental Illness And The Family: Recognizing Warning Signs And How To Cope


Mental Illness And The Family: Finding The Right Mental Health Care For You


Mental Illness And The Family: Is Hospitalization Necessary?


Resources For Immediate Response


Alternatives to calling the police in a crisis


My family member refuses to go to the hospital


What to do when they don’t want help


How can I access a loved one’s health care info?


My loved one has started moving strangely


How can I work with my loved one’s mental health care providers?


How can I help a loved one with a mental illness?


My loved one doesn’t want to take meds


How can I help a loved one with PTSD?


My loved one’s behavior is scaring me


Someone I care about is harming themselves


How can I help a loved one with bipolar?


How can I help a loved one with anxiety?


My loved one won’t talk to me about their mental health


7 tips for talking to a loved one about their mental health


Someone I love is in jail


How to help someone make decisions about their mental health


I need a break from caregiving!


I think someone I care about has a mental illness


Challenges And Solutions For Mental Health Caregivers


Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: The state board of elections audited the results from this month's contests on Monday.  Woonsocket schools are going all-remote for a month.  A group has been indicted for a theft scheme in several New England states.

>>Board Of Elections Conducts Audit On This Month's Results

(Cranston, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Board of Elections on Monday conducted an audit of the state's general election results from earlier this month.  The so-called risk-limiting audit was mandated starting in 2018 through a new state law which aimed to ensure public confidence in the election results.  Rhode Island is one of only five states that conduct such audits.

>>Nursing Home Group: Discharged Hospital Patients Should Be COVID-Tested Twice

(Warwick, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Health Care Association wants the state to start requiring double-negative COVID-19 tests for hospital patients who go to nursing homes.  The group representing nursing homes says the state dropped the requirement down to one negative test over the summer, putting residents and staff at risk.  The nursing home association says it disagrees with the state's position that a second test is unnecessary since someone coming from a hospital would have to quarantine for two weeks.

>>Woonsocket School District Going All-Remote Through Christmas

(Woonsocket, RI)  --  The superintendent of the Woonsocket School District is announcing that all students pre-K through grade 12 will be moved to full distance learning from November 30th to December 23rd.  Patrick McGee said he respects and appreciates the options for school districts presented last week by Governor Gina Raimondo during her announcement of a "pause" period to fight COVID, but he says he's choosing to take a different path.  The superintendent says ensuring the health and safety of students, teachers and staff is his top priority.

>>Nine Face Federal Charges For New England Theft Scheme

(Providence, RI)  --  A group was indicted in federal court in Providence on Monday for an alleged theft plot in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire.  The U.S. Justice Department says nine people participated in schemes to steal and sell about seven-hundred-thousand-dollars' worth of excavators, sport boats, jet skis, ATVs and trailers from businesses.  South Kingstown and Tiverton were the Rhode Island locations that were hit, and the DOJ says many of the stolen items were stored throughout the Ocean State.  The alleged ringleader was identified as Jose Montes of Cranston.

>>Spirito's Restaurant In Cranston Closes

(Cranston, RI)  --  The latest Rhode Island restaurant to close because of the coronavirus pandemic is out of Cranston.  The last day for Spirito's, which had been in operation for twenty-one years, was Sunday.  The restaurant singled out Governor Raimondo's COVID-related restrictions on the industry, as well as the virus crisis itself, for causing it to have to shut its doors in a social media post.

>>DEM Announces Land Preservation In Tiverton

(Tiverton, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management is announcing about one-hundred-fifty acres of forested land in Tiverton is being permanently protected for public recreational use, including hunting.  The DEM says the parcel, which bordered previous protected land, was acquired from the Tiverton Rod and Gun Club in 2012.  The two areas combined make up nearly three-hundred acres.  DEM Director Janet Coit says the preservation also gives additional protection to the city of Newport's water supply.

Jim McCabe/djc          RI) MA) CT) NH)

Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

11-24-2020 01:29:05

BREAKING: 3rd vaccine requests approval. Astara/Zenecca

BREAKING: 3rd vaccine requests approval. AstraZeneca/Univ. of Oxford, OWS partner

November 23, 2020/RINewsToday


Editor’s Note: This vaccine could get approval by the second week in Dec.


Two different dosing regimens demonstrated efficacy with one showing a better profile – No hospitalisations or severe cases of COVID-19 in participants treated with AZD1222


5am, Mon, Nov. 23 – AstraZeneca will now immediately prepare regulatory submission of the data to authorities around the world that have a framework in place for conditional or early approval. The Company will seek an Emergency Use Listing from the World Health Organization for an accelerated pathway to vaccine availability in low-income countries. In parallel, the full analysis of the interim results is being submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.


Professor Andrew Pollard, Chief Investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial at Oxford, said: “{Our} findings show that we have an effective vaccine that will save many lives. Excitingly, we’ve found that one of our dosing regimens may be around 90% effective and if this dosing regime is used, more people could be vaccinated with planned vaccine supply. Today’s announcement is only possible thanks to the many volunteers in our trial, and the hard working and talented team of researchers based around the world.”


Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer, said: “Today marks an important milestone in our fight against the pandemic. This vaccine’s efficacy and safety confirm that it will be highly effective against COVID-19 and will have an immediate impact on this public health emergency. Furthermore, the vaccine’s simple supply chain and our no-profit pledge and commitment to broad, equitable and timely access means it will be affordable and globally available, supplying hundreds of millions of doses on approval.”


Positive high-level results from an interim analysis of clinical trials of AZD1222 in the UK and Brazil showed the vaccine was highly effective in preventing COVID-19, the primary endpoint, and no hospitalizations or severe cases of the disease were reported in participants receiving the vaccine. There were a total of 131 COVID-19 cases in the interim analysis.


One dosing regimen (n=2,741) showed vaccine efficacy of 90% when AZD1222 was given as a half dose, followed by a full dose at least one month apart, and another dosing regimen (n=8,895) showed 62% efficacy when given as two full doses at least one month apart. The combined analysis from both dosing regimens (n=11,636) resulted in an average efficacy of 70%. All results were statistically significant (p<=0.0001). More data will continue to accumulate and additional analysis will be conducted, refining the efficacy reading and establishing the duration of protection.


An independent Data Safety Monitoring Board determined that the analysis met its primary endpoint showing protection from COVID-19 occurring 14 days or more after receiving two doses of the vaccine. No serious safety events related to the vaccine have been confirmed. AZD1222 was well tolerated across both dosing regimens.


The pooled analysis included data from the COV002 Phase II/III trial in the UK and COV003 Phase III trial in Brazil. Over 23,000 participants are being assessed following two doses of either a half-dose/full-dose regimen or a regimen of two full doses of AZD1222 or a comparator, meningococcal conjugate vaccine called MenACWY or saline. The global trials are evaluating participants aged 18 years or over from diverse racial and geographic groups who are healthy or have stable underlying medical conditions.


Clinical trials are also being conducted in the US, Japan, Russia, South Africa, Kenya and Latin America with planned trials in other European and Asian countries. In total, the Company expects to enrol up to 60,000 participants globally.


The Company is making rapid progress in manufacturing with a capacity of up to 3 billion doses of the vaccine in 2021 on a rolling basis, pending regulatory approval. The vaccine can be stored, transported and handled at normal refrigerated conditions (2-8 degrees Celsius/ 36-46 degrees Fahrenheit) for at least six months and administered within existing healthcare settings.


AstraZeneca continues to engage with governments, multilateral organizations and collaborators around the world to ensure broad and equitable access to the vaccine at no profit for the duration of the pandemic.




COV002 is a single-blinded, multi-centre, randomized, controlled Phase II/III trial assessing the safety, efficacy and immunogenicity of AZD1222 in 12,390 participants in the UK. Trial participants to date are aged 18 years or over, who are healthy or have medically stable chronic diseases and are at increased risk for being exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Participants receive one or two intramuscular doses of a half dose (~2.5 x1010 viral particles) or full dose (~5×1010 viral particles) of AZD1222 or comparator, meningococcal vaccine MenACWY. Participants have blood samples drawn and clinical assessments for safety as well as immunogenicity at multiple timepoints up to one year post-vaccination. Suspected cases presenting with compatible symptoms were tested for virological confirmation by COVID-19 PCR. In addition, weekly swabbing are done for detection of infection and assessment of vaccine efficacy against infection.




COV003 is a single-blinded, multi-centre, randomized, controlled Phase III trial assessing the safety, efficacy, and immunogenicity of AZD1222 in 10,300 participants in Brazil. Trial participants to date are aged 18 years or over, who are healthy or have medically stable chronic diseases and are at increased risk for being exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Participants are randomised to receive two intramuscular doses of a full dose (~5×1010 viral particles) of AZD1222 or comparator, meningococcal vaccine MenACWY as first dose and a saline placebo as second dose. Participants have blood samples drawn and clinical assessments for safety as well as immunogenicity at multiple timepoints up to one year post-vaccination. Suspected cases presenting with compatible symptoms were tested for virological confirmation by COVID-19 PCR.


AZD1222 was co-invented by the University of Oxford and its spin-out company, Vaccitech. It uses a replication-deficient chimpanzee viral vector based on a weakened version of a common cold virus (adenovirus) that causes infections in chimpanzees and contains the genetic material of the SARS-CoV-2 virus spike protein. After vaccination, the surface spike protein is produced, priming the immune system to attack the SARS-CoV-2 virus if it later infects the body.




AstraZeneca (LSE/STO/Nasdaq: AZN) is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases in three therapy areas – Oncology, Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism, and Respiratory & Immunology. Based in Cambridge, UK, AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide.


Visit and follow the Company on Twitter @AstraZeneca.


CVS; Larry Merlo waiting for the call to deliver COVID-19 vaccinactions

CVS’ Larry Merlo waiting for the call to deliver COVID-19 vaccinations

November 23, 2020/RINewsToday


EDITOR’S NOTE: The Pfizer vaccine approval is expected on or around December 11th


As soon as a COVID-19 vaccine is approved to be distributed, three pharmacy companies are set to begin. Rhode Island’s CVS says they could implement their existing flu-shot systems within 48 hours of receipt of the vaccine. Larry Merlo, CEO at Rhode Island based CVS gave details in a Sunday morning interview on CBS News.


CVS joins Walgreens and Duane Reade as the three “pharmacy” companies to participate. Hospitals and health care clinics and groups will also take a lead.


CVS will focus on long term care facilities, with 25,000 already signed up, choosing CVS to administer their vaccines to their people. CVS has an existing system set up to manage flu innoculations at facilities.


An Operation Warp Speed partner, CVS has done over 7 million COVID-19 tests throughout the United States.


When asked about underserved populations, when it comes to the general public phase of testing and vaccines, Merlo mentioned that over 70% of Americans live within three miles of a CVS, positioning them to effectively serve almost everyone. For areas without a CVS conveniently located, CVS has a system of kiosks, or mobile trailers, that they take into underserved or geographically remote areas.


Here is the CBS interview with Larry Merlo:


For the general public


While CVS will focus on the first priority, expected to be seniors, those in congregate housing, and those most at risk, on Thursday, November 12th it addressed doing vaccinations for the general public, in this statement:


“Today it was announced that CVS Health will join others in offering Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-authorized COVID-19 vaccinations when available to the general public.


“CVS Health is prepared to play a prominent role in administering COVID-19 vaccinations to the general public, which builds on our previously announced agreement to administer vaccines in long-term care facilities,” said Troyen Brennan, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health. “Our extensive experience safely and efficiently providing vaccinations is unmatched, and this year alone we’ll provide flu vaccines to nearly 20 million Americans across the country.


“With approximately 70 percent of the U.S. population living within three miles of a CVS Pharmacy, we’ll be easy to reach when a vaccine is authorized by the FDA and becomes available in retail settings. Our pharmacists, nurse practitioners and pharmacy technicians have been an invaluable community resource since the pandemic began and are ready to play a critical role in the vaccination effort.”

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: The Patriots fall to the Texans.  Another earthquake happened in Southern New England over the weekend.  West Warwick public schools are going remote after the holiday break.

>>Patriots Lose In Houston

(Houston, TX)  --  The New England Patriots' playoff chances took a huge hit on Sunday with a 27-to-20 loss to the Houston Texans.  The loss puts the Pats at a 4-and-6 record.  With six games left to play in the 2020 regular season, next up for New England is a return home to play the Arizona Cardinals next Sunday.

>>Another Earthquake In Southeastern Massachusetts

(Dartmouth, MA)  --  A second earthquake has been reported in coastal Massachusetts this month.  The U.S. Geological Survey says the two-point-zero-magnitude quake was centered about five miles southwest of Bliss Corner in the town of Dartmouth overnight Sunday.  This was close to the location of the three-point-six-magnitude quake that struck on November 8th.  Yesterday's temblor was once again felt through other parts of Southern New England, including in Rhode Island, according to the USGS.

>>Half-Dozen Hurt In Crash On I-95 In Attleboro

(Attleboro, MA)  --  Six people were hospitalized in a multi-vehicle crash on I-95 south in Attleboro, Massachusetts on Sunday afternoon.  The Massachusetts State Police says two people in one of the vehicles had to be extricated by firefighters and were taken to Rhode Island Hospital with serious injuries.  The other crash victims reportedly suffered non-life-threatening injuries.  The crash is under investigation.

>>Narragansett House Fire Victim Dies

(Narragansett, RI)  --  An elderly man has died after a house fire in Narragansett.  Police say 89-year-old Roger Smith was pronounced dead at South County Hospital after the Friday night blaze.  WJAR-TV reports police said Smith was trapped inside when the fire broke out.  Authorities also said a firefighter was treated at a hospital for minor injuries.

>>West Warwick Schools Going Virtual For Three Weeks

(West Warwick, RI)  --  The West Warwick School District is moving to full distance learning.  The district says it's planning for a three-week learning period starting after Thanksgiving.  The superintendent said West Warwick schools have experienced a rise in positive coronavirus cases and the number of students and staff that need to quarantine.

>>CARES Act Money Offered To Sports Venues Hit With Closure

(Providence, RI)  --  The state of Rhode Island is offering compensation to indoor sports venues that were hit by a one-week shutdown earlier this month.  The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management says the facilities were closed from November 2nd to the 8th to allow the state time to review and update regulations for operating during the coronavirus pandemic.  The DEM says a one-million-dollar fund has been established with CARES Act money and that applications will be accepted through the end of this week.

>>Man Sentenced After Drug Investigation In Providence, Warwick

(Providence, RI)  --  A Providence man is being ordered to serve prison time for drug distribution and illegal firearms charges.  The state attorney general on Friday announced the eleven-and-a-half-year ACI sentence for Javier Morales.  The A.G.'s office says Morales was arrested in November 2019 after a four-month investigation by law enforcement into drug distribution in Providence and Warwick.

Jim McCabe/djc           RI) MA)

Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

11-23-2020 01:39:11

New Podcast: Public Health Out Loud - Drs. McDonald and Chan

New Podcast: Public Health Out Loud – Drs. McDonald & Chan

November 22, 2020/RINewsToday


Rhode Island Department of Health Launches Public Health Out Loud Podcast


The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) is launching a podcast this week – Public Health Out Loud – as a new platform to help Rhode Islanders stay informed about an array of local and national public health issues.


Envisioned as a continuation of the Facebook Live series done over the summer on COVID-19 and schools, the weekly podcast is co-hosted by James McDonald, MD, MPH and Philip Chan, MD, MS.


Dr. McDonald is a Medical Director at RIDOH, where he has helped lead the Department’s response to the overdose crisis, COVID-19, and many other issues. Dr. Chan is a Consultant Medical Director with RIDOH’s Division of Preparedness, Response, Infectious Disease, and Emergency Medical Services. He has also been a leader in the State’s response to COVID-19, HIV, and a range of other infectious diseases.


“Public health involves every issue, including COVID-19 and much more that affects everyone. Join us as we talk about public health for the public,” said Dr. McDonald. “Our goal is to provide people with information that is accessible, engaging, and informative, and helps people live healthier and safer lives.”


“We’re excited to use this new medium to try to reach a broader audience and talk to people about emerging public health trends,” said Dr. Chan. “This is one of the ways that we at RIDOH are trying to spark a conversation about how to build a healthier Rhode Island.”


In addition to Dr. McDonald and Dr. Chan, Public Health Out Loud will feature other experts from within RIDOH and the Rhode Island public health community. 


Currently, the podcast has four episodes available. Topics have included COVID-19, vaccinations, and the socioeconomic and environmental determinants of health. New episodes will be published every Friday at 5 p.m.


To listen to the available episodes, visit:

Breaking: FDA Authorized Regeneron antibody cocktail

BREAKING: FDA authorizes Regeneron antibody cocktail

November 22, 2020/RINewsToday


TARRYTOWN, N.Y., Nov. 21, 2020 – 8pm


First treatment of any kind to have prospectively confirmed and statistically significant anti-viral activity against SARS-CoV-2


Authorized for recently diagnosed, mild to moderate COVID-19 in high-risk patients


Initial doses of REGEN-COV2 will be made available to approximately 300,000 patients, with no medication out-of-pocket costs, under U.S. government allocation program


Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced Saturday that the antibody cocktail casirivimab and imdevimab administered together (also known as REGN-COV2 or REGEN-COV2), a therapy currently being investigated for use in COVID-19, has received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Casirivimab and imdevimab administered together are authorized for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults, as well as in pediatric patients at least 12 years of age and weighing at least 40 kg, who have received positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing and are at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization.


The clinical evidence from Regeneron’s outpatient trial suggests that monoclonal antibodies such as REGEN-COV2 have the greatest benefit when given early after diagnosis and in patients who have not yet mounted their own immune response or who have high viral load.


The criteria for ‘high-risk’ patients are described in the Fact Sheet for Health Care Providers. Casirivimab and imdevimab are not authorized for use in patients who are hospitalized or require oxygen therapy due to COVID-19, or for people currently using chronic oxygen therapy because of an underlying comorbidity who require an increase in baseline oxygen flow rate due to COVID-19.  


“This FDA Emergency Use Authorization is an important step in the fight against COVID-19, as high-risk patients in the United States will have access to a promising therapy early in the course of their infection,” said Leonard S. Schleifer, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Regeneron. “The science and technology investments Regeneron has made over three decades positioned us to move rapidly to invent, study and maximize production of REGEN-COV2. Even with these incredible efforts, demand may exceed supply initially, making it even more critical that federal and state governments ensure REGEN-COV2 is distributed fairly and equitably to the patients most in need. In the first quarter of 2021, we expect to increase available REGEN-COV2 global supply as we continue our collaboration with Roche.”


“REGEN-COV2 is designed to mimic what a well-functioning immune system does by using very potent antibodies to neutralize the virus,” said George D. Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron. “Data from approximately 800 non-hospitalized patients showed significant reductions in virus levels within days of receiving REGEN-COV2, which were associated with significantly fewer medical visits. This benefit was greatest in patients most at risk for poor outcomes due to high viral load, ineffective immune response at baseline or pre-existing risk factors. We are encouraged that no variants resistant to the cocktail were identified in the clinical trial analyses to date, which is consistent with our preclinical findings. We are also very encouraged by recently announced promising vaccine results; however, there remains a need to treat patients who develop COVID-19, especially as some may not have had access to or were not protected by vaccination. Importantly, we continue to advance our rigorous clinical trial program evaluating the safety and efficacy of REGEN-COV2 for both the treatment and prevention of COVID-19, and we will share new results as available.”


Production of monoclonal antibodies is a complex, time- and labor-intensive process that requires deep expertise. Utilizing production and manufacturing platforms developed over decades, Regeneron rapidly scaled up REGEN-COV2, beginning in the early days of the pandemic with support from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Regeneron now expects to have REGEN-COV2 treatment doses ready for approximately 80,000 patients by the end of November, approximately 200,000 patients by the first week of January, and approximately 300,000 patients in total by the end of January 2021.


As part of Operation Warp Speed, in July the U.S. government and Regeneron signed an agreement for this initial supply of REGEN-COV2. The U.S. government will coordinate with state authorities to allocate REGEN-COV2 on a weekly basis based on the number of COVID-19 cases in each state. The government has committed to providing these 300,000 doses at no cost to patients, although healthcare facilities may charge fees related to administration. Regeneron will immediately begin shipping REGEN-COV2 to Amerisource Bergen, a national distributor, which will distribute the therapy as directed by the government.


Under the EUA, the recommended dose is 1,200 mg of casirivimab and 1,200 mg of imdevimab (2,400 mg total) administered as a single intravenous infusion. The authorization is based on positive Phase 2 data announced in September and October from the first 799 adults in an ongoing randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of non-hospitalized patients (“outpatients”) with COVID-19.


The FDA grants Emergency Use Authorization to medicines that may help diagnose, treat or prevent a life-threatening disease when adequate and approved alternatives are not available. The EUA is temporary and does not take the place of a formal biologics license application (BLA) submission review and approval process. This use is authorized only for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of the emergency use, unless terminated or revoked sooner. Casirivimab and imdevimab have not been approved by FDA and remain investigational. Evaluation of its safety and efficacy is ongoing in multiple clinical trials. Data from these trials will be used to support a future BLA submission. Health care providers should review the Fact Sheet for detailed information on the authorized use and requirements of the EUA and may call 844-734-6643 for more information. Please see the Fact Sheet and FDA Letter of Authorization at


REGEN-COV2 continues to be evaluated in Phase 2/3 clinical trials for the treatment of COVID-19 in certain hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients, the Phase 3 open-label RECOVERY trial of hospitalized patients in the UK, and a Phase 3 trial for the prevention of COVID-19 in household contacts of infected individuals. To date, more than 7,000 people have participated in REGEN-COV2 clinical trials.


REGEN-COV2 is a cocktail of two monoclonal antibodies (casirivimab and imdevimab, also known as REGN10933 and REGN10987, respectively) and was designed specifically to block infectivity of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.


To develop REGEN-COV2, Regeneron scientists evaluated thousands of fully-human antibodies produced by the company’s VelocImmune® mice, which have been genetically modified to have a human immune system, as well as antibodies identified from humans who have recovered from COVID-19. The two potent, virus-neutralizing antibodies that form REGEN-COV2 bind non-competitively to the critical receptor binding domain of the virus’s spike protein, which diminishes the ability of mutant viruses to escape treatment and protects against spike variants that have arisen in the human population, as detailed in Science.


REGEN-COV2’s development and manufacturing has been funded in part with federal funds from BARDA under OT number: HHSO100201700020C. Regeneron continues to increase in-house production of REGEN-COV2, and the company has partnered with Roche to increase the global supply of REGEN-COV2 beginning in 2021. If REGEN-COV2 proves safe and effective in clinical trials and regulatory approvals are granted, Regeneron will manufacture and distribute it in the U.S. and Roche will develop, manufacture and distribute it outside the U.S. Once both companies are at full manufacturing capacity in 2021, there are expected to be at least 2 million treatment doses available annually.


“The emergency authorization of these monoclonal antibodies administered together offers health care providers another tool in combating the pandemic,” said Patrizia Cavazzoni, M.D., acting director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “We will continue to facilitate the development, evaluation and availability of COVID-19 therapies.”


Limitations of Authorized Use

  • Casirivimab and imdevimab injection is not authorized for use in patients:
    • who are hospitalized due to COVID-19, OR
    • who require oxygen therapy due to COVID-19, OR
    • who require an increase in baseline oxygen flow rate due to COVID-19 in those on chronic oxygen therapy due to underlying non-COVID-19 related comorbidity.


Definition of High-Risk Patients


High-risk is defined as patients who meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Have a body mass index (BMI) ≥35
  • Have chronic kidney disease
  • Have diabetes
  • Have immunosuppressive disease
  • Are currently receiving immunosuppressive treatment
  • Are ≥65 years of age
  • Are ≥55 years of age AND have
    • cardiovascular disease, OR
    • hypertension, OR
    • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease/other chronic respiratory disease.
  • Are 12 – 17 years of age AND have
    • BMI ≥85th percentile for their age and gender based on CDC growth charts, OR
    • sickle cell disease, OR
    • congenital or acquired heart disease, OR
    • neurodevelopmental disorders, for example, cerebral palsy, OR
    • a medical-related technological dependence, for example, tracheostomy, gastrostomy, or positive pressure ventilation (not related to COVID-19)
    • asthma, reactive airway or other chronic respiratory disease that requires daily medication for control.


Use in Specific Populations

  • Pregnancy: There is currently limited clinical experience in the use of casirivimab and imdevimab injection in COVID-19 patients who are pregnant. Casirivimab and imdevimab injection therapy should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk for the mother and the fetus.
  • Nursing Mothers: There is currently no clinical experience in use of casirivimab and imdevimab injection in COVID-19 patients who are breastfeeding. The development and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for casirivimab and imdevimab injection and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed child from casirivimab and imdevimab injection or from the underlying maternal condition.


About Regeneron
Regeneron (NASDAQ: REGN) is a leading biotechnology company that invents life-transforming medicines for people with serious diseases. Founded and led for over 30 years by physician-scientists, our unique ability to repeatedly and consistently translate science into medicine has led to eight FDA-approved treatments and numerous product candidates in development, all of which were homegrown in our laboratories. Our medicines and pipeline are designed to help patients with eye diseases, allergic and inflammatory diseases, cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, pain, infectious diseases and rare diseases.


For additional information about the company, please visit or follow @Regeneron on Twitter.

“The FDA remains committed to advancing the nation’s public health during this unprecedented pandemic. Authorizing these monoclonal antibody therapies may help outpatients avoid hospitalization and alleviate the burden on our health care system,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D. “As part of our Coronavirus Treatment Acceleration Program, the FDA uses every possible pathway to make new treatments available to patients as quickly as possible while continuing to study the safety and effectiveness of these treatments.” 


About Operation Warp Speed


Operation Warp Speed’s goal is to produce and deliver 300 million doses of safe and effective vaccines with the initial doses available by January 2021, as part of a broader strategy to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics (collectively known as countermeasures).


Your Coronavirus Update - Today November 20, 2020

Your Coronavirus Update – Nov. 20, 2020

November 20, 2020/RINewsToday


Photo: Sent to us by a Twitter follower – Erin Black, Plymouth Herald




CDC now recommends against ANY TRAVEL for Thanksgiving.


Pfizer will now file paperwork – today – with the FDA – for emergency approval. Moderna is expected to file within days.


Food insecurity is growing across the country, with long lines at many food giveaway locations.


185,000 cases reported in US yesterday – a new one day high.


USS Michael Murphy has an outbreak on it with at least ¼ of those onboard testing positive in Hawaii.


Only 12% Of Americans Would Get Shot ‘Immediately,’ Consumer Reports Survey Says


EpiJet, in South Carolina, is prepared to turn out 45 million single dose syringes every month.


8 months into pandemic, thousands of Michiganders still wait for unemployment benefits


Scientists say there’s little to no evidence that deep cleaning mitigates the threat of the virus indoors, because it primarily spreads through inhaled droplets.


City Winery, a bar/restaurant in NYC will soon require $50 on-site COVID-19 test for patrons


Royal Caribbean has recruited 100,000 volunteers for cruise launch test.


Maryland’s bars and restaurants must close at 10pm.


A mask mandate for New Hampshire takes effect today.


Mayor DeBlasio of NYC has indicated businesses may be shuttered for up to 2 months or more.


905 Mayo Clinic staff at multiple locations have the virus.


European officials announced a modest gain in the continent’s battle against the virus. New cases decreased to 1.8 million cases last week, down from over 2 million the week before.


Carnival Cruise Line has canceled all cruises.


Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday that other businesses will likely shut down within a week or two as well to curb the coronavirus’ spread.


MassPort will decrease staff by 25% at Logan Airport.


In Vermont, Gov. Phil Scott is urging Vermonters to honor the people lost to COVID-19 by renewing their commitment to protecting one another.


DC Smithsonian sites are now closed.


Ocean Spray Cranberries has begun a $100K effort to help independent restaurants.


California is now on a curfew from 10pm to 5am


US workers file 742,000 jobless claims – for a total of 68.1 million.


A Covid vaccine candidate developed by the University of Oxford with AstraZeneca Plc has produced a robust immune response in older adults and the elderly, those at highest risk of severe illness. Findings on blood tests carried out on a subset of older participants echo data released in July that showed the vaccine generated robust immune responses in healthy adults ages 18 to 55, Astra said Monday. Older patients have been hardest hit by the pandemic, with the vast majority of deaths occurring in those over 60.


The Lucira COVID-19 All-In-One Test Kit will be limited to patients at Sutter Health in Northern California and Cleveland Clinic Florida in Miami-Fort Lauderdale until next spring. And even then, you must have symptoms and a health provider’s referral to get the test. It is showing 94% accuracy.




East Providence School District will be distance learning Monday November 23 and 24 due to staffing issues related to Covid.


Two unused nursing homes in New Bedford were turned into “COVID recovery centers” several months ago and the city may reopen them for patients that need a “step-down” recovery from the hospital, and cannot yet go home.


A US attorney has been assigned to RI to fight suspected cases of CARES Act fraud.


147 cases in maximum security ACI


100 more contact tracers have been hired by RI.


“Massachusetts health officials are tweaking the state’s quarantine guidance, allowing people exposed to COVID-19 to leave quarantine as early as 10 days if they test negative beforehand. People exposed to COVID-19 who get a test eight days into their quarantine and end up negative would be allowed to leave quarantine under the guidance that takes effect Wednesday.”


The RI Blood Center is asking for new blood donors to start giving, and existing blood donors to consider coming back more than usual – to address chronic blood shortage.


Update on the Covid positive count at the state-run Eleanor Slate Hospital: 32 staff/12 patients.


In Garden City Center, Cranston, Santa visits will not happen. Their holiday strolls continue with carolers in Victorian-era clothing, hot chocolate and a brass holiday band playing traditional and modern holiday songs. Elves will walk around during the strolls, handing out the occasional ‘surprise’ for children and adults, too. A seasonal display at the gazebo that features trees and wreathes will be where families can take holiday photographs.


Business loans from the state to local businesses may become taxable income to the owners – more info is to come.


RI Dept. of Business Regulations – business violations:

Neighborhood Mini Mart
150 Elmwood Ave.,
Compliance Order  


URI move classes online starting Monday, Nov. 23


$29 Million in business funds of rounds 1 & 2 have been distributed in RI, according to The Hummel Report.


RI Governor’s Address:


Next 6 weeks will be the hardest for RI


Hopeful some amt of vaccine in RI by end of year – more in Jan/Feb – by spring, much more available.


Weighing on me now is not overloading our hospital systems.


RI Data:


Deaths: 4
Tests: 15,819
Positives: 921
Percent Positive: 5.8%
Hospitalized: 298 (14 more from 11/18)
ICU: 26 (4 more)
On ventilators: 13 (same)



Weekly trend data is alarming – no comfort. First time since spring, we’ve surpassed all our thresholds and all our arrows are up.


I’ve done everything I know how to do without laying out these severe restrictions. Tried to stop the parties and the activity, but it has not worked. With so much community spread, it’s hard to pinpoint where the source is coming from. People aren’t answering questions we ask of them when contact tracing. Birthdays, baby showers, at-home social gatherings. Lots of out of home activities. Can’t always identify which ones. If we had controlled our house parties I would not be here today with such restrictions.  A lot of people are going to lose their jobs and their lives because of this approach.


We worked with IBM to identify trends and data. People are having at-home social gatherings, they are going to restaurants and bars and hanging out with people outside of their immediate households. We also know driver of mobility is restaurants and bars. A Brown university mobility study (cell phones?) saw a correlation between mobility and spread of virus.


There is high compliance with mask wearing when shopping. Hard to keep masks on when eating and drinking. Much lower compliance at a social gathering at someone’s home or with extended family and friends. Setting where people are moving around a lot, or closer than 6 feet – where the virus spreads. We know it spreads more easily indoors than outdoors. We know that schools are not major spreaders. We do know that in RI that high schools are more problematic than elementary or middle schools. Every school with 10+ cases has been a high school. Could be sports, etc. – very mobile while at school – sports, etc.


We have to reduce social activity indoors. Really clamp down.



Between now and end of year – this is the Last Mile – this is the Tipping Point:


Extending current guidance through end of next week. Bars and restaurants will continue early closures, etc.


Two changes effective now. Social gathering limit lowered to single household – if you are two people, that’s it. You cannot be spending social time indoors with people you don’t live with.  Capacity limit for big box stores – they must have a plan to handle increased capacity for shopping, Black Friday. No one in stores without mask on.


Thanksgiving plans – if you already have restaurant plans, go ahead, use extreme caution. Asking you not to travel. What you should do is stay at home, with people you live with, and celebrate Thanksgiving. If you insist on traveling anywhere – and you shouldn’t – get tested before you go – follow all the rules with mask-wearing, etc – and get tested when you come home. We will offer Binex rapid testing in the airport on Fri/Sat/Sun after Thanksgiving. You also have to quarantine.


After Thanksgiving:


Beginning on Monday – RI will enter a 2-week pause. Shut down will go longer if we don’t cooperate. Reviewed rules:


Pre-K, elementary, middle – stay open for full, in-person education – child care to stay open, mfg and construction to continue; personal services and healthcare to stay open.


Limited: in-person high school moves to virtual; social gatherings limited to only your own household; indoor dining reduced to 1/3 capacity, early closure, only dine with your own household; retail – 1 person per 100 sq. ft; houses of worship to 1/4th capacity.


Closed: colleges and universities must stay virtual; offices should close whenever possible & move to remote whenever possible; bar areas will be closed, drinks can be served at tables when people are eating; recreational venues, bowling alleys, Twin River, gyms, indoor sporting, indoor fitness, organized sports – closed. We need a hard pause.


Stimulus funds – some remain, 10s of millions which we can give to help small businesses.  Goal is to have it be significant. Simple process.


“We have a 10 day ready period for those 2 weeks. We will have details about all of this at None of this will be easy. Hoped to avoid this. I know financial pain. This is only going to work if we do it – I don’t know how to say it any other way. If you are asking yourself how you can get around the rules, I’ll be back here with a full state lockdown.”


“I have been utterly ineffective to get people to follow the rules in their own homes.” 


Within 2 weeks we’ll know if we are working = test positivity should be below 5%. We’re going to look at reservation data at restaurants. Traffic data. Enforcement data. Mobility data. We’ll see if this is working or – not.


Hospitals are at 97% capacity in their COVID beds. Field hospitals are ready. Should need to be open week after Thanksgiving. 900 beds. Problem is staffing. Dozens showing up in hospitals every day. If system gets overwhelmed, our backup is to make beds available by clearing out other beds in hospital by shutting off other procedures. Preventive care, cancer screening, etc. If we have to go to crisis levels of care, there are grim results.


If this doesn’t work – We Will Get Through – somehow. There will be more disease and more mortality.


“It’s Gonna Suck – I can hear it already”




We are going to double our capacity – and new site at McCoy and Wickford.




Q: Elementary schools are showing spread – why are you not closing them?

A: There is no evidence of this. Students will suffer more


Q: High school kids – how are you going to keep them from going out on their own

A: Hope they will listen to the rules


Q: Nobody can get a test – what is your goal – people are waiting 3-5 days – maybe you should scale back on asymptomatic?

A: Acknowledges people are waiting 5 days, etc. We are trying to fix it. Next week more BiNex instant kits.


Q: Distance learning with a good teacher will have better results than in-school with less qualified staff

A:  High schoolers should do very well, education-wise with distance learning. Younger kids need more support – issues of internet, food, home life, food insecurity, mental health.


Q: When will field hospitals open?

A:  That is the hospitals’ call.


Q: RI Interscholastic League future?

A:  Winter season cannot start until Jan. In pause period, nothing – no practices of any kind, no games.

“If President Biden would do a 6 week lockdown with appropriate stimulus, I could support that.”


Dale J. Venturini, of the Rhode Island Hospitality Association, said the announcement could not have come at a worse time, the start of the holiday season.


Providence College is nw at remote learning. Spokesperson said, “Students will go home for Thanksgiving,” he said, “and instead of coming back, they will take the final two weeks remotely and not come back until January.”


Governor Raimondo’s press briefing, Nov. 19th:

Watch, here:


The Coronavirus Task Force Update, Nov. 19th:


Updated: RI School List with COVID-19 cases as of 11/20/20

UPDATED: COVID-19 in RI Schools: approx. 373 new student cases; 143 new staff cases, last 7 days

November 20, 2020/RINewsToday


Note: This updated data chart is for cases reported by 11/14/20.




553+ locations


143 new student cases last 7 days


1,663 student cumulative cases since Sept.


143 new staff cases last 7 days


568 staff cumulative cases


Summary – this update – more than 553 locations – 143 new student cases – 1,663 cumulative student cases – 143 new staff cases – 568 cumulative staff cases – 54 new locations



Posted in 

Don't take it home for the holidays - New England Governors respond

Don’t take it home for the holidays – New England Governors respond

November 20, 2020/RINewsToday


Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, Delaware Governor John Carney, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker yesterday announced they will encourage residential colleges and universities in their respective states to provide testing for all students traveling home for Thanksgiving break to the maximum extent possible before they leave campus.


Any student who tests positive will be encouraged to isolate on campus before they can travel or detail arrangements of their safe travel home with the local department of health. These efforts will help mitigate the threat of college students returning home for the holidays importing COVID-19 into their communities. In addition, colleges should inform students and their families of relevant quarantine policies in their home state.   


“As our COVID cases and hospitalizations continue to rise, it’s critical that we come together as a region to slow the spread and keep our constituents safe,” said Governor Gina M. Raimondo. “We all need to be more vigilant about keeping our circles small and our masks on, while at the same time we’re continuing to ramp up asymptomatic testing across-the-board. This collaborative approach among Northeastern states will help us flatten the curve and contain spread over the Thanksgiving holiday.” 


“As everyone predicted, cases are rising as temperatures drop, and New York is not immune. With the holidays approaching, we are fighting ‘living room spread’ from small gatherings in private homes — and adding college students’ interstate travel will be like pouring gasoline on a fire,” Governor Cuomo said. “We know this virus does not respect borders, which is why governors from across the region are working together to stop the spread. Colleges and universities have to do their part by testing all students before they leave, informing them about quarantine rules, and keeping classes online between Thanksgiving and Winter Break. We beat back the COVID beast in the spring, and by working together we can do it once again this winter.”


“With Thanksgiving and the broader holiday season fast approaching, we have to recognize that any large family gathering — particularly among different age groups — runs the risk of turning the dinner table into a COVID hotspot,” said Governor Murphy. “To reduce the risk of transmission across our region, we are encouraging colleges and universities to ramp up testing for students returning home, and for anyone who tests positive to adhere to their state’s quarantine restrictions. If we collectively recommit ourselves to the commonsense mitigation practices that got us through the first wave of this pandemic, we can save lives before a vaccine becomes broadly available.”  


Gov. Lamont said, “College students returning from highly infected states could accelerate the spread of COVIC in Connecticut. I appreciate the joint effort of all our regional governors to clearly state the testing/quarantine rules for returning home from college.”  


“There’s no sugarcoating it: this will be a difficult winter,” said Delaware Governor John Carney. “We are seeing rising cases, hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 in our region and across the country as we enter the colder months. The holidays present a significant challenge. I’m thankful for the cooperation in our region, and will continue to urge Delawareans to do what works. Wear a mask. Don’t gather with anyone outside your household. Stay vigilant.”  


“It is our collective responsibility to protect our communities and our most vulnerable from COVID-19 and to continue to work together to get through this pandemic. These targeted mitigation efforts, combined with existing ones, are paramount to decreasing the spread of COVID-19. We need everyone to be united in wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and washing our hands in order to save lives and help protect our economies.” “The region is experiencing a surge in COVID cases and a surge in the serious health impacts this disease brings with it. Working together on travel and higher education policies like these, states can have a bigger impact on COVID spread as students travel for the holidays,” said Gov. Charlie Baker. “Gathering with friends and family significantly increases the risk of spreading the virus and while testing and isolation guidelines can help slow the spread, it is up to everyone to wear a mask and avoid gathering indoors with people outside of your household.”   


The combination of rising cases across the country — including in the northeast — due to increased transmission of COVID in small, residential settings and Thanksgiving travel has created the perfect storm for viral spread. If people proceed with celebrations in small gatherings outside of their household, they risk generating a dramatic spike in cases after Thanksgiving.


All Governors are urging their residents to stay home and celebrate small this year in an effort to help eliminate the risk of unchecked COVID-19 spread in the coming weeks.   The governors and their public health experts developed this guidance over the weekend at an emergency summit of northeastern governors. The governors also emphasized the importance of in-person education. Medical research as well as the data from northeastern states, from across the country, and from around the world make clear that in-person learning is safe when the appropriate protections are in place, even in communities with high transmission rates. In-person learning is the best possible scenario for children, especially those with special needs and from low-income families.


There is also growing evidence that the more time children spend outside of school increases the risk of mental health harm and affects their ability to truly learn.   


In order to stop college-related travel spreading COVID, colleges and universities in Rhode Island, New York, Massachusetts, Delaware, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania will be encouraged to make testing available to all students before they leave for Thanksgiving break and inform students and their families of states’ quarantine requirements. Any student who tests positive before they leave should be permitted to isolate on campus, or may travel safely with the approval of the local departments of health. Students who are already isolating or quarantining on campus must remain in place until completing their prescribed seclusion.   


In addition, the Governors are strongly recommending that colleges and universities finish their fall semesters by expanding remote instruction, enabling more students to learn from home for the few weeks between Thanksgiving and winter break rather than require students to travel back to campus and then back home again in December.


Half of colleges and universities across the northeast have already indicated they will be fully remote between Thanksgiving and the end of their fall semester. Colleges and universities should prioritize on-campus programs for students who did not travel or who need in-person exams or clinical and laboratory experiences.  


If colleges and universities do reopen for in-person instruction during this period, all returning students should receive COVID-19 tests and comply with relevant isolation and quarantine protocols. These institutions should also double down on precautions including frequent health screenings and surveillance testing due the increased risk of COVID exposure from student travel.    


So far we have heard from URI, PC and Salve Regina that they will have testing programs and the ability for students to stay in their dorms for the Thanksgiving holiday season – classes will then go remote until the end of the year.


RINewsToday story on College initiatives can be found here:

Rhode Island News Today

2(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Rhode Island's governor on Thursday announced an upcoming temporary "pause" which will close certain businesses in an effort to fight COVID.  Rhode Islanders are being asked not to travel for Thanksgiving because of the virus pandemic.  The state's unemployment rate is back down to single digits.

>>Citing Pandemic, Governor Announces Two-Week 'Pause' Period For Rhode Island

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island is entering a "pause" for two weeks starting November 30th to fight the late-year coronavirus wave.  Governor Gina Raimondo announced Thursday the following places must close: in-person learning at colleges and universities, offices when possible, bar areas, recreational venues, and indoor sports facilities and fitness centers.  Indoor dining must reduce capacity to one-third; houses of worship must go down to 25-percent.  Social gatherings are being limited to one household immediately.  Raimondo said without the pause, there is a risk that hospitals will become overwhelmed.

>>Raimondo Asks People Not To Travel For Thanksgiving

(Providence, RI)  --  Governor Raimondo asked Rhode Islanders to stay at home on Thanksgiving, but also asked people who do travel to get tested before leaving.  Plus, the governor said you'll have to get tested when you come back and quarantine.  Rapid-testing will be offered for travelers at T.F. Green Airport over the holiday weekend.

>>Rhode Island Unemployment Rate Down To Seven Percent

(Providence, RI)  --  The state of Rhode Island's unemployment rate has dropped to seven percent, according to the Department of Labor and Training.  The October rate was down from the September rate of ten-and-a-half-percent, but is still much higher than the rate from October 2019, which was three-and-a-half-percent.  The DLT says the number of Rhode Island-based jobs rose by 17-hundred last month.

>>State Elections Board Dismisses Republican Candidates' Complaints

(Providence, RI)  --  The Providence Journal reports the Rhode Island Board of Elections has dismissed complaints from five Republican candidates who lost their election races this month.  One was a Congressional candidate, Robert Lancia; the other four were competing for General Assembly seats.  They asked the board to investigate mail ballots and other votes, but made no specific allegations of voter fraud.  Lancia appeared to be winning his race against incumbent Democrat James Langevin until mail ballots were added.

[[ note nature ]]

>>Retired RI Navy Pilot Pleads Guilty To Coercion, Child Porn Charges

(Providence, RI)  --  A retired U.S. Navy pilot most-recently stationed at the Naval War College in Newport is facing up to life in prison.  The U.S. Justice Department says Ronald Zenga of Middletown pleaded guilty in federal court on Thursday to charges of coercing a minor to engage in illicit sexual conduct and several child pornography charges.  Prosecutors say Zenga described graphic ongoing sexual encounters with a young child to a police agent online.  Sentencing is scheduled next February.

>>Fane Tower Providence Update

(Providence, RI)  --  An update on a proposed luxury apartment skyscraper in Providence.  The I-195 Redevelopment District Commission voted Wednesday to allow for a modified agreement with New York developer Jason Fane if he pays a quarter-million dollars in past-due fees by the end of the day Friday.  A spokesperson for Fane said he plans on making the payment and remains committed to the project known as the Hope Point Tower, which was put on hold this spring because of the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

>>Patriots At Texans On Sunday

(Houston, TX)  --  The New England Patriots will continue to fight for a playoff spot on the road this weekend.  The Patriots are at the Houston Texans on Sunday.  Kickoff is at 1 p.m. Eastern time.  New England has won two in a row.

Jim McCabe/djc          RI) NY)
Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

11-20-2020 01:22:06

Your Coronavirus Update - Today Nov 19, 2020

Your Coronavirus Update – Today, Nov. 19, 2020

November 19, 2020/RINewsToday




Vaccine Announcement: Astra-Oxford shot produces immune response in older adults – A Covid vaccine candidate developed by the University of Oxford with AstraZeneca Plc has produced a robust immune response in older adults and the elderly, those at highest risk of severe illness. Findings on blood tests carried out on a subset of older participants echo data released in July that showed the vaccine generated robust immune responses in healthy adults ages 18 to 55, Astra said Monday. Older patients have been hardest hit by the pandemic, with the vast majority of deaths occurring in those over 60.


Harvey Weinstein may be close to death, in prison, with coronavirus


Pfizer has increased its effectiveness estimates from 90% to 95%


Roche Holding AG has completed early tests of its ability to produce large quantities of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc’s COVID-19 antibody treatment, putting it on track to begin manufacturing the drug once it is authorized by regulators, Regeneron’s president said on Tuesday. The experimental therapy was used to treat U.S. President Donald Trump in October. The companies aim to be able to make 2 million doses of the antibody cocktail next year, but are awaiting clearance from regulators.


NORAD said the virus will not top their Santa-tracking, though staff will be limited.


Germany is having huge protests about coronavirus lockdowns and restrictions.


Brazil to receive first doses of China’s Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine


The New York Giants, Atlanta Falcons and Las Vegas Raiders put players on the NFL’s COVID-19 list on Tuesday, while Washington had its first instance of someone in the organization testing positive for the coronavirus since the season began.


Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said he will participate in a Phase 3 vaccine trial being managed in Cincinnati. The more people Johnson & Johnson can line up for the trial, the sooner they complete testing and begin the FDA approval process, he said.


Small outbreak at Newton Hospital, with at least 9 cases among staff.


59% of college students plan to return to campus after the holidays, according to Generation Lab polling.


British Airways said Tuesday that it will start testing passengers flying from the U.S. to London’s Heathrow Airport for the coronavirus in an effort to persuade the British government it should scrap rules requiring most international travelers to quarantine for 14 days. The airline says the pilot program will offer voluntary testing starting Nov. 25 in partnership with American Airlines for passengers flying to Heathrow from New York, Los Angeles and Dallas.


Delta Airlines will once again block off their middle seats.


Rutgers in New Jersey is enrolling as many as 2,000 participants from the university community and throughout New Jersey for a test of Johnson & Johnson’s new potential vaccine.


Product limits in grocery stores on items such as cleaning products, toilet paper, paper towels, and empty shelves are beginning to be seen once again.


The NFL is placing all teams in intensive COVID19 protocol. Use of masks will be mandatory at all times at team facilities, including during practice and in weight rooms. Meetings must be held either virtually or in the largest indoor space with approval by the league. Meals have to be made available for grab-and-go to avoid players and staff congregating in cafeterias. Time spent in the locker room also has to be limited.


Chicago’s Jewish community is battered by second wave of coronavirus


New research on recovered COVID patients suggests that immunity to the novel coronavirus may last years.


Some hospitals are saying they may restrict use of Eli Lilly’s bamlanivimab antibody treatment for COVID-19 due to a supply shortage.


In Minnesota, more than 900 Mayo Clinic staff members have contracted COVID-19 in the last 2 weeks.


The CDC has quietly removed guidance from its website encouraging school reopenings and downplaying the risk of COVID-19 transmission to children.


NYC school buildings will shut down November 19 as COVID-19 cases rise




High Schools – will shift to limited in-person learning. Distance learning will be for most high-school students, while in-person will be for some high-need, multi-language learnings, at-risk students and those with special needs. No organized school sports until at least January. Many are questioning why this is delayed until Nov. 30th, rather than immediately.


Colleges/Universities – The New England Governors released a joint recommendation that all travel be limited for Thanksgiving, testing be provided for all students who do travel, and increased remote learning be put in place to end the fall semester, reducing back-and-forth travel multiple times.


Governor Raimondo responds to our inquiry about making recent ZOOM meeting available to the public: “Agendas for each meeting are posted to the Secretary of State website in accordance with the Open Meetings Act. Here is the link to the page on that website for the COVID-19 Vaccine Subcommittee. The public can sign up on the SOS website to get automated updates whenever something is posted.  The agendas that are posted to that site include the Zoom link for attendees. We are not required to record the meetings or make those recordings available after the fact.”


Massachusetts has announced it will begin testing in public schools, charters, etc. in December.


RI Hospitality Association has suggested not closing them down, but keeping outdoor dining open and perhaps limiting numbers of people at tables – in preparation for today’s Governor’s announcement.


RIIL would recommend Dec. 11 to the state as the start date for the winter season, two weeks later than normal.


Since March, there have been 1,046 cases of COVID identified in Newport County, and 415 (or roughly 40 percent) have come in the past four weeks.


Salve Regina University has seen 14 students contract the virus in the past seven days for a total of 34 since Aug. 19. There also has been one staff member to test positive since the start of classes this semester. 


Providence Performing Arts moves to a fall 2021 season


Dr. Michael Fine said in an interview with GoLocalProv that we need to close factories, bars, and restaurants and they should be made whole economically. Must get people to stay home. “We need a new strategy — this one is clearly failed,” said Fine, the former RI Director of Health.


City of Attleboro:  10 employees test positive


Around 40% of RI’s new infections were believed to be household or family infections — someone got sick and brought it home to their spouse or roommate. The other 60% or so were believed to be the result of community spread from going to work and restaurants/bars, some from sports. (ProJo)


RI Data:


Deaths: 6
Tests Given: 18,414
Positives: 1,280
Percent positive: 7%
Hospitalized: 284
Hospitalized in ICU: 22
Hospitalized in ICU, ventilated: 13



Governor’s announcements today at 1pm – follow us on Facebook for the live link.


First COVID-19 Home Self-Test OK'd by FDA

First COVID-19 Home Self-Test OK’d by FDA

November 19, 2020/RINewsToday


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the first COVID-19 diagnostic test for self-testing at home and that provides rapid results. The Lucira COVID-19 All-In-One Test Kit is a molecular (real-time loop mediated amplification reaction) single use test that is intended to detect the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19.


“The FDA continues to demonstrate its unprecedented speed in response to the pandemic. While COVID-19 diagnostic tests have been authorized for at-home collection, this is the first that can be fully self-administered and provide results at home. This new testing option is an important diagnostic advancement to address the pandemic and reduce the public burden of disease transmission,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D. “Today’s action underscores the FDA’s ongoing commitment to expand access to COVID-19 testing.”


The Lucira COVID-19 All-In-One Test Kit test has been authorized for home use with self-collected nasal swab samples in individuals age 14 and older who are suspected of COVID-19 by their health care provider. It is also authorized for use in point-of-care (POC) settings (e.g., doctor’s offices, hospitals, urgent care centers and emergency rooms) for all ages but samples must be collected by a healthcare provider when the test is used at the POC to test individuals younger than 14 years old. The test is currently authorized for prescription use only. 


The test works by swirling the self-collected sample swab in a vial that is then placed in the test unit. In 30 minutes or less, the results can be read directly from the test unit’s light-up display that shows whether a person is positive or negative for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Positive results indicate the presence of SARS-CoV-2. Individuals with positive results should self-isolate and seek additional care from their health care provider. Individuals who test negative and experience COVID-like symptoms should follow up with their health care provider as negative results do not preclude an individual from SARS-CoV-2 infection.


“Today’s authorization for a complete at-home test is a significant step toward FDA’s nationwide response to COVID-19. A test that can be fully administered entirely outside of a lab or healthcare setting has always been a major priority for the FDA to address the pandemic. Now, more Americans who may have COVID-19 will be able to take immediate action, based on their results, to protect themselves and those around them,” said Jeff Shuren, M.D., J.D., director of FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “We look forward to proactively working with test developers to support the availability of more at-home test options.”


An important component to successful at-home testing is the ability to efficiently track and monitor results. As noted in this EUA, prescribing health care providers are required to report all test results they receive from individuals who use the test to their relevant public health authorities in accordance with local, state and federal requirements. Lucira Health, the test manufacturer, has also developed box labeling, quick reference instructions and health care provider instructions to assist with reporting.


Diagnostic testing remains one of the pillars of our nation’s response to COVID-19. The FDA continues its public health commitment to pursue new approaches that help make critical tests available to more Americans through EUA authority. 


About Lucira Health


Lucira Health was founded in 2013 and is headquartered in Emeryville, California, near the University of California-Berkeley. Its 40 employees are reimagining infectious disease testing. Lucira developed its test kits to provide accurate, reliable and on-the-spot molecular test results anywhere, by anyone and at any time. Its robust platform with flexible hardware and multiplexed target identification capabilities is designed to enable rapid development of—-and testing for—-multiple assays.


About the FDA


The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.


Dolly Parton COVID Fund at Moderna

Dolly Parton COVID Fund at Moderna – “Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine… “

November 19, 2020/RINewsToday


Dolly Parton last night spoke of her joy at helping to fund the production of a promising new coronavirus vaccine. Parton, back in April, donated $1 Million to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, that was partnering with Cambridge, MA based Moderna on a COVID-19 vaccine.


Parton said: “I am a very proud girl today that I had anything at all to do with something that will help pursue this crazy pandemic.”


“When the pandemic started many months ago I felt led to put some money into he program at Vanderbilt Hospital, it’s a wonderful hospital and it’s been so good to me and my family over the years.


“I donated a million dollars and they called it the Dolly Parton COVID-19 Research Fund. Out of that, it got more money and it started developing many wonderful things….


“I just felt very proud to be part of that little seed of money that will grow into something great and that will help to heal this world.


“Lord knows we need it.”


Moderna became the second company to announce a vaccine ready for emergency authorization by the FDA. It has shown nearly 95% effectiveness. In their announcement, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, it notes their work was supported, in part, by the”Dolly Parton COVID-19 Research Fund at Vanderbilt University Medical Center”.


Moderna’s president, Stephen Hoge, told Sky News that through her financial support of Vanderbilt, Parton had indeed helped fund early research and clinical trials that led to the success. Parton tweeted in April: “My longtime friend Dr. Naji Abumrad, who’s been involved in research at Vanderbilt for many years, informed me that they were making some exciting advancements towards research of the coronavirus for a cure.


“I am making a donation of 1 million dollars to Vanderbilt towards that research and to encourage people that can afford it to make donations.”


Parton inspired a fan, Ryan Cordell, to put new lyrics to one of Parton’s most-identifying songs, “Jolene”, released in 1973. While his family was sleeping he performed and recorded it for release on Twitter. It has since gone viral.


The news even prompted one Twitter user, Ryan Cordell, to record a cover of Parton’s hit single Jolene, replacing the famous lyric with the words “Vaccine, vaccine, vacci-ine”. Cordell is Associate Professor of English and Core Founding Faculty Member in the NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, and currently serves as the English Department’s Graduate Program Director.



The donation is Parton’s largest among many acts of charity. Her most recent is The Imagination Library, which gifts free books to children from birth until starting school in participating areas. The Martin Luther King Jr. Center in Newport has an Imagination Library partnership. Parton has since gone on to recording bedtime stories, from her bed, for children, during the pandemic.



Parton has released a new “Holly Dolly Christmas” album, her first in at least a decade, and her Christmas special airs on Netflix on November 22nd.



About Moderna


Every cell in the body uses mRNA to provide real-time instructions to make the proteins necessary to drive all aspects of biology, including in human health and disease.


Given its essential role, we believe mRNA could be used to create a new category of medicines with significant potential to improve the lives of patients.


We are pioneering a new class of medicines made of messenger RNA, or mRNA. The potential implications of using mRNA as a drug are significant and far-reaching and could meaningfully improve how medicines are discovered, developed and manufactured. 


Since our founding in 2010, we have worked to build the industry’s leading mRNA technology platform, the infrastructure to accelerate drug discovery and early development, a rapidly expanding pipeline, and a world-class team. Our pipeline includes development candidates for mRNA-based vaccines and therapies spanning several therapeutic areas, and we have multiple clinical trials underway with other development candidates progressing toward the clinic. In addition, we have numerous discovery programs advancing toward development.  


Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Rhode Island restaurants are hoping they'll be able to continue offering in-person dining.  The state is ending "mask breaks" in schools.  A new scam warning from the Rhode Island attorney general and National Grid.

[[ watch for updates ]]

>>Restaurants Fearful About Dining Restrictions

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island restaurant owners are concerned about Governor Gina Raimondo possibly bringing back a ban on indoor dining during her coronavirus press briefing today.  The Providence Journal reports the RI Hospitality Association sent a letter to Raimondo on Wednesday asking for every other possible solution to be explored.  The letter says restaurants are not the culprits of the spread of the virus.

>>Coronavirus-Testing Issues Reported In Rhode Island

(Providence, RI)  --  Problems are being reported with coronavirus-testing programs in Rhode Island.  WPRI-TV reports it has received numerous complaints, including problems scheduling tests and long wait times for appointments.  A National Guard official told Channel 12 it has been extremely busy at the Rhode Island Convention Center testing site.

>>State Ending School 'Mask Breaks;' Other Education Updates

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Department of Health is asking schools to stop allowing "mask breaks" in school.  WPRI-TV reports the health department changed its guidance last week regarding scheduled breaks for students to be able to remove their masks for a brief period of time.  Meanwhile, the state's deputy education commissioner is asking school district superintendents to reduce in-person learning in Rhode Island high schools to 25-percent at the end of this month.  That will mostly limit building access to high-needs students.  And the state now says organized school sports are to be held off until January.

>>New Budget Deficit Estimates Far Below Previous Projection

(Providence, RI)  --  Different estimates of the state of Rhode Island's current-year budget deficit are being made public this week.  Governor Raimondo's budget office estimated the deficit at 114-million dollars, but the fiscal advisor for the Rhode Island House of Representatives put the number at 275-million.  Both figures are much lower than the 900-million-dollar deficit that was initially projected due to the economic impact of the coronavirus impact.

>>Attorney General, National Grid Urge Public Vigilance Against New Scams

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha [[ nair-OH-nuh ]] and National Grid are warning consumers to be on the lookout after increased reports of scam activity.  The A.G.'s office says the most recent phone scam is an automated message alleging to be from National Grid which says the customer has a past-due balance.  A service shutoff is then threatened.  Neronha says scammers are trying to take advantage of more and more people staying home and answering the phone during the virus pandemic.

>>93-Year-Old RI Man's Lost Wedding Ring Found

(Westerly, RI)  --  A man with a metal detector helps find a missing wedding ring in Rhode Island.  According to a story from WHDH-TV in Boston, 93-year-old James Crowley of Westerly lost his ring while doing yard work.  Crowley was married to his wife for 70 years.  She died in 2014.  Crowley's daughter put out the call for help, and metal detector hobbyist Ryan Ledbetter arrived and found the ring after a search.

Jim McCabe/djc           RI)
Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

11-19-2020 01:30:04

Your Coronavirus Update - Today Nov 18, 2020

Your Coronavirus Update – Wed, Nov. 18, 2020

November 18, 2020/RINewsToday


Photo: Time for Contact Tracing Notebooks – with a backlog at the state level, it’s a good idea to start that notebook (or use of the Crush COVID app) so you can notify people yourself if you come down with COVID19




There has been an 82% increase in cases around the US


NEW: The FDA has authorized the first at-home COVID-19 test – it will be available by prescription for individuals, hospitals, etc. It is expected to cost approx. $50.


Dr. Fauci spoke about “uniform mandates” going forward in fighting the vaccine.


New Orleans has banned Mardi Gras celebrations for 2021


Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signs mask mandate after months of opposition


Sen. Grassley tests positive for COVID-19


Germany has banned protests to oppose lockdowns.


2,885 TSA screeners have tested positive, with one known death.


All employees at DBS will be granted the flexibility to work remotely up to 40% of the time


Boston is experiencing a shortage in daycare options.


Boston Mayor says the best option for college kids who travel home is to “stay there”.


Amazon has opened an online pharmacy for a limited amount of start-up work


One survey shows only 26% of workers want to continue working from home after the pandemic is over


Nearly 300 businesses that received as much as $500 million from the Paycheck Protection Program have filed for bankruptcy. Many say the aid wasn’t enough to keep the businesses going, weighed down by the coronavirus and without additional stimulus.


Months of experience and research have refined coronavirus treatment. Several doctors said they now take a two-phase approach, first combating the virus itself with antiviral drugs, then addressing the cascade of problems caused by the usually outsize immune response. 


New testing procedures for U.S. House members traveling from out of town


65 staff test positive among WHO offices in Geneva.


EU eyes Covid-19 vaccine deal with Moderna at less than $25 per dose


For people with severe COVID-19, one of the most troubling complications is abnormal blood clotting that puts them at risk of having a debilitating stroke or heart attack. A new study suggests that SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, doesn’t act alone in causing blood clots. The virus seems to unleash mysterious antibodies that mistakenly attack the body’s own cells to cause clots.


Mayor Marty Walsh is urging Bostonians to spend Thanksgiving only with members of their immediate household to curb the spread of COVID-19.


Boston University students who go home for Thanksgiving are being urged to stay away until next semester as a precaution to avoid bringing the coronavirus back to campus


UMASS men’s basketball pauses all team activities after positive COVID-19 tests


Ohio is on a 3-week curfew


Michigan’s 3-week shutdown:



Thanksgiving restrictions on size of gatherings from states around US (broadly deemed to be unconstitutional) – NJ-10; NM-5; MA-10; NY-10; Oregon-2;Colorado-10; Deleware-10; Minnesota-10; Illinois-household




RI State Police – 10 tested positive – another 10 on quarantine (there are approx. 250 state police in total)


Providence Police – 60 cases since the beginning.


The explosion of COVID-19 in the state is causing the contact tracing and testing system to be inadequate to keep up. It is important that we all keep records of who we see and where we have been – we may be asked to do our own informing and “contact tracing” if we get COVID-19 Testing times are out by a few days and results could be 4-5 days to get.


A RIDE meeting was held last night with over 200 attending – a plan to test all children K-12 was discussed. Surveillance testing for staff, students, families for Providence, Central Falls and Lincoln – this is a pilot to help develop a plan statewide – many details unknown.


170 cases at Electric Boat – Director Graney says, he “also encouraged EB employees to rethink Thanksgiving plans”. “My wife and I have changed our traditional extended family Thanksgiving,” he said. “We’ll celebrate together at home — with a much smaller turkey — and will do a brief visit with my wife’s parents, from a safe distance, later in the afternoon.”


The RI House Oversight Committee will meet this Thursday (11/19/20). It will be carried from 3 -5 pm, on Capitol TV. The agenda includes a presentation by Dr. Alexander-Scott – Review of emergency spending on the COVID-19 response at nursing homes, hospitals, and other congregate care settings – Discussion of the decision making process before the issuance of EXECUTIVE ORDER 20-95, signed on November, 5, 2020 and any future potential restrictions due to the spread of COVID-19.


Brown University is shutting down 6 days early – going to virtual learning – before Thanksgiving holiday.


Stop & Shop is preparing to offer the vaccine as well as CVS & Walgreens.


Salve Regina students were notified that they cannot return to campus or the city after the Thanksgiving break and must take their remaining classes online if they choose to leave the Newport-based campus or off-campus residences in Newport. Salve will remain open for in-person classes after Thanksgiving break, but students who live on campus or in Newport and want to take classes in person must remain local through the holiday break.


Citizens Financial Group Inc. will close 40 Stop & Shop branches and switching to self-serve kiosks. There are 14 in RI and 26 in MA. They will be replaced by ATM kiosks. No information about loss of employees was given.


“3 employees who work in the Governor’s Office of Constituent Services recently tested positive for COVID-19. The office has been deep cleaned. 4 employees in the Gov’s Office are under quarantine, per the DOH’s orders.”


Governor Baker of MA says he has “no plans” for additional COVID-19 rules for the state.


Governor Raimondo rescheduled her press conference to Thursday at 1pm. The following week will be Wed, then going to Thursdays after that.


RI chosen as one of 4 states to pilot test Pfizer vaccine


Cranston East, Western Hills, Orchard Farms, and Woodridge schools in Cranston stay closed today due to staffing issues.


Pawtucket Credit Union: Central Avenue branch in Pawtucket would be closing temporarily. The lobbies of four other branches – on Newport Avenue in East Providence, Independence Way in Cranston, Post Road in Warwick and Tower Hill Road in North Kingstown – will only be available by appointment starting Nov. 16.


After steady monthly increases since April, the state pension fund took a slight dip in September, losing $156.6 million, according to the R.I. Office of the General Treasurer.


City of Providence – Mayor Elorza press conference:


Mayor Elorza announced that earl on his mother, father, aunt and uncle all had COVID – his mother was on a ventilator for 2 weeks and recovered. He announced new requirements as of Sunday: Limit social gatherings to 5. Do everything you can to stay in your own home and not someone else’s. Must get a permit from the city if you have more than 25 people outside.




Closed or suspended until further notice:


  • Providence Municipal Court
  • netWORKri Career Center
  • All Recreation Centers
  • Entertainment license issuance
  • Providence Port and Harbor


Mayor Elorza’s press release highlights:


Additional COVID-19 guidelines to go in effect on Sunday, November 22.


“As we continue to see cases rise across our state, it is time that we do more to protect our community,” said Mayor Jorge O. Elorza. “The strategic approach we are taking today and over the course of the next few weeks is what will help save lives. We need everyone to be a part of the solution and protect the most vulnerable members of our community.”


The executive order provides targeted interventions at proven points of transmission to stop the local spread of COVID-19. It includes reducing the State’s current limit on social gatherings from 10 to five people or only those within your immediate household. Additionally, catered events will be limited to 10 people for indoor events and 25 people outdoors. Organizers will be required to submit a Special Events permit accompanied by a COVID-19 Event Control Plan for events above the City’s recommended gathering limits. The City will work closely with the organizers of previously scheduled events to accommodate where possible.


A stay-at-home advisory will remain in place on weeknights 10PM to 5AM and 10:30PM to 5AM on Fridays and Saturdays. Restaurants can continue to offer take-out, delivery and pick-up options in addition to indoor dining, with table sizes limited to eight or one household. Residents are asked to practice social distancing and to wear a mask any time they leave their home or when in contact with individuals not a part of their immediate household.


City Hall will continue to offer limited in-person services aligned with the latest health and safety guidelines. Providence Municipal Court has  ceased arraignments and hearings until further notice. The City continues to offer all Providence youth free grab and go meals Monday through Thursday after school hours at tented locations outside of 11 of the city’s recreation centers.


RI Data:


Today’s Data – Nov. 17, 2020
Deaths: 8
Tests: 9,709
New cases: 605
Percent positive: 6.2%
Hospitalized: 265
ICU: 22
Ventilators: 10

Posted in 

The RI Golf scene has been big business during 2020 pandemic

The RI Golf scene has been big business during 2020 pandemic times

November 18, 2020/John Cardullo


When 2020 came ringing in on midnight January 1st, the world was looking forward to the beginning of a new decade. The anticipation of the roaring 20’s redux was what was in everyone’s mind as we all said goodbye to the teens. Perhaps the reason was when growing up we all watched movies and television shows that portrayed the 2020’s as a magical decade where space travel was a common form of transportation, we expected to see flying cars like in the movie Back to the Future. What we got instead was more of the version of Mad Max, a movie about post-apocalypse world where survival of the fittest was an everyday occurrence, keep in mind the year for Mad Max was 2021 and here we are in a worldwide pandemic with no defined end in sight.


When things looked their bleakest back in April, a beacon of light emerged, and hope came from a simple game. A game where social distancing was part of the game without even trying, so in June the first Pro sport that returned and sent a signal to us all if we could make adjustments and abide by a few simple adjustments we can get back outside and play again. The PGA showed us all that golf could be a safe sport and a healthy distraction during these uncertain times. So as the weather became warmer more of us ventured out to out local golf courses and began playing like we never played before, playing not one but two, three and even four rounds a week.


“We had one of the busiest, if not the busiest years that we have ever had.” Said Ron Lombardi, the owner of the Midville Golf course in West Warwick. “The play on our course was up significantly. It was non-stop, tee times became a premium, waits to tee off became the norm. Given the additional fact that we had one of the warmest and driest seasons in our recorded history helped out a lot.”


The golfing boom gave players a safe place to go and get away for a few hours, walking a golf course is relaxing and take your mind off the events that are happening around us, plus it allows you to get out in the sun and fresh air. Exceptions of altering the usual rules such as not raking the sand traps, pulling the flag pin out or even having those players who needed to ride in a golf cart ride alone. The game itself was a model for social distancing on its own, but by putting safety protocols in place, courses took the better-to-be-safe-than-sorry approach and they did not hear a single complaint. “People were simply happy to get out even if it was for a short bit, get some normalcy and get away from the pandemic.” Lombardi added.


How big was the boom to the game? “We haven’t seen this much interest in golf since the mid 1990’s when Tiger Woods inspired golfers of all ages, sexes and races to at least try the game.” said Lombardi. “This season was when those of all ages decided to jump into the game, we saw a lot of first-time players give the sport a try, and they kept coming back!”


In September alone golf saw a 25.5% increase in the number or rounds played year-over-year, being the fifth straight month to surpass the previous years totals. Not just locally but nationally. In the 3rd quarter alone golf sales across the country exceeded $1 billion dollars, which was the industry’s second best! Call it cabin fever or pandemic fatigue, but people wanted to get out of the house and play a sport where they felt safe while following the rules that were put in place to help keep them safe and people were playing golf.


For better or worse the boom was good for the golf industry, coming at a time where there was so much uncertainty for business, where many businesses failed and were forced to shut down or are barely able to survive and are hanging on. The hope is that when we get on the other side and past the pandemic, those who started playing golf as a means to escape, will stay and continue to play the game they turned to, and play well into their golden years.



John Cardullo
John Cardullo, sportswriter
Posted in 

RI Lt. Gov. McKee and RI Small Business Coalition urge relief

RI Lt. Gov. McKee & RI Small Business Coalition urge more relief to small businesses

November 18, 2020/RINewsToday


Lt. Governor Dan McKee and the Rhode Island Small Business Coalition today sent letters to Governor Gina Raimondo and members of the Rhode Island General Assembly urging a collaborative effort to provide additional relief to small businesses before the state’s CARES Act funds expire on December 30, 2020.


Requests include immediately allocating an additional $75M in CARES Act funds to the Restore RI grant program and adding another $75M if small businesses are ordered to shut down to stop the spread of the virus. These proposals follow outstanding requests from the Lt. Governor to simplify the Restore RI grant application, open the program to all small businesses regardless of industry, increase the minimum and maximum grant amounts and allow newly opened businesses to qualify.  “If we truly want to help small businesses in a meaningful way, we must quickly disburse remaining grant dollars and provide additional relief before the CARES Act funds expire on December 30,” said Lt. Governor Dan McKee. “With new projections showing a significant reduction in the state budget deficit from $900M down to just $114M, allocating additional funds to small businesses is a reasonable and responsible thing to do.” 


“Our requests are simple — let’s provide some checks and balance when it comes to allocating what is left of the state’s $1.25B in CARES Act funds, and let’s ensure that money is going to our small businesses sufficiently,” said Chris Parisi, Co-founder of the Rhode Island Small Business Coalition.




Letter from State of Rhode Island Office of Lieutenant Governor Daniel J. McKee to Governor Raimondo:


Enclosed is a letter from the Rhode Island Small Business Coalition to members of the Rhode Island General Assembly requesting support and collaboration with your administration on behalf of the small business community. My office has worked closely with the coalition to advocate for small businesses throughout this pandemic and I would like to bring their latest requests to your attention.


As Chair of Rhode Island’s Small Business Advocacy Council, I strongly support the proposals outlined in the coalition’s letter, including immediately allocating an additional $75M in CARES Act funds to the Restore RI grant program and adding another $75M if small businesses are ordered to shut down to stop the spread of the virus. If we truly want to help small businesses in a meaningful way, we must act quickly to disburse remaining grant dollars and provide additional relief before the CARES Act funds expire on December 30, 2020.


With new projections showing a significant reduction in the state budget deficit from $900M down to just $114M, allocating additional funds to small businesses is a reasonable and responsible thing to do. I urge your administration to help small businesses survive and deal with the prospect of more challenging times ahead. Should your team need support from my office, please do not hesitate to reach out.


Lieutenant Governor Daniel J. McKee



Letter from the RI Small Business Coalition to the RI General Assembly:


The Rhode Island Small Business Coalition urges you to step up and represent the small businesses in the communities you have been elected to serve. The General Assembly can and should start playing a significant role in helping small businesses navigate this pandemic and providing much-needed checks and balances with the Governor regarding a transparent allocation of the state’s $1.25B in CARES Act Funds.


As a grassroots coalition of thousands of local businesses from dozens of different industries, we strongly believe that our voices should be heard. The General Assembly must act swiftly and decisively to keep our small business community alive as the pandemic rages on. This second wave of the virus may result in a lockdown, which our small businesses do not have the cash flow to survive. Together, we are putting forth a list of urgent requests for you, our elected leaders in the legislative branch:


Hold Governor Raimondo’s administration accountable and promote transparency.


  • Call for a weekly report on where the COVID-19 cases are coming from (specific business industries, schools, social gatherings, etc.).
  • Call for a weekly report on CARES Act fund allocation (allocated and real spend)


Support the immediate allocation of $75M in CARES Act funds to the Restore RI Grant Program.


  • This should be used to provide additional rounds of grants to previous recipients through a simplified application and to provide grants those who have not applied.


Support the allocation of an additional $75M in CARES Act Funds to the Restore RI grant program if business lockdown goes into effect.


  • Increase the individual grant amount by basing the amount on fixed expenses (rent, insurance, utilities, etc.) in addition to number of employees.
  • The grant should be open to all businesses under 100 employees, regardless of industry


These actions must be taken by the end of November as time is running out to spend the CARES Act funds before the December 30, 2020 deadline. Our economy will be forever changed if small businesses do not survive this pandemic. We need our elected leaders to do their part and ensure this does not happen. We thank you for your consideration and look forward to hearing from you.


Chris Parisi, Co-Founder, RI Small Business Coalition


Posted in 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: The woman injured in a crash in Charlestown on Monday is the face of a well-known mural in Providence.  Coronavirus cases are increasing at Electric Boat facilities.  Asymptomatic students will be tested for COVID in Rhode Island schools.
>>Woman Injured In Charlestown Crash Is Subject Of Providence Mural
(Undated)  --  The woman who suffered serious injuries in a fiery crash in Charlestown on Monday is the subject of a large mural in Providence.  That's the mural called "Still Here" highlighting the Narragansett Indian Tribe, featuring Lynsea Montanari.  The mural is at 32 Custom Street in downtown Prov.  Montanari's condition at Rhode Island Hospital has reportedly stabilized.
>>CVS Among Future Coronavirus Vaccine Providers
(Undated)  --  CVS has announced this week it will be one of the providers of COVID-19 vaccinations.  CVS says the vaccine will be offered at ten-thousand locations nationwide.  That offering will come after government approval.
>>COVID-19 Cases Increasing At Electric Boat Facilities
(North Kingstown, RI)  --  Coronavirus cases are increasing among General Dynamics Electric Boat employees.  The Providence Journal reports the submarine builder counted one-hundred-seventy cases from October 25th to November 13th at its facilities in Rhode Island and Connecticut, representing over 40 percent of all its cases since the pandemic started.  According to the ProJo report, the numbers suggest the Quonset Point shipyard has become more of a hotspot compared to the other EB locations this month.
>>Brown University Going Remote For Rest Of Fall Semester
(Providence, RI)  --  Brown University is shifting to remote learning one week earlier than planned this semester.  The school says the decision was driven by COVID-19 cases in Rhode Island and at Brown.  Students cannot return to campus if they leave for Thanksgiving, according to the university.
>>Surveillance COVID-Testing Pilot Planned At RI Schools
(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green [[ ahn-HELL-ick-uh in-FAHN-tay ]] announced a new coronavirus-testing pilot program for asymptomatic students on Tuesday.  Infante-Green said at a Council on Elementary and Secondary Education meeting the surveillance-testing will be tried out in Providence, Central Falls and Lincoln schools.  The education commissioner said she hoped to run the pilot as soon as next week, but the RI Department of Health says it might not happen that soon.
>>Governor's Coronavirus Briefing Schedule Has Changed
(Providence, RI)  --  Governor Gina Raimondo's weekly coronavirus press briefing will not be held today.  The press conferences are being moved to Thursdays.  Tomorrow's briefing will be held at 1 p.m.  Next week, the presser will be moved back to Wednesday because of the Thanksgiving holiday.
>>Man Punished Again For Importing Cigarettes To Avoid Taxes
(Providence, RI)  --  A Cranston man is being ordered to repay over 13-thousand dollars to the state for selling contraband cigarettes.  The Rhode Island Attorney General's Office says the penalty was issued to Xi Chen after he imported the cigarettes from China to Rhode Island in an attempt to avoid paying state taxes.  The A.G.'s office says Chen was fined almost twenty-grand for a similar scheme in 2018.
Jim McCabe/Rick Schremp/djc           RI) CT)
Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 
11-18-2020 01:10:11

Your Coronavirus Update - Today October 17, 2020

Your Coronavirus Update – Tues, Nov. 17, 2020

November 17, 2020/RINewsToday




Moderna became the 2nd company to announce a vaccine is in phase 3 development and has asked for emergency authorization. 20 million doses are expected for use in December, if all goes well. Moderna is based in Cambridge, MA.


Lonza Biologics in Portsmouth, NH has ramped up its production of the vaccine in anticipation of final approval for worldwide distribution. 70 dedicated employees are in place, with a plan to scale to 100 employees.


Vaccinations could begin in December, with prioritized groups, doing about 20-30 million – and following with an equal amount each month after.


ActivMed research clinic in Portsmouth said Monday they have 200 volunteers of the 1,500 it would like to enroll as part of a Phase 3 clinical trial of the vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca in collaboration with Oxford University.


Trump administration has announced a relationship with CVS and Walgreens to deliver the vaccine to seniors in nursing homes as early as December.


Vaccine distributions may roll out like this, as suggested by the National Association of Medicine – Phase 1: High Risk – healthcare workers, 1st responders, those with underlying medical conditions, seniors in congregate settings. Phase 2 – food supply, teachers, over 65m critical care workers. Phase 3 – most young adults and children. Phase 4 – everyone else (expected in 2nd quarter of 2021).


Dolly Parton donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University, involved in the Moderna development.


Oregon Gov. Kate Brown shut down bars, restaurants and other businesses and limited gatherings today.


The World Health Organization has recorded 65 cases of the coronavirus among staff based at its headquarters.


Casinos nationwide had regained 81% of their business, but that is expected to be impacted by this new phase of virus.


Vermont continues a strong effort to get hold of the spread of the virus, and will start testing K-12 teachers and staff this week as a strategy.


The Governor in North Dakota reversed his position of not issuing a mask mandate, and issued one, saying ‘the time is now’ – the mandate comes with a $1,000 fine.


FedEx and UPS are hiring a combined 170,000 workers – DHL is adding 2,300 – Amazon and Walmart have hired several hundred thousands since March.


Kohl’s and Target have doubled parking spaces for customers taking advantage of curbside pickup


Travelers from Massachusetts will no longer be exempted from Maine’s COVID-19 rules, requiring a 14-day quarantine or a negative coronavirus test taken within 72-hours after arrival.


Eating in a bubble? Restaurant tents or “bubbles” may not be an ideal solution. Dr. Baruch Fertel of the center for emergency medicine at the Cleveland Clinic says that although tents and bubbles provide extra space to allow for physical distancing, “in terms of ventilation and airflow, eating in these outdoors structures is similar to eating indoors. “You should use the same rules for dining inside apply to dining in outdoor bubbles. If you are eating with people you do not live with, inside or outside, your risk of spreading the virus is higher. Carry-out and delivery are the lowest-risk options for eating restaurant food. Eating indoors represents the highest risk.


California Governor Newsome has apologized for attending a large dinner party. Meanwhile, shuttering gyms, indoor dining and churches.


Philadelphia mayor Mayor Jim Kenney closed indoor restaurant dining, gyms, and museums, required office employees to work remotely and banned indoor gatherings through Jan. 1.


Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s 30-day stay-at-home advisory took effect early today, with the mayor asking residents only to leave their homes for work, school or essential outings for medical care or the grocery store. The city also limited gatherings to 10 people.


Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration ordered high schools and colleges to stop in-person learning. The governor also closed restaurants to indoor dining, halted organized sports and restricted indoor and outdoor gatherings.


Pfizer will be shipping its vaccine in containers packed with dry ice that can last for two weeks or so if the dry ice is replenished.


Sweden has reduced gathering limit from 300 to 8. Their advice: “Don’t go to dinner; don’t go to the gym; cancel.”


Rep. Don Young of Alaska, the oldest sitting member of Congress, at 87, is recovering from COVID-19, saying he’s been shot, and had many other things happen to him in his long life, but nothing as bad as the virus.


General visitation at all Massachusetts Department of Correction facilities will be temporarily suspended as the DOC undergoes a second round of universal COVID-19 testing for inmates.The department’s 16 facilities went into a two-week period of modified operations starting Saturday, which will also give the DOC time to provide universal testing for staff.


Washington state has banned all social gatherings unless you quarantine for 14 days and have a negative test (this is seen to be unenforceable).


CT Gov. Lamont is in quarantine after a staff member tested positive.


Two members of the House in MA tested positive.


Denmark has had 9 days of protests over a new law that would define groups of people who must be vaccinated. Those who refuse can be detained and forcibly vaccinated.


Navajo Nation to reinstate reservation lockdown for three weeks amid coronavirus surge


Connecticut is reinstituting visitation restrictions in hospitals.


Mask mandates are now in 35 states.


Catholic protesters held scattered demonstrations around France on Sunday to demand that authorities relax virus lockdown measures to allow religious services


In Cohasset, MA, 40 young people held a party, one attendee tested positive – those who attended were told to quarantine.


WCVB-Ch. 5 in Boston reports: “Despite painstaking efforts to keep election sites across the country safe, some poll workers who came in contact with voters on Election Day have tested positive for the coronavirus”.


Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim tests positive for coronavirus


British PM Boris Johnson is quarantining – having been exposed to at least 2 people who were positive.


Cornell is urging students to stay on campus and not travel home – for those who must, exit testing is being provided.


Univ. of Arizona is offering testing but also training students in how to do more – how to create a safe bubble when they go home.


Oklahoma is shipping test kits to all colleges.


Biden team transition team is meeting with Pfizer in preparation for what their delivery/distribution system needs are.


Michigan has announced more restrictions as virus surges. No indoor dining at bars, restaurants, virtual learning, etc.


Westport, MA has closed all town buildings.


Multiple members of the Kelly Clarkson show have tested positive – they are being retested


COSTCO now requires all customers, employees to wear a mask – if medical conditions prohibit mask wearing, they must wear a face shield.


VOX says 40% of us will attend Thanksgiving with more than 10 people.


Florida added 10,000 new cases over the weekend


The pandemic has put more than vaccine development on super-drive. Retail patterns and office work patterns have changed dramatically, nearly overnight, and show no signs of returning.


“Boston coronavirus numbers continue to rise with workplaces, gatherings and carpools adding cases,”


More Colleges Plan to Hunker Down After Thanksgiving and go virtual


Mexico City will close all restaurants and bars for 2 weeks


Marriott Copley terminates half its staff, adding to the thousands of hotel workers unemployed around Boston


COVID-19 hospitalizations double at Baystate Health in western MA in past week


“Gov. Charlie Baker skipped an emergency meeting with governors from the Northeast this weekend as states clamp down in an effort to get a lid on the uncontrolled spread of the coronavirus


Washington State Governor shutting down restaurants, churches, grocery stores, etc.


El Paso, Texas is using prisoners to move bodies and paying them $2 an hour.


The annual Massachusetts Beanpot hockey tournament will not be played in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic


A third MA House lawmaker in as many days has tested positive for COVID-19 and three more legislative employees contracted the virus, including two who were at the State House last week.


ZOOM is lifting 40 minute limit for ZOOM calls on Thanksgiving.


Over 1 million US children have now had COVID-19


Expedia is predicting tourism will “roar back” by summer, in light of all the new vaccine development.





Testing: anyone in RI can now sign up on the portal – no need to call your doctor first – extended hours at the Wickford Train Station


Central Falls limits bars and restaurants to take out only.


Barrington school officials plan to focus on quarantining classrooms or clusters rather than closing down entire schools.


RIDE will hold a virtual meeting tonight at 5:30pm


At least a half-dozen people have tested positive for the virus in the last two weeks or so at WJAR studios. The union has been encouraging management to “fog”, or disinfect, the studios – this waw finally done on Saturday.


The Providence Art Club has closed for the time being due to precautions with coronavirus..


Eleanor Slater Hospital – 12 staff members and 6 patients test positive. Testing of patients twice a week if they are in a unit where there has been a COVID case (staff or patient); surveillance testing of all staff at least once a week and twice during this outbreak if they are in buildings with COVID cases are in place.


Orlo Ave. School placed on distance learning due to Covid


No March Madness will be hosted in Providence this year


Two teacher unions called for a holiday pause in schools/teaching


Bristol County, MA has rolled back to Phase 1.


Hendricken High School switches to virtual.


Only doctor on Block Island tests positive for coronavirus and health center has closed for 2 days to clean – NP has stepped in to see patients.


Fall River restauranteurs can access 30 free heaters being provided by the government.


Emerald Square Mall has gone into receivership, looking for buyer


RI Superior Court has moved most proceedings and activities online.


RI Municipal Court has been closed for hearing, but in-person payments are open – check w/them for hours.


Brown University has complied with other Ivy League schools and canceled winter sports, including hockey and basketball.


Lt. Gov. McKee’s Weekly Small Business Virtual Town Hall Today w/ RI Society of CPAs, Electeds, & Business Owners – Facebook Live (watch, listen, & comment in real time) []


Ocean State Job Lot hiring 50 full-time and part-time warehouse associates at North Kingstown Distribution Center


Powerful Tools for Caregivers – the Department of Health and the Rhode Island Parent Information Network are starting a series of new, free virtual workshops to support Rhode Islanders who serve as caregivers for older adults and people with chronic conditions. These workshops, called Powerful Tools for Caregivers, feature six weeks of group sessions aimed at giving caretakers the tools they need to succeed in these challenging times in areas like stress management and communication. These courses are offered through weekly 90-minute virtual sessions and will help caretakers and their loved ones thrive during this difficult time. These free workshops are starting throughout the next week on November 17, November 21, November 24, and November 25. If you or someone you know is serving as a caregiver for an older adult and person with chronic conditions, encourage them to learn more or sign up by calling the Community Health Network at 401-432-7217 or visiting


New companies in COVID-19 violation:


A&D Fitness 1145 Atwood Ave.,
Immediate Compliance Order 11/12/2020
Riccotti’s Subs 250 Cowesett Ave.,
West Warwick
Notice of Compliance with CO
Compliance Order

Broad Street Liquors 1032 Broad St.,
Compliance Order 11/9/2020
Woonsocket Motor Inn 333 Clinton St.,
Compliance Order 11/9/2020


RI Data:


Today’s Data – Nov. 16, 2020
Deaths: 5 (16 since Friday)
Tests: 6,195
Positives: 481 (over past 3 days: 2,394 total)
Percent positive: 7.8% – this is tentative
Hospitalized: 256
In ICU: 21 (of the 256)
On ventilators: 12 (of 21)



Governor’s address: Wed. at 1pm

Migraines - the invisible illness

Migraines – the invisible illness

November 17, 2020/Richard Asinof


By Richard Asinof, – contributing writer


Photo: Molly O’Brien, public relations coordinator, Association for Migraine Disorders


Creating a ‘brighter’ research future for migraine research – Association of Migraine Disorders seeks to raise $200,000 to support new research


Migraine disorders are a common chronic condition that can be marked by intense headaches and a heightened sensitivity to light and sound, often accompanied by nausea. A migraine attack can come on quickly; it is often sudden and debilitating.

Molly O’Brien, the public relations coordinator for the Association of Migraine Disorders, a nonprofit group headquartered here in Rhode Island, described how a new fundraising campaign has been launched with the goal of raising $200,000 to spur more research into new potential treatments for the disease.


One of the biggest stumbling blocks, O’Brien said, is how stigma can be attached to migraine disorders.


“It can feel nearly impossible to talk about a migraine when people do not believe you and they don’t believe your pain is real,” O’Brien explained. In addition, there is also an incorrect assumption that migraine disorders are a condition that only impacts women.

“Yes, migraine disorders disproportionately affect women,” O’Brien said. “Women are three times more likely to have migraine disorders than men. There is a gender bias when it comes to believability.”

The stigma cuts both ways, O’Brien continued. While 75 percent of all migraine patients are women, men do suffer from migraine disease. “But, because of bias and stigma, they may not be believed,” O’Brien said.

On its website, the Association of Migraine Disorders, makes its case for the need for more, better research. “Migraine disease affects so many people, saps our economy and complicates our health care delivery system. It is astounding that the government and pharmaceutical companies are not spending more money on research.”

The Association website also talks about the disparities in care, saying:


• Currently there are less than 500 certified headache specialists to serve the estimated 36 million migraine sufferers


• Not all neurologists choose to specialize in migraine management

• Many people have symptoms that are not easily recognized as being associated with migraine disease

• Most physicians only receive one hour of information about migraine disease during their medical training

Here is the ConvergenceRI interview with responses prepared as a team effort from the Association of Migraine Disorders, including Molly O’Brien, Leigh Serth, and Melissa Carlise.


ConvergenceRI: Why has the Association chosen to locate its headquarters in Rhode Island?
AMD: The Association of Migraine Disorder’s [AMD] founder and president, Dr. Frederick Godley, resides in Rhode Island.


ConvergenceRI: How prevalent are the incidence of migraine disorders in Rhode Island?
AMD: It is estimated about 12 percent of the state’s population has migraine disorders. With Rhode Island’s population being at slightly more than 1 million, that means approximately 20,000 Rhode Islanders are living with this disease.


ConvergenceRI: Where is most of the research being conducted on migraines here in Rhode Island? At Butler Hospital? At the VA? At the Carney Institute for Brain Science at Brown?
AMD: The Association has funded a postdoctoral fellow at the Carney Institute, where an optogenetic mouse model has been developed that can be used for testing pharmaceuticals. Dr. Godley has also collaborated with some researchers at Brown University on projects that are looking at the potential relationships between migraine disorders and obesity and weight loss.

ConvergenceRI: Why is it difficult, in your opinion, for people to talk about their own personal experiences with migraine disorders? Is it because it is often, however wrongly, seen as a chronic condition that impacts women?
AMD: There are several reasons why it is difficult to speak openly about migraines. Stigma surrounding migraines are high. Research shows people living with migraine [disease] are stereotyped, thoughtless of, and experience discrimination.


Much of this stigma is work-related. Those living with migraine disease can be seen as less productive, or lazy, or just looking for an excuse to get out of work.


One of AMD’s ambassadors, Eula Moore-Marshall, gave a perfect example of why it can be tough to talk about migraine disorders. While she was serving her country in the Gulf War, she began experiencing severe migraine attacks.


“No one understood, and no one would listen. I was labeled a complainer, someone who was lazy and faking it,” Moore-Marshall said.


Stigma can also be projected internally. Oftentimes, those with a migraine disorder don’t want to be seen as weak. We want to fight through the attack, push through the pain. When those efforts fail, we can feel as though we are not strong, letting ourselves and others down. That is tough.

While I agree and disagree with using the term “invisible illness” for migraine disorders, [many of us living with migraine disorders experience physical symptoms that can be seen or detected by others], the idea that others cannot see pain or symptoms, does have merit. It ties in with believability and patient credibility.


As part of AMD’s #ResearchIsHope campaign, Becky Dwyer shared her family’s migraine story.


Her daughter, Melissa, experienced unbearable migraine attacks. At the age of 22, Melissa was unable to find any sort of relief through treatments. When no relief could be found, even some medical professionals didn’t believe Melissa’s pain was real.


“She truly wasn’t living at that time,” said Beck Dwyer, Melissa’s mom. “We were back to the hospital stays and ER visits where she was treated like a drug seeker, told she was pathetic and treated so poorly by the medical professionals who were supposed to have empathy. They couldn’t see how hard she was fighting just to stay alive.”


In 2013, Melissa lost her battle with migraine after committing suicide.


It can feel near impossible to talk about a migraine when people do not believe you and they don’t believe your pain is real.

To the point about the assumptions of migraine disorders being a condition that impacts women, yes, migraine disease disproportionately affects women. Women are three times more likely to get migraines than men. There is a gender bias when it comes to believability.


ConvergenceRI: Is there evidence that migraines are hereditary?
AMD: This question is a bit tricky. Research shows that migraine disorders can runs in families. According to the National Institutes of Health, migraine disorders do not have a clear pattern of inheritance, but more than half of people with migraine disease have at least one family member who also has the disorder.

We do know that the majority of people with migraine disease are born with a defective nervous system. It is clear that migraine disorders occur within families, but the details of the genetics have been tough to pinpoint, because migraine disease is not just one or two gene mutations. Researchers have identified more than 20 irregular chromosome segments associated with migraine disorders.

Getting to the bottom of how genetics may affect migraine disorders could lead to a breakthrough in treatment. More research on the link between genetics and migraines are needed, and so AMD has identified this as one potential area to give funding to through our #ResearchIsHope campaign.

ConvergenceRI: What are the current treatments available for migraines?
AMD: There are two main categories of migraine treatments – acute and preventive.


Preventive options work to try to lessen the number of attacks per month. Until recently, the only options in this category were originally designed to treat other diseases but were found to have worked in some capacity for some people with migraine disorders. These include high blood pressure medicines, anti-seizure drugs, anti-nausea medications and anti-depressants.


Onabotulinum ToxinA [Botox] injections, neuromodulation devices and certain supplements/vitamins aid some people in lessening the frequency of attacks as well.


In the last two years, some new preventive treatments designed exclusively for migraine disorders have been released; they include monoclonal antibodies that block the neurotransmitter calcitonin gene-related peptide [CGRP].


Acute treatments are typically initiated at the onset of pain and include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), triptans, nerve blocks, neuromodulation, cannabinoids, cognitive behavioral therapy and gepants. Gepants are small molecule CGRP receptor antagonists recently released as a novel migraine-specific treatment with few side effects, fewer contraindications than other migraine treatments.


It is important to note that while it may seem like there are many treatments available in both categories, the majority of people with migraine disorders have not found a treatment or combination of treatments that rid them of all of their pain or all of their attacks. Efficacy and/or side effects are important factors. Through our #ResearchIsHope campaign, we hope to fund innovative migraine research that can lead to better, more effective treatment options.


ConvergenceRI: Are there support groups of patients with migraines operating in Rhode Island?
AMD: Having a solid support system is crucial when someone is living with a migraine disorder. While there are no in-person migraine support groups that we know of in or near Rhode Island, there are several robust online communities, mainly on Facebook.


ConvergenceRI: Are you familiar with treatments using neuromodulation to treat migraines? [See links below to ConvergenceRI stories, “Neuromodulation may shift the paradigm on pain,” and “New research center puts the focus on neuromodulation.”]
AMD: Neuromodulation devices can be a good option for people who have not found relief from pharmaceuticals or other treatments because of side effects or poor efficacy.


Neuromodulation treatments do not have systemic side effects or drug interactions. There are three devices currently being marketed for migraine treatment (gammaCore, Nerivio, and Cefaly). Two of the three are cleared for both acute and preventive treatments. Advancements in neuromodulation and non-pharmaceutical treatments are extremely exciting.


ConvergenceRI: What are the goals of your current campaign?
AMD: The goal of the “Research is Hope” campaign is to raise $200,000 to be used to fund bold, innovative migraine research projects. The projects will be chosen and led by AMD’s Research Advisory Committee, consisting of 20 leading research and medical experts. The Research Advisory Committee works to identify knowledge gaps in migraine research and will design projects to fill those gaps.


Potential project include: a global patient registry; understanding how hormones impact migraine disorders; identifying when a migraine can affect dizziness, as well as the role of biomarkers and genetics.


ConvergenceRI: How would you like to see the news media change its coverage of migraines?
AMD: The media is responsible for the dissemination of information. It is very important for the media to help people understand that migraine disorders are a prevalent neurologic disease with lots of effects on the body beyond headaches.


For example, about half of all dizziness complaints have to do with how migraine affects the balance system. Some migraine patients experience debilitating attacks with no headache.

Migraine disorders must be presented as the complicated disease it is – a disease that is largely hereditary, one that disproportionately affects women more than men and is not taken seriously enough by some medical professionals, the research world and the general public.


Through solid credible information presented by the media, we can work to reduce migraine stigma and create a more compassionate world for those with living with migraine disease.


To view more information about the Research Is Hope campaign, visit the following link:


Richard Asinof


Richard Asinof is the founder and editor of ConvergenceRI, an online subscription newsletter offering news and analysis at the convergence of health, science, technol

Aquidneck Island Climate Caucus to host virtual discussion on natural gas solutions

Aquidneck Island Climate Caucus to host virtual discussion on natural gas solutions
STATE HOUSE – Rep. Terri Cortvriend and Rep. Lauren Carson are inviting their constituents to a discussion about the future of natural gas distribution on Aquidneck Island.

The discussion, hosted by the Aquidneck Island Climate Caucus, will take place Wednesday, Nov. 18, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in a virtual meeting on Zoom. For registration and access, email

The discussion will center on what should be done to address the possible gap between natural gas supply and demand on Aquidneck Island. National Grid has studied a few potential options for Aquidneck Island, taking into account cost, safety, reliability, and local environmental impacts, while also accommodating a proposed annual increase in gas usage of about 1 percent from now through 2035. According to National Grid, the solutions must close a possible gap of 18 percent by 2035 between available supply and peak demand on the coldest days in winter.

Among the proposals being considered are the status quo, which is operating a portable backup liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility during the winter; reducing demand through energy efficiency efforts and other low-carbon approaches; developing a more reliable liquefied natural gas solution; building another gas pipeline on to Aquidneck Island; or a “non-infrastructure” option, which would involve converting buildings over to high efficiency electric heat and investing deeply in energy efficiency.

In particular, the discussion will focus on the possibilities of the non-infrastructure solution, since it would move Aquidneck Island away from carbon-producing gas, and is consistent the Resilient Rhode Island Act, which sets a goal of reducing Ocean State carbon emissions 40 percent by 2035.

The Aquidneck Island Climate Caucus is a community group formed by Representatives Cortvriend and Carson to give voice to the importance of mitigating and adapting for the earth’s changing climate.

“We on Aquidneck Island have a close-up view of the problems caused by our heavy reliance on natural gas. We were literally left in the cold two winters ago when infrastructure problems required our gas to be turned off for days. And, perhaps more than any other place in Rhode Island, we suffer the adverse effects of carbon-fueled sea level rise as our coastal communities become inundated with floodwaters regularly,” said Representative Cortvriend (D-Dist. 72, Portsmouth, Middletown). “Doubling down on natural gas is not the solution here. We need a strong call for alternatives that will reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.”

Said Representative Carson (D-Dist. 75, Newport), “This is an opportunity. Since we need to make some kind of change, it should be the change we’ve already identified as in our best interest: less reliance on carbon-polluting fuels. We look forward to a lively discussion about how we can best advocate for the changes we need for a safer, more resilient future on Aquidneck Island.”

For more information, contact:
Meredyth R. Whitty, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 222-1923 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: The executive director of the Providence police oversight board has been fired.  Central Falls restaurants must stop offering in-person dining.  It will be a longer wait for the NCAA men's basketball tournament to come back to the Dunk.

>>Providence External Review Authority Fires Executive Director For Video Release

(Providence, RI)  --  The civilian board in charge of overseeing the Providence Police Department has fired its executive director.  The action was taken against Jose Batista for releasing videos of an officer making an arrest earlier this year which led to charges against him.  Batista released the videos despite the Providence External Review Authority voting against such action, and he publicly acknowledged his job might be on the line.  The police oversight board voted to fire Batista at a meeting on Monday, but first heard public testimony that was critical for the board's decision not to release the video which showed Sergeant Joseph Hanley allegedly assaulting Rishod Gore.

>>Central Falls Restaurants Ordered To Close Dining Rooms

(Central Falls, RI)  --  Restaurants in Central Falls are being told they have to scale back service to takeout and delivery service only.  The rule goes into effect Thursday and lasts until the end of the month.  Mayor James Diossa [[ dee-OH-suh ]] cited the rise of coronavirus cases in the city.

>>Schools: More Remote-Learning Switches, Middletown High Reopens, Postseasons Canceled

(Undated)  --  The coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt the routines of Rhode Island school students.  Bishop Hendricken High School in Warwick announced it switched to remote learning for classes on Monday.  WJAR-TV reports Orlo Avenue Elementary School in East Providence is going to virtual learning until the end of the month.  On the flip side, the Daily News reports Middletown High School is set to re-open Tuesday after a two-week closure.  Another report from the Daily News indicates the Tiverton High School boys' and girls' soccer teams had to cancel their seasons as they were set for playoff action because of COVID cases.

>>No NCAA Tournament At Dunk Next Year

(Providence, RI)  --  The NCAA men's basketball tournament is being moved to one location in 2021, meaning Providence will have to wait a few years longer to play host.  First and second-round action was scheduled to happen at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in March.  But the NCAA is now looking to host the full tournament in the city of Indianapolis.  The NCAA had announced last month that the men's basketball tournament would return to the Dunk in 2025.

>>Stop & Shop To Provide Free COVID-19 Vaccines

(Quincy, MA)  --  Stop and Shop says it has signed on to be among the first pharmacies in the U.S. to administer future COVID-19 vaccines.  Stop and Shop says the vaccines will be given to customers at no cost at its two-hundred-fifty-plus pharmacy locations in the Northeast.  The federal Department of Health and Human Services recently announced a partnership list of chain and independent community pharmacies to increase access to future COVID-19 vaccines.

>>Aquidneck Island Residents Invited To Natural Gas Discussion

(Providence, RI)  --  Aquidneck Island residents are being invited to a virtual discussion about the future of natural gas distribution on the island tonight.  It is being hosted by the Aquidneck Island Climate Caucus from 6 to 7 p.m.  You can register to participate by emailing Aquidneck-Climate-at-gmail-dot-com.  According to a State House press release, the discussion will focus on what should be done to address the possible gap between natural gas supply and demand on Aquidneck.

Jim McCabe/djc           RI)
Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

11-17-2020 01:36:10

Solve Conflict with Facts and Data - Mary O'Sullivan

Solve Conflict with Facts and Data – by Mary T. O’Sullivan

November 16, 2020/Mary OSullivan


By Mary T. O’Sullivan, MSOL


We have times of turmoil at hand. Disagreements and disputes rule the airwaves. So, what do you think is the best way to resolve this diverging opinions and actions? When is it time to lay down the banners, flags, signs, and smoke bombs and begin to reason together?


In my working life, I’ve experienced a lot of conflict. Some conflicts made sense, like a controversy over winter footwear (Wear boots without spike heels). And some of it made no sense at all, like asking to be reassigned rather than work on an important project with someone unqualified. (No one won that battle.) What I’ve learned over the years is that the best way to resolve conflict is to show up with facts and at hand, to stay motivated by your own personal values, and to keep emotion out of the equation. And isn’t emotion what hijacks the brain and causes so much unwanted behavior?


One time, in my corporate career, I was assigned to investigate why a particular subcontractor was missing so many delivery milestones. These missed milestones accounted for missed sales for the company as well. As I conducted my “forensic” subcontract management “dig”, I realized that the issues were not only with the subcontractor, but also in the way the program management team was handling the matter. When the finger began to point back towards the company, there was much consternation on the part of the program manager, subcontract manager, and anyone else who had touched this program.


The team took a defensive position and brought up arguments about why I just didn’t understand the nature of dealing with small businesses. In one specific case, a quality engineer wanted to help this subcontractor with proper cleaning of printed wire boards, as improper methods were slowing deliveries. I was copied on the documents which were generated by our company and baselined in the company’s process control system. When I opened the documents, I realized that they lacked proper markings a clear violation of company proprietary information. I challenged the engineer with the paragraphs out of our proprietary agreement with the supplier. I informed the proper process to get this done. However, I heard every argument about how important it was that the supplier have these documents, and how I was impeding progress, and would be responsible for impacting the schedule. But, since I knew I was right, I held my ground. Finally, the engineer agreed to withdraw the documents. Should I go along to get along? I’m not sure that it would have made any difference, yet it seemed to me that the company was being inconsistent with its rules. Why did rules apply in some cases but not others?


I had to call upon my ingenuity and background to get this fixed. First, I found the right proprietary wording and verified it Then, I used my network to get the documents retyped and properly labeled. Within about an hour, I had 10 professional looking documents, all marked properly and ready for distribution. I sent them to the engineer, requesting he verify that they were sent to the right person. Of course, being in wild west culture, he ignored me completely. Should I have been surprised?


Because of the culture, I knew this wasn’t going to be the end of the story, so I called a meeting with the principles to explain the situation. The program manager was very receptive and agreed I had done the right thing. The subcontracts manager, a young woman, decided to take me on. She was quite histrionic in her lecture to me about how I didn’t get it, and how we had to help the suppliers along and support them. This went on uninterrupted for several minutes. When she finally wound down and took a breath, I said, “Missy, I don’t disagree with anything you’ve said about helping small businesses. But, not at why at company’s expense?


I explained the policy in simple terms, we can’t give anyone – customers, suppliers, partners- any company proprietary information without the right markings, and furthermore, it’s stated clearly in Para xxx in the proprietary information agreement signed by us and the supplier. With this remark, the program manager piped up, and said, “Yes, Missy, Mary is right”.


That wasn’t my last encounter with Missy on this program. As I reviewed the subcontract documents further, many other improprieties were revealed. I questioned her about these on several occasions. She usually gave flip answers, and a few times tried to derail the discussion with chit-chat and small talk. I recognized this tactic for the diversion it was, because I’m pretty good at that tactic as well. She began to think I would be less inclined to bring up the various discrepancies, because I engaged in her chit chat.


Once, I brought up the lack of schedule adherence and disregard for the contract and told her I thought we had some ethical issues at hand, which she again vigorously debated. Finally, I said, “Missy, I don’t know about you, but when I get up in the morning, and I come in to work, I come here to work for and protect our company’s interests. This behavior is not in the company’s interest.” I watched her become slowly unraveled as I pointed out item by item the various other violations I noticed. Within a day or two, my boss called me into his office, wanting assurances that “we are all on the same page.”


There were a few other incidences with Missy. She even complained about me to a mutual friend. My friend told her, “Mary deals in facts and data. If you don’t have facts and data in hand, you will lose every time.”  In a private conversation with me, my friend said, “With you, she has no idea who she is dealing with”. That conversation gave me hope that some people still operated with principles. Missy continued to take me on and test me in every way possible, but I always had my facts straight and my personal values intact.


When you’re confronted with conflict, always remember to have tangible proof of your argument, not falsehoods, made up stories, or outright lies. Back up your claims with truth that can be proven, not have facts or rumors. Stick to your principles and be nice to others who don’t agree with you





Mary T. O’Sullivan, Master of Science, Organizational Leadership, International Coaching Federation Professional Certified Coach, Society of Human Resource Management, “Senior Certified Professional. Graduate Certificate in Executive and Professional Career Coaching, University of Texas at Dallas.


Member, Beta Gamma Sigma, the International Honor Society.


Advanced Studies in Education from Montclair University, SUNY Oswego and Syracuse University.


Mary is also a certified Six Sigma Specialist, Contract Specialist, IPT Leader and holds a Certificate in Essentials of Human Resource Management from SHRM.


(401) 742-1965


The Impact of COVID-19's Social Isolation on Seniors

The Impact of COVID-19’s Social Isolation on Seniors – by Herb Weiss

November 16, 2020/Herb Weiss


By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging


As COVID-19 cases continued to surge across the nation, AARP Foundation in collaboration with the United Health Foundation (UHF), released a report last month taking a look as to how the COVID-19 pandemic impacts seniors who find themselves socially isolated.  According to the recently released report, “The Pandemic Effect A Social Isolation Report,” two-thirds of adult respondents say they are experiencing social isolation and high levels of anxiety since the beginning of the pandemic.  


The 60-page report, released on Oct. 6, noted that many seniors who are affected have not turned to anyone for assistance, because many find themselves socially isolation, because of lacking reliable and meaningful social support networks.  Previous research studies have found the health risks of being social isolation can be more harmful than being obese, and long-term isolation is equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. 


Social Isolation and Seniors


The study, funded by AARP Foundation with the support of a grant from United Health Foundation, was designed to explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on adults of all ages, to understand levels of social isolation during the pandemic, and to assess knowledge of how social isolation can impact a person’s health.  The online survey contacted 2,010 U.S. adults age 18 and older, from Aug. 21-25. 


The researchers say that key signs to identify if someone is at risk for social isolation are access to food, healthcare, transportation and other vital resources. But they say that “it’s connections, companionship, and a sense of belonging that we need as humans.”


The AARP Foundation’s report found that for adults 50 and older who have experienced social isolation during the COVID-19 crisis, more than seven in 10 adults agree that this made it more difficult to connect with friends. Half of the respondents also said that they are feeling less motivated, more than four in 10 (41 percent) report feeling more anxious than usual and more than a third (37 percent) have experienced depression. 


The researchers also found that a third of women age 50 and over reported going 1 to 3 months without interacting with people outside of their household or workplace, and adults with low and middle incomes who report experiencing social isolation also say they felt more depressed than adults with higher incomes. Furthermore, only 11 percent of adults regardless of age turned to a medical professional when feeling down or sad, and almost a third reported that they did not look to anyone for support.


Getting Help to Strengthen Social Connections


Commander Scott Kelly, renowned astronaut who spent 340 days isolated in space, has teamed up with AARP Foundation and the UHF to spread the word about the seriousness of social isolation and provide tips on how to successfully emerge from it.  


“Living on the International Space Station for nearly a year with literally no way to leave wasn’t easy, so I took precautions for my mental and physical health seriously,” said Commander Kelly in a statement announcing the release of the report. “I’m advocating for individuals, particularly vulnerable older adults, to use available tools like to strengthen their social connections,” he said.


Getting the Help You Need


Working closely with the UHF to help seniors impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the AARP Foundation recently expanded its website, ( which was originally launched in 2016. The site offers a wealth of resources for socially isolated seniors to strengthen their social bonds.


This website provides help to individuals to assess their risk for social isolation, and to find support services in their local area. The website includes a Social Isolation Risk Assessment, a questionnaire to help individuals determine how connected they are to others and which resources would benefit them most.


Individuals can also tap into Chatbot, a component of the website, designed to provide friendly conversation with the goal of helping rebuild social connections. Chatbot conversations are secure, private and accessible 24/7.


“Social isolation is taking a toll on individuals and communities nationwide, and it’s especially pernicious for those who are 50 or older. This survey shows that older adults who have lower incomes and who are women are at greatest risk,” said Lisa Marsh Ryerson, president of AARP Foundation. “The tools and resources at are designed to help older adults build and maintain the social connections they need to thrive,” she said.


Adds, Dr. Rhonda Randall, executive vice president and a chief medical officer at UnitedHealthcare added, “Many people don’t know that social isolation can have lasting effects on not only mental health — but also physical health. We’re focused on finding practical solutions to the lack of connections, companionship and the sense of belonging that we all need as humans.” 


For a copy of “The Pandemic Effect: A Social Isolation Report,” go to


Herb Weiss, LRI’12, is a Pawtucket writer covering aging, health care and medical issues. To purchase Taking Charge: Collected Stories on Aging Boldly, a collection of 79 of his weekly commentaries, go to





Herb Weiss has enjoyed a distinguished 36 year career in journalism, earning a national reputation as an expert on aging, health care and medical issues. Over 630 articles that he has authored or coauthored have appeared in national, state and local publications. Governor Gina Raimondo appointed Him to the Rhode Island Advisory Commission on aging. Today, Herb’s weekly newspaper column appears in the Pawtucket Times and Woonsocket call, two North Rhode Island daily newspapers, and will now run on occasion in Herb and his wife, Patty Zacks, reside in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.


Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: The Patriots beat the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday Night Football.  A Pawtucket man is dead after being struck by a vehicle on Route 195.  A Woonsocket nursing home has been fined by OSHA for coronavirus violations.

[[ watch for updates ]]

>>National Grid Restoring Power Overnight

(Undated)  --  National Grid is working to restore power in Rhode Island after Sunday night's rain-wind storm.  As of midnight, there were over five-thousand outages.  By 3 a.m. the outage number was down to about one-thousand, mostly in the Providence area.

>>Patriots Beat Baltimore At Wet Gillette

(Foxboro, MA)  --  There were no fans to brave the elements on a wet and windy night at Gillette Stadium on Sunday as the Patriots upset the Baltimore Ravens.  Baltimore was unable to tie the game on a final-two-minute drive as torrential rain began to pour down.  The Pats won 23-to-17 and improved to 4-and-5 this season.  New England is a couple of games back of a playoff spot with seven to go.

>>Pawtucket Man Killed After Being Struck By Vehicle On I-195

(Swansea, MA)  --  The Massachusetts State Police says several Rhode Islanders were involved in a vehicle-pedestrian fatality incident on Route 195 in Swansea on Saturday night.  According to the state police, a Pawtucket man identified as Ulise Pena was a passenger in a pickup truck that had pulled over after he got into an altercation with the driver.  Reports indicate Pena exited the truck from the breakdown lane on the westbound side and ran across to the eastbound side, where he was struck by another pickup.  Police say the driver who was with Pena was a 51-year-old Providence man, and the driver that hit him was a 21-year-old man from Lincoln.

>>One Arrest After Faceoff Between Trump And Biden Supporters

(Warwick, RI)  --  One arrest was made during a pro-Donald Trump demonstration and a Joe Biden-supporting counter-protest in Warwick on Saturday.  William Tweedy of Coventry was arrested for simple assault and disorderly conduct following a dispute with the counter-protesters, according to the Warwick Police Department.  WJAR-TV reported the groups were otherwise peaceful.

>>Rhode Island Court Activity Curtailed

(Providence, RI)  --  The late-year coronavirus increase is causing the Rhode Island Superior Court system to scale back in-person activity.  The Providence Journal reports the court system's Presiding Justice is directing judges and staff to hold as many proceedings as possible remotely, starting today through December 18th.  In related news, the Providence Municipal Courts will cease all arraignments and hearings until further notice.

>>Woonsocket Nursing Home Fined By OSHA For Coronavirus Violations

(Woonsocket, RI)  --  A Woonsocket nursing home is being fined by the Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration for violations related to COVID-19.  OSHA alleges Oakland Grove Health Care Center violated standards covering the reporting of an injury or illness and the reporting of a death of an employee as the result of a work-related injury.  The parent company of the nursing home, Connecticut-based Athena Health Care Systems, says it is disputing the findings.

>>Kent County Water Authority Rate Increases Questioned

(West Warwick, RI)  --  State legislators are criticizing what they say are dramatic rate increases for customers of the Kent County Water Authority.  The KCWA says it has received numerous complaints about the October quarterly billing cycle and it is investigating them.  But the water authority points out a few factors that may have contributed to the increases, including the changing-out of old meters which it says may have under-registered water use.

Jim McCabe/djc          RI) MA)
Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

11-16-2020 01:12:19

RI Toys for Tots 2020 Campaign

RI Toys for Tots 2020 Campaign

November 15, 2020/RINewsToday


Please join us in helping all Rhode Island children have a great holiday season! 


RI Kitchen and Bath is partnering with the Rhode Island Marine Reserves to raise donations for RI Toys for Tots. From now until December 11, 2020.


Ways to Donate


  1. Bring toy donations to our showroom located at 139 Jefferson Blvd in Warwick RI 02888 Monday-Friday 10am-2pm. Please ring door bell to let us know you’ve dropped off a gift. Need to schedule a different drop-off time? Give us a call!
  2. Online monetary donations


Online Toy donations via



Other Rhode Island Drop Off Locations:


Pawtucket Credit Union: 


1200 Central Avenue, Pawtucket, RI


727 Central Avenue, Pawtucket, RI


540 Broadway, Pawtucket, RI


571 Smithfield Avenue, Pawtucket, RI


379 Putnam Pike, Smithfield, RI


1855 Mendon Road, Cumberland, RI


1617 Mineral Spring Avenue, North Providence, RI


660 Warren Avenue, East Providence, RI


339 Newport Avenue, East Providence, RI


579 Metacom Avenue, Bristol, RI


40 Sockanosset Cross Road, Cranston, RI


96 Independence Way, Cranston, RI


405 Warwick Avenue, Warwick, RI


3319 Post Road, Warwick, RI


5661 Post Road, East Greenwich, RI


221 Tower Hill Road, North Kingstown, RI


84 Old Tower Hill Road, Wakefield, RI


RI Self Storage: Neftali Aponte
10/01/2020 – 12/11/2020
Mon-Fri 9-5, Sat & Sun 10-4
817 DEXTER ST , CENTRAL FALLS, Rhode Island, 02863


T-Bonz Grill, LLC: Jason Thela, GM
11/01/2020 – 12/11/2020
1080 Tiogue Ave, Coventry, Rhode Island, 02816


Rebuilders Automotive Supply: Gillian Morales
10/08/2020 – 12/11/2020
8am – 4:30pm
1650 Flat River Road, Coventry, Rhode Island, 02816


Acuity Vision: Britney
10/19/2020 – 12/11/2020
1193 Tiogue Avenue, Coventry, Rhode Island, 02816


Massage Envy: Margeaux Andrade
11/15/2020 – 12/11/2020
M-F 9am-10pm, Sat 8am-7pm, Sun 10am-6pm
1000 Chapel View Blvd, Cranston, Rhode Island, 02920


House of cards/ big dog toys: Joe
10/19/2020 – 12/11/2020
310 Atwood ave, Cranston , Rhode Island, 02920


Massage Envy: Margeaux Andrade
11/15/2020 – 12/11/2020
M-F 9am-10pm, Sat 8am-7pm, Sun 10am-6pm
1000 Division Street, East Greenwich, Rhode Island, 02818


AAA Northeast: Karen Diehl
11/30/2020 – 12/11/2020
24hour a day operation
10 River Road, East Providence, Rhode Island, 02914


Cardsmart: Lori
10/01/2020 – 12/11/2020
10am to 6pm
445 Putnum Pike, Greenville, Rhode Island, 02828


Rhode Island APA & Run ‘Em Racks: Justin Wales
11/01/2020 – 11/21/2020
Monday – Friday 5:00 PM – 1:00 AM
930 Plainfield Street, Johnston, Rhode Island, 02919


Sherwin Williams: Nick Manfredo
10/26/2020 – 12/11/2020
M-F 7am-7pm Sat 8-4 Sun 10-2
1386 Atwood Ave., Johnston, Rhode Island, 02919


The Law Office of Glenn Andreoni: Lucy Reid
11/09/2020 – 12/13/2020
Monday-Friday 9:00am -5:00 pm
628 George Washington Highway , Lincoln , Rhode Island, 02865


Massage Envy: Margeaux Andrade
11/15/2020 – 12/11/2020
M-F 9am-10pm, Sat 8am-7pm, Sun 10am-6pm
619 George Washington Hwy, Lincoln, Rhode Island, 02865


Juans barbershop : Juan
10/10/2020 – 12/11/2020
1397 west main road, Middletown , Rhode Island, 02842


Amazon: Keith Rudenauer
10/19/2020 – 12/11/2020
24 hours
115 Dupont St, Providence, Rhode Island, 02907


Lighthouse Community Development Center: Jacqueline Britto
10/05/2020 – 12/11/2020
Mon-Fri 9am-5pm
11 Hawthorn Street, Providence, Rhode Island, 02910


Massage Envy: Margeaux Andrade
11/15/2020 – 12/11/2020
M-F 9am-10pm, Sat 8am-7pm, Sun 10am-6pm
229 Waterman Street, Providence, Rhode Island, 02906


AAA Northeast: Karen Diehl
11/30/2020 – 12/10/2020
24 hours a day
160 Royal Little Drive, Providence, Rhode Island, 02904


CubeSmart: Kurt Russell
10/22/2020 – 12/11/2020
Monday – Friday 9:30am – 6 pm Saturday 8:30am – 5 pm
39 Stilson Road, Richmond, Rhode Island, 02898


CubeSmart: Margaret Parks
10/22/2020 – 12/11/2020
Mon – Fri 9:30am – 6pm; Sat 8:30am – 5pm; Sun 11am – 3pm
210 Church St, Wakefield, Rhode Island, 02879


Edward Jones: Julie McGwin
11/02/2020 – 12/11/2020
8:30 AM – 5:00 PM Monday-Friday
430 Main Street, Wakefield, Rhode Island, 02879


CubeSmart: Becca Chirnside
10/17/2020 – 12/11/2020
Mon – Fri 9:30-6| Sat 8:30-5| Sun 11-3
94 Old Tower Hill Rd., Wakefield, Rhode Island, 02879


A Family Tree School Age Program: Erica Saccoccio
11/02/2020 – 12/04/2020
126 Edythe Street, Warwick, Rhode Island, 02889


RI Kitchen & Bath Design+Build: Jenna
10/19/2020 – 12/11/2020
M-F 9-5
139 Jefferson Blvd, Warwick, Rhode Island, 02888


Zaydah creations: Lynn Mulvey
10/16/2020 – 12/11/2020
9am to 7pm
2362 West shore rd, Warwick, Rhode Island, 02889


Northeast Barbers: Owner William Lima
10/31/2020 – 12/11/2020
9am – 5 pm
1191 Main Street , West warwick , Rhode Island, 02893


Ollie’s Bargain Outlet- Store #246: MaryKate Cobb (Toys for Tots Foundation Staff Member)
11/22/2020 – 12/11/2020
10:00 AM- 7:00 PM
2000 DIAMOND HILL RD UNIT 16, WOONSOCKET, Rhode Island, 2895


About Toys for Tots


The mission of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.


The primary goal of Toys for Tots is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens.


The objectives of Toys for Tots are to help less fortunate children throughout the United States experience the joy of Christmas; to play an active role in the development of one of our nation’s most valuable resources – our children; to unite all members of local communities in a common cause for three months each year during the annual toy collection and distribution campaign; and to contribute to better communities in the future.


The principal Toys for Tots activity which takes place each year is the collection and distribution of toys in the communities in which a Marine Corps Reserve Unit is located.  In communities without a Reserve Unit, the campaign can be conducted by a Marine Corps League Detachment or group of men and women, generally veteran Marines, authorized by Marine Toys for Tots Foundation to conduct a local Toys for Tots campaign.  Local Toys for Tots Campaign Coordinators conduct an array of activities throughout the year, which include golf tournaments, foot races, bicycle races and other voluntary events designed to increase interest in Toys for Tots, and concurrently generate toys and monetary donations.

Posted in 

Classic Alex Trebek, RIP

Classical Alex Trebek, R.I.P. – by David Brussat

November 14, 2020/David Brussat


by David Brussat, contributing writer


Alex Trebek died the other day. I heard the news in the half-time report of a televised pro football game. Jeopardy! and I had drifted apart of late, but I and my wife, Victoria, watched the show with some fervor for years. My ability to keep up withered over time; even at its height, I was never swift enough to actually pose answers in the form of questions. Still, we kept up with Trebek’s sad bout with cancer and felt the uplift of his occasional progress reports.


I introduced Victoria to Scrabble, and eventually my ability to keep up withered in that game too, and so we have, ahem!, drifted apart. It’s not the losing, it’s the luck, or lack of it, in what tiles you draw. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Perhaps it’s time for us to pick up Hangman again. No luck factor there!


There must be some sort of parallel between successful game shows, game-show hosts, and classical architecture. I will try to reach for one.


Maybe it is the luck factor. There is no luck factor in classical architecture. It has rules such as modern architecture does not. Play by the rules and it is almost impossible to produce a building that lacks beauty. You can break the rules, but only if you know the rules, which requires having rules. For modernists, it’s all about breaking the rules – the rules of proportion, the rules of gravity, etc. For the modernists, except for not having rules, there are no rules. Unless you are a genius (and even if you are one), it’s almost inevitable that you’ll produce a building that lacks beauty.


So maybe it can be said that classical architecture is to Jeopardy! what modern architecture is to Pickup Sticks.


This difference was obvious to Alex Trebek, and he did not fiddle with the rules of his game. He did not try to innovate. He knew his audience was expecting predictability, and that’s what he gave them. Occasionally the stage set would get a little more snazzy – some cynics will say this was Alex’s inner modernist trying to escape – but the rules remained always the same, whether it was normal Jeopardy! with regular contestants or tournament Jeopardy! with contestants from high school and college, or special Jeopardy! pitting former winning contestants against each other. Either way, the rules remained the same.


In 2004, Ken Jennings won 74 straight games of Jeopardy! Jennings was the beneficiary of a rules change (in the show, not in the game itself) that released contestants from a limit of five games on the length of a winning streak. For 20 seasons it was five wins and poof! you were off the island. It would be the height of futility to wonder whether any of those seasons might have produced some mute, inglorious Ken Jennings.


Alex Trebek was no Ken Jennings, but Ken Jennings was no Alex Trebek. Unlike Ken Jennings, who was a classic dweeb, nobody on the planet disliked Alex Trebek. Or so it seemed. After hearing endless encomia declaring the famous likability of Alex Trebek after his death, Victoria was startled to read a thread on Reddit that began:


Alex Trebek really irks me. He comes off as really snobby and condescending on the show when he has the answers in front of him! Anyone else share my disdain for him?


(The next reply went “At least you insulted him in the form of a question.”)


No, Alex Trebek did not jump up and down to induce histrionics in contestants as other game show hosts do. This leads to another parallel between Alex Trebek and classical architects. They are the adults in the room. They know the answers. They know the rules of the game. There is room for humor in the answers to which contestants pose questions, and for wit in Alex Trebek’s commiseration with contestants whose questions are wrong. The game and its rules were a bond with its audience. Never, so far as I know, did Alex Trebek look down his nose at his audience, as modern architects look down their nose at those upon whom their work is inflicted. Like Alex Trebek, classical architecture loves and respects its public, and the feeling is mutual.


So long live classical architecture. As for Alex Trebek, “What is the Latin phrase ‘Requiescat in pace’?



David Brussat

My freelance writing and editing on architecture and others addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to employ my writing and editing to improve your work, please email me at my consultancy,, or call (401) 351-0457

Posted in 

Your Coronavirus Update - Today Nov 13, 2020

Your Coronavirus Update – Today, Nov. 13, 2020

November 13, 2020/RINewsToday




Dr. Fauci: Coronavirus won’t be a pandemic much longer. With a vaccine on the horizon, Fauci pleads with Americans to “hold on” – the cavalry is coming – but it’s not quite here yet. Next challenge will be distribution of vaccine(s) worldwide, which is a project never been done before.


Moderna is on the cusp of a vaccine announcement


Fitchburg, MA schools delay in-person classes with expected opening January 4th.


Chicago Mayor issues stay-at-home order


El Paso, TX has extended its stay-at-home order until early Dec. Hospitals are doing 2 to a room, others being flown hundreds of miles to other hospitals. Tents are also going up outside some hospitals to extend bed space. Meanwhile, local restaurant group goes to court to lift the order.


Starting Jan. 8th, the middle seats on Jet Blue will be sold.


Detroit takes its schools to virtual.


Massachusetts will make an announcement today about opening field hospitals.


India has approved a $35Billion stimulus package.


The US stimulus package possibility is still stuck in politics.


At least five passengers aboard the first cruise ship to set sail in the Caribbean since the coronavirus pandemic began have tested positive, according to two passengers on the ship.


Amazon has rolled out Care Hub, a feature for users of its voice assistant Alexa to help check in on older friends and family. People with an Alexa-activated device can link their account to a loved one’s Alexa account, and if permission is granted, can get regular updates on basic activities. Caregivers can be alerted if their family member hasn’t used their Alexa-activated device by a certain time or if lights are on in the home to indicate movement or activity. The new feature also has an emergency function, where someone can say “Alexa, call for help,” and the caregiver is dialed. The rollout comes as the pandemic has kept many from being able to see how their older loved ones are doing in person. 


As the pandemic gained pace, WHO often shied away from calling out some of its biggest donors, including Japan, France and Britain.


The Minnesota Vikings have given up on trying to host larger crowds and said Wednesday that the team will no longer seek permission to sell tickets to fans for their remaining home games, as the state blew past its daily record for new deaths.


Governor of Texas is trying to lure the stock exchanges to move from NYC


$2Million aimed at tourism promotion in MA should be redirected to virus relief, according to local city councilors.



Popular Cape Cod Sea Camp in Brewster, MA will close permanently.


The University of Connecticut is placing five dormitories under quarantine after 11 students tested positive for the coronavirus. Another 23 students who live off campus testing positive.


Maine retailers are being told that they are not responsible for enforcing a mask policy, but they should call the police or “health code enforcement” number if customers will not comply.


Pennsylvania’s largest teachers union has demanded that school districts in nearly two dozen counties with the worst outbreaks tell students to temporarily learn from home.


Syracuse University and the University at Albany, is switching to fully remote learning.


Residents in parts of Newark, NJ are under a 9 p.m. curfew on weekdays and 10 p.m. on weekends for the rest of the month.


Now, AAA is forecasting at least a 10% drop in Thanksgiving travel this year, including a nearly 50% decrease in travel by air because of the COVID-19 pandemic. People are adopting a more wait-and-see mindset to scheduling travel.


Many providers and suppliers will be able to bill Medicare to deliver antibody therapies to treat COVID-19, as the FDA approved emergency use of one treatment.


NBC’s Chicago Fire has paused production for two weeks after several members of the production team tested positive for COVID-19.


Thursday night, the Ivy League canceled all winter sports




The RI Convention Center testing site is overwhelmed and cars are in line for blocks – people are being asked to avoid downtown off-ramps.


Pawtucket Mayor Don Grebien has announced he is positive for the coronavirus and says he is largely asymptomatic.


Over 90 prisoners in maximum security at the ACI test positive for COVID-19.


Providence College shifts to online learning a week earlier than planned. Most students/staff have been tested to allow them safe travel home if they are negative. The college also announced that dorms and other facilities will remain open through Nov. 20th.


Cranston Schools have at last count 30 staff positive and 84 staff in quarantine.


Cranston Supt. Jeannine Nota-Masse said (Providence Journal) the responsibility for contact tracing is being shifted to the school departments, adding, “We are doing our best to keep up with that task. However, as cases of staff who are positive, quarantined or in the process of being tested have increased greatly, staffing has become difficult to maintain and predict.”


The Governors of 6 New England states have agree to suspend interstate hockey youth tournaments.


Governor says she has not dismantled the overflow hospital at the RI Convention Center – so there are two waiting to serve.


Fort Citizens, the hospital overflow facility at the old-Citizens building on Sockanosset Crossroad has 353 beds.


Yesterday Fall River saw its highest-yet one-day increase in COVID cases


More than 60 cases of coronavirus were identified in a Bristol nursing home, according to the latest data from the RIDOH.


Bryant University will move its final exams online.


Governor’s Presentation


Data: shows how quickly our fate can change.


7 new deaths



Hospitalizations highest since May – doubled in past 2 weeks


We will need Cranston field hospital in 2 weeks


Not unique to RI. World is facing same reality.


We are headed to total lockdown if we don’t follow the rules.


What about schools? 2nd or 3rd wave is happening regardless if kids are in schools or not. In Europe, they are keeping schools open, even in lockdowns. Children suffer more if we close schools.


If it’s not schools, and we are doing testing – what is it?  Small gatherings with friends and family, indoors, with masks off. It’s that simple. “Docs saying part of the reason they are crashed now is people had to have their Halloween parties.”


Going towards another lockdown. All the efforts taken at jobs, shopping, etc. Not optimistic from what we are seeing in the data.


Pleading with people of RI to make changes in your life – wear your mask always – stop having social gatherings of any kind, period – really reign it in. That choice is yours.


Problem is not restaurants – it’s informal gatherings – hugs – 6 or 7 people coming over to watch football – violating quarantine – “sneaking out” before you are supposed to.


84% of COVID beds are filled. At this rate, those beds will all be filled in a week. Each hospital has a plan to turn on surge capacity to increase beds to about 600.


Rescues are already diverting.


Believe hospitals will be completely filled in 6 weeks.


Then use the Cranston field hospital. We are running drills so we are ready when we need to be. It is not a full hospital though there is oxygen connected to every bed.


There will be a Healthcare Coordination Center to transport patients to where there are hospitals – and COVID patients to NURSING HOMES where they can be accepted. HCC will operate as a holistic, statewide system.


Nursing homes need to be comfortable accepting COVID patients for recovery.


Surge is coming at rough time – staff are tired – hospitals are filled with patients for non-COVID purposes.


Calling on all healthcare workers to go here and renew their licenses – we need your help:


Testing results have been difficult to receive. Today: there will be a portal for you to get your results – regardless of how you got your test.


Take it Outside campaign – 111 grants – results fantastic – so much safer outside. If warm weather does not last, we’re going to grab our coats and hats and blankets and stay outside.


Vaccine – Huge boost with Pfizer’s vaccine – hope is around the corner. Moderna’s data is being submitted as well – could be 2 vaccines. We could have a vaccine in RI before end of 2020. For highest risk and front line workers. For general population, beginning of 2021.


RI Vaccine SubCommittee is charged with reviewing vaccine data and developing distribution system for vaccines when developed. Initial plan – priority populations.


            Phase 1 – include high risk – healthcare workers, people with 2+ underlying health conditions, those in nursing homes.


            Phase 2 – teachers, school staff, child care providers, workers in other high risk settings – all older adults, others.


            Phase 3 – young adults, children, lower risk individuals


Next few months toughest for virus. We’re in better shape, but this will be much, much worse. People are tired, about to go indoors, flu season, etc. Try to do whatever you need to do to get through next few months safely.


Thanksgiving – more plans for rules next week. Likely to be very strict. For now: stay home, do not travel. Celebrate only with those you live with.


Dr. Foreman: Cases in RI are sharply increasing. Worked in emergency medicine for 20 years – this is the worst she has ever seen – this is like a battleground. We need to do everything we can to help control the spread of the virus. Told emotional stories of real people dying with strangers holding their hands. Those who recover can have long-term COVID syndrome, and many may not return to a normal life.




Q: What convinces you that a lockdown would be significant in fighting this?


A:  We need buy-in and we’re measuring it. There will be nowhere to go if we close restaurants, bars, retail, churches. Still struggling to get a handle on small informal groups. We know people aren’t quarantining. We’re trying to find those people and get them into quarantine. Maybe we need to do more testing. Rapid testing. Right now we are overrun. Might need a blunt way to shut it down. Can’t see how we cannot have a Thanksgiving stay-at-home order.


Q: Kids in school. Is it safe? Teachers are worried.


A: Not a shred of evidence that school is a vector of spread. Risk of kids getting severely ill is very much lower. Looking at all data, staying in school as long as possible is the way to go. Keeping enormous precautions. We see as much virus in kids at home as we do in kids at school. Dr. speaks: we’re seeing older teens, elderly patients in Emergency Dept.


Q: Seeing our schools go to distance learning – contact tracing delayed, etc.


A: No, sheer numbers are not overwhelming. There’s a lot for schools to do – a lot of work – if someone tests positive – paperwork – send seating charts, bus charts, etc. They shut down to clean, get settled, then open up as soon as possible.


Q: Schools are saying they are having problems hearing back from Health Dept.


A: Volume is not that large, we are adjusting to help them.


Q: Healthcare workers and vaccines – would they be required to take them?


A: Very hard to require this. We’re not going to take that approach. Better approach is to make it easy to get. Also make it free. Dr. Scott: we have proven techniques that show RI is a leader in immunizations – we hope to leverage that system.


Q: Significant body of Rhode Islanders believe that with such a small mortality rate this is all an over-reaction?


A:  Dr. Foreman says she wishes people of Rhode Island could see what is going on in the hospital – this is a short term sacrifice for massive amounts of good for our population. What risk are we putting everyone around us – we need to think beyond our own selves. Once the stories become personal, it becomes easier to comply. This is not like having the flu and getting better.


Q: Testing availability: Lines around the block – days and days to get results.


A: Dr. Scott: we are working on – opened another site. Trying to come up with more rapid testing.


Q: Nursing homes uptick.


A: Dr. Scott – cases arising in community, staff are getting it and bringing it into the homes. But the result is not as severe because of testing and PPE. We want to be able to move people who are recovering from COVID into nursing facilities to recover (after 2 negative tests).


Q: How old are those who have to be admitted?


A: In spring we saw older. Now we are seeing adolescents and up? Older you are and more co-morbidities means more likely to be admitted.


Q: The aid program for restaurants. Max is $7-10,000 – it says the grant is taxable. Could be $1700 on $7000.


A: Gov. will look into it – might be federal regulated.


Q: After overflow hospital is opened, what’s next if cases extend beyond capacity? Crisis standards of care put into effect? Rationing of services? How likely do you think that is?


A: Dr. Foreman: hard to estimate. Other countries have had to do it. If we continue on this trajectory, concerned that we would have to.


Q: What percentage are people following this advice?


A: Yes, human behavior is hard to regulate. Difference here is your behavior not just impacts you, but all those around you.  A lot of people were following the rules, and now they have relaxed – they need to go back to following the rules.


Convention Center is still set up as overflow.


Q: How do you feel about a nationwide lockdown for 4-6 weeks – and borrow money to compensate everyone?


A: Nobody wants to go there. Can’t just borrow enough money. Consequences of not doing a lockdown could be worse, but we should try to avoid it. If we do that, federal govt better step up with stimulus.



Interview yesterday on ABC News with Dr. Fauci

UPDATED: RI School List with COVID-19

COVID-19 in RI Schools: approx. 1,656 cases (1,233 students/423 staff) since Sept.

November 13, 2020/RINewsToday


Note: This updated data chart is for cases reported by 11/7/20.




499+ locations


273 new student cases last 7 days


1,233 student cumulative cases since Sept.


108 new staff cases last 7 days


423 staff cumulative cases since Sept.



Past Data


Summary – this update – more than 431 locations – 328 new cases – 1,218 cumulative cases – 61 new locations


Summary – this update – more than 370 locations – 288 new cases – 883 cumulative cases


227+ schools – 214 new cases – 559 total


144+ virtual learning – 74 new cases – 324 total




Updated from Summary on 10/17/20 – approx. 300 locations – 168 new cases – 583 cumulative cases


176+ schools – 99 new cases – 334 total


123+ virtual learning – 69 new cases – 249 total




Updated from Summary on 10/10/20 – 228 locations – 148 new cases – 413 cumulative cases


135 schools – 84 new cases – 234 total


93 virtual learning – 64 new cases – 179 total




Updated from Summary on 10/4/20 – 272 locations – 268 cumulative cases


95 schools – 74 new cases – 154 total


77 virtual learning- 44 new cases – 114 total




Updated from Summary on 9/26 – 100 locations – 158 cumulative cases


57 schools – 50-54 new cases – 80-84 total


43 virtual learning- 30-34 new cases – 70-74 total




Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: A doctor says Rhode Island's healthcare system is being pushed to the brink by COVID and is urging people to take the virus seriously.  Coronavirus numbers are on the rise again at RI nursing homes.  The Patriots are back home this weekend to battle Baltimore.

>>Doctor Issues Pandemic Warning; Urges People To Take Virus Seriously

(Providence, RI)  --  The chief of emergency medicine at Kent Hospital in Warwick had a serious message for the public as she joined the Rhode Island governor for her coronavirus press briefing on Thursday.  Dr. Laura Forman said despite vast resources, the pandemic has pushed the healthcare system in Rhode Island to the brink.  RI hospitals could be full within weeks and state could have to open a field hospital.  Forman urged people to take the virus seriously and asked skeptics to think about what it's like for loved ones not to be able to say goodbye to dying patients in person.

>>More Rhode Island Schools Go Remote; Providence College Switches Early

(Undated)  --  More remote-learning switches are being made in Rhode Island in response to the late-fall coronavirus surge.  Chariho High School in South County is joining a list of other high schools that are going temporarily virtual. reports a student tested positive at Hennessey Elementary School in East Providence, so classes will be online at least for today.  Governor Gina Raimondo insisted yesterday there was no evidence schools are a source of virus spread.  At the college level, it was announced yesterday that Providence College will go remote next week.  PC was planning to finish the semester virtually, but initially not until after Thanksgiving.

>>Coronavirus: Nursing Home Numbers Up, ACI Lockdown, Pawtucket Mayor Positive

(Undated)  --  Here are other coronavirus headlines in the Ocean State.  The latest COVID wave is causing numbers to go up again at nursing homes: nearly two-hundred-fifty cases in the last two weeks.  A state health department spokesperson said yesterday the nursing home rates are not what they were in March and April, but that the facilities are currently being affected by community transmission.  The maximum-security unit of the Adult Correctional Institutions is on lockdown after about fifty infections were diagnosed.  And Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien [[ GRAY-be-in ]] has announced he has tested positive for COVID-19, and he says several city employees have, also.

>>Patriots Versus Baltimore This Weekend

(Foxboro, MA)  --  The New England Patriots play the Baltimore Ravens this weekend.  The Ravens reported Thursday morning that a player tested positive for COVID-19, but that there were no high-risk contacts ,and no other player or staff member is required to isolate.  The Patriots will be playing at Gillette Stadium for the first time since it was announced no fan attendance would be allowed for the rest of the season.  Kickoff is 8:20 p.m. Sunday.

>>No Winter Sports For Ivy League

(Undated)  --  The Ivy League is canceling all of its winter sports for the upcoming season because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.  The Ivy League says fall sports will not take place during the spring semester, and spring sports are postponed through at least the end of February.  The Ivy, which includes Brown University, became the first NCAA Division One conference to cancel its fall sports back in July.

>>Two Charged With Grocery Store Robberies

(North Attleboro, MA)  --  Two Brockton, Massachusetts residents are being charged with a couple of supermarket robberies in North Attleboro.  Justin O'Connell and Valerie Proulx are accused of robbing the Stop and Shop on Route 1 on Thursday and the Shaw's market in the town last month, according to a report from the Sun Chronicle.  O'Connell allegedly entered the Stop and Shop yesterday morning armed with a knife and fled with cash, with an escape car driven by Proulx, according to the Massachusetts State Police.  O'Connell allegedly carjacked a livery car and crashed it in West Bridgewater after authorities went to arrest the two in Bridgewater.

>>New Mayor Of Newport Selected By City Council

(Newport, RI)  --  The Newport City Council is once again carrying out its unique tradition of selecting a mayor from the council roster.  The Daily News reports the council-elect chose Jeanne-Marie Napolitano on a 4-to-3 vote on Thursday night.  Napolitano was the first woman to serve as mayor in the city's history and has served two terms.  She was the top vote-getter in this month's election, with current Mayor Jamie Bova in second place.

Jim McCabe/djc           RI) MA) MD)
Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

11-13-2020 01:34:05

Your Coronavirus Update - Today Nov 12, 2020

RI Coronavirus Update – Today, Nov. 12, 2020

November 12, 2020/RINewsToday




United will return to New York’s JFK airport after a five-year absence


Testing: People are being advised to wait 3-5 days if they are exposed to someone or they may test negative, falsely. The virus needs to build up in your system to register.


A member of President-elect Biden’s COVID advisory team is suggesting a possible 4-6 week lockdown, with compensation for lost wages. By January it is questionable what state we will be in with the virus.


Homeowners are winter-prepping their outside spaces with heaters, pizza ovens and fire pits.


The National Health Services (NHS) in England says general practitioner doctors’ services will be cut back well into 2021 so family doctors can immunize millions of people against coronavirus at new seven-day-a-week clinics.


Research is showing that Restaurants and gyms were spring ‘superspreader’ sites


COVID-19 patients who have developmental disorders are three times more likely to die from the virus.


20 million coronavirus cases expected by Christmas


Wheaton College announced late Thursday that the private college will transition to remote learning


State of Wisconsin says their hospitals are nearing capacity and they fear that soon they won’t be able to save everyone – positivity rate in Wisconsin testing is 30%.


Celebrity Hugh Grant had coronavirus in the summer and recovered well at home, having lost his sense of smell as his first symptom.


Novavax on track to begin U.S. trial of COVID-19 vaccine this month.


A new CDC Mask Study says masks, even cloth masks, work to prevent the spread of coronavirus. This follows a study a few weeks back that said only surgical masks or N95 masks work.


Russia claims a vaccine – named Sputnik – has been developed showing 92% effectiveness. 2 doses give 2 years immunity. Doctors are beginning to be vaccinated. The WHO has not independently evaluateted it. This vaccine does not need to be super-cold stored.


Texas has surpassed 1 million residents with COVID-19


5 NFL teams have canceled games for this weekend.


  • Ohio State-Maryland (canceled)
  • Alabama-LSU (TBD)
  • Texas A&M-Tennessee (rescheduled for Dec. 12)
  • George-Missouri (TBD)
  • Memphis-Navy (TBD)
  • Auburn-Mississippi St (rescheduled for Dec. 12)
  • Wyoming-Air Force (canceled)


Japan keeping attendance rates at large events at 50% through February.


New York bars, restaurants must close at 10pm. – “Contact tracers have identified bars / restaurants, gyms, and private gatherings as the three primary sources of new COVID-19 cases.” In New York


ConnecticutMinnesota and New Jersey — are joining NY in a 10 p.m. curfew for bars, restaurants and gyms.



Cranston schools will move to virtual for the remainder of the week. School scheduled to resume Tuesday – with Monday a PD day.


Cumberland High School goes to virtual and says that RI is falling behind on contact tracing.


Contact tracers are still being recruited by RIDOH – but they must work at the Health Dept. offices – some would want to work from home, but that is not an option at this point.


As hospitalizations increase, hospitals begin diverting rescues at an ever-increasing rate.


ConvergenceRI reporting Central Falls testing rates are 20% – people lined up for testing – more than 100 in a day.


Asymptomatic testing site now open at Wickford Train Station, 1011 Ten Road Rd, North Kingstown – by appointment


Newport City Manager Joseph Nicholson has tested positive for COVID, he said during Tuesday night’s City Council meeting.


Restaurants/Bars: RI has launched another grant program to provide assistance. Restaurants and bars need only to answer a few questions to verify their eligibility and will receive a grant between $2,000 and $10,000 within thirty days. The application can be found here. Any bar and restaurant owners impacted by the early shutdowns that has an active Meals and Beverage account or liquor license with the RI Division of Taxation and has paid taxes for the months of July, August and September is eligible. If you meet those requirements, you should apply immediately through the Division of Taxation’s website. The deadline is December 15th. If you have questions, please look at the helpful FAQ section that we’ve put together. And if you don’t meet the requirements but still need help for your business, call (401) 521-HELP to learn about other programs that may be right for you.


Pawtucket Fire Dept. has 12+ cases.


A RI GOP bill will entitle all residents of health-care facilities and group homes the opportunity to designate a support person for regular, in-person visits. The policy is designed to assist facilities in balancing disease transmission protocols with the benefits of having a loved one present during a lockdown.


More than 1/2 of Americans say they will travel this year for Thanksgiving, though staying away from going in to major cities.


RI Data:



RI Governor Address TODAY, 1pm – go to Facebook for a Live Feed link. She is expected to address Thanksgiving – and the surge happening in the state.


Thanksgiving recommendations are to celebrate in your own home with those you live with. Period.


Posted in 

Leave a Comment

Operation Warp Seed's research partners - rushing to save lives

Operation Warp Speed’s research partners – rushing to save our lives

November 12, 2020/RINewsToday


Pfizer says they ARE part of Operation Warp Speed


Just about everything can become political. Even scientific developments. And when it comes to COVID-19, especially so.


Learning that Pfizer had developed the first vaccine, estimated to be about 90% effective, was a gleeful moment. From the stock market to other researchers to individuals to the federal government, it seemed time to break out the champagne.


Vice President Pence tweeted out his appreciation for Pfizer, saying that it was a great success, and part of Operation Warp Speed. Soon, however, Pfizer seemed to distance itself from OWS and noted that it had not received research money from the federal government.


But OWS is about more than money – it’s about communication and coordination and all the things that will accomplish its goal of producing millions of doses for the American people.


How did such a good news story start to get picked apart at a time of heightened political angst?  One thing is that Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla does not like President Trump. And he was said to want to distance himself from any credit-sharing with the current administration.


After several media outlets, including Newsweek and CNN pursued the facts, Pfizer released this statement, by spokesperson Sharon Castillo saying that the company is indeed part of Operation Warp Speed:


“Pfizer is one of various vaccine manufacturers participating in Operation Warp Speed as a supplier of a potential COVID-19 vaccine,” Castillo said in an email. “While Pfizer did reach an advanced purchase agreement with the U.S. government, the company did not accept (Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority) funding for the research and development process. All the investment for R&D was made by Pfizer at risk. Dr. Jansen was emphasizing that last point.”


Newsweek looked into the issue that Pfizer was not part of OWS. In their story, they noted that Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar has said the pharmaceutical company Pfizer is “very much part” of Operation Warp Speed after the COVID-19 vaccine maker distanced itself from the Trump administration program.


Azar made the comments on CNBC’s Squawk Box on Tuesday, after Kathrin Jansen, the head of vaccine research and development at Pfizer, told The New York Times it was “never part” of Operation Warp Speed. Launched in May, the effort aims to speed up the creation and distribution of vaccines, treatments and diagnostic tools amid the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Health Secretary told CNBC: “I don’t know why they [Pfizer] made that [statement] originally. I’ve got a 2 billion contract for 100 million doses and an option for 500 million more that says they’re very much part of Operation Warp Speed.” The U.S. struck the $1.95 billion deal with Pfizer in July.


“We assisted them with ingredients, we’re assisting them with distribution syringes, needles, dry ice for shipment, distribution, planning,” he said.


Following Jansen’s comments, the company released their statement clarifying that it is involved in Operation Warp Speed as a supplier but wanted to liberate their scientists from any government bureaucracy, so they decided not to take government funding.



What did Pfizer CEO Burla do on the day the vaccine was announced?


Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla sold 62% of his stock in the company on the same day the drugmaker announced the results of its COVID-19 vaccine trial. He sold at the top 52 week high for Pfizer stock, for $5.6 million. Pfizer confirmed that Bourla’s stock sales were part of a plan that allows major shareholders and insiders of exchange-listed corporations to trade a predetermined number of shares at an agreed time. He still maintains stock in the company. There are 27 biomed companies whose Execs have cashed out more than $1 billion in profit.



What is Operation Warp Speed?


Operation Warp Speed’s goal is to produce and deliver 300 million doses of safe and effective vaccines with the initial doses available by January 2021, as part of a broader strategy to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics (collectively known as countermeasures). OWS will allow countermeasures such as a vaccine to be delivered to patients more rapidly while adhering to standards for safety and efficacy.


Who’s working on Operation Warp Speed?


OWS is a partnership among components of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), and the Department of Defense (DoD).


OWS engages with private firms and other federal agencies, including the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. It will coordinate existing HHS-wide efforts, including the NIH’s Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) partnership, NIH’s Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative, and work by BARDA.


What have they been doing?


OWS has been selecting the most promising countermeasure candidates and providing coordinated government support. Protocols for the demonstration of safety and efficacy are being aligned, which will allow these harmonized clinical trials to proceed more quickly, and the protocols for the trials will be overseen by the federal government (NIH), as opposed to traditional public-private partnerships, in which pharmaceutical companies decide on their own protocols. Rather than eliminating steps from traditional development timelines, steps will proceed simultaneously, such as starting manufacturing of vaccines and therapeutics at industrial scale well before the demonstration of efficacy and safety as happens normally. This increases the financial risk, but not the product risk.


U.S. Government Engages Pfizer to Produce Millions of Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense (DoD) today announced an agreement with U.S.-based Pfizer Inc. for large-scale production and nationwide delivery of 100 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in the United States following the vaccine’s successful manufacture and approval. The agreement also allows the U.S. government to acquire an additional 500 million doses.


The federal government will own the 100 million doses of vaccine initially produced as a result of this agreement, and Pfizer will deliver the doses in the United States if the product receives Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) or licensure from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as outlined in FDA guidance, after completing demonstration of safety and efficacy in a large Phase 3 clinical trial.

By entering into this agreement now, a safe and effective vaccine can be shipped quickly if FDA grants EUA or licensure. This approach helps meet the U.S. government’s Operation Warp Speed goal to begin delivering 300 million of doses of safe and effective vaccine to the American people by the end of the year.


“Through Operation Warp Speed, we are assembling a portfolio of vaccines to increase the odds that the American people will have at least one safe, effective vaccine as soon as the end of this year,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “Depending on success in clinical trials, today’s agreement will enable the delivery of approximately 100 million doses of vaccine being developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.”


The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, collaborated with the DoD Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense and Army Contracting Command, to provide $1.95 billion for the production and nationwide delivery of the first 100 million doses of the vaccine after EUA or licensure, with the ability to acquire up to an additional 500 million doses.


Subject to technical success and EUA or licensure, the company would begin nationwide delivery of these vaccine doses to locations at the U.S. government’s direction beginning in the fourth quarter of 2020. The vaccine would be available to the American people at no cost. As is customary with government-purchased vaccines, healthcare professionals could charge insurers for the cost of administering the vaccine.


Pfizer is collaborating with BioNTech, a German biotechnology company, to develop COVID-19 investigational vaccines without U.S. government financial support. Phase 1/2 clinical trials are underway for the investigational vaccines in the United States and Germany.


What other companies does OWS Support for Research and Vaccine Development?


March 30: HHS announced $456 million in funds for Johnson & Johnson’s (Janssen) candidate vaccine. Phase 1 clinical trials began in Belgium on July 24th and in the U.S on July 27th. Janssen’s large-scale Phase 3 clinical trial began on September 22, 2020, making them the fourth OWS candidate to enter Phase 3 clinical trials in the United States. Up to 60,000 volunteers will be enrolled in the trial at up to nearly 215 clinical research sites in the United States and internationally.


April 16: HHS made up to $483 million in support available for Moderna’s candidate vaccine, which began Phase 1 trials on March 16 and received a fast-track designation from FDA. This agreement was expanded on July 26 to include an additional $472 million to support late-stage clinical development, including the expanded Phase 3 study of the company’s mRNA vaccine, which began on July 27th.


May 21: HHS announced up to $1.2 billion in support for AstraZeneca’s candidate vaccine, developed in conjunction with the University of Oxford. The agreement is to make available at least 300 million doses of the vaccine for the United States, with the first doses delivered as early as October 2020, if the product successfully receives FDA EUA or licensure. AstraZeneca’s large-scale Phase 3 clinical trial began on August 31, 2020.


July 7: HHS announced $450 million in funds to support the large-scale manufacturing of Regeneron’s COVID-19 investigational anti-viral antibody treatment, REGN-COV2. This agreement is the first of a number of OWS awards to support potential therapeutics all the way through to manufacturing. As part of the manufacturing demonstration project, doses of the medicine will be packaged and ready to ship immediately if clinical trials are successful and FDA grants EUA or licensure.


July 7: HHS announced $1.6 billion in funds to support the large-scale manufacturing of Novavax’s vaccine candidate. By funding Novavax’s manufacturing effort, the federal government will own the 100 million doses expected to result from the demonstration project


July 22: HHS announced up to $1.95 billion in funds to Pfizer for the large-scale manufacturing and nationwide distribution of 100 million doses of their vaccine candidate. The federal government will own the 100 million doses of vaccine initially produced as a result of this agreement, and Pfizer will deliver the doses in the United States if the product successfully receives FDA EUA or licensure, as outlined in FDA guidance, after completing demonstration of safety and efficacy in a large Phase 3 clinical trial, which began July 27th


July 31: HHS announced approximately $2 billion in funds to support the advanced development, including clinical trials and large-scale manufacturing, of Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) investigational adjuvanted vaccine. By funding the manufacturing effort, the federal government will own the approximately 100 million doses expected to result from the demonstration project. The adjuvanted vaccine doses could be used in clinical trials or, if the FDA authorizes use, as outlined in agency guidance, the doses would be distributed as part of a COVID-19 vaccination campaign.•


August 5: HHS announced approximately $1 billion in funds to support the large-scale manufacturing and delivery of Johnson & Johnson’s (Janssen) investigational vaccine candidate. Under the terms of the agreement, the U.S. Government will own the resulting 100 million doses of vaccine, and will have the option to acquire more. The company’s investigational vaccine relies on Janssen’s recombinant adenovirus technology, AdVac, a technology used to develop and manufacture Janssen’s Ebola vaccine with BARDA support; that vaccine received European Commission approval and was used in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Rwanda during the 2018-2020 Ebola outbreak that began in the DRC.•


August 11: HHS announced up to $1.5 billion in funds to support the large-scale manufacturing and delivery of Moderna’s investigational vaccine candidate. Under the terms of the agreement, the U.S. Government will own the resulting 100 million doses of vaccine and will have the option to acquire more. The vaccine, called mRNA-1273, has been co-developed by Moderna and scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. NIAID has continued to support the vaccine’s development including nonclinical studies and clinical trials. Additionally, BARDA has supported phase 2/3 clinical trials, vaccine manufacturing scale up and other development activities for this vaccine. The Phase 3 clinical trial, which began


August 23: As part of the agency’s efforts to combat COVID-19, the FDA issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for investigational convalescent plasma. Based on available scientific evidence, the FDA determined convalescent plasma may be effective in lessening the severity or shortening the length of COVID-19 illness in hospitalized patients, and that the known and potential benefits of the product outweigh the known and potential risks. The EUA authorizes the distribution of convalescent plasma in the U.S. as well as its administration by health care providers, as appropriate, to treat suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19. Click here to learn more about EUAs.•


October 9: HHS announced an agreement with AstraZeneca for late-stage development and large-scale manufacturing of the company’s COVID-19 investigational product AZD7442, a cocktail of two monoclonal antibodies, that may help treat or prevent COVID-19. The goal of AstraZeneca’s partnership with the U.S. Government is to develop a monoclonal antibody cocktail that can help prevent infection. An effective monoclonal antibody that can prevent COVID-19, particularly one that is long-lasting and delivered by intramuscular injection, may be of particular use in certain groups. This includes people who have compromised immune function, those who are over 80 years old, and people undergoing medical treatments that preclude them from receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.•


October 28: HHS announced a $375 million agreement with Eli Lilly and Company to purchase the first doses of the company’s COVID-19 investigational antibody therapeutic bamlanivimab, also known as LY-CoV555. Bamlanivimab currently is being evaluated in Phase 3 clinical trials funded by Eli Lilly, in addition to clinical trials as part of the ACTIVpublic-private partnership. The FDA is reviewing bamlanivimab as a possible treatment for COVID-19 in outpatients. Monoclonal antibodies, which mimic the human immune system, bind to certain proteins of a virus, reducing the ability of the virus to infect hum


Making these products affordable for Americans


The Administration is committed to providing free or low-cost COVID-19 countermeasures to the American people as fast as possible. Any vaccine or therapeutic doses purchased with US taxpayer dollars will be given to the American people at no cost.


After the announcement of the vaccine by Pfizer, Eli Lilly announced their therapeutic, and Moderna is expected to announce in the next day or so their own vaccine progress.


Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Rhode Island schools are temporarily switching to virtual learning because of coronavirus cases.  The family attorney for injured moped rider Jhamal Gonsalves says a new video of an officer-involved crash has been shared with the RI Attorney General's Office.  Brown University receives a large gift to provide scholarships for military veterans.

[[ watch for updates ]]

>>Remote-Learning Switches Made Because Of COVID-19 Cases

(Undated)  --  Schools across Rhode Island are switching to virtual learning this week because of coronavirus cases in the school communities.  They include Coventry, Cumberland and West Warwick high schools and the entire Cranston district.  A spokesperson for the Rhode Island Department of Health told WPRI-TV the health director and governor will address the increase in cases at schools at today's coronavirus press briefing.

>>Coronavirus Reportedly Infects 12 Pawtucket Firefighters

(Pawtucket, RI)  --  Another COVID spike is impacting the Pawtucket Fire Department.  Officials say a dozen firefighters have tested positive.  Three of them are set to return to work today.  Several members of the fire department had tested positive in April.

>>New Video Of Providence Moped Crash Sent To Prosecutors

(Providence, RI)  --  The lawyer for injured moped rider Jhamal Gonsalves says a new video has been sent to the state attorney general showing the police officer-involved crash that left Gonsalves in a coma.  The lawyer says the video is not being made public at this time, but he told The Providence Journal he believes it's the best video out there that shows what happened on October 18th.  Gonsalves' camp claims he was directly struck by the officer.  The A.G.'s office says it is continuing to gather evidence in the case.

>>Investigation Into 2019 Fatal Hit-And-Run In Taunton Continues

(Taunton, MA)  --  The Taunton, Massachusetts Police Department is still looking for the driver in a fatal hit-and-run crash from last year.  On November 6th, 2019, 85-year-old Jose Ferreira was reportedly using a crosswalk on Middleboro Avenue when he was hit.  Authorities are looking for a dark-colored pickup truck.  Anyone with information is being asked to call Mass State Police or the Taunton department.

>>Major Gift For Veteran Scholarships At Brown

(Providence, RI)  --  Brown University on Veterans Day announced a new twenty-million-dollar gift to enable full scholarships for U.S. military vets.  The Ivy League school says the gift was from Joseph Healey, a U.S. Army veteran, son of a Brown alum and parent to a couple of Brown students, and co-founder of New York City investment management firm HealthCor.  Brown says the gift marks a major step towards the goal of providing full financial support to current and future generations of student veterans.

>>Champ Soleil In Newport On The Market

(Newport, MA)  --  A Newport mansion once owned by the mother of Sunny von Bulow, the subject of a well-known attempted murder case, is up for sale.  Sunny's husband was convicted of attempting to kill her by insulin overdose while the family was at the Newport mansion 40 years ago, but the conviction was overturned on appeal.  The asking price for the estate known as Champ Soleil [[ SHOMP-so-LAY ]] is fifteen-million dollars.

Jim McCabe/djc           RI) NYC)
Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

11-12-2020 01:18:08

Your Coronavirus Update - Today Nov 11, 2020

Your Coronavirus Update – Nov. 11, 2020

November 11, 2020/RINewsToday


Photo: Member of the National Guard report for duty in March at the Javits Center – and throughout the US, they’ve been with us ever since in this fight against the COVID19 pandemic.




On Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said a second wave was “getting dangerously close.” Rising infection rates, he warned, could lead to more stringent restrictions.


Utah will require all residents to wear a mask, as its hospitals are near crisis levels.


Hot on Pfizer’s vaccine heels: Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson also have coronavirus vaccines in late-stage U.S. trials. A fourth company, Novavax, plans to start one later this month. Moderna, whose vaccine uses the same mRNA technology as Pfizer’s, is expected to report efficacy data as early as this month. AstraZeneca could follow this month or next, and J&J says it could have proof of efficacy this year as well.


Independent physician offices are struggling to stay open with many canceled appointments due to coronavirus concerns.


University of Notre Dame students are now subject to mandatory coronavirus testing and face strict penalties if they leave town before getting their test results after thousands of fans stormed the football field and threw parties to celebrate a double-overtime upset over Clemson.


Disneyland can’t reopen until Orange County’s coronavirus infection rates improve. Local officials are protesting the requirements, saying the economy will suffer, and residents’ health along with it.


Thousands of COVID-19 patients returned to hospitals within two months of initial release in New York


Newark imposes mandatory curfew on residents of COVID-19 hot spots


MA hospitals have plans to switch up to 400 acute care beds to intensive care unit beds, to expand capacity in existing facilities. However, the governor said state officials are also preparing for more cases than hospitals can handle. “This administration will once again begin to plan to stand up field hospitals.”


First Night Boston, New England’s biggest New Year’s Eve celebration, announced Tuesday that the annual party will switch to a virtual event this year.


Eight of New Hampshire’s 10 counties are now seeing substantial transmission


As of now, 56% of Massachusetts people say they will travel for Thanksgiving:


Doctors now better know how to treat severe cases, meaning higher percentages of the COVID-19 patients who go into intensive care units are coming out alive. Patients have the benefit of new treatments, namely remdesivir, the steroid dexamethasone and an antibody drug that won emergency-use approval from the Food and Drug Administration on Monday.


Philadelphia is recommending that anyone who celebrated after the election should quarantine for 14 days if they were in large groups.


Saeb Erekat, 65, referred to as the Palestinians’ chief negotiator, has died of COVID19.


Disneyland may furlough as many as 10,000 employees now that many of their facilities are shuttered again.




Officials are calling for heightened concern about health and safety of nursing home residents.


Chariho High and Middle will be moved to distance learning this week w/ 2 positive tests.


Coventry HS going remote this week because of 3 new COVID cases


Woonsocket HS had a death in a school staff member, not a teacher. She had underlying medical conditions.


Providence’s Open Air Saturdays will be every Saturday in November and December from 12 – 6 p.m. to offer pedestrians a way to stroll, shop and dine. Westminster Street between Eddy and Mathewson streets and Union Street from Weybosset to Westminster streets will be closed for shopping.


Rhode Island Senate employees have been told to work from home for two weeks after three staffers tested positive for COVID19. The Senate’s 50 employees began working remotely on Monday.


RI Data


(Next Governor’s presentation, Thursday, 1pm)



Governor’s Statement: New Initiatives:


“The effects of the pandemic have presented barriers to much-needed support systems. That’s why today, I’m announcing several new initiatives aimed at rebuilding support systems, promoting mental health, and supporting survivors of violence and those struggling with a substance use disorder.


Early in the pandemic, we had to close many group-based activities like childcare centers, senior centers, support groups, and adult daycare programs. Today, although we’ve re-opened many services under enhanced safety guidelines, these programs are still struggling with limited staff and resources. We’re stepping up to ensure that those services are available to those who need them most by investing $3 million in stimulus funding to expand home and community-based services for individuals living with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 


We also know that this pandemic has inflicted unparalleled stress on our most vulnerable populations and those who take care of them. That’s why we’re going to invest in better mental health supports for both caregivers and teachers. The Rhode Island Parent Information Network will begin providing online caregiver workshops for those across the state who care for family members. These workshops will provide tools and supports to caregivers to cope with the stress and anxiety that often comes with caring for a loved one, and I want to encourage you to participate if you are out there listening and need some help. Workshops begin November 17th and you can register now by visiting the Rhode Island Parent Information Network website at or calling 401-432-7217


Students have also struggled during this pandemic. The transition to distance learning in the spring led to increased anxiety, isolation and depression among students of all ages, and that’s particularly true for those who had previously experienced trauma. I’m excited to announce that we are investing in resources that will help schools better serve the complex needs of their students by placing Student Assistance Counselors in several Providence schools to provide outreach as well as individual and group counseling sessions for students. We’ll have additional announcements next week about resources for our educators as they work to support students during this stressful time. 


Finally, we are taking steps to address two rising tragedies in Rhode Island. The first is a concerning trend we’re seeing in fatal overdoses. COVID-19 has increased isolation and has disconnected some Rhode Islanders from the help they need. So we are funding resources that will allow local providers to offer home-delivered harm reduction services and provide the overdose reversal medicine, naloxone, that can save the life of someone experiencing an overdose. If you or someone you know needs help with a substance use disorder, go to for a list of local resources to keep you, your family, and loved ones safe.


We’re also seeing a significant increase in domestic violence-related calls to the statewide helpline over the past few months. Today, I’m pleased to share that we will be providing $1 million in grants to non-profit organizations whose primary mission is to serve survivors of intimate partner violence, sexual assault and human trafficking, as well as their children. These funds will be used to increase assistance services for survivors, including counseling and advocacy. If you are experiencing violence, I want you to know that you are not alone. Call the Rhode Island statewide helpline for 24-hour support at 800-494-8100. 


The 2020 Memorial Presentation in September of Operation Stand Down:

Posted in 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Four more coronavirus deaths reported in Rhode Island Tuesday.  Videos of an arrest which led to an assault charge against a Providence police officer have been released.  The Pawtucket City Council is reviewing a plan to redevelop the Apex site.

>>Coronavirus Death Toll In Rhode Island: 1,237

(Providence, RI)  --  The state of Rhode Island reported four new coronavirus deaths on Tuesday to increase the pandemic death toll to one-thousand-237.  The state reported seven-hundred-89 new cases yesterday for an updated total case count of 38-thousand-798.  The state's updated number of COVID-19 patients in the hospital was two-hundred-18.

>>Coronavirus: RIC Officer, Newport Manager Positive, Senate Staffers Working From Home

(Undated)  --  Two coronavirus case headlines out of Providence and one from Aquidneck Island.  In the capital city, The Providence Journal reports state Senate employees are temporarily working from home after three staff members tested positive over the weekend.  To stay safe, leaders say the Senate is considering using the Rhode Island Convention Center to meet, and the Rhode Island House is looking into virtual sessions.  WPRI-TV reports eight Rhode Island College police officers have been told to quarantine while staying on the job after one officer got COVID following a response to a dorm room with a sick student.  And in Newport, City Manager Joe Nicholson has tested positive, according to a Daily News report.

>>Videos Of Arrest Which Led To Assault Charge Against Officer Released

(Providence, RI)  --  The head of the Providence External Review Authority, which is reviewing an arrest made by a Providence police officer earlier this year, has made two videos of the arrest public.  They show Sergeant Joseph Hanley, a white officer, punching and kicking Rishod Gore, a black man, back in April.  PERA Executive Director Jose Batista acknowledged at a press conference on Tuesday that releasing the videos would possibly interfere with a pending criminal matter, but he said releasing them was the right thing to do as the city has grappled with racial justice issues this year.  The union for the Providence police condemned the release of the videos and called for Batista to be removed from his position.

>>Police Chase In Westerly

(Westerly, RI)  --  Police were led on a chase in Westerly Tuesday night.  The police chief tells WJAR-TV officers tried to make a traffic stop at around 7:00 but the car took off, hitting signs, a pole and a parked car before crashing.  All four of the occupants were from New York.  Three of them will be charged with felony shoplifting after police reportedly found thousands of dollars of stolen merchandise from several Home Depot stores in Connecticut and Westerly.  One man is also being charged with fleeing police and resisting arrest.

>>Warm Week Continuing

(Providence, RI)  --  Providence once again surpassed a daily record for high temperature on Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.  Southern New Englanders have been soaking in unseasonably warm temperatures this week.  The high for today in Providence is low 70s, then a cool-down starts on Thursday.

>>Pawtucket City Council Looking At Plan To Redevelop Apex Site

(Pawtucket, RI)  --  The Pawtucket City Council on Tuesday began reviewing plans to acquire the long-sought-after Apex store site, according to a Providence Journal report.  City leaders want Pawtucket to borrow twenty-million dollars to purchase the site for a riverfront park project which would include residential and mixed-use buildings.  The City Council is also looking at an ordinance change needed to allow for the taking of the site by eminent domain if needed.

Jim McCabe/djc          RI) NY) BN)
Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

11-11-2020 01:28:16

Your Coronavirus Update - Today November 10, 2020

Your Coronavirus Update – Today – Nov. 10, 2020

November 10, 2020/RINewsToday




Pfizer announces new vaccine 90% effective in COVID19 prevention. This is going to be a 2-dose, 3 week-apart injection. Front line health workers most likely to be first. In the summer Pfizer, BioNTech received $1.95 Billion advanced Covid-19 vaccine order from U.S. Government. See our story, here:


“The results are really quite good, I mean extraordinary,” – Dr. Anthony Fauci.


A successful Pfizer candidate bodes well for some of the other vaccines that are currently in trials.


Moderna vaccine expected to be close behind in pubic announcement.


Eli Lilly obtained emergency ok for Neutralizing Antibody treatments.


HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson tests positive and is doing well. His aid, adviser David Bossie, has also tested positive.


Since the World Series, the Dodgers have had 9 members test positive for COVID


Coronavirus cases hit record numbers in Virginia, Maryland


Monday morning Joe Biden released his Build Back Better COVID19 Plan, just after releasing his list of members on his COVID Task Force. After announcing the committee, and his plan, he addressed the nation and primarily talked about the importance for all Americans to wear a mask. Once again, he took no questions.


His members are:




The Biden COVID-19 plan is here:


The 7 point plan consists of:


Ensure all Americans have access to regular, reliable, and free testing.


Fix personal protective equipment (PPE) problems for good.


Provide clear, consistent, evidence-based guidance for how communities should navigate the pandemic – and the resources for schools, small businesses, and families to make it through.


Plan for the effective, equitable distribution of treatments and vaccines — because development isn’t enough if they aren’t effectively distributed.


Protect older Americans and others at high risk.


Rebuild and expand defenses to predict, prevent, and mitigate pandemic threats, including those coming from China.


Implement mask mandates nationwide by working with governors and mayors and by asking the American people to do what they do best: step up in a time of crisis


The White House COVID-19 plan is here:


Students at Boston’s special education day schools could be returning to their classrooms within days.


MBTA plan cuts trains, bus routes, ferries to match pandemic ridership patterns


El Paso, TX deaths surging so fast, they now need have 10 mobile morgues to store deceased bodies, up from 4 last week.




Access to Coventry public buildings curtailed


100 more appointments were added at the Convention Center testing site.


Slow-spending R.I. has two months to disperse $900M in CARES Act money or risk losing it


A new site in North Kingstown has been opened for testing.


NBC10 reporting first asymptomatic test available in RI is Saturday – you can try for the North Kingstown site.


Providence Police have over 10 members testing positive


No fans will be allowed at Gillette Stadium for the remainder of the 2020 season.


From the RI Dept. of Health:

What You and Your Close Contacts Should Do If You Have COVID-19


If you are positive for COVID-19, RIDOH will call you within a few days. However, if you learn that you are positive for COVID-19 before RIDOH calls you, you should take action right away. Do not wait for RIDOH to call you to start making changes in your life and your daily routine.


What you need to do if you test positive


  • Stay home (isolate) for at least 10 days. Someone with COVID-19 needs to isolate even if they do not have symptoms of COVID-19.
    • If you have symptoms, stay home for at least 10 days since you started having symptoms. If you do not have symptoms, stay home for at least 10 days from the day you were tested.
    • Have things you need delivered. Ask friends and family to drop off items that you need at your door, like food and other necessities.
    • Do not go to work or school for at least 10 days. Call your employer or school to inform them that you have tested positive and will be out for at least 10 days.
    • Call your primary care provider (if you have one) and inform them that you have tested positive.
    • If you have a weakened immune system (also known as being “immunocompromised”) you may need to isolate for 20 days. Talk to your healthcare provider if you think this applies to you.
  • Do your best to keep a distance from those you live with.
    • If you can, use a separate bathroom and bedroom. Stay out of the kitchen and other rooms where people in your home gather.
    • If you must be in the same room as others, wear a mask.
  • Get help if you feel sick. Call your primary care provider or an urgent care center to get medical advice.
    • Call 911 or the nearest hospital if you think you are having a medical emergency (e.g., trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, or bluish lips or face.)
    • Tell them you have COVID-19.
  • Write a list of the people you have been in close contact with (within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes) during the two days before you got tested or started having COVID-19 symptoms. These are people who might get COVID-19 from being around you.
    • Consider any contacts you spend time with, visit, volunteer with, ride in a car with, or attend a place of worship with.
    • Let your close contacts know you have COVID-19.
  • Answer the phone when RIDOH calls. Answering questions about why you were tested, your symptoms, and who you have been in close contact with will help RIDOH slow the spread of COVID-19.
    • RIDOH can also help you get some things you may need while you need to stay home.
    • You can sign up for a text message monitoring program. Through this program, you can send texts to RIDOH if you need things while at home, such as food and other supports.
    • If resources are needed right away, contact the COVID-19 Information line at 401-222-8022 (Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) or 211 (after-hours).
    • For more general questions, you can write to


What people you live with need to do if you test positive


  • Everyone you live with needs to stay home too. This is because they have been in close contact with you while you have had COVID-19. They could get COVID-19 and spread it to others.
  • While you stay at home, if you cannot avoid close contact with people you live with and keep a physical distance of 6 feet all the time, they must stay at home (quarantine) for the time that you are infected (10 days) plus an additional 14 days.
    • This is because symptoms can develop up to 14 days after the last day of being in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.
  • While you stay at home, if you can avoid additional contact with people you live with and completely separate from them by staying in a separate bedroom all the time, they must stay at home (quarantine) for 14 days from when you began home isolation.
    • If you are able to stay in your own room, people in the house should bring you your food and check on you from a distance.
  • Call the employers and schools of everyone living in your household to let them know people will not be at work or school. Everyone who lives together should plan on being home for anywhere from 14 days to 24 days. RIDOH will give you the exact dates when they call.
    • Watch for all the symptoms of COVID-19 in everyone living with you.
    • Do a temperature check twice a day (fever is greater than 100.4 degrees F).
  • Get tested if any symptoms of COVID-19 are present.
    • Call your healthcare provider for help getting tested or look online for a testing site.
    • If you get tested during your quarantine and test negative, you still must remain in quarantine.
    • If you get tested during your quarantine and test positive, you should continue to stay at home and follow the instructions above for what you need to do if you test positive.


What your close contacts who don’t live with you need to do if you test positive


Generally, a close contact is someone you have been within six feet of for 15 minutes or more starting two days before you got tested or started having symptoms of COVID-19.  Someone that you briefly interacted with from a distance of more than 6 feet is not a close contact.


  • Stay home for 14 days from the day they were last with you.
  • Call their employer or school to let them know they are a close contact of a person with COVID-19 and are staying at home awaiting a call from RIDOH.
    • RIDOH can provide an absence note from work or school for people in quarantine.
  • Watch for symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Get tested if any symptoms of COVID-19 are present.
    • Call your healthcare provider for help getting tested or look online for a testing site.
    • If you get tested during your quarantine and test negative, you still must remain in quarantine.
    • If you get tested during your quarantine and test positive, you should continue to stay at home and follow the instructions above for what you need to do if you test positive.
  • Answer the phone when RIDOH calls. RIDOH will call close contacts to provide information about quarantining. Following quarantine instructions from RIDOH can slow the spread of COVID-19. RIDOH can also help get some things for people who need to stay home.
Video Player
Posted in 

Community Health Centers at the front lines of fighting COVID

Community Health Centers at the front lines of fighting COVID-10

November 10, 2020/Richard Asinof


by Richard Asinof,, contributing writer on health


On Thursday, Nov. 12, three members of the Providence Community Health Centers team will receive the 2020 Meritorious Service Award from the R.I. Public Health Association at the organization’s annual meeting, to be held virtually.


The recipients are: Dr. Andrew Saal, MD, MPH, chief medical officer, and his colleagues, Chelsea DePaula, MPH, director of Community Health Advocates program,  and Daniel McGuire, Director of Population Health, at the Providence Community Health Centers [PCHC], who are being recognized for their outstanding response during the early COVID-19 outbreak.


Here is a series of questions and answers with the award-winners in an interview with ConvergenceRI, talking about their work. Three things to note: the three recipients have not been inside the same room together for months; clean population data is crucial to guide good public policy, reflective of McGuire’s role; and the recognition that data can guide community-level interventions, which are the focus of DePaula and her team of community health advocates.


ConvergenceRI: How has COVID changed the way that PCHC has emphasized cultural competency in the delivery of health care services?

PCHC: The COVID-19 virus continues to take advantage of every weak link in our social fabric – from inadequate housing, to food insecurity, to crowded working conditions. The virus doesn’t care about your race or ethnicity. It’s an equal opportunity SOB.


Yet it disproportionately impacts communities of color and families of low income because they are the ones least likely to have adequate resources to socially distance or work from home. This pandemic has been driven by the social determinants of health and has magnified the health disparities across our society.


Providence Community Health Centers has been serving the neighborhoods of Providence for more than 50 years. Like the rest of the world, 2020 has forced us to examine our core beliefs of community and health.


We thought we were doing a fairly good job; but the question is: Is that good enough? Reducing health care disparities takes more than just improving access. We must address the structural barriers and systems that create roadblocks for entire neighborhoods and generations of children.


Promoting cultural competency is a start – but we need to go beyond that and greet our neighbors with a degree of cultural humility. As educators and healers, we need to understand each person’s health beliefs in order to empower them to care for themselves.


There are no monolithic Black or Latinx populations – the diversity within each community is as broad as the diversity across each community. At the Providence Community Health Centers, we recognize and celebrate the uniqueness of each neighborhood that we serve. No matter where you call home – Olneyville, Elmwood, South Providence, Washington Park, Smith Hill, Lippitt Hill, or anywhere else in the world – you are welcome here.


ConvergenceRI: What lessons have been learned from the development of telehealth in response to the coronavirus pandemic?
PCHC: COVID-19 required health care systems to make five years’ worth of changes in a matter of weeks. We’re grateful to our IT team who completely redesigned how we deliver care in a rapidly evolving situation.


At the same time, both health care workers and patients have needed to invest a lot of time in learning to use these new telemedicine tools –and it can be challenging and frustrating when things don’t go as planned.


The pandemic has highlighted the importance of patients having good Internet access and a device with a good camera; it’s much easier to counsel patients on a wound when we can see it clearly, but many of our patients don’t have the tools to support that. Lack of broadband creates a digital divide between affluent and poor and will lead to worsening health care disparities if not addressed.


Our telemedicine emphasis has been to get all the members of the care team, including clinicians, medical assistants, case managers, and behavioral health staff online so that patients can continue to see the staff who have treated them for years. We’ve embedded translation services directly into our telemedicine system, allowing patients to get prompt care even if a staff member is not available to translate.


We’ve also stepped up our outreach to patients via text messages and phone calls to provide education and support in an environment where patients may not feel comfortable reaching out for help.


Surveys indicate that many of our patients prefer telehealth visits, particularly for behavioral health, because it’s convenient and safe.


ConvergenceRI: Given the recent up tick in community spread of the virus in Rhode Island, is there enough testing being done? What recommendations are you giving to your patients?
PCHC: The art of communicating health information has been as eye-opening as it has been challenging. We’ve been messaging our staff, those patients with traditional face-to-face visits, as well as those in the community who may never set foot in one of our facilities.


One size doesn’t fit all, and our public health messages have been crafted to address a wide range of literacy levels and in several languages – including Spanish, Portuguese, French Creole, and Khmer.


The messages themselves aim to empower people. “The vaccine may be months away – but here’s what you can do right now to help protect yourself and your family.”


We’re asking families to follow the latest guidance from the R.I. Department of Health on social gatherings and wearing masks and to quarantine in home when requested by a health official.


We’re asking patients with medical risk factors, such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, heart, or lung problems, to be particularly careful. We’re also asking patients to call us if they feel ill or have concerns. There’s a lot we can do with telemedicine – allowing us to keep patients, our staff, and the community safe.


Accessible and timely testing is the foundation of our public health strategy. PCR-based tests are extraordinarily accurate but can take days to get results. Point of care rapid tests are beginning to come onto the market but can have variable sensitivity and can miss some genuinely positive cases.


Our largest problems with widespread testing, however, may be the actual clinical facilities themselves. We’ve enhanced our air handlers and cleaning schedules to make the clinics as safe as possible. But some of these facilities are in their fifth decade. When they were built, the infectious disease to worry about was tuberculosis. Each facility has one or more negative pressure rooms in a central location. But COVID-19 is far more contagious than TB.


The riddle of rapid testing is how to move that potentially contagious patient with a fever to the safe room in order to obtain the test – without passing through a waiting room or exposing other patients and staff.


For now, we are continuing to use outdoor-based testing while we re-design the entrances to some of our buildings.


ConvergenceRI: Do community health centers need to be given more resources to serve the populations they serve?
PCHC: As many have noted, the problem is rarely as simple as just allocating more resources. What could a community health center do with a million dollars? A lot. But what could we do with a diverse workforce of community health workers to bridge the efforts of dozens of agencies and grass-roots projects? Quite a bit more.


By working with our community partners and neighbors, we hope to improve the health of every member in our community – even if they have never set foot inside one of our clinics.


While there may generally be enough resources to help level the playing field for everyone, they are often not distributed equitably throughout our communities. People are beginning to realize the how lack of access to housing, food, medicine and transportation can impact an entire community’s health. The social determinants of health have been described as “the causes of the causes.”


Addressing them effectively and in a sustainable fashion will require the coordinated efforts of grassroots organizations, health care systems, policy makers, and government agencies.


ConvergenceRI: What kind of coordination has been practiced with Health Equity Zones in outreach to community members?
PCHC: The Health Equity Zones (HEZ) are invaluable forums to improve health outcomes for both high-risk individuals as well as entire neighborhoods. From their inception more than 50 years ago, community health centers have recognized that one cannot address health care disparities in a sustainable fashion unless they empower a community to take care of itself. The foundation of that effort begins with economic opportunities, adequate housing, and access to healthy foods at the neighborhood level.


The HEZs create a venue for PCHC to coordinate its work with other clinical, social or housing partners including: the R.I. Department of Health, Providence Housing Authority, ONE Neighborhood Builders, YMCA, CCAP, Project Weber/Renew, Refugee Dream Center, Family Services of Rhode Island, Federal Hill House, and many others.


Each community agency brings its special skills to the table. PCHC provides comprehensive and coordinated medical care for individuals identified by our partner agencies – and relies on our partner agencies to handle those issues that they are far better equipped to handle such as housing and food.


By coordinating our expertise and resources with our community allies, we are able to achieve a far greater impact for everyone in the community.


Richard Asinof

Richard Asinof is the founder and editor of ConvergenceRI, an online subscription newsletter offering news and analysis at the convergence of health, science, technology and innovation in Rhode Island.

Rhode Island News Today

latest news: The Patriots snap a four-game losing streak.  The condition of Jhamal Gonsalves, the moped operator injured in Providence after a police officer-involved crash, reportedly improving.  Officials say homeowners should check for damages after Sunday's earthquake.

[[ watch dating ]]

>>Dense Fog Advisory This Morning

(Undated)  --  The National Weather Service has a Dense Fog Advisory in effect this morning for southern Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts.  The weather service says hazardous driving conditions will be caused by visibility of less than a mile.  The advisory is in effect until 9 a.m.

>>Patriots Beat NY Jets On Monday Night Football

(East Rutherford, NJ)  --  The New England Patriots ended a four-game losing streak with a 30-to-27 win over the New York Jets on Monday night.  The Pats improved to 3-and-5 while the Jets have lost all nine of their games this NFL season.  New England hosts Baltimore next Sunday, but there won't be any fan attendance as Gillette Stadium officials announced yesterday fans won't be allowed for Patriots and Revolution soccer games for the rest of 2020.

>>Jhamal Gonsalves' Condition Reportedly Improving

(Providence, RI)  --  There is an update on the condition of Jhamal Gonsalves, the moped driver who was seriously injured in a crash involving a police cruiser in Providence last month.  His family's attorney says he's still in a coma, but there was a slight improvement in his health.  Nonetheless, the attorney says this past week has been especially trying for the family because of new coronavirus-related hospital visitor restrictions in Rhode Island.  Gonsalves was riding a street-legal moped during a larger riding event featuring illegal dirt bikes and ATVs on October 18th.  As police responded, one cruiser followed the moped and another pulled out in front of it before the crash.  It has not been determined if the officer who was behind Gonsalves hit him.

>>Stop & Shop Closing For Thanksgiving

(Undated)  --  Stop and Shop is closing its stores on Thanksgiving, according to a report from WWLP-TV in Massachusetts.  All locations will re-open on Friday the 27th.

>>Congressman Cicilline Displays 'Bye Don' Coffee Mug

(Undated)  --  Rhode Island Congressman David Cicilline [[ siss-uh-LEE-nee ]] celebrated President-elect Biden's win this weekend with a viral video.  Cicilline appears to take a sip from a coffee mug that says "bye Don 2020" on the front and "hi Joe" on the bottom, then says, quote, "the best coffee I've had in four years".  The key word is "appears" because some social media commenters claimed the Congressman did not have any coffee in the mug.  It was designed by Hint Mugs of Newport.

>>Officials Encourage Damage Checks After Earthquake

(New Bedford, MA)  --  The New Bedford, Massachusetts Fire Department is advising anyone who felt Sunday morning's earthquake in Southern New England to check for potential damage.  The fire department also says make sure to have a working carbon monoxide detector after one residence in the city reported natural gas odors and chimney damage.  WPRI-TV reports National Grid inspected its gas systems, as well as its electric systems in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, and no damage was reported.  The three-point-six-magnitude earthquake was centered in Buzzards Bay, Mass.

Jim McCabe/djc          RI) MA) CT)
Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

11-10-2020 01:37:08

Your Coronavirus Update - Today - November 9, 2020

Your Coronavirus Update – Nov. 9, 2020

November 9, 2020/RINewsToday


Photo: Cell phone warning received in RI at noon on Sunday, Nov. 8.




President-elect Joe Biden is expected to release a list of his members of his COVID-19 Task Force on Monday – Dr. Vivek Hallegere Murthy, 19th Surgeon General of the US expected to be named to head that team. Murthy was SG under the Obama administration, and ousted by President Trump. He is an internal medicine physician, and an expert and author on loneliness, and worked on the vaping crisis, and worked to have people see addiction as a public health and not a moral crisis. The Task Force would take effect on Inauguration Day.



Updated: Here are bios on the Task Force:



A national mask mandate is on the agenda for the new administration.


A hospital system in NYC says people with COVID19 used to have about a 25% of dying – and today that percentage has dropped to 7.6%.


German officials are outraged after 20,000 mostly unmasked people jam the eastern city of Leipzig to protest new coronavirus restrictions.


A 61-acre convention/corporate retreat site in Hesston, Kansas has become a schoolhouse for the district’s seventh- and eighth-graders.


3 US Airmen have COVID19 and 1 has died, being the first in uniform to die from COVID


Washington, DC Mayor is urging everyone to get tested – after the Biden victory celebration events that brought thousands to the city.


More than 1,000 people a day are dying in the US.


There will be an NCAA Tournament played in 2021 and senior men’s basketball players will be among those athletes granted an additional year of eligibility. That was the message Wednesday night from Dan Gavitt, the NCAA’s senior vice president of basketball, on the ‘Ed Cooley Radio Show.’


The UN will hold a pandemic summit Dec. 3 & 4


A Serbian Orthodox priest in Belgrade, 90 years old, is hospitalized with COVID19, after presiding at a large state funeral. The president and other dignitaries were in attendance. Little mask wearing took place.


Unemployment down to less than 7% in US


Research suggests that children clear the infection much faster than adults and may help explain why many don’t become seriously ill.


The Cape Cod Reopening Task Force advised against having Thanksgiving with friends and loved ones from across the state or out of state this year.


In England special provisions have been created for small families to create a bubble with other small families in order to address the serious issue of depression and suicide faced by isolation and loneliness.


Encore Boston Harbor will furlough 1,000 staff due to reduced hours.


Massachusetts State public health officials will begin imposing temporary admissions freezes at nursing homes and other care facilities that are deemed at risk of spreading COVID-19.


President Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows has been diagnosed with the coronavirus. 6 aids have also tested positive in may what be a second round of virus infections in the White House.


A college student in Indiana died in her dorm room after testing positive for the coronavirus


The City of Boston is launching a new $2 million campaign to revive local tourism as it was battered by the COVID-19 pandemic.


More than 100,000 people have rushed to the Hawaiian islands from mainland states since it opened for tourism again.


New data for 21 nations shows that there are more Covid-19 patients now than in the spring’s worst days, threatening to overwhelm stretched hospitals and exhausted medical workers.


14% rise in hospitalizations across US – big issue is keeping hospitals functioning.


Death rates went from 25% in May to 7.6% today – still much higher than other flus, etc.


reported on Saturday the 59th death from Covid-19 in Vermont, the first since July 28. With 21 new cases, the state’s 7-day rolling average is its highest since April 13


Spreading of the virus nationally is not coming from schools, businesses – it’s coming from “people trying to get together with each other” according to one national researcher.


Trader Joe’s tested all their employees. 2.4% of their 53,000 employees test positive.


Gov. Cuomo has upped presence of National Guard at New York Airports.


Currently over 80% of confirmed cases are now symptomatic.


Vermont health officials have reported the state’s first coronavirus-related death since July.


Doctors believe the coronavirus can directly infect the heart muscle and cause other problems leading to heart damage.


Massachusetts state education officials say in-person learning now ‘expected’ for most communities




Cell phones blared at noon on Sunday, as a “curfew” reminder. After starting the day with a 4.1 earthquake it was a little disconcerting. In addition, while most people received the one notification, some received 2, some 3, and one person received it 6 times in rapid succession.  One writer to RINewsToday said, “They should have warned people on the morning news this was unsettling to elderly and animals after this morning.”


Festival Ballet Providence’s Nutcracker is ready for ticket purchase. Performances will take place in the newly constructed open-air venue on Hope St, Providence, built with COVID19 business funds. The performance will take place outdoors, with socially distanced seating, and heating elements for the comfort of audiences and performers. Performances are Dec. 11-27 – ticket prices range from $65-$100 per person.


Both East Providence libraries are closed until further notice because a staff member at the Weaver Library, 41 Grove Ave., tested positive for COVID- 19.


The North Providence Pool & Fitness Center, behind the library at 1810 Mineral Spring Ave., reopened on a limited schedule on Monday


50 Rhode Islanders have fast-track trained as substitutes and will be returning or going to teaching at schools around the state.


RI homeless advocates are switching priorities from permanent housing to shelter beds for the winter, due to the overwhelming need.


More businesses with violations noted by RI Dept. of Business Regulations:


Nancy’s Homemade Deli – Warren


The Punjab Indian Cuisine – Johnston


Providence Deli and Grill Mart – Providence


The Picket Fence – Barrington


Shanta’s Threading – North Providence


Revel Lounge – Providence


The Rustic Tri View Drive In is moving up its start times so that moviegoers can be out of the Route 146 theater before the statewide curfew, which begins Sunday. General manager Holli St. Jacques said the theater hopes to remain open into December if the weather allows. Normally at this time of year, movies start at 7:15 p.m., but starting Sunday, that will be pushed to 5:45 p.m.


Ken Hopkins notified the community that at least four volunteers/supporters of his campaign for Mayor of Cranston tested positive for coronavirus, resulting form his campaign headquarters on or before Election night.


RI Data:


Nov. 6th



Next Governor’s address: Thursday, Nov. 12th, 1pm


Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Reaction from Rhode Island following President-elect Biden's win on Saturday.  An earthquake was felt in Rhode Island on Sunday morning.  The Patriots are on Monday Night Football.

[[ watch for updates ]]

>>Biden Celebrators, Trump Supporters At Rhode Island State House

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island State House saw a faceoff on Saturday between a group celebrating President-elect Joe Biden's victory and a smaller group of President Trump supporters who demanded a recount.  One person wearing a Trump face covering told WPRI-TV he thought Biden stole the election and predicted a civil war will come from this.  The Rhode Island State Police and Providence Police Department had a presence at the dueling rallies, but they remained peaceful.  Trump had not conceded as of Sunday night.  Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed said the president must respect the will of the American people and ensure a smooth, peaceful transition of power.

>>Governor Raimondo 'Thrilled' About Biden-Harris Win

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo released a statement after the results of the presidential election.  She said she was thrilled to congratulate the Biden-Harris campaign on a historic victory.  The governor says she looks forward to working with the new administration.  Raimondo was reportedly interviewed as a potential vice-presidential candidate earlier this year.

>>Earthquake Rattles Southern New England

(Undated)  --  An earthquake was felt throughout Southern New England on Sunday morning.  The United States Geological Survey said the epicenter was at the mouth of Buzzards Bay, south of the New Bedford-Dartmouth Massachusetts area, at around 9 a.m.  A scientist for the USGS tells The Providence Journal the three-point-six Richter scale earthquake was the strongest that has been recorded in the area.  There were no immediate reports of injuries or major damage.

>>Judge Denies Motion To Go Virtual At Providence School

(Providence, RI)  --  A judge on Friday denied a court motion from the Providence Teachers Union to stop in-person classes at one school in the capital city.  The union had criticized the maintained opening of Nathanael Greene Middle School despite a high number of staff members having to quarantine.  Providence Public Schools Superintendent Harrison Peters said the Superior Court judge recognized the hardship that closing the school would impose on families, specifically vulnerable populations.  Peters also noted that the union and school district were urged to resolve any staff issues outside the courtroom.

>>Electric Boat To Construct New Submarines In Rhode Island

(North Kingstown, RI)  --  General Dynamics Electric Boat has been awarded a nine-and-a-half-billion-dollar contract from the U.S. Navy to produce new submarines.  The company says the construction work for the Columbia-class subs is taking place at its Rhode Island complex in Quonset Point.  Electric Boat says the 560-foot-long submarines will be the largest-ever built by the United States.

>>Democrat Caucus Re-Elects RI Senate President, Majority Leader

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island Senate President Dominick Ruggerio is being supported for re-election to the leadership position.  The endorsement was made at a Senate Democrat caucus event on Friday.  The full state Senate must vote for a president when the next legislative session begins.  The caucus on Friday also re-elected Michael McCaffrey to another term as Senate Majority Leader.

>>Patriots Versus Jets Tonight

(East Rutherford, NJ)  --  The 2-and-5 New England Patriots play the winless New York Jets on Monday Night Football tonight.  The Jets will host the Pats at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey at 8:15 p.m.  New England is looking to end a four-game losing streak.

Jim McCabe/djc           RI) MA) CT)
Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

11-09-2020 01:49:08

Job Lot - Military and Veteran Discount Week Nov 5 thru 11.

Job Lot – Military and Veteran Discount Week, Nov. 5-11

November 8, 2020/RINewsToday


A special discount for military personnel,
veterans and their families


During our Military and Veteran Discount Week, all active duty, National Guard and reserve military service members; all military veterans; and their immediate family members and dependents will receive 25% off their purchases* at any Ocean State Job Lot during the period from Thursday, November 5 to Wednesday, November 11, 2020.


A valid photo ID is required. Acceptable forms of ID include:


  • Blue Star Mother’s ID
  • VFW ID Card
  • DOD Active/Retired Military ID
  • USAA Membership Card
  • VA ID Card
  • VA Hospital ID
  • DD-214/Military Discharge Papers
  • Gold Star Family Members (DD Form 1300)
  • CAC ID Card
  • American Legion ID Card
  • DOD Active/Retired Military Dependent/Family ID
  • State-issued License with Military
    or Veteran Designation


*Unless otherwise noted, Military and Veteran Discount Week is valid 11/5/2020 – 11/11/2020. Participants receive 25% off their purchase at all Ocean State Job Lot stores. Discount may not be combined with any other discount, offer or promotion, including but not limited to advertised sale items, Crazy Deals®, Insider coupons, and Insider Exclusive Deals. No rainchecks. Limited product exclusions apply, including Ocean State Job Lot gift cards, third party gift cards, clearance items, propane tanks and refills, beer, wine, air conditioners, dehumidifiers, Char-Broil Gas Grills, kayaks, live plants and flowers. Crazy Deal Gift Cards cannot be used as a form of tender during this promotion. Discount may not be applied to past purchases. All warranty and return rules apply. Military ID is required.

Torch passing at CVS

Torch passing at CVS – Larry Merlo to Karen S. Lynch

November 7, 2020/RINewsToday


Karen S. Lynch named the next President and CEO of CVS Health and Larry J. Merlo to retire in Spring 2021


CVS Health Corporation (NYSE: CVS) today announced that its Board of Directors appointed Karen S. Lynch, currently Executive Vice President, CVS Health and President, Aetna, as the company’s next President and CEO, effective February 1, 2021. Ms. Lynch will also join the company’s Board of Directors upon assuming her new role. Larry J. Merlo will transition from the President and CEO role on February 1, 2021, after beginning his career with the company as a community pharmacist more than 40 years ago, and serving as President and CEO for a decade. Mr. Merlo will continue to serve on CVS Health’s Board of Directors until the company’s next Annual Meeting of Stockholders in May 2021, and as Strategic Advisor to assist with the transition until his retirement on May 31, 2021.


“This leadership transition comes at the right time for CVS Health. This month marks the two year anniversary as one company, with our foundation clearly established and significant positive momentum across the company,” said David W. Dorman, Chair of the Board of CVS Health Corporation. “As Larry has been transparent with us about his overall plans, we were able to put a thorough, multi-year process in place to consider and evaluate internal and external candidates. That process led to the selection of Karen Lynch. Larry’s collaboration with Karen in the coming months will ensure an effective leadership transition.”


“Karen is a seasoned health care expert who knows our business. She brings a relentless focus on the customer, a strong track record of driving growth and innovation, and proven transformational leadership, all of which position her well for success. Our Board of Directors believes that Karen is the right leader to guide CVS Health into its next era of growth as the company continues its transformation,” Mr. Dorman continued.


“I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to succeed Larry and lead CVS Health on the next phase of our important journey to meet America’s health care needs,” said Karen S. Lynch, Executive Vice President, CVS Health and President, Aetna. “Never before has our purpose been more critical than during these unprecedented times. Together with the CVS Health leadership team and all of our colleagues, I will work to build on the strong foundation Larry has put in place to continue to make health care more accessible and affordable, driving better health outcomes for our consumers and communities. I am highly confident about our company’s future and look forward to further accelerating the value we bring to all of our stakeholders.”


“On behalf of CVS Health and the Board, I would like to thank Larry for his outstanding leadership and deep commitment to the company. During his tenure, CVS Health has transformed from a regional retail pharmacy into the nation’s leading diversified health services company, with over $250 billion in revenues. Larry led CVS Health’s industry-disrupting acquisition of Aetna in 2018, and strategically positioned the company’s community-based health clinics to provide integrated and holistic health care services to all Americans. In doing so, he created new ways to deliver health care through CVS Health’s unparalleled suite of assets, including a national health insurance plan provider, a pharmacy benefits manager, community-based retail pharmacies and a long-term care pharmacy services business,” said Mr. Dorman. “No discussion of Larry’s tenure would be complete without recognizing his leadership of the company’s bold decision to eliminate the sale of tobacco products from all CVS Pharmacy stores, which was widely credited with being a catalyst for the reduction in smoking levels in the U.S.”


“I am incredibly proud to have had the opportunity to lead CVS Health over the past decade as we pursue our important purpose to help people on their path to better health,” said Larry J. Merlo, President and Chief Executive Officer, CVS Health. “I am grateful to our entire CVS Health team for their dedication and hard work in helping us build a powerful, integrated health services company that will enable us to transform how health care is delivered across the country. Karen has been a key partner to me in our foundational work over the last two years, and her experience and vision will be critical in driving forward CVS Health’s journey of enhancing value for our customers as the nation’s leading health care company for years to come.”


In her current role as Executive Vice President, CVS Health and President, Aetna, and with eight years in total at Aetna, Ms. Lynch is responsible for leading the company’s strategy to deliver consumer-focused, high-value health care to the millions of people Aetna serves. She is also responsible for developing diversified enterprise health care solutions that leverage all of CVS Health’s assets. Prior to joining Aetna in 2012, she was President of Magellan Health Services, a diversified health services company, and held various senior executive positions at Cigna.


At CVS Health, Ms. Lynch had a critical leadership role in the company’s integration of Aetna, launching its first suite of transformative products and services, including the Aetna Connected Plan, powered by CVS Health, and Aetna health plans with access to all covered MinuteClinic services at no cost. Under her leadership Medicare Advantage membership grew more than three times the industry average, generating outstanding membership growth of over 30 percent in 2019. Ms. Lynch has also been instrumental in the design of the HealthHUB strategy, incorporating the HealthHUBs’ differentiated suite of services into Aetna’s offerings.


Ms. Lynch is consistently rated as a top innovator and influencer in the health care space and has been named to Business Insider’s Top 100 People Transforming Business for the significant role she plays in transforming businesses through innovative solutions that deliver value to customers and drive growth. From 2016 to 2020, she was named to Fortune’s Most Powerful Women in Business list. Ms. Lynch also serves on the Board of U.S. Bancorp and is the Chair of its Audit Committee.


About Larry J. Merlo – President & Chief Executive Officer, CVS Health


Larry Merlo is President and Chief Executive Officer of CVS Health, a Fortune 5 company and the nation’s premier health innovation company helping people on their path to better health. The company touches more than 100 million people each year through its unique combination of assets, including approximately 9,900 retail locations, approximately 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with approximately 102 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year and expanding specialty pharmacy services. CVS Health also serves an estimated 34 million people through traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including expanding Medicare Advantage offerings and a leading stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan.


Under Merlo’s leadership, CVS Health is executing a strategy to become the most consumer-centric health company by meeting people where they are — whether that’s in the community, in the home, or in the palm of their hand. As part of the company’s deep commitment to public health, in 2014 it announced the landmark decision to be the first major retail pharmacy to eliminate tobacco sales in all of its stores. To reflect its broader health care commitment, the company subsequently changed its corporate name to CVS Health.


Merlo, a pharmacist by education, joined CVS Pharmacy in 1990 through the company’s acquisition of Peoples Drug. Prior to assuming the role of President and CEO in 2011, Merlo held positions of increasing responsibility, most recently President of CVS Pharmacy. Under his leadership, the company completed some of the most successful acquisitions in the history of retail pharmacy and delivered significant organic growth in major markets across the country.


Merlo currently serves on the Board of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) and the University of Pittsburgh’s Board of Trustees. He also serves on the Business Roundtable Executive Committee.


He is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy.


Karen S. Lynch – Executive Vice President, CVS Health and President, Aetna


Karen S. Lynch is Executive Vice President, CVS Health and President of Aetna. She is responsible for driving the CVS Health strategy to deliver consumer-focused, high-value health care to the millions of people Aetna serves. In March 2020, she assumed leadership of CVS Health’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, working across the company to support the health and safety of colleagues and increase access to care for customers and members.


Ms. Lynch has over three decades of experience in the health care industry. Prior to joining CVS Health, she held executive positions at Cigna and Magellan Health Services, where she served as president. Ms. Lynch began her career with Ernst & Young as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).


In 2019, Ms. Lynch was named to Business Insider’s Top 100 People Transforming Business, highlighting the significant role she plays in the transformation happening throughout the health care industry. For the last five years (2016 to 2020), she was named to Fortune’s list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business. She was also recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare in 2019 and as one of the Top 25 Women in Healthcare in 2017 and 2019.


She has also been recognized for her leadership by numerous organizations and publications, including the National Association for Specialty Health Organizations, Business Insurance, the Stevie® Awards for Women in Business, and Insurance Networking News. She also co-chaired the Health Care and Pharmaceutical Task Force for the Wall Street Journal Women in the Economy Conference.


Ms. Lynch serves on the board of U.S. Bancorp as Chair of their Audit Committee. She is a trustee of The Bushnell Performing Arts Center, an advisory board member of IBM Watson Health and a member of the Global 50 and the Boston College Women’s Council. Her professional associations include serving as a member of the Healthcare Leadership Council, East Coast CEO Alliance and the Health Care Payment Learning & Action Network (LAN) Leadership CEO Group. She is also an advisory board member of NEADS/Dogs for Deaf and Disabled Americans, a nonprofit organization that provides independence to people through canine assistance.


Ms. Lynch is a graduate of Boston College and The Questrom School of Business at Boston University. In 2015, she was awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Becker College in Worcester, Massachusetts.


To learn more about Ms. Lynch, follow her on Twitter @KarenSLynch and on LinkedIn.


About CVS Health


CVS Health is a different kind of health care company. We are a diversified health services company with nearly 300,000 employees united around a common purpose of helping people on their path to better health. In an increasingly connected and digital world, we are meeting people wherever they are and changing health care to meet their needs. Built on a foundation of unmatched community presence, our diversified model engages one in three Americans each year. From our innovative new services at HealthHUB locations, to transformative programs that help manage chronic conditions, we are making health care more accessible, more affordable and simply better. Learn more about how we’re transforming health at





Joe Biden, President-Elect of the United States

Joe Biden, President-Elect of the United States of America

November 8, 2020/RINewsToday


With votes standing at 75,196,516 for Joe Biden and 70,803,881 for President Donald Trump, Joe Biden proclaimed his victory after the media outlets called it early on Saturday.



Just looking at the map shows the serious division of thought and policy in America. The unification and “choice to work together” will be an uphill challenge.


Here is Biden’s speech last night in Delaware:



President Trump announced his plans to challenge extremely tight votes in as many as five states. From lawsuits challenging fraud, ballot improprieties and waiting for recounts – all the way to the Supreme Court, which holds a conservative majority.


Biden’s speech pleads for a time to heal for the country; a time to stop being a blue America or a red America, but being the United States of America – saying he will govern not as a Democrat, but as an American.


He also said this is the time to begin to stop demonstrating.


President Trump was on the golf course when he learned of the media’s call. He spent considerable time afterwards tweeting his intentions to challenge.


Notably, Al Gore appealed a tight race in the infamous “hanging chads” debacle which went over 35 days. In the end, losing his challenge. A spokesperson for Trump said he will pursue all legal challenges, but if there is no path he will concede and work towards a peaceful transition.


Your Coronavirus Update - Today Nov 6, 2020

Your Coronavirus Update – Today, Nov. 6, 2020

November 6, 2020/RINewsToday


Photo: Safety kits being given out to flyers at T. F. Green Airport – courtesy TFGreen




A new set of rules are coming in just about every sport, almost all with enhanced health and safety in mind. If they work, games could return to arenas and stadiums with some fans in attendance sometime soon. Perhaps more importantly, they could also provide some common- sense solutions to virus issues in the real world.


North Dakota election officials say Republican candidate David Andahl, who died on Oct. 5 after he had been sick with COVID-19 for several days, won a seat as state representative for District


70 Americans are testing positive every minute in US.


New Orleans music scene is predicting somewhat of an end to live music as performers will be forced to find other work and may never return to the music scene.


Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced a full national lockdown


In Pennsylvania, a judge struck down business closures and gathering limitations imposed by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf on Sept. 14, but an appeals court ruled the governor could restore gathering restrictions on Oct. 1.


ESPN will make permanent the 300 layoffs done recently.


Wheaton College will go virtual as over a dozen of students and staff test positive.


Denmark will slaughter 15 million minks to prevent them from transmitting COVID19 to humans.


AstraZeneca Expects Covid-19 Vaccine Trial Results This Year


Amtrak has published new standards of travel to assure travelers of safety –


Supermarkets are accelerating the shift to e-commerce, devoting more of their floor space to fulfill digital orders in response to customers’ growing reliance on online shopping


Pet Valu has locations in Middletown, Barrington, North Kingstown, East Greenwich, East Providence, Wakefield, Pawtucket, Cumberland, and Westerly.


Montpelier, Vermont: The state’s top health official is advising residents not to travel for the holidays if they can avoid it and says any visitors from outside the state, including returning college students, will need to quarantine amid a rise in coronavirus cases in parts of the country, including the Northeast.


If Joe Biden wins as president, a national mask mandate will be attempted, if it is still needed by late January.




Boston Sports Clubs has been evicted from its rented facility on Pitman St. in Providence for owing $200K in back rent – they did not protest the eviction.


Dr. Ashish Jha of Brown University said the primary source of spread in RI is small groups gathering. To a lesser extent, restaurants and bars could be responsible – what they both share is small, close gatherings, indoors, without mask-wearing.


10 people at the Providence Police Department are positive


T. F. Green Airport has launched a 3-phased marketing program to encourage travel again. The “SAFE” Campaign will focus on science-based health and safety protocols; the “CARES” campaign will focus on new improvements at the airport; and the “EASE” campaign will use traditional branding principles to keep the airport top of mind. They are now distributing “#PVD Cares Kits” which provide complimentary hand sanitizer, face coverings, alcohol wipes for surfaces and an information card.


Massachusetts’ budget proposal would withdraw about $1.55 billion from the state’s rainy day fund due to coronavirus expenses. That would leave the account with just under $2 billion in reserves.


A shipment of 6,100 HEPA air filters for schools is expected this month, enough for every school that needs one.


Women and Infants and Bradley Hospital have much stricter visitation policies – check their websites for details.


Pet Valu are closing locations in Middletown, Barrington, North Kingstown, East Greenwich, East Providence, Wakefield, Pawtucket, Cumberland, and Westerly.


Data by community:







3 New violating businesses:


Ayrox Barbershop and Beauty Salon – Cranston St., Prov

20/20 Hookah Lounge – Smithfield Ave, Pawt.

Lima’s Lounge – School St., Pawtucket


RI Data:


Today’s Data: Nov. 5, 2020


Deaths: 8 (2 in 60s, 1 in 70s, 2 in 80s, 3 in 90s)


Hospitalizations: 182 – 20 in ICU – 11 on ventilators


Tests yesterday: 15,785 – New cases: 566


Percent positives: 3.6%



RI Governor’s Address:


All the arrows in our data are pointing up and this is not good. Thanks people who are doing their best to curtail the virus.


Friday’s restrictions included saying there would be more restrictions, which I’m announcing today. I’ve talked with my regional peers so we can have more of a regional response.


Reviewed principles – targeted interventions, protect jobs, protect education – all while having wide community spread. Strong desire is not to have widespread closing – don’t want to be Europe.


Here’s the facts: we have to take our medicine. Change our behavior, reign in our social activity. Can’t try to outrun the virus.


Schools – not seeing big outbreaks there – identical in number to virtual teaching.


7 New Measures – effective Sunday for two weeks. We’ll monitor and see if it is working. If we change our behavior then they will have confidence it will work. Or, make tougher restrictions.



Phase 3 – Revised


1. Stay at home advisory  – week nights 10pm to 5am – 10:30 to 5am weekends.  Asking you to be home in your own house. Not pulling cars over or enforcing. Not at this stage. Voluntary compliance.


2.  Restaurants – shut by 10pm weeknights; 10:30pm weekends – can still do curbside


3.  Capacity lowered to 50% – churches, theaters, etc. with maximum of 125 people. Outdoor venues will be 60% limit with maximum of 150 people.


4. Catered events: Limit inside 25 people; 65 outdoors. Exception for previously scheduled weddings.


5. Big box stores – capacity limited to 1 person per 150 sq. ft.


6.  Businesses asked to cancel any non-necessary travel. Have employees work from home whenever possible – state hiatus for travel for state employees.


7.  Masks required at all times outside the home, including gyms.


Confident that these interventions will make a difference. Everyone is tired of the rules.


Noon on Sunday Rhode Islanders will get an alert on your phone. 


Restaurants and bars will be sent grants to all active facilities based on amount of business they usually do – between $1 – 2 – up to $10,000 – you will get the grant within 30 days. Full details on Monday on Dept. of Revenue at


Looking at other steps in high density communities – CF, Pawt, etc. represents a disproportionate amount of RI cases.


Will look at very serious Thanksgiving restrictions next week.


Kids’ Sports – allow maximum of 2 spectators per child – includes practices and games.


Locker Rooms – gatherings, etc. – occupancy, cleaning protocols, etc. all sports facilities need to gather names and contact information.


Out of state travel for sports tournaments – Starting Monday, no longer allowed. Different rules for low, moderate and high risk sports. The prohibitions will be in place through all of 2020.


Teenage party in Bristol – now over 20 cases, 250 in quarantine, 4 cities, many lives upheaval because of this. Considering how much of a fine to levy. Says she heard from kids who say the event is cool, and they want to have a super-spreader, too.


Contact Tracers – TY, people are responding – but the state needs more. Go to: state of RI Health Dept. website and apply.


Dr. Scott


Case investigations: Too much socializing, not wearing masks, etc. Average case has 5 cases. Used to be 3 back in June. People are part of too many groups.


Older Adults: More vulnerable population – while we are advising everyone, we need to ask for limiting of activities for older adults – non-essential outings. Consider staying home. Not the time for going out for coffee, lunch, etc.


Testing and Isolation – doing what we can to get you test results quickly. If you learn you are positive, you should take action right away. Don’t wait for Health Dept. to call you. We’re going to tell you to stay home for at least 10 days from day you were tested. You are considered infectious for 10 days. Keep distance from others at home. Use separate bathroom and bedroom. Stay out of kitchen and gathering rooms. Do your best to isolate yourself. Let your close contacts know you are positive. For those you live with, they need to make changes, too. They need to isolate from you. They should stay home for 10 days, and then 14 days from last exposure. For non-household close contacts, same 14 day quarantine rule.14 days from last close contact from person who tested positive. Close contact: Closer than 6 feet for more than 15 minutes.




Q: Indoor facility that state shut down. 6 courts, rented facility, etc. High overhead.


A: They can reopen on Monday. Trying to get in touch with them to give them grants because of their lost revenue.


*: Spectators for kids sports – 2 people per child, outdoor sport – wear masks.


Q: Schools opening MUST have implications into the infectious increases.


A: We’ve seen a lot of increases, and still trying to get our hands around the big spreader events. Community wide spread with not a lot of spread in structured settings such as K-12 schools.


Q: Thanksgiving?


A:  We will come back with restrictions.


Q:  Two weeks – why?


A:  We are going to see if this makes a difference. Less going to church, less big retailers, etc. If it’s not effective then may have to change course.


Q:  People planning parties on social media? Are you monitoring this? Are you calling them to prevent? Are you asking parents to call if you know of these parties?


A:  We are monitoring. If appropriate we will bring it to the attention of the school, or the Diocese. Parents can call us if they hear about events like this.


Q:  What is science behind time restrictions? What makes it riskier to eat at 10pm than 8pm?  


A:  Hospitality Association worked with the state to make up the guidelines.


Q:  Has anyone been fined?


A:  No, think not. But it’s coming. Certain amount of due process. We are going to have to start doing it.


Q:  When will you reinstitute RI legislature and oversight?


A:  First order of business is to pass a budget. That will be in November.


Q:  Would you encourage legislature coming together?


A:  I would encourage virtual meetings – very hard to get together in the building. But we will have to find a way.


Governor’s Press Release:


1. Effective Sunday, a stay-at-home advisory is in effect from 10pm-5am on weeknights, and 10:30pm-5am on Fridays and Saturdays. At that time, unless you’re going to and from work or running essential errands like getting food or going to the pharmacy, you should be in your own home. Not someone else’s home – your home. We know that late-night house parties are a major factor in this second wave. And if you’re at a restaurant or bar until that time, once it closes, drive straight home. We’re not going to take a heavy hand – as always, our approach calls for voluntary compliance. But if we do see big parties at any time of day, and particularly at night, we will break them up and fine you. 

2. Also effective Sunday, all restaurants, bars, gyms, recreational facilities (such as casinos, bowling alleys, and museums), and personal services must close at 10pm on weeknights, and 10:30pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Restaurants can continue to offer takeout and drive-through after that time.

3. We’re lowering the capacity limit for indoor events and venues of assembly to 50%, with a maximum of 125 people. For outdoors, the limit will be 66%, with a maximum of 150 people. This applies to things like performing arts venues, movie theaters, and houses of worship. I’d ask everyone to consider switching to virtual worship for the next few weeks.

4. We’re reducing the limit for catered events to 25 indoors and 75 outdoors. If you already have a wedding planned in the next two weeks, we’re able to consider an exception if you contact the Department of Business Regulation. 

5. We’re reducing the capacity limit at malls and big box stores – retailers with more than 30,000 sq. ft. of space – back to the Phase 2 limit of 1 person per 150 sq. ft. Over the last few weeks, we’ve started to see more crowding at these businesses, and we anticipate that will continue to increase as we head into a big shopping season.

6. In addition to working from home when possible, we’re asking businesses to postpone or cancel nonessential work-related travel. We’re also leading by example in this regard and have put a hiatus on work-related travel for state employees.

7. We’re updating our masking guidance to require masks at all times with anyone you don’t live with. That includes anytime you leave your home – including at the gym – and private gatherings if there’s anyone there you don’t live with.


To watch and listen to the Governor’s press conference, click below:

Updated: RI School List with COVID-19 cases as of 11/04/20

UPDATED: RI School List with COVID-19 Cases (as of 11/4/20)

November 6, 2020/RINewsToday


Note: The data chart is for cases reported by 10/31 and updated on 11/4.


Summary – this update – more than 431 locations – 328 new cases – 1,218 cumulative cases – 61 new locations


Past Data:


Summary – this update – more than 370 locations – 288 new cases – 883 cumulative cases


227+ schools – 214 new cases – 559 total


144+ virtual learning – 74 new cases – 324 total




Updated from Summary on 10/17/20 – approx. 300 locations – 168 new cases – 583 cumulative cases


176+ schools – 99 new cases – 334 total


123+ virtual learning – 69 new cases – 249 total




Updated from Summary on 10/10/20 – 228 locations – 148 new cases – 413 cumulative cases


135 schools – 84 new cases – 234 total


93 virtual learning – 64 new cases – 179 total



Updated from Summary on 10/4/20 – 272 locations – 268 cumulative cases


95 schools – 74 new cases – 154 total


77 virtual learning- 44 new cases – 114 total



Updated from Summary on 9/26 – 100 locations – 158 cumulative cases


57 schools – 50-54 new cases – 80-84 total


43 virtual learning- 30-34 new cases – 70-74 total

Number of COVID-19 Cases by School and Learning Style
Data last updated 11/4/2020 and include positive cases as of 10/31/2020
School LEA New Cases in Past 7 Days† Cumulative Cases since 9/14/2020
In-Person and Hybrid Learning
AF Providence Mayoral Academy Middle Achievement First Rhode Island Fewer than five Fewer than five
Achievement First Iluminar Mayoral Academy2 Achievement First Rhode Island 0 Fewer than five
Achievement First Providence Mayoral Academy Achievement First Rhode Island Fewer than five 5 to 9
Barrington High School Barrington Fewer than five Fewer than five
Barrington Middle School Barrington 0 Fewer than five
Hampden Meadows School Barrington Fewer than five Fewer than five
Nayatt School Barrington 0 Fewer than five
BEACON Charter School Beacon Charter School 0 Fewer than five
Blackstone Academy Charter School Blackstone Academy 0 Fewer than five
Blackstone Valley Prep Elementary 2 School (ES2) Blackstone Valley Prep, A RI Mayoral Academy 0 Fewer than five
Blackstone Valley Prep Elementary 3 School (ES3) Blackstone Valley Prep, A RI Mayoral Academy Fewer than five Fewer than five
Blackstone Valley Prep Elementary School (ES1) Blackstone Valley Prep, A RI Mayoral Academy 0 Fewer than five
Blackstone Valley Prep High School (HS) Blackstone Valley Prep, A RI Mayoral Academy 0 Fewer than five
Colt Andrews School Bristol Warren Fewer than five Fewer than five
Guiteras School Bristol Warren Fewer than five Fewer than five
Hugh Cole School Bristol Warren 0 Fewer than five
Kickemuit Middle School Bristol Warren Fewer than five Fewer than five
Mt. Hope High School Bristol Warren 5 to 9 5 to 9
Burrillville High School Burrillville 0 Fewer than five
Burrillville Middle School Burrillville 0 Fewer than five
Steere Farm Elementary School Burrillville 0 Fewer than five
William L. Callahan School Burrillville 0 Fewer than five
Bishop Hendricken High School Catholic Schools 0 10 to 14
Bishop McVinney Regional School Catholic Schools 0 Fewer than five
Blessed Sacrament School Catholic Schools Fewer than five Fewer than five
Good Shepherd Catholic Regional School Catholic Schools 0 Fewer than five
Immaculate Conception Catholic Regional Catholic Schools 0 Fewer than five
La Salle Academy Catholic Schools Fewer than five 10 to 14
Mercymount Country Day School Catholic Schools Fewer than five 5 to 9
Mount St. Charles Academy Catholic Schools Fewer than five 10 to 14
Our Lady of Mercy Regional School Catholic Schools Fewer than five Fewer than five
St. Augustine School Catholic Schools 0 Fewer than five
St. Joseph School Catholic Schools Fewer than five Fewer than five
St. Kevin School Catholic Schools Fewer than five Fewer than five
St. Luke School Catholic Schools 0 Fewer than five
St. Mary Academy-Bay View Catholic Schools 0 Fewer than five
St. Paul School Catholic Schools 0 Fewer than five
St. Philomena School Catholic Schools Fewer than five Fewer than five
St. Raphael Academy Catholic Schools Fewer than five 5 to 9
St. Rose of Lima School Catholic Schools Fewer than five Fewer than five
St. Teresa School Catholic Schools 0 Fewer than five
St. Thomas Regional School Catholic Schools Fewer than five Fewer than five
The Prout School Catholic Schools Fewer than five Fewer than five
Central Falls Senior High School Central Falls 0 Fewer than five
Dr. Earl F. Calcutt Middle School Central Falls Fewer than five 5 to 9
Ella Risk School Central Falls 0 Fewer than five
Progreso Latino Excellence Academy Central Falls 0 Fewer than five
Raices Dual Language Academy at Margaret I. Robertson School Central Falls Fewer than five 5 to 9
Charette Charter School Charette Charter 0 Fewer than five
Chariho Regional High School Chariho 0 Fewer than five
Chariho Regional Middle School Chariho Fewer than five Fewer than five
Hope Valley Elementary School Chariho Fewer than five Fewer than five
Richmond Elementary School Chariho Fewer than five Fewer than five
Alan Shawn Feinstein Middle School Of Coventry Coventry Fewer than five 10 to 14
Blackrock School Coventry 0 Fewer than five
Coventry High School Coventry Fewer than five Fewer than five
Hopkins Hill School Coventry 0 Fewer than five
Tiogue School Coventry 0 Fewer than five
Washington Oak School Coventry Fewer than five Fewer than five
Western Coventry School Coventry 0 Fewer than five
Arlington School Cranston 0 Fewer than five
Cranston High School East Cranston 0 Fewer than five
Cranston High School West Cranston Fewer than five 5 to 9
Daniel D. Waterman School Cranston Fewer than five Fewer than five
Eden Park School Cranston Fewer than five Fewer than five
Edgewood Highland School Cranston Fewer than five Fewer than five
Garden City School Cranston Fewer than five Fewer than five
Gladstone Street School Cranston 0 Fewer than five
Hope Highlands Middle School Cranston Fewer than five Fewer than five
Hugh B. Bain Middle School Cranston 0 Fewer than five
NEL/CPS Construction Career Academy Cranston Fewer than five Fewer than five
Park View Middle School Cranston Fewer than five Fewer than five
Stadium Elementary School Cranston Fewer than five 5 to 9
Stone Hill School Cranston Fewer than five Fewer than five
Western Hills Middle School Cranston Fewer than five Fewer than five
Woodridge School Cranston 0 Fewer than five
Ashton School Cumberland 0 Fewer than five
Cumberland High School Cumberland Fewer than five 5 to 9
Garvin Memorial School Cumberland 0 Fewer than five
Joseph L. McCourt Middle School Cumberland Fewer than five Fewer than five
North Cumberland Middle School Cumberland 0 Fewer than five
Wm. M. Davies Jr. Career-Technical High School Davies Career and Tech Fewer than five 15 to 19
Archie R. Cole Middle School East Greenwich 0 Fewer than five
East Greenwich High School East Greenwich 0 Fewer than five
George Hanaford School East Greenwich Fewer than five Fewer than five
James H. Eldredge El. School East Greenwich Fewer than five Fewer than five
Agnes B. Hennessey School East Providence 0 Fewer than five
Alice M. Waddington School East Providence Fewer than five Fewer than five
East Providence High School East Providence Fewer than five 5 to 9
Edward R. Martin Middle School East Providence Fewer than five Fewer than five
Emma G. Whiteknact School East Providence 0 Fewer than five
James R. D. Oldham School East Providence 0 Fewer than five
Kent Heights School East Providence 0 Fewer than five
Myron J. Francis Elementary School East Providence 0 Fewer than five
Orlo Avenue School East Providence Fewer than five Fewer than five
Riverside Middle School East Providence 0 Fewer than five
Silver Spring School East Providence Fewer than five Fewer than five
Exeter-West Greenwich Regional High School Exeter-West Greenwich Fewer than five Fewer than five
Metcalf School Exeter-West Greenwich 0 Fewer than five
Captain Isaac Paine Elementary School Foster Fewer than five Fewer than five
Ponaganset High School Foster-Glocester 0 Fewer than five
Ponaganset Middle School Foster-Glocester 0 Fewer than five
Highlander Elementary Charter School Highlander 0 Fewer than five
Highlander Secondary Charter School Highlander Fewer than five Fewer than five
International Charter School International Charter Fewer than five Fewer than five
Jamestown School-Melrose Jamestown 0 Fewer than five
Brown Avenue School Johnston 0 Fewer than five
Johnston Senior High School Johnston 0 Fewer than five
Nicholas A. Ferri Middle School Johnston 0 Fewer than five
Sarah Dyer Barnes School Johnston 0 Fewer than five
Thornton School Johnston 0 Fewer than five
Winsor Hill School Johnston Fewer than five Fewer than five
Kingston Hill Academy Kingston Hill Academy Fewer than five Fewer than five
Lincoln Central Elementary School Lincoln Fewer than five Fewer than five
Lincoln Middle School Lincoln 0 Fewer than five
Lincoln Senior High School Lincoln Fewer than five 5 to 9
Northern Lincoln Elementary School Lincoln Fewer than five Fewer than five
Saylesville Elementary School Lincoln 0 Fewer than five
Wilbur and McMahon Schools Little Compton Fewer than five Fewer than five
Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center MET Career and Tech 0 Fewer than five
Middletown High School Middletown 10 to 14 10 to 14
Narragansett Elementary School Narragansett 0 Fewer than five
Narragansett High School Narragansett Fewer than five Fewer than five
Narragansett Pier School Narragansett 0 Fewer than five
Rogers High School Newport Fewer than five Fewer than five
Davisville Middle School North Kingstown 0 Fewer than five
Fishing Cove Elementary School North Kingstown Fewer than five Fewer than five
Forest Park Elementary School North Kingstown Fewer than five Fewer than five
North Kingstown Senior High School North Kingstown 0 5 to 9
Stony Lane Elementary School North Kingstown 0 Fewer than five
Birchwood Middle School North Providence Fewer than five 5 to 9
Dr. Edward A. Ricci Middle School North Providence 0 Fewer than five
Greystone School North Providence Fewer than five Fewer than five
James L. McGuire School North Providence 0 Fewer than five
North Providence High School North Providence Fewer than five 10 to 14
Stephen Olney School North Providence Fewer than five Fewer than five
North Smithfield Elementary School North Smithfield Fewer than five Fewer than five
North Smithfield High School North Smithfield 0 Fewer than five
North Smithfield Middle School North Smithfield Fewer than five Fewer than five
Paul Cuffee Lower School Paul Cuffee Charter Sch 0 Fewer than five
Paul Cuffee Middle School Paul Cuffee Charter Sch Fewer than five Fewer than five
Paul Cuffee Upper School Paul Cuffee Charter Sch 0 Fewer than five
Elizabeth Baldwin School Pawtucket 0 Fewer than five
Fallon Memorial School Pawtucket 0 Fewer than five
Francis J. Varieur School Pawtucket Fewer than five 5 to 9
Henry J. Winters School Pawtucket Fewer than five Fewer than five
Joseph Jenks Middle School Pawtucket 0 Fewer than five
Nathanael Greene School Pawtucket Fewer than five Fewer than five
Potter-Burns School Pawtucket Fewer than five Fewer than five
William E Tolman Senior High School Pawtucket 0 Fewer than five
Melville Elementary School Portsmouth Fewer than five Fewer than five
Portsmouth High School Portsmouth Fewer than five Fewer than five
Barrington Christian Academy Private Schools 0 Fewer than five
Children’s Friend @ Dorcas Intl. Private Schools 0 Fewer than five
Community Preparatory School Private Schools Fewer than five Fewer than five
Harmony Hill School Private Schools Fewer than five Fewer than five
High Road School of Providence Private Schools 0 Fewer than five
Islamic School of RI Private Schools Fewer than five 5 to 9
Lifespan School Solutions Private Schools 0 Fewer than five
Lincoln School Private Schools 0 Fewer than five
Meeting Street School Private Schools 0 Fewer than five
Middlebridge School Private Schools Fewer than five Fewer than five
Moses Brown School Private Schools Fewer than five 5 to 9
Ocean State Academy Private Schools Fewer than five Fewer than five
Pathways Strategic Teaching Center(Coventry) Private Schools 0 Fewer than five
Pathways Strategic Teaching Center(Warwick) Private Schools Fewer than five Fewer than five
Portsmouth Abbey School Private Schools 0 Fewer than five
Rocky Hill School Private Schools 0 Fewer than five
Roger Williams Day Care Center Private Schools 0 Fewer than five
San Miguel School Private Schools Fewer than five Fewer than five
School One Private Schools 0 Fewer than five
Sophia Academy Private Schools 0 Fewer than five
St. Andrew’s School Private Schools Fewer than five Fewer than five
St. Mary’s Home for Children/George N. Hunt Campus School Private Schools Fewer than five Fewer than five
St. Patrick’s School Private Schools 0 Fewer than five
The Bradley School Private Schools Fewer than five Fewer than five
The Gordon School Private Schools Fewer than five Fewer than five
The Groden Center, Inc. Private Schools 0 Fewer than five
The Wheeler School Private Schools 0 Fewer than five
The Wolf School Private Schools 0 Fewer than five
360 High School Providence 0 Fewer than five
Alan Shawn Feinstein Elementary at Broad Street Providence 0 Fewer than five
Alfred Lima Sr. Elementary School Providence 0 Fewer than five
Anthony Carnevale Elementary School Providence 0 Fewer than five
Asa Messer Elementary School Providence 0 Fewer than five
Carl G. Lauro Elementary School Providence 0 Fewer than five
Central High School Providence 5 to 9 10 to 14
Charles N. Fortes Elementary School Providence 0 Fewer than five
Classical High School Providence 0 5 to 9
Dr. Jorge Alvarez High School Providence 0 Fewer than five
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School Providence 0 5 to 9
E-Cubed Academy Providence 0 5 to 9
Esek Hopkins Middle School Providence 0 Fewer than five
Frank D. Spaziano Elementary School Providence 0 Fewer than five
Frank D. Spaziano Elementary School Annex Providence 0 Fewer than five
George J. West Elementary School Providence Fewer than five Fewer than five
Governor Christopher DelSesto Middle School Providence Fewer than five Fewer than five
Harry Kizirian Elementary School Providence 0 Fewer than five
Hope High School Providence 5 to 9 10 to 14
Juanita Sanchez Educational Complex Providence Fewer than five Fewer than five
Leviton Dual Language School Providence Fewer than five Fewer than five
Lillian Feinstein Elementary Sackett Street Providence Fewer than five Fewer than five
Mary E. Fogarty Elementary School Providence Fewer than five Fewer than five
Mount Pleasant High School Providence Fewer than five 10 to 14
Nathan Bishop Middle School Providence Fewer than five Fewer than five
Nathanael Greene Middle School Providence Fewer than five 5 to 9
Pleasant View School Providence Fewer than five 5 to 9
Providence Career and Technical Academy Providence Fewer than five 5 to 9
Providence Transition Academy and Providence Autism School to Tomorrow Academy Providence 0 Fewer than five
Reservoir Avenue School Providence 0 Fewer than five
Robert F. Kennedy Elementary School Providence 0 Fewer than five
Robert L Bailey IV Elementary School Providence 0 5 to 9
Roger Williams Middle School Providence Fewer than five Fewer than five
The Sgt. Cornel Young Jr & Charlotte Woods Elementary School @ The B. Jae Clanton Complex Providence 0 Fewer than five
Times2 Elementary School Providence 0 5 to 9
Times2 Middle/High School Providence Fewer than five 5 to 9
Vartan Gregorian Elementary School Providence Fewer than five Fewer than five
Veazie Street School Providence 0 Fewer than five
Webster Avenue School Providence Fewer than five Fewer than five
West Broadway Middle School Providence Fewer than five Fewer than five
William B. Cooley, Sr. High School and the Providence Academy of International Studies High School Providence Fewer than five 5 to 9
William D’Abate Elementary School Providence 0 Fewer than five
Rhode Island School for the Deaf R.I. Sch for the Deaf 0 Fewer than five
RISE Prep Mayoral Academy Elementary School RISE Prep Mayoral Academy Fewer than five Fewer than five
North Scituate Elementary School Scituate 0 Fewer than five
Scituate Middle School Scituate Fewer than five Fewer than five
Segue Institute for Learning Segue Institute for Learning Fewer than five Fewer than five
Sheila Skip Nowell Leadership Academy (Capital Campus) Sheila Skip Nowell Leadership Academy 0 Fewer than five
Anna M. McCabe School Smithfield Fewer than five 5 to 9
Momentum Professional Behavioral Services Smithfield 0 Fewer than five
Old County Road School Smithfield 0 Fewer than five
Raymond C. LaPerche School Smithfield 0 Fewer than five
Smithfield Senior High School Smithfield Fewer than five 10 to 14
Vincent J. Gallagher Middle School Smithfield Fewer than five Fewer than five
William Winsor School Smithfield 0 Fewer than five
Broad Rock Middle School South Kingstown Fewer than five Fewer than five
South Kingstown High School South Kingstown Fewer than five Fewer than five
The Greene School The Greene School Fewer than five Fewer than five
The Hope Academy The Hope Academy 0 Fewer than five
Fort Barton School Tiverton Fewer than five Fewer than five
Tiverton High School Tiverton Fewer than five Fewer than five
Tiverton Middle School Tiverton 0 Fewer than five
Urban Collaborative Accelerated Program Urban Collaborative 0 Fewer than five
Village Green Virtual Charter School Village Green Virtual Fewer than five Fewer than five
Cedar Hill School Warwick Fewer than five Fewer than five
Cottrell F. Hoxsie School Warwick Fewer than five Fewer than five
E. G. Robertson School Warwick Fewer than five Fewer than five
Holliman School Warwick 0 Fewer than five
Oakland Beach Elementary School Warwick Fewer than five Fewer than five
Sherman School Warwick Fewer than five Fewer than five
Toll Gate High School Warwick Fewer than five Fewer than five
Warwick Neck School Warwick 0 Fewer than five
Warwick Veterans Middle School Warwick Fewer than five 5 to 9
West Bay Collaborative West Bay Collaborative 0 Fewer than five
John F. Deering Middle School West Warwick Fewer than five 5 to 9
Wakefield Hills Elementary School West Warwick Fewer than five Fewer than five
West Warwick Senior High School West Warwick Fewer than five Fewer than five
Dunn’s Corners School Westerly Fewer than five Fewer than five
Springbrook Elementary School Westerly 0 Fewer than five
Westerly High School Westerly 0 Fewer than five
Westerly Middle School Westerly Fewer than five Fewer than five
Bernon Heights School Woonsocket 0 Fewer than five
Globe Park School Woonsocket 0 Fewer than five
Harris School Woonsocket 0 Fewer than five
Kevin K. Coleman Elementary School Woonsocket 0 Fewer than five
Leo A. Savoie School Woonsocket Fewer than five Fewer than five
Pothier-Citizens Elementary Campus Woonsocket Fewer than five Fewer than five
Woonsocket High School Woonsocket 0 Fewer than five
Woonsocket Middle School at Hamlet Woonsocket 5 to 9 10 to 14
Other* N/A 25 to 29 60 to 64
  Total: 245 to 249 810 to 814
Virtual Learning‡
AF Iluminar Mayoral Academy Middle School Achievement First Rhode Island Fewer than five Fewer than five
Achievement First Iluminar Mayoral Academy Achievement First Rhode Island Fewer than five Fewer than five
Achievement First Providence Mayoral Academy Achievement First Rhode Island 0 Fewer than five
Barrington High School Barrington 0 Fewer than five
Barrington Middle School Barrington Fewer than five Fewer than five
Blackstone Academy Charter School Blackstone Academy Fewer than five 5 to 9
Blackstone Valley Prep Elementary 2 School (ES2) Blackstone Valley Prep, A RI Mayoral Academy Fewer than five Fewer than five
Blackstone Valley Prep Elementary 3 School (ES3) Blackstone Valley Prep, A RI Mayoral Academy 0 Fewer than five
Blackstone Valley Prep Elementary School (ES1) Blackstone Valley Prep, A RI Mayoral Academy Fewer than five Fewer than five
Blackstone Valley Prep High School (HS) Blackstone Valley Prep, A RI Mayoral Academy Fewer than five 10 to 14
Blackstone Valley Prep Junior High School (JHS) Blackstone Valley Prep, A RI Mayoral Academy 0 Fewer than five
Blackstone Valley Prep Upper Elementary School (UES) Blackstone Valley Prep, A RI Mayoral Academy 0 Fewer than five
Mt. Hope High School Bristol Warren 0 Fewer than five
Burrillville High School Burrillville 0 Fewer than five
Burrillville Middle School Burrillville 0 Fewer than five
Steere Farm Elementary School Burrillville Fewer than five Fewer than five
Mount St. Charles Academy Catholic Schools 0 Fewer than five
St. Rocco School Catholic Schools 0 Fewer than five
St. Teresa School Catholic Schools 0 Fewer than five
Central Falls Senior High School Central Falls Fewer than five 10 to 14
Dr. Earl F. Calcutt Middle School Central Falls Fewer than five Fewer than five
Ella Risk School Central Falls 0 Fewer than five
Raices Dual Language Academy at Margaret I. Robertson School Central Falls 0 Fewer than five
Veterans Memorial Elementary Central Falls Fewer than five Fewer than five
Chariho Area Career and Technical Center Chariho 0 Fewer than five
Chariho Regional High School Chariho 0 Fewer than five
Alan Shawn Feinstein Middle School Of Coventry Coventry 0 Fewer than five
Coventry High School Coventry 0 Fewer than five
Washington Oak School Coventry Fewer than five Fewer than five
Cranston High School East Cranston Fewer than five 5 to 9
Cranston High School West Cranston Fewer than five 5 to 9
Daniel D. Waterman School Cranston Fewer than five Fewer than five
George J. Peters School Cranston 0 Fewer than five
Gladstone Street School Cranston 0 Fewer than five
Hope Highlands Middle School Cranston 0 Fewer than five
Oak Lawn School Cranston 0 Fewer than five
Orchard Farms Elementary School Cranston 0 Fewer than five
Park View Middle School Cranston 0 5 to 9
Western Hills Middle School Cranston Fewer than five Fewer than five
Woodridge School Cranston Fewer than five Fewer than five
Community School Cumberland 0 Fewer than five
Cumberland High School Cumberland Fewer than five 5 to 9
John J. McLaughlin Cumberland Hill School Cumberland 0 Fewer than five
Joseph L. McCourt Middle School Cumberland 0 Fewer than five
Wm. M. Davies Jr. Career-Technical High School Davies Career and Tech Fewer than five Fewer than five
East Greenwich High School East Greenwich Fewer than five Fewer than five
East Providence High School East Providence 0 Fewer than five
Edward R. Martin Middle School East Providence Fewer than five Fewer than five
Myron J. Francis Elementary School East Providence 0 Fewer than five
Orlo Avenue School East Providence 0 Fewer than five
Exeter-West Greenwich Regional Junior High Exeter-West Greenwich 0 Fewer than five
Ponaganset High School Foster-Glocester 0 Fewer than five
Highlander Elementary Charter School Highlander 0 Fewer than five
Highlander Secondary Charter School Highlander 0 Fewer than five
International Charter School International Charter Fewer than five Fewer than five
Johnston Senior High School Johnston Fewer than five Fewer than five
Nicholas A. Ferri Middle School Johnston 0 Fewer than five
Sarah Dyer Barnes School Johnston 0 Fewer than five
Thornton School Johnston 0 Fewer than five
Winsor Hill School Johnston Fewer than five Fewer than five
The Learning Community Charter School Learning Community 0 Fewer than five
Lincoln Middle School Lincoln 0 Fewer than five
Lincoln Senior High School Lincoln Fewer than five Fewer than five
Saylesville Elementary School Lincoln 0 Fewer than five
Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center MET Career and Tech Fewer than five 5 to 9
Middletown High School Middletown Fewer than five Fewer than five
Forest Park Elementary School North Kingstown 0 Fewer than five
Birchwood Middle School North Providence 0 Fewer than five
Centredale School North Providence Fewer than five Fewer than five
Dr. Edward A. Ricci Middle School North Providence 0 Fewer than five
Greystone School North Providence 0 Fewer than five
James L. McGuire School North Providence 0 Fewer than five
North Providence High School North Providence Fewer than five Fewer than five
North Smithfield Elementary School North Smithfield 0 Fewer than five
North Smithfield Middle School North Smithfield 0 Fewer than five
Paul Cuffee Lower School Paul Cuffee Charter Sch Fewer than five Fewer than five
Paul Cuffee Upper School Paul Cuffee Charter Sch 0 Fewer than five
Charles E. Shea High School Pawtucket Fewer than five 10 to 14
Curvin-McCabe School Pawtucket 0 Fewer than five
Elizabeth Baldwin School Pawtucket 0 Fewer than five
Fallon Memorial School Pawtucket 0 Fewer than five
Flora S. Curtis Memorial School Pawtucket 0 Fewer than five
Henry J. Winters School Pawtucket 0 Fewer than five
Jacqueline M. Walsh School for the Performing and Visual Arts Pawtucket Fewer than five Fewer than five
Joseph Jenks Middle School Pawtucket Fewer than five 5 to 9
Lyman B. Goff Middle School Pawtucket 0 Fewer than five
M. Virginia Cunningham School Pawtucket Fewer than five Fewer than five
Nathanael Greene School Pawtucket Fewer than five 5 to 9
Potter-Burns School Pawtucket 0 Fewer than five
Samuel Slater Middle School Pawtucket 0 Fewer than five
William E Tolman Senior High School Pawtucket Fewer than five 5 to 9
Portsmouth High School Portsmouth 0 Fewer than five
Portsmouth Middle School Portsmouth 0 Fewer than five
Community Preparatory School Private Schools 0 Fewer than five
Greenville Nursery School Private Schools Fewer than five Fewer than five
Kid’s Kingdom Private Schools 0 Fewer than five
Moses Brown School Private Schools 0 Fewer than five
Mount Pleasant Academy Private Schools 0 Fewer than five
Ocean State Academy Private Schools Fewer than five Fewer than five
San Miguel School Private Schools 0 Fewer than five
Sophia Academy Private Schools 0 Fewer than five
St. Mary’s Home for Children/George N. Hunt Campus School Private Schools 0 Fewer than five
The Wheeler School Private Schools 0 Fewer than five
Trinity Christian Academy Private Schools 0 Fewer than five
360 High School Providence 0 Fewer than five
Alan Shawn Feinstein Elementary at Broad Street Providence 0 Fewer than five
Anthony Carnevale Elementary School Providence Fewer than five Fewer than five
Asa Messer Elementary School Providence 0 Fewer than five
Carl G. Lauro Elementary School Providence 0 Fewer than five
Central High School Providence Fewer than five 5 to 9
Classical High School Providence 0 Fewer than five
Dr. Jorge Alvarez High School Providence 0 Fewer than five
E-Cubed Academy Providence 0 Fewer than five
Esek Hopkins Middle School Providence 0 Fewer than five
Gilbert Stuart Middle School Providence Fewer than five Fewer than five
Governor Christopher DelSesto Middle School Providence Fewer than five 5 to 9
Harry Kizirian Elementary School Providence Fewer than five Fewer than five
Hope High School Providence 0 5 to 9
Juanita Sanchez Educational Complex Providence 0 Fewer than five
Lillian Feinstein Elementary Sackett Street Providence 0 Fewer than five
Mount Pleasant High School Providence Fewer than five 5 to 9
Nathan Bishop Middle School Providence Fewer than five Fewer than five
Nathanael Greene Middle School Providence 0 Fewer than five
Pleasant View School Providence 0 Fewer than five
Providence Career and Technical Academy Providence 0 5 to 9
Providence Virtual Learning Academy Providence 0 Fewer than five
Reservoir Avenue School Providence 0 Fewer than five
Robert F. Kennedy Elementary School Providence 0 Fewer than five
Roger Williams Middle School Providence 0 Fewer than five
The Sgt. Cornel Young Jr & Charlotte Woods Elementary School @ The B. Jae Clanton Complex Providence 0 Fewer than five
Times2 Elementary School Providence Fewer than five Fewer than five
Vartan Gregorian Elementary School Providence 0 Fewer than five
Veazie Street School Providence 0 Fewer than five
RI Nurses Institute Middle College Charter High School Rhode Island Nurses Institute Middle College 0 Fewer than

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Governor Raimondo announced a series of new coronavirus restrictions on Thursday.  Democratic state legislators vote for a new Rhode Island House Speaker.  A dozen RI communities once-again support President Trump in the general election.

>>New Coronavirus Restrictions Announced By Governor

(Providence, RI)  --  Governor Gina Raimondo announced a series of new coronavirus restrictions on Thursday as virus cases reach record numbers.  The restrictions, which take effect on Sunday, include earlier closing times for restaurants and other businesses, reduced capacity limits, mask-wearing around all people you don't share a residence with, and a late night/overnight stay-at-home policy.  Raimondo warned that continued behavior like a recent party in Bristol which has produced a number of virus cases will lead to another shutdown of Rhode Island's economy.  The governor plans to discuss possible additional restrictions centered around the Thanksgiving holiday next week.

>>Shekarchi Gets House Speaker Support At Caucus

(Warwick, RI)  --  State Representative K. Joseph Shekarchi [[ shuh-CAR-chee ]] has been nominated to be the next speaker of the Rhode Island House of Representatives.  A majority of House Democrats voted for Shekarchi at a caucus in Warwick on Thursday.  The full House must vote on electing the Speaker, which could happen in January.  The position became available after current Speaker Nicholas Mattiello lost his re-election bid this week.

>>Officials Moving Forward With Proposed Providence Multi-Hub Bus System

(Providence, RI)  --  The state of Rhode Island and the city of Providence intend to move forward with a new multi-hub system for RI Public Transit Authority buses.  Plans were announced in July to build new hubs at the Providence train station and on Dyer Street in the city's Innovation and Design District to reduce the traffic at the downtown Kennedy Plaza.  Governor Raimondo said the project will improve the experience for existing riders and encourage more Rhode Islanders to use public transit.  Officials plan to launch an extensive community engagement effort regarding the project.

>>Providence Council Creates Off-Road Vehicle Commission

(Providence, RI)  --  A resolution was passed at the Providence City Council meeting on Thursday to create a special commission on ATV and recreational vehicle enforcement.  Councilwoman Carmen Castillo, who introduced the resolution, said the illegal operation of ATVs and dirt bikes in Providence has quickly become a serious quality of life issue for residents recently.  A crash involving a police cruiser and moped operator Jhamal Gonsalves last month happened while police were responding to a large gathering of such vehicles in the city.  Castillo said the incident has shined a light on the danger and risks associated with the enforcement.

>>Pawtucket Police Identify Dead Shooting Suspect

(Pawtucket, RI)  --  Police have released the name of a homicide suspect in Pawtucket who was reportedly found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Wednesday.  The man's name was Arthur Debarros of Pawtucket and Central Falls.  Debarros died after being taken to a hospital.  Police were executing a search warrant when the found him.  He was wanted in connection to a fatal shooting in the city last month.

>>A Dozen RI Municipalities Vote For Trump In 2016, 2020

(Undated)  --  President Trump is receiving support from almost all of the same Rhode Island communities this year which voted for him in the 2016 general election.  According to a Providence Journal report, the places that voted for Trump in the Ocean State in 2020 were: Burrillville, Coventry, Exeter, Foster, Glocester, Hopkinton, Johnston, North Smithfield, Richmond, Scituate, Smithfield, and West Greenwich.  Two municipalities that voted for Trump in 2016 but flipped to the Democratic candidate this year were Lincoln and West Warwick.  Overall, unofficial results indicate Joe Biden beat Donald Trump in Rhode Island by about 95-thousand votes.

Jim McCabe/djc           RI)
Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

11-06-2020 01:54:10

Architecture & the Ballot Box

Architecture & the Ballot Box – by David Brussat

November 5, 2020/David Brussat


by David Brussat, contributing writer, Architecture Here and There


Photo: Classical architecture defines the National Mall in Washington, D.C. (Wikipedia)


Few votes are likely to be influenced by a post on the eve of Election Day, but architecture will be heavily influenced by the vote. If Donald Trump wins, classical architecture will receive a boost. On the other hand, if Joe Biden wins, so will modern architecture.


Trump, after all, has sponsored an executive order that would shift the design of federal buildings from the current modernist mandate toward a classical mandate. Trump has not signed the order, and the order may not reflect the president’s personal taste in architecture. But the E.O. is called “Make Federal Buildings Beautiful Again,” a title that speaks volumes. If Trump does sign the E.O., and it is faithfully implemented, its influence will spread beyond federal buildings. The unbalanced market for architectural commissions will open up and shift toward tradition. Schools of architecture will respond to that shift by adding classical curricula. The public’s preference for traditional buildings, which has been stifled for a half a century, will guide architecture back to its roots. That will take time, but over time, beauty will return to the built environment.


Biden is a blank slate on architecture, so far as I know, but the modernists’ dominance of the field will continue if he is elected, since modern architecture is the brand of America’s corporate establishment. Furthermore, there will be no check on the rising influence of critical theory in architecture, which holds that its classical and traditional strains reflect the structurally racist agenda of white power, and threatens to escape the confines of academia. Institutional leadership will find it ever more difficult to resist the idea that columns and cornices are too risky in an increasingly woke cultural climate.


That does not mean that all Democrats are modernists and all Republicans are classicists. Far from it. Architecture ought to be the most bipartisan of fields. Classicism caters to the bottom-up, small-is-beautiful beliefs of traditional liberals, and fits better than modernism into the green agenda. And I’m sure that warm and cozy beats cold and sterile at the ballot box and everywhere else.


In fact, I’d wager that if exit polls taken after voters cast ballots were to ask about architectural preferences, the preferences of Biden voters and Trump voters would be nearly identical: three-to-one in favor of traditional styles. That conclusion was reached by a Harris Poll taken in October, and reached across every demographic category, including party identification. Of course, polling is in ill repute these days. Perhaps there are as many shy classicists as shy Trumpsters.


Who knows? That is one question that will not be answered on Election Day.



David Brussat


My freelance writing and editing on architecture and others addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to employ my writing and editing to improve your work, please email me at my consultancy,, or call (401) 351-0457

Reflections on Elections 2020

Reflections on Elections 2020

November 5, 2020/RINewsToday


What happened the other night? This week?


A rejection of The Media. A rejection of The Pollsters.


The logistics of Voting have changed – forever.


Commitment that the United States is still basically a conservative country. Socialism is being rejected as best it can be within the system, with a rejection of Never Trumpers and AOC and The Squad’s agenda.


The Latino population is more conservative than it is progressive/liberal.


In Rhode Island…


We voted! Boy, did we vote….


According to the Board of Elections:


To date, results are posted and updated, here:


  • Mail ballots tallied: 158,967
  • Emergency in-person ballots tallied: 149,535


Remaining drop box ballots and any still uncounted mail ballots will be added to the Mail Ballots totals. Any precincts which failed to transmit their results on Election Night due to any technical issues will be added to the Election Day results.


November 7th – 9th
Provisional ballots results will be added to Polling Place Results.


November 10th
Deficient mail ballots cured by voters and due to the Board of Elections by November 10th will be added, prior to certification.


Featured Results:


Speaker of the House



Nicholas Mattiello has lost his position as a Cranston Representative, losing to Barbara Ann Fenton-Fung. Fung enters the State House as a freshman Republican, at a time when women Progressives are rising. About a month ago a list of Legislative Grants that benefitted Cranston groups and nonprofits was printed by the Providence Journal. Shocking, some said. But Cranston residents always tended to quietly say “thank you” to their powerful advocate for Rhode Island’s number two most powerful city. Granted the charges of corruption or good-boy deals had become a louder chorus of concern for many in the state lately And we knew there was trouble in the campaign when Mattiello’s wife did a YouTube campaign video and then Mattiello sat with his two adorable golden retrievers to tape a message, too. Some say Cranston took it on the chin to move the too-powerful Speaker out the door. No doubt Fenton-Fung will be on the hotseat to bring home the support for Cranston in the same way, if not a larger way, with her connections as the wife of the outgoing, popular mayor of Cranston, Allan Fung. In an afternoon press conference she said her agenda would be small business, the price of drugs, and the coronavirus.


Late morning on Wednesday, Speaker Mattiello released a statement:




Mattiello has a lucrative day job. He is an attorney with a very active private practice, and is a frequent presence in local courts. He joins other past Speakers of the House, including John Harwood, a busy attorney with his own firm of Harwood and Garland in Pawtucket; Joseph DeAngelis, senior counsel with Adler, Pollock and Sheehan in Providence. William Murphy is an attorney with the firm of Murphy & Fay, LLP. Gordon Fox, an attorney, resigned and was convicted of bribery, fraud, and filing a false tax return, and served 3 years in prison. He now works as a housing specialist for Crossroads Rhode Island.



New Political Power Couple?

Newport Daily News


Barbara Ann Fenton-Fung steps up and will take her role as a freshman Republican woman at the RI State House. With husband Fung not saying he would not be looking at the RI State House for a future gubernatorial run is this the new political power couple in RI?



New Speaker, step right up…


As members of the House of Representatives became aware that Speaker Mattiello would be voted out of office, the ProJo’s Kathy Gregg reports that a power group of legislators met at Gregg’s in Warwick. They proposed Rep. Shekarchi as speaker, and determined he had enough votes to take the Speakership.  A press release late on Wednesday listed 18 members of the House of Representatives who support his elevation, all women.




Concurrently, there was an effort from the “Reform Coalition” who say they are both Democrats and Republicans. The goal of this coalition would be several things, but their main goal was to select the new Speaker. Rep. Jack Lyle had been brought up as a possibility.



Another Speaker candidate being proposed by the Women’s Democratic Caucus is Rep. Liana M. Cassar of Barrington, who is a strategy and operations consultant for the Global Health Media Project, and a press release went out saying it is time for women to lead, and “we must not accept old leadership’s suggestion for who is “next in line”. The issue should be settled after a meeting tonight.


On the Senate side, Sen. Gayle Goldin has said she may try to take over the Senate President position now held by Dominick J. Ruggerio.


Cranston Mayor – next up



Term limited Allan Fung leaves and City Councilman Ken Hopkins wins, keeping the city’s Republican leadership. With good relationships with those who had been interested in the mayoral position, perhaps we’ll see Maria Bucci, or Steve Stycos on a Hopkins administration.



A tearful acceptance speech by Hopkins noted the recent death of his wife and how he had wondered what his future path would look like – and has now found it.



Warwick Mayor



Independent Frank Picozzi is in the midst of one of the biggest upsets in Rhode Island in the Warwick Mayoral race, winning over Mayor Solomon. His campaign was bolstered by support of the local newspaper, reported to have been angered by Solomon for business decisions. A member of the Warwick School Committee, he bested incumbent Joe Solomon’s 40.3% vote with a 59.4% show.  



New Name for Rhode Island


We’re taking “… and Providence Plantations” out of the official name of the State of Rhode Island. It passed narrowly, not in every city/town, and in its second attempt. We wonder if there is an economic note on this to replace plaques, all kinds of printed goods, etc, as the full name lives in so many locations and formats.


Rhode Islanders never met a bond issue they didn’t like


Want money for infrastructure? Schools? Make up a bond issue and get it on the ballot. We think the chances of it getting passed must be well over 90%. For instance, in Cranston, all bond issues were passed, from schools to roads, to even a line item veto. Take a look at the link, at the bottom of this article, and see what you passed for your city.


We built [our] cities on…



A nationwide push to relax drug laws took a significant step forward Tuesday as five more states legalized marijuana for adults and voters made Oregon the first state to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of street drugs such as cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.


The Oregon drug initiative will allow people arrested with small amounts of hard drugs to avoid going to trial, and possible jail time, by paying a $100 fine and attending an addiction recovery program. The treatment centers will be funded by revenues from legalized marijuana, which was approved in Oregon several years ago. Oregon also became the first state to legalize psychedelic mushrooms.


Presidential candidates each claim a path to victory – and the devil is always in the details.


Here are the results as of early this morning. The magic number of 270 should be reached today by Biden, with challenges set to go. The Senate if 50-50, has ties broken by the Vice-President. This would mean power would move to the Democrats, but Republicans are expected, when all is said and done, to continue to control the Senate.


As of this morning:



Lawsuits are flying and voting results are being challenged, as well as vote counting methods, and regulations around voting. A suit has been filed in Michigan claiming lack of legally required meaningful access. A recount in state of Wisconsin is expected, which is normal as the split is so small. After the President spoke of campaign fraud and how he had actually won the election, this morning he posted this on Twitter. If a path to victory cannot be found, then he will need to strategize a personal path to accepting defeat.

This Twitter post was also taken down by Twitter as misleading.


Candidate Joe Biden has now edited his website to say when everything is counted he will be victorious as President.


Twitter Censorship



It’s noteworthy to see Twitter so easily remove or add their own messages to Tweets making political commentary, especially after they were called on the carpet, along with Facebook and Google to answer for their actions. It’s as if the American people need help using their own good brains to figure things out, and not consider the source and decide for themselves.


The Latino Vote



We learned that on a national level there is no “Latino vote” and people of Latino heritage do not vote as a block. One can only look to the strong conservative base of the President in Florida. Locally, RI saw its first woman Latino Mayor, Mayor Maria Rivera of Central Falls.


Lessons learned?


Early voting is popular – but the structure doesn’t work (the way it is).


Calculating ballots doesn’t work (the way it is).


The Media failed us as they jumped over each other to “be first” rather than “be accurate”.


People deserve an election they can be confident in.


Polls were wrong from local to national prognostications.


People deserve an election that has timely – and accurate – results.


Malfunctioning flash drives overloaded with data, Rhode Island?  C’mon, that’s just sloppy and added unnecessary stress and delays in Cranston.


Over 12 legal cases are now underway in key states. Wisconsin recount requested, which would normally be done as the numbers are so close. The Republican party is also suing the state of Michigan for not providing count observation, which they are legally approved to do. Legal challenges in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. Could be the beginning of a long week, weeks, or even months. The process must play out. Young voters won’t remember “hanging chads” in Florida, but older folks will and we seem to be about to go down a road like that – or longer – if efforts to question results continue as they appear they will.


Check Rhode Island results:


The first step in forming a relationship with your legislator is to know who they are.  Check here for full results of RI votes, bond issues, and questions.

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: There will be a new House Speaker in the Rhode Island state legislature.  The Cranston mayor's race has been settled.  Updates on two fatal shootings in Pawtucket last month.

>>Candidates Coming Forward For New RI House Speaker

(Providence, RI)  --  There is now a power vacuum in the Rhode Island General Assembly after House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello's election loss on Tuesday.  Mattiello was elected Speaker in 2014.  Current House Majority Leader K. Joseph Shekarchi [[ shuh-CAR-chee ]], a fellow Democrat who represents Warwick, is now considered the front-runner.  He released a statement yesterday saying he would run for Speaker with Representative Chris Blazejewski [[ BLAZ-uh-JOO-skee ]] of Providence as his majority leader.  Another name that recently popped up was Liana Cassar [[ CASS-sarr ]] of Barrington, who announced her Speaker interest last week.

[[ watch for updates ]]

>>Count All Votes Rally In Providence

(Providence, RI)  --  A rally was held at the State House in Providence on Wednesday to call for every vote to be counted as the presidential race remains very close in several states.  The "Make It Count" rally, organized by the Rhode Island Working Families Party and other groups, also advocated for immediate climate change legislation among other things.  Other rallies calling for all votes to be counted were held yesterday in New England, including several in Boston.

>>Hopkins Wins Cranston Mayor's Race

(Cranston, RI)  --  The mayoral race in Cranston is decided.  City Council member Kenneth Hopkins is the winner over former board member Maria Bucci, who conceded on Wednesday.  According to a report from The Providence Journal, thousands of ballots cast in the race had to be re-scanned at the state Board of Election headquarters because of a problem saving voting data on USB drives.  Hopkins will succeed term-limited mayor Allan Fung, both Republicans.

>>Coronavirus: Providence PD Cases, East Prov Kindergartners Quarantine

(Undated)  --  The Providence Police Department is announcing new coronavirus cases.  Public Safety Commissioner Steven Paré [[ parry ]] tells WJAR-TV thirteen officers have tested positive.  In other coronavirus news in Rhode Island, reports a COVID-19 positive result has sent the kindergarten class at Myron Francis Elementary School into quarantine.

>>Pawtucket Fatal Shootings: One Suspect Charged, Another Has Died

(Pawtucket, RI)  --  One murder suspect in Pawtucket is under arrest, and another is dead.  There were two fatal shootings in the city last month, the first at a car wash on Main Street and another on Halloween night in the area of Lonsdale and Mineral Spring Avenues.  In the Halloween shooting, police say Jairo Esdel Galva of Central Falls turned himself in on Wednesday and faces a first-degree murder charge.  Also yesterday, the suspect in the car wash shooting was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound as authorities were executing a search warrant.  The unidentified man later died at Miriam Hospital.

>>Westerly Boil Water Notice Lifted

(Westerly, RI)  --  A boil water notice has been lifted for customers of the Westerly Water Department.  A notice was issued on Monday because of a water main break that had the potential to cause loss of water pressure.  That break has since been repaired.

Jim McCabe/jb         RI) MA) 
Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

11-05-2020 01:42:06

Election Results in 2020 - What did we expect?

Election Results in 2020 – what did we expect?

November 4, 2020/RINewsToday




Early voting and a pandemic. Massive voter turnout. All are having extraordinary influence on our national – and our local – elections.




On the national level it’s been a night. With the states of too close to call, and the magic electoral number just out of reach for both presidential candidates, we saw Joe Biden take the podium with confidence that he would win when all the votes were tabulated. At 2am, it was President Trump who took to a podium saying that he was ready to come out to address the public with a positive and upbeat status message, with millions of votes not yet having been counted all around the United States, and that it would be a waiting game until all votes were counted, but then reacted to early predictions that he had lost. President Trump hinted that the election was won by him already, and said early announcements spoke to election fraud and said he would take it to the Supreme Court.


As of 4am, the states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada, North Carolina, and Georgia were too close to be called.


The magic electoral number is 270. Biden has 230 and Trump has 213.


Bring in the lawyers


This is the time for the lawyers to step in and for the American people to be patient while votes are counted and legal challenges worked out – keeping their trust in the elections and voting process.



House/Senate – Senate Safe – House Grows with Republicans


Republicans have picked up seats in the House and held the Senate.


Mitch McConnell & Lindsay Graham have both been elected.


Rhode Island


A frittata! That’s how it feels as the sun rises. USB drives with over 7,000 votes had transmission issues. Early results did not note that early votes and mail-in votes had not been included in the totals. This left Rhode Island looking like it had gone for Trump, which was the first indication that something was amiss.


Nicholas Mattiello – Speaker of the House


As we go to recounts of these ballots, 58% of votes have gone to Barbara Ann Fenton-Fung, a first time candidate and wife of Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, for taking over the local representative spot from Nicholas Mattiello, who also serves as the RI Speaker of the House.


Cranston Mayor – Ken Hopkins leads Maria Bucci for Mayor with a 54% majority and made a passionate speech late last night. Having lost his wife in the past year, to cancer, he said he wondered what purpose his life would hold, and now he has an answer. Maria Bucci has not yet made a concession speech, waiting for the complete tallies to take place.


New Name for Rhode Island


As we went to bed the resolution to rename the state by removing “…and Providence Plantations” from the official name had lost in a thin margin – as mail ballots were added in the resolution was approved.




Here is the link from the state of Rhode Island where all local results will eventually be posted. Check it frequently:





In Massachusetts, winning seats of interest:


Ed Markey – re-elected


Jake Auchincloss


Rhode Island’s congressional delegation (with some impressive challenger numbers):


Sen. Jack Reed – Congressman Jack Cicilline – Congressman James Langevin


Looking forward to more clarity as Rhode Island counts over 7,000 vote that it could not count – they may resort to a manual paper ballot count. And…of course, the national vote results continue. We expect final results on the Presidential election to take days – if not weeks to confirm.






Posted in 

Newport Restaurant Week - November 6th - November 15th.

Newport Restaurant Week – Nov. 6-15, 2020

November 4, 2020/RINewsToday


This year’s Newport Restaurant Week will definitely look different this season (as most things have in 2020), but nonetheless we’re committed to helping restaurant doors stay open, and to making you feel safe while you’re there.


The emphasis this season is on everyone’s favorite thing: deals. It’s Newport Restaurant Week remixed, with an assortment of unbeatable discounts at participating restaurants for you to choose from. Think: BOGO deals, prix-fixe offerings, gift card promotions, and so much more. Discover all of the participating restaurants below.



The 58 restaurants listed on their website have all been confirmed in good standing with the RI health department, according to Discover Newport.


Access them all here and make your reservation now:

Posted in 

Don't take it home for the holidays

Don’t take it home for the holidays!

November 4, 2020/RINewsToday


What will RI Colleges/Universities do to protect families back home…


Soon, students at Rhode Island colleges and universities will leave for home. Thousands of them. They’ll drive, get on a bus, a train, or a plane. Friends or family may come to fetch them. To bring them home. Home to brothers and sisters, parents, friends and relatives. Grandparents. Aunts and uncles. They’ll get together with their neighborhood friends at home. Go out to the bars. Restaurants. Gather at each other’s homes. They’ll shop for holiday gifts.


Just a few short weeks ago, these young people were coming into Rhode Island. They moved into dorm rooms, apartments and houses off-campus. Some got jobs in the local neighborhood. They found their favorite watering holes. And Pizza places. They went to the gym. Practiced on their school’s sports team, maybe. Shopped for groceries. Planned and went to more than a few parties. Partnered up with their best-buds. Found a little romance.


Then they started to test positive for the coronavirus. Some got a little sick. Some more moderately sick. As far as we know, only one student was reported as having to go to a hospital, and that student had an underlying condition, and recovered well. Some never had a symptom. But they became walking germ-spreaders.


Most had masks but didn’t wear them very much. A 3-decker tenement could have between 10 and 15 students living in it – it could be seen as a “safe family group”. But it wasn’t. Each student had a whole lot of other interactions. Mask on – mask off. 


Most, if not all schools did not require negative tests to get on campus, or quarantines before moving in. But now there was a rush-to-test. And positives were found. Some symptomatic, others asymptomatic, and yet others pre-symptomatic. More than 250 at one campus, and at another. The state’s Health Department partnered with the schools to identify, quarantine, and contact trace.


More than one university at the very beginning advised positive kids to – go home. Then they stopped recommending that. And the Health Department got involved. So that advice was changed to shelter in place. Don’t go out. Don’t come onto campus. Don’t go to work. They would be brought food and what they needed to recover and quarantine right where they were living – or moved to a hotel room or dorm room if their place had other people too close around them. All designed to stop the spread in its tracks.


Things started to clear up pretty well. Aggressive testing protocols were put in place. More than one private school required the downloading of a testing/symptom app that had to be shown to enter and move around campus. And things got back to normal, with a little outbreak here and there – most resulting from rule-breaking parties. Why? Because kids are kids.


We learn quickly about this disease and now we know that the coronavirus usually cannot be reliably detected during the first 5 days after infection. After 8 days, however, it can be detected in most infected people.


On the cusp of Thanksgiving


In a few short weeks, college kids will be disbursing for the Thanksgiving break – some will stay through Christmas and return in January – others will go back and forth. Some schools will use this time to switch to virtual learning until the next semester. We learned that SUNY, the State University of New York has announced a massive plan to require all 140,000 students on their campuses to test negative before leaving for Thanksgiving break, after which most of the campuses will operate almost entirely remotely. “By requiring all students to test negative before leaving, we are implementing a smart, sensible policy that protects students’ families and hometown communities, and drastically reduces the chances of Covid-19 community spread,” said Jim Malatras, the system’s chancellor, in a news release.


The policy requires students to test negative within the 10-day period before leaving campus for the break and applies to all students “using on-campus facilities in any capacity.” Campuses must submit their plans, for testing students as close as possible to their departure date, to the system by November 5.


There is also a recommended four-step plan by MedPage recommended for colleges and students, specifically, and it is in great detail. The group feels that following the four-step plan is essential for asymptomatic students wishing to travel home.


Students already exhibiting any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 infection should get tested and seek care from a licensed healthcare professional.


Here is their plan:


Step 1 – Self-sequestration (8 days before leaving for home)


  • Avoid going to restaurants, bars, parties, or any place where people gather in numbers.
  • Convert to 100% online learning.
  • Wear a mask at all times when outside of your own room.
  • Maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet between yourself and others.
  • Practice frequent hand washing.
  • Get your flu shot as early as possible


Step 2 – Pre-travel testing (2-3 days before leaving for home)


  • Get a COVID-19 test, preferably a molecular test for viral RNA using an FDA-approved nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) on a nasal, nasopharyngeal or saliva sample, acknowledging this will not be perfect (the risk of a false negative result may exceed 20%). Rapid antigen testing has not been thoroughly tested in real world scenarios and its performance in asymptomatic individuals is not comparable to molecular NAAT testing though the FDA has given it an emergency use waiver.
  • If your results are positive, self-quarantine at college and make a new plan to “reschedule” the holidays for a later date. Step 3 – Travel home


  • If your results are negative, travel home following CDC guidance, wearing a widely available disposable surgical mask or a cloth mask with at least two layers, as well as (optional) eye protection at all times when indoors with crowds and on planes, trains, buses or other enclosed vehicles. Vented masks that reduce the obstruction to exhaled breath are not appropriate and are not recommended.
  • Regularly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, or soap and water. Use antibacterial wipes on your seat, tray table, armrest, and other areas around you during your travel.


Step 4 – At home (upon arriving)


  • Avoid activities in which social distancing cannot be maintained or taking protective measures may be difficult.
  • Host outdoor activities rather than indoor activities as much as possible.
  • Follow CDC guidelines by asking all guests at holiday gatherings to strictly avoid contact with people outside of their households for the prior 14 days.
  • Avoid any self-serve food or drink options, such as buffets, salad bars, and condiment or drink stations. Use single-use options or identify one person to serve shareable items, such as salad dressings, food containers, plates, utensils, and condiments.
  • Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before and after preparing, serving, and eating food.
  • Isolate from family and friends and get retested if you develop any symptoms (including but not limited to fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, headache, loss of taste or smell) or are notified that you were a close contact with someone who tested positive.
  • Find creative substitutes for the hugs and kisses that we all crave when reuniting with loved ones. Remember this is one year in a lifetime of holidays, and with luck, persistence, and science, we will be back to gathering closely again next year.


This is a developing story and we will survey Rhode island’s colleges to see what their plans are for students on campus traveling home for Thanksgiving. If you have children on campus or in off-campus housing, think about how to safely have them return for the fall holidays.


Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Rhode Island goes for Joe Biden, and voters re-elect three longtime Congressional representatives.  House Speaker Nick Mattiello could be on his way out of the RI General Assembly.  Voters have decided to remove a controversial word from Rhode Island's official state name.

[[ watch for updates on all election coverage ]]

>>Rhode Island Elects Joe Biden For President

(Undated)  --  Rhode Island delivered four electoral votes for Democratic candidate Joe Biden in the presidential election on Tuesday.  Rhode Island last elected a Republican president in 1984.  As of 3 a.m. Wednesday, all New England states were declared for Biden except for Maine, which is still up in the air.

>>Senator Reed, Reps Cicilline And Langevin Win

(Undated)  --  Rhode Island's three Congressional representatives who were all running for re-election on Tuesday won their races.  Senator Jack Reed and Representatives David Cicilline and Jim Langevin all released statements acknowledging their wins.  The Democratic trio have a combined 51 years of experience representing Rhode Island on Capitol Hill.

>>House Speaker Mattiello In Danger Of Losing General Assembly Seat

(Cranston, RI)  --  Rhode Island House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello could be losing his seat in the General Assembly.  Republican challenger Barbara Ann Fenton-Fung was ahead of the Democrat Mattiello by about a thousand votes in the Cranston district race Tuesday night.  But mail-ballot and other early votes had not been counted, and Fenton-Fung did not declare victory last night.

>>Mayoral Race Updates In Four Cities

(Undated)  --  In the race for Warwick mayor, The Providence Journal reports challenger Frank Picozzi defeated incumbent Joe Solomon after the final counts came in around 1 a.m. Wednesday.  In the race for mayor in Woonsocket, the Projo reports incumbent Lisa Baldelli-Hunt held off a challenge from City Councilor Jon Brien.  In the race for Central Falls mayor, City Councilor Maria Rivera has declared victory.  And in Cranston, the race for mayor has not been called, but city council member Ken Hopkins was ahead.

>>Voters Pass Constitutional Amendment To Change Official State Name

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island voters are shortening the state's official name.  The phrase "Providence Plantations" will be removed as a result of the passage of Question 1, which was rejected one decade ago.  About 53 percent of the vote on the constitutional amendment wanted the name change, according to Tuesday's unofficial results.  The push for the removal of the word "Plantations" was racially motivated.

>>Record Voter Turnout In RI

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island has set a new voter turnout record.  As of 7 p.m. last night, the RI Secretary of State's Office reported about 482-thousand ballots had been cast.  That surpasses the previous record set in 2008, when about 475-thousand Rhode Islanders voted.  This year's large turnout was driven by early voting and mail ballots.  The state Board of Elections is predicting well over a half-million votes when the final number is settled.

Jim McCabe/djc           RI)
Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

11-04-2020 01:45:11

Your Coronavirus Update - Today November 3, 2020

RI Coronavirus Update – Today, Nov. 3, 2020

November 3, 2020/RINewsToday


Photo: March 1, 2020 – Providence Journal headline: “2 have now tested positive for coronavirus after Saint Raphael Academy field trip to Europe; students, chaperones on trip quarantined”




Virus Hospitalizations Are Up in N.Y.C. But This Time, It’s Different – NYTIMES headline – Patients with serious cases are spending less time in the hospital on average and are less likely to be put on ventilators. Fewer are dying.


Oklahoma state data shows cities with mask mandates nearly cut by half the number of new virus infections after three weeks.


Swarovski plans on cutting 6,000 jobs.


Nursing home facilities across the country that share the most workers also had the most COVID-19 infections.


A large English study shows immunity for patients having had the virus may not be long lasting.


A teachers union in England calls for schools to be closed, too.


Driven by new solidarity, Poles have been buying armloads of chrysanthemums to help out flower vendors who unexpectedly faced bankruptcy when the government ordered all cemeteries locked due to COVID-19 during a traditional memorial weekend.


British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday announced a new monthlong lockdown for England as the United Kingdom surpassed 1 million confirmed COVID-19 cases.


England: To cushion the economic impact of the lockdown, the government plans to extend its job furlough program, which covers 80% of the wages of workers whose employers are forced to close by the restrictions. The government on Monday said it would also double support for self-employed workers to 80% of their average trading profits for November.


Slovakia is experimenting on virus control by screening every person over the age of 10 in one point in time – a weekend – in an all-out attempt to shut down the virus, isolating those who test positive. This unique test is being done on 1 million people. So far positivity is under 1%. Here:


Australia has no positive cases for the first time.


New York: Most people arriving in New York state must quarantine for at least three full days before taking a coronavirus test. If that test comes back negative, the traveler can leave quarantine. Residents of contiguous states – Connecticut, Pennsylvania and New Jersey (unclear about neighboring Vermont and Massachusetts) can present a negative test result no more than 3 days before their visit to be able to go about their business.


Railroad traffic has surged back from this spring’s steep drop during the height of the virus-related shutdowns – particularly in freight deliveries.


England’s one-month lockdown, set to begin Thursday, could be extended beyond early December


Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, tested positive in April of this year.


Prince Charles tested positive in March.


400 partiers shut down in NY – with multiple large parties happening all around New York.


Good News: While coronavirus is much harder to deal with than the flu, and may have long term effects, which the flu does not have, Survival rates have improved with medical advances and less crowded hospitals. At one New York hospital system where 30 percent of coronavirus patients died in March, the death rate had dropped to 3 percent by the end of June. In England, 60% of people in intensive care were surviving, that rate is now over 80%. Use of steroid drugs, mon-drug interventions, increased awareness, seeking help sooner, a lightened load on hospitals, less pressure on medical staff, more appropriate use of ventilators, and recognition of complications such as blood clots and kidney failure, oxygen level decrease, etc. are all attributed to the good news.


The FDA has authorized nearly 230 diagnostic tests for COVID-19 – these are the more popular:


Molecular Tests


Antigen Tests


Loneliness had been deemed an official epidemic in several countries – and some companies have offered tech-based solutions as unique as special products and services that provide hugs, companionship, robots, etc.


Vermont: The state is experiencing multiple coronavirus outbreaks that are growing, and cases are turning up in more schools and child care programs.


Worcester: Students at Assumption University have been told to shelter in place for a week in response to a cluster of coronavirus cases on campus.


Only 2.8% of ER visits are attributed to COVID, according to the AHA


A Covid-19 outbreak on the men’s and women’s soccer teams at an Illinois University highlights the difficulties colleges face in preventing the spread of the coronavirus, tracing the infection of 17 players, finding that several social gatherings, at which players reported not wearing masks and not socially distancing, probably fueled the spread.


The State University of New York system announced on Tuesday it would require about 140,000 students on its campuses to test negative for Covid-19 before they can leave for Thanksgiving break, after which most of the campuses will operate almost entirely remotely. “By requiring all students to test negative before leaving, we are implementing a smart, sensible policy that protects students’ families and hometown communities, and drastically reduces the chances of Covid-19 community spread.


Bethune-Cookman University announced that it was canceling all sports for the 2020-21 academic year, becoming the first institution in the NCAA’s Division I tier to do so.


The head of the WHO is now in quarantine, after having been exposed.


Nursing homes, small physician offices and rural clinics are being left behind in the rush for N95 masks and other protective gear, exposing some of the country’s most vulnerable populations and their caregivers to COVID-19 while larger, wealthier health care facilities build equipment stockpiles.


Britain starts accelerated review for AstraZeneca’s potential Covid-19 vaccine.


HHS says providers can use COVID-19 relief grants for vaccine distribution



In Massachusetts, new restrictions: stay at home advisory from 10pm to 5am; most entertainment venues to close at 9:30pm; no tableservice at restaurants after 9:30pm (takeout ok); social gathering limits at 10. People must now wear masks at all times in public regardless of distance away from people.


Boston hospitalizations have increased by 130%.


Gov. Raimondo said she does not think the state will go to phase 2; hospitals will restrict hospitalizations, as well as nursing homes. Today the state hired 40 new contact tracers with plans to hire 100 more. Election day the state has national guard standing by.


Testing – State-run COVID-19 testing sites will be open tomorrow, Election Day. These sites are the 15 K-12 sites throughout the state, Rhode Island Convention Center site, the Stop & Shop locations in Newport and Cumberland, and the Block Island Fire and Rescue. However, these sites will be closed on Veterans Day (November 11th).


Bryant University has a quarantine in place for 80 students as contact tracers found out about a large party. They had been coming and going from the party and a person there tested positive. The state thinks the quarantine may prevent an outbreak. The university will take disciplinary action against the students. Some athletes are impacted as well.


East Providence school department will do its own contact tracing.


The Providence Teachers Union has filed a lawsuit to temporarily close Nathanael Greene Middle School, shift to distance learning and order the state education commissioner to enact clear COVID-19 safety, health and staffing standards for all schools.


RI Hospitals end visitation. Lifespan has ceased visitation at all their facilities due to the virus. Children at Hasbro Childrens may have one parent with them. Care New England has also ended visitation. Charter Care ends visitation. Westerly Hospital had already taken this step. South County Hospital has a unique visitor policy including 2 hour lots in am and pm, with official designated visitor status. Landmark Medical Center is going with the state’s mandated no-visitor policy.


The family of Jhamal Gonsalves, in a coma, is challenging the hospital visitation policy for their son – and for all seriously ill patients at the hospital, saying individual exceptions should be made in such circumstances.


Friendly’s files for bankruptcy as part of sale


Middletown High School is moving to remote learning next week because four students tested positive for the virus after a large party of students in Bristol. It is estimated that as many as 1,000 people may be told to quarantine as a result of this event.


Lawyers and advocates for residents in long-term care say that the time should be up on policies that shield the nursing homes from lawsuits involving ordinary negligence.


School buses – “Our updated guidance to schools is going to specify that every other bus window should be open roughly one inch,” spokesman Joseph Wendelken said Friday. “The more ventilation the better. But keeping every other window open an inch is the minimum.”


WaterFire Providence will present its 2020 “Salute to Veterans” through a video that will be available online and on Rhode Island PBS. An hour-long video presentation, which will premiere on WaterFire Providence’s Facebook Live and YouTube channels Nov. 14 at 8 p.m., with a simulcast on WSBE-TV. Afterward, it will be available for on-demand viewing online.


New temporary hours at the Warwick Mall are Mon-Sat, 10:30am to 8pm and Sun, 11am to 6pm.


2021 Statewide Business After Hours is scheduled for Tuesday, October 26, 2021. 


URI Football Team put on hold for 2 weeks after positive tests.


Bishop Tobin, at All Souls Mass yesterday: “At Holy Mass today, as we prayed for the deceased, I wore black vestments in solidarity with those who have suffered so much this year from the illness, anxiety, isolation and death of the pandemic. And yet, despite our sorrow, our faith is strong and we live in hope.”


Rhode Island Commerce announced a new program to expand access to and the efficacy of remote work to further fight the spread of COVID-19. The effort will help fund the purchase of hardware, software and internet access to support Rhode Island workers and businesses.  A total of $5 million has been made available to support businesses moving employees to remote work or increasing productivity in order to keep them remote.


Smoking and vaping put students at a greater risk of poor outcomes should they contract COVID, all of which is important as RI Kids Count draw attention to the use of electronic cigarettes by teenagers being on the rise in Rhode Island.


RI Data:


Today’s Data – Nov. 2, 2020
Deaths: 3 (9, total since Thurs)
Tests: 4,560
Positives: 232 (1,154 new cases since Thurs)
Percent positive: 5.1%



What you need to do if you test positive:


  • Stay home for at least 10 days from the day you were tested.
  • Do not go to work or school for at least 10 days after testing positive.
  • Call your employer or school to inform them that you have tested positive and will be out for at least 10 days.
  • Call your primary care provider (if you have one) and inform them that you have tested positive.
  • Get help if you feel sick. Call your primary care provider or an urgent care to get medical advice. Call 911 or the nearest hospital if you think you are having a medical emergency (e.g., trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, or bluish lips or face.) Tell them you have COVID-19. 
  • Do your best to keep your distance from those you live with. If you can, use a separate bathroom and bedroom from others. Stay out of the kitchen and rooms where people in the house gather. 
  • Protect the people you live with from catching COVID-19 from you. Try to stay in a different room and wear a mask if you must be in the same room with others.
  • Have things you need delivered. Ask friends and family to drop off items at your door that you need, like food and other necessities.
  • Write a list of people you have been in close contact with. Make a list of everyone you were around starting 2 days before you got tested or started having COVID-19 symptoms until the time you got your test result and started isolating at home.
  • Let your close contacts know you have COVID-19. 
  • Answer the phone when RIDOH calls.


What people you live with need to do if you test positive:


  • Everyone you live with needs to stay home too. People you live with cannot go to work or school while you are infected (10 days) and for an additional 14 days.
  • Call the employers and schools of everyone in the house to let them know people will not be at work or school. Plan on 24 days home for everyone living in the house. (This is because symptoms can develop up to 14 days after your last exposure.) RIDOH will give you the exact dates when they call.
  • Watch for symptoms of COVID-19 in everyone living with you.  Watch for all the symptoms of COVID-19. Check a temperature twice a day (fever is greater than 100.4 degrees F). 
  • Get tested if any symptoms of COVID-19 are present. Call your healthcare provider for help getting tested or look online for a testing site.
  • Help you stay in a separate room. If you are able to stay in your own room without help, people in the house can bring you your food and check on you so that you do not need to be hanging around in the same room with others in the house.
  • Remind you to wear a mask if you have to be close to them or are in the same room in the house.

Trouble ahead, trouble behind....

Trouble ahead, trouble behind…

November 3, 2020/Richard Asinof


By Dr. Peter Simon, for Richard Asinof,


Photo: “This is an actual ‘decontaminated’ N95 mask that Albany Medical Center gave a nurse to use,” as tweeted out on Friday, Oct. 23, by Pat Kane. In response, Dr. Megan Ranney, an emergency room physician in Rhode Island, responded: “I have no words for how wrong this is, and how angry it makes me.” Ranney, who has set up a nonprofit, get, continued: “I dare you to suggest that this mask still has structural integrity and can protect this nurse. We are the United States. Our frontline workers deserve better than this.” The reality is that as Rhode Island and the nation enters a new surge of coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths, the lack of personal protection equipment, or PPE, continues to be a major problem, threatening the health and well-being of nurses, doctors and patients. Pat Kane’s Twitter Feed


Those with “power” and “money” have determined the shape of our health system. Without a shared understanding of the burden of disease and threats to the health of the people of Rhode Island – and their experiences seeking care in the present time, we may not see much changing for the good for us all in the future, following the coronavirus pandemic.

What we know and what we need to know
Off the coast of Greece, there are several island communities where residents routinely experience good health into their 10th decade. Researchers for decades have set up shop on these islands to observe and measure the patterns of living to see what are the elements that contribute to these healthy outcomes.


I know there are five determinants often cited from this work: genetics, behavior, environmental and physical influences, medical care and social factors.

How many of these five interconnected determinants have been discussed as part of the future long-term planning for health in Rhode Island? For instance, what are the projected health costs for rebuilding the Route 6/10 Connector in terms of future chronic disease burdens on the communities surrounding the highway?


Longitudinal design
When looking for the causes of risk, disease or any adverse outcome, I was taught by Dr. George Comsock, my professor of Epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, many research designs are available but none can compare to longitudinal design.

One study that meets such criteria that many will recognize is the Framingham Heart Study. Can anyone name another similar study in the U.S.? Or, here in Rhode Island? The ongoing research by Professor Anna Aizer, chair of the Economics Department at Brown University, looking at the longitudinal outcomes for lead-poisoned children in Providence, is one.


Much of the evidence based on causality – the science of looking at observed relationships between cause and effect – can often be flawed by a misuse of cross-sectional research design as well as the misunderstanding of the different types of risk.


The use of data as evidence
I wonder: what kind of “evidence” is being developed to look at efforts now underway to determine future health care delivery in Rhode Island?


Now, don’t get me wrong. I think what the forces behind the Rhode Island Foundation effort to develop plans for health, education and racial equity are wonderful.

I am just wondering a bit how their findings and recommendations might change and evolve if their deliberations had occurred after the current pandemic.


My questions are: What have we learned about ourselves, and the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for our state’s health system – for both preventive, acute and long-term medical care services?


Would the priorities for investment in our community health and well-being be different today, with what we have seen from the epidemiologic examination of infections, hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19?

Institutions with the power and the money often dominate a planning process, keeping it from being balanced and community-driven, in my experience.


Unless people come together and establish a common understanding of what health is and where it comes from, recommendations for future investment will be skewed toward the institutional interests of the most powerful and best financed, in my experience.

The vision for what we want in the future needs to be informed by real experiences of all members of the community, not just those now in paid government roles, those running large hospitals, and administrators of schools of Medicine.

As I write this, what keeps popping into my head are the memories of what happened to early efforts around “regional planning” to support healthy people, when the process was disrupted by those who told us told us that the government was the problem, not the solution.

“Regional planning” became a victim of those on the right who sought to eliminate comprehensive health planning that restricted those more interested in preserving their institutions or commercial gain.


My recommendations
First, I believe there needs to be a bright light, making transparent how the money from Brown University, Lifespan and Care New England – and other corporate stakeholders such as CVS and commercial insurers – will flow into the “planning and design” of the process for consolidation of our major health services institutions.


How will these large and politically connected entities invest in ways that serve the interest of the under-represented? Is there a way to follow the money?


Second, will the Rhode Island Foundation commission a “follow-up” report to its stakeholders, analyzing the lessons learned from the coronavirus pandemic, as a way to influence future deliberations around what will make Rhode Island the healthiest state in the nation?


Third, what research and studies are being commissioned now to look at the longitudinal outcomes of health during the coronavirus pandemic in Rhode Island, tied to neighborhoods and minorities?


To read the article in its entirety:,6125


Dr. Peter Simon is a frequent contributor to ConvergenceRI.


Richard Asinof


Richard Asinof is the founder and editor of ConvergenceRI, an online subscription newsletter offering news and analysis at the convergence of health, science, technology and innovation in Rhode Island.

Posted in 

Election Day - what we're watching...

Election Day – what we’re watching…

November 3, 2020/RINewsToday


Who will be our 46th President of the United States?



The states that are shadowed on the map, above, will most likely be the deciding states. Due to the electoral college, votes are distributed somewhat fairly across the US, with the winner getting at least half plus one — or 270 electoral votes.


This hybrid system means that more weight is given to a single vote in a small state than the vote of someone in a large state, leading to outcomes at times that have been at odds with the popular vote.


94/95 million people have already voted. Many totals will be known right away, but unaffiliated, etc. could take days to compute with the Supreme Court making decisions as to how long votes can be counted, when post-marked, etc.


Senate Flip or Flop


The control of the Senate is 53 to 47, with control by the Republicans. To turn the Senate control to Democrats, the election would have to produce a net 4 Democrats candidates. We predict the Senate will not flip, unless Georgia has rules that require 50% vote without a runoff in January. This is razor tight.


House is Safe


The House is expected to stay with a Democrat majority.


Rhode Island


As we went to “press” last night these were the totals of ballots “cast” in RI, as released by the RI Board of Elections.


  • Emergency in-person ballots received: 149,535
  • Scanned in as received: 156,228 mail ballots
  • 105,280 ballots have been run through the Board of Elections’ high-speed optical scanners*


Name Change?


For the second time, voters considered a resolution to remove “and Providence Plantations” from the official name of the State of Rhode Island. The first time, it was defeated by 3 to 1. We predict a closer, but solid defeat.


Mayor of Cranston


Party affiliation has meant everything – and meant nothing in Cranston. Term-limited Allan Fung backs the Republican candidate (who defeated the Democrat, turned Republican Michael Farina in the primary), Ken Hopkins. Democrat Maria Bucci (former City Council member) is going for her first run. Hopkins and Bucci are cordial in this final run-off, and Cranston would be fortunate if the winner involved the non-winner in local government somehow.


Speaker of the House, Mattiello


In a true Rhode Island story, current Cranston Mayor Fung’s wife, Barbara Fenton-Fung is challenging long time representative Nicholas Mattiello. While there has been a considerable combining of forces to move Mattiello from office, primarily focused around his being Speaker of the House, the benefits to Cranston of Rep. Mattiello cannot be overlooked. Energized Fenton-Fung would be a freshman office holder, and a Republican around a sea of Progressive female Democrats, so what her power would be like has yet to be determined. We’d put our bets on her formidable personality to not be overlooked.


National Races – that impact the Senate


(incumbents listed first)


Arizona – Martha McSally (R) challenged by Mark Kelly (D) – special election – favoring Kelly


Colorado – Cory Gardner (R) challenged by John Hickenlooper (D) – likely Hickenlooper


Georgia – David Perdue (R) challenged by Jon Ossoff (D) – toss-up


Georgia – Special election – Kelly Loeffler (R) and Raphael Warnock (D) – may go to runoff in January if less than 50% win


Iowa – Joani Ernst (R) challenged by Theresa Greenfield (D) – toss-up


Maine – Susan Collins (R) challenged by Sara Gideon (D) – leaning Gideon (who is from East Greenwich, RI)


Montana – Steve Daines (R) challenged by Steve Bullock (D) – Daines favored


North Carolina – Thom Tillis (R) challenged by Cal Cunningham (D) – toss-up


South Carolina – Lindsey Graham (R) challenged by Jaime Harrison (D) – toss-up


Voting Today?


Polls open 7am to 8pm, except in Block Island where they open at 9am.


Unregistered to vote?


You can vote ONLY for President or VP – you have to register at your local voting location – see RI Secretary of State’s office for details.


Still have that mail ballot with you?


Don’t mail it – drop it off at your city/town drop box.


Need a Ride to Vote?


LYFT is offering rides to the polls, per availability, at 50% off.


Also – the NAACP Providence Branch and the RI Chapters of the historically black sororities and fraternities – Theta Psi Omega Chapter, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Providence Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, and Sigma Nu Chapter, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, as well as the Rhode Island Council of Black Women have organized an initiative of the NAACP national office’s partnership with the LYFT car service. Voters can receive a free Lyft ride to the polls or a Voting Dropbox by using the Lyft promo code “NAACPVote2020”. 


In addition, residents of Charlegate Senior, Charlesgate Park, Carroll Towers and Hartford Park were provided transportation for early voting, and on Election Day, the NAACP Branch and the partnering organizations will provide rides from Carroll Towers and Hartford Park. Shuttle transportation must be requested in advance by emailing or calling (401) 521-6222 on a first come, first served basis. Collectively, the civil rights organization and service organizations want to ensure that Providence residents travel safely to take part in democracy and the right to vote. 



In the 2016 election, less than sixty percent of eligible African-American voters turned out to the polls.  The NAACP Providence Branch call to action is part of a call-to- action by the NAACP national office. The early voting and mail-in ballots during this year’s election Urging African-Americans to vote is expected to be a central theme along with economic and employment disparities within the African-American and minority communities.” said NAACP Providence Branch President, Jim Vincent. 


Voting Results


Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea will launch a new hourly turnout tracker on Election Day to provide updates of Rhode Island voter turnout. The technology behind the new turnout tracker allows it to be updated more frequently than the data visualization that has been used throughout the early voting period.


Anyone who wishes to have the most recent Rhode Island voter turnout data throughout Election Day should use this link for the new hourly turnout tracker.


The new hourly turnout tracker will go live at 8 a.m. on November 3. Users can examine total turnout in Rhode Island as well as a breakdown of ballots cast by mail, early in-person, or at the polls. Users can also drill down to see this data at the precinct level. Data displayed in the hourly turnout tracker is preliminary and does not represent final voting tallies.


The Secretary of State’s office will also tweet regular turnout updates throughout the day from the @RISecState account.


Check for the results as we know them.

Posted in 

1 Comment

  1.  Francis M Dubreuil on November 3, 2020 at 11:34 am

    It’s so important to vote I haven’t missed a presidential election since I turned 18 the great thing is when you going to vote whether you are Republican or Democrat nobody knows who your choice was! you can simply choose the best person !!! everybody get out and vote is a constitutional right and your duty!

We are not enslaved - there are not chains on my arms - Meeting Bradley Souffrant

“We are not enslaved – there are not chains on my arms” – Meeting Bradley Souffrant

November 3, 2020/Nancy Thomas


By Nancy Thomas


He’s complicated. That’s a white person’s description.


You might recognize him as the young man on the steps of the RI State House, holding hands with the Governor of Rhode Island, Gina Raimondo. Standing close to her on the night of June 5th with dozens of law enforcement at their back, and facing hundreds of demonstrators with as serious a look on his face as the moment called for. A curfew time encroaching. An enforcement action looming. A moment in time. It could go either way. And much of the way it would go depended on this petite Governor and a strong Black man clasped to her side.


Who is this man?



RINewsToday found him. His name is Bradley Souffrant. And, if this white journalist could use one word it would be “complicated” to describe him. An appropriate word too, as the world is about as complicated these days as it has ever been. But never more so than for Black men, women, and children. If I could choose another few words, I’d choose these – hope – strength – smart – mature – centered – calm. But hope would be my favorite, and it surrounds the way he picks his carefully chosen words.


After some investigation, I found Bradley and he was gracious enough to talk to me for well over an hour. I can’t begin to capture everything that needed to be captured in this far-ranging conversation. I simply didn’t have the depth that I unexpectedly needed to have to talk deeply, to feel deeply, what Bradley so easily communicated about living as a Black man.


His words are simple, plainly stated. Almost a soundbite in every phrase. They come slowly. With consideration. With serious thought. And substance. I try to marry them with the activists’ chants in an unsuccessful search for understanding of the words that come from most who seek change today.  


Bradley’s holistic world.


Bradley, of Haitian descent, is a serious guy. Even when talking about a large Haitian family, he will say that “It’s cool to celebrate, but let’s find ways to come together to elevate”. His life’s experience belies his age. A member of the Millennial/Gen Z cusp, he grew up in Brockton, Massachusetts. A few years ago, at the young age of 19, he ran for Mayor of Brockton. He knows one day he will run for something again. He’s already looking for that opportunity. He expresses the discipline it took for him to put some distance between himself and the tight community where everyone knows him by moving to Providence in 2020.


Today, at 23, he is the founder of YICK – Young Inner City Kids. He works in the Brockton schools where he helps young people in middle/high school “learn about themselves”. Some of his work includes helping young people “love what they see in the mirror” and reinforces the concepts of the Law of Attraction. He approaches them knowing that for many of the young people he meets, college will not be in their future, so he talks about “how to build your credit” and different options to take other than college. He’d like to see all schools adopt a vocational option, with little of this accessible to young people in the southeastern Massachusetts community at this time.


He recognizes the lack of male role models and he tries to serve as a motivational role model in the community, willing to work with young people, many of whom see protesting as their “community”. About protests that turn violent, Bradley says, “you all need to stop confusing revolt with riot”.


At the RI State House


The conversation about engaging youth and helping to direct them into a more positive future leads us back to how he came to be on the steps of the RI State House with Governor Raimondo. He had been living in Brockton at the time but had participated in Black Lives Matter protests in that city, and also traveled a few days earlier to Boston, and found himself this June night here, in support of Providence’s event. He usually takes a bullhorn with him to raise his voice in the crowd, though he says he was not involved in any leadership way with the Providence demonstration. “I’m myself, and often people will look to me as a natural leader in the group; I’m not sure why.” He seems to accept the role as a responsible gift.


That night protesters were a mixed group of people. Some Black Lives Matter from Rhode Island or other cities, some local high school groups, other groups, and even families. There was an announced curfew to prevent a peaceful demonstration from turning violent, as often happens late at night, but as the group approached the steps of the RI State House at around 7pm, there was no sign that they would be adhering to it. Bradley found himself at the front of this group. It was about 15 minutes before the 8pm curfew when a law enforcement official approached him and asked for his help. He quietly told him that “at 8pm everyone is going to get arrested”, and he asked for Bradley’s help with the crowd, bringing him up the steps. Bradley started to speak to them through the bullhorn about the curfew, trying to motivate them to leave, and for the first time at any protest he had participated in, he got booed by the crowd. His voice goes very soft talking about when that happened, and one could imagine his reaction standing in a familiar and comfortable leadership role, and then being booed by his peers. He started to go up to everyone individually and debated the leaders to back up off of the steps to create a healthy distance between the police and citizens. After debating, he got the most stubborn ones who wouldn’t budge, listening, and he was able to get everyone off the steps.


At this point the Governor had made her way to the front of the steps next to the State Police and RI National Guard. Bradley found himself holding her hand. Another Black protester held her other hand. They took what looked like protective positions on both sides of her. Law enforcement stood by behind them. Everyone was close together at a powder keg moment. The Governor shouted her pleas for them to disband at the crowd below her.


“While she was speaking, they were yelling,” Bradley said, as he did his best to show solidarity that this was as far as the group could safely go, and they should listen, and deescalate a potential for violence. This went on for about half an hour. The Governor kept saying to the people that they were being heard: “I hear you. I promise change will come.”


Then, in an unexpected action, the Governor asked the protesters to pray with her. Now Bradley and the Governor entwined their fingers. It was a historical moment that is sure to have national recognition in the future among any Governor in any state, in this year of protests.


The crowd took a while but decided to leave the State House steps. What occurred later that night will also be memorable for the state and for Providence as destruction and looting took place when the peaceful crowd were joined by other people intent on anarchy over a peaceful social justice demonstration.


Scream. Or get involved.

Bradley talks about change a lot. And the responsibility Black people have to find their role both collectively and individually. “You can scream all you want – or you can get involved”. Many people at protests don’t vote, he says. American government is a democratic process. They use words – intellect – to get change. In other countries, they use the military and violence to bring about change. Black people don’t think about putting words on paper, necessarily – “actions will speak louder for me” they think.


“In America we want to direct people’s emotions, and we need institutions that stop blaming the victim for the reaction. People are willing to sit down but we’ve been sitting down for a long time. It’s wrong to think that in order for you to live the American dream, you have to live the American nightmare. Our people are easily led astray. Easily influenced. Easily distracted. I want to say, ‘We are not enslaved – there are not chains on my arms.’ I want independence. But my whole life has taught me how to be dependent. We have to change the paradigm of the way our people think.”


“Youth don’t wake up and say, ok, I’m going to do THIS today – this is my plan – they don’t have a plan. We need to help people organize their minds [and lives]. We need more psychologists in the schools, more therapists. Restorative justice. The police do not stop crime. They arrive after crime is committed. Society breeds drug dealers, with a double-edged sword of dependence and incarceration. Students should not be arrested, and we need to use restorative justice practices and get rid of the merit system in schools that was there since I was in school.”


Bradley sees hope over the years. In the five years since the Brockton High School walk-out in 2015 there has been a 100% improvement. We don’t suspend students anymore.”




“Today, we’re not voting for fact, we’re voting for emotion. We need to deplug, unplug, and reimagine our future. What does it look like – to be independent – for ourselves? We view ourselves the way our oppressors view us – and that’s the issue. People tell me, Bradley, you have to play the game.”


“We still scared. We still don’t believe in ourselves, enough to get freedom. We have a lot of slave mentality that we [use to] reinforce the fact that we need to remain dependent.”


Watch two videos from Bradley, here:


Bradley often takes to impromptu videos to reach others with his messages – these two stand out.

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: New, temporary visitor restrictions are being recommended for hospitals and other facilities due to COVID.  Rhode Island has federal and state legislative races to decide on Election Day, plus a change to the state's official name.  A victim of a weekend shooting in Pawtucket has been identified.
>>Coronavirus: State Recommends New Visitation Restrictions For Hospitals, Other Facilities
(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Department of Health is recommending all hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living communities restrict visitation for two weeks to fight an increase in COVID-19 cases.  The state's largest healthcare system Lifespan announced Monday it was temporarily suspending visits to its hospitals.  So too did CharterCARE, the operator of Our Lady of Fatima Hospital and Roger Williams Medical Center.
>>Providence Businesses Boarded Up Over Election Day Violence Concerns
(Providence, RI)  --  Some Providence businesses have been boarded up for Election Day.  This is due to fears of civil unrest depending on the outcome of the presidential race.  Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Paré [[ parry ]] says law enforcement have not learned of any credible threats.  Governor Gina Raimondo tells WJAR-TV the state has plans in place to secure the peace, but that she expects there will be a peaceful election.
>>Senator Reed, Representatives Cicilline And Langevin Face Challengers
(Undated)  --  Three of Rhode Island's four incumbent Congressional representatives, all Democrats, are facing challenges in today's election.  Senator Jack Reed, who has held his seat for 23 years, faces Republican challenger Allen Waters, who has previously run for Senate in Massachusetts.  In the First House District, David Cicilline [[ SISS-uh-LEE-nee ]] looks for a sixth term; his challengers are independent candidates Fred Wysocki [[ why-SOCK-ee ]] and Jeffrey Lemire [[ leh-MEER ]].  In the Second House District, 19-year Representative Jim Langevin [[ LAN-juh-vin ]] will go up against former state lawmaker Robert Lancia [[ LAN-see-uh ]], who is running as a Republican.
>>General Assembly Races Include Nick Mattiello's Re-Election Bid
(Cranston, RI)  --  Rhode Island state legislative races today include House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello's home district.  The Democrat Mattiello is running to keep his Cranston seat against Republican Barbara Ann Fenton-Fung, the wife of outgoing Cranston Mayor Allan Fung.  There are nearly 50 races total in the state House and Senate.
>>Four Mayoral Races In RI
(Undated)  --  There are races for mayor in Rhode Island today happening in Central Falls, Cranston, Warwick and Woonsocket.  James Diossa [[ dee-OH-suh ]] of Central Falls and Allan Fung of Cranston are both term-limited mayors.  The candidates in Central Falls are Joseph Moran and Maria Rivera, who advanced from a nonpartisan September primary, and in Cranston, it's former city councilor Maria Bucci versus current councilor Ken Hopkins.  Warwick Mayor Joseph Solomon looks to keep his seat against local contractor Frank Picozzi.  Woonsocket Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt faces a challenge from City Council member Jon Brien.
>>Voters Asked Again If 'Plantations' Should Stay In State Name
(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Islanders will again decide if they want to keep the "Providence Plantations" part of the state's official name in today's election.  Question 1, which would amend the state constitution to make the name change happen, was previously voted on in 2010 and was overwhelmingly defeated.  The issue was brought back to attention this year by supporters of the U.S. racial justice movement.  The city of Providence and Governor Gina Raimondo took action in June to remove "Plantations" from certain official documents.
>>Pawtucket Shooting Victim ID'd
(Pawtucket, RI)  --  Police have identified the victim of a fatal shooting in Pawtucket over the weekend as Joel Rosario of Central Falls.  The shooting reportedly happened in the area of Lonsdale and Mineral Spring Avenues on Saturday.  Authorities do not believe the deadly shooting is connected to another one that happened in Pawtucket one week before.
Jim McCabe/djc           RI) MA)
Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 
11-03-2020 01:02:03

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Three people were killed in separate accidents early Sunday on I-95 in Rhode Island.  The state health department clarifies how open school bus windows should be to fight COVID.  Local candidates aren't happy, but a relocated polling place in Woonsocket is staying put.

>>Three Fatal I-95 Accidents Strung Together

(Undated)  --  Three fatal motor vehicle crashes within twenty minutes of each other on Interstate 95.  That is what the Rhode Island State Police says it responded to overnight Sunday in Providence, then Pawtucket, then finally in Richmond.  Police arrested Luis Baez of Boston for DUI and other charges following the fatal crash in Pawtucket, which reportedly killed a Good Samaritan who was assisting someone else who had crashed.  The victim was identified as Jennifer Toscano of Stoughton, Massachusetts.  Reports indicate the names of the victims in the other crashes were Joseph Abreau of Providence and Brian Joseph Scacciaferro of Niantic, Connecticut.

>>Health Department Modifies School Bus Window Rule

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Department of Health is updating guidance on school bus windows staying open during the colder months.  Officials say the ventilation is key to stopping coronavirus spread.  A spokesperson told The Providence Journal on Friday the rule going forward will be: keep every other window open, one inch minimum.  With the recent turn to colder air in Southern New England, complaints have risen about students enduring a miserable bus ride to class because of the new rule.

>>High Schools: Middletown Goes Remote, PSAT Takers Quarantine, East Prov Reopening

(Undated)  --  More school headlines to report are from Middletown, Providence and East Providence.  Middletown High School is switching to remote-learning this week after four students who reportedly attended a large party in Bristol tested virus-positive.  The state is ordering 75 students at Hope High School in Providence to quarantine after possible virus exposure from someone they took a PSAT test with on October 22nd.  And reports East Providence High School is re-opening after water and electric issues caused the building to be closed for a few weeks.

>>Decision Stands On Relocated Woonsocket Polling Place

(Woonsocket, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Board of Elections is deciding to keep a Woonsocket polling place in its current location despite opposition from local candidates and the ACLU.  The polling center in the city's Fairmount precinct is being moved out of a housing complex where it has been traditionally located because of COVID-19 concerns, according to the Woonsocket Board of Canvassers.  It will now be at Harris Elementary School, which critics say is too far from the affected voters.  According to a Valley Breeze report, some of the local candidates in tomorrow's election have organized a shuttle bus for those voters.

>>Patriots Lose Heartbreaker To Bills

(Orchard Park, NY)  --  The Patriots lost on the road to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, 24-to-21.  The Pats were knocking on the door with less than a minute left when quarterback Cam Newton fumbled, leading to the Bills win.  New England is now 2-and-5 this season and will play the New York Jets on Monday Night Football next week.

>>Slaughterhouse Accused Of Falsely Certifying Meat As USDA-Approved

(Johnston, RI)  --  A Johnston slaughterhouse and its owners are being federally indicted for falsely claiming certain products had been inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  The Justice Department alleges Rhode Island Beef and Veal Inc. and owners Michael and Joel Quattrucci intended to defraud customers by using an official mark of inspection -- a USDA stamp -- on beef.  The allegation was investigated by the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service.

Jim McCabe/djc           RI) MA) CT)
Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

11-02-2020 01:48:04

Rethink, reinvigorate, react and reinvent

Rethink, reinvigorate, react and reinvent

November 2, 2020/Mary OSullivan


How Cultural Agility and Innovation Helped Save a Company in the Global Marketplace


By Mary T. O’Sullivan, MSOL


Success today requires the agility and drive to constantly rethink, reinvigorate, react and reinvent” – Bill Gates


A successful auto parts designer and manufacturer, Megatech, witnessed a major threat to its market share when faced with newly dissolving trade boundaries. In order to survive the new market conditions as well as succeed, the organization required an agile change of corporate culture. By strategically realigning from an internally focused, process-oriented culture to organizing by key project allowed the company to quickly address its weaknesses and develop its strengths. For instance, MegaTech comfortably earned high profits by churning out old designs, while gaining bottom line growth not through innovation but by improving efficiencies in existing internal processes. Introducing new designs and new technologies with the shortened life cycles and narrow product launch windows the market demanded, required a corporate infrastructure or “systems” capable of integrating the new corporate strategy and satisfying customer requirements.


Furthermore, each product line had the benefit of a “special project team” tasked with a mandate to maintain the same level of market competitiveness as prior to the reorganization.  Additionally, while pursuing the top line growth efforts, product development project teams had specific cost and schedule performance indices (CPI and SPI) imposed in order to maintain the existing bottom line growth through efficiencies. Monitoring CPI/SPIs also required cross-functional support, a key characteristic of a collaborative project team. While employees may still be in various stages of engagement, and management admits “it’s certainly not a magic pill for success but it has started us thinking about how we operate”, the company’s new organizational structure demonstrates its efforts to achieve project management maturity goals.  (Pinto, 2010)


MegaTech faced a new “unpredictable environment”, with disappearing trade boundaries triggered by the introduction of NFTA, and other international trade agreements, heralding the emergence of global competition as well as global markets. In addition, the new competitors were more customer focused – concerned with client acceptance – and quicker to market with innovative products, with the market demanding shortened product life cycles, narrow product launch windows, as well as increasingly complex and technical products.  All these forces combined to compel MegaTech to become more market savvy in a short period of time. Their existing process-oriented organization was not agile enough to support the new market conditions, and each product line was reorganized into project teams to support the innovative changes needed. (Pinto, 2010)  Management worked with what they had to offset its known lack of agility by reorganizing into business units that could meet the quickly changing market conditions and survive global competition.


Pinto, J. K. (2010). Project Management, second edition. Boston: Prentice Hall.



Mary T. O’Sullivan, Master of Science, Organizational Leadership, International Coaching Federation Professional Certified Coach, Society of Human Resource Management, “Senior Certified Professional. Graduate Certificate in Executive and Professional Career Coaching, University of Texas at Dallas.

Member, Beta Gamma Sigma, the International Honor Society.

Advanced Studies in Education from Montclair University, SUNY Oswego and Syracuse University.

Mary is also a certified Six Sigma Specialist, Contract Specialist, IPT Leader and holds a Certificate in Essentials of Human Resource Management from SHRM.

(401) 742-1965

33rd Annual Scouting for Food Drive

33rd Annual Scouting for Food Drive starts Nov. 7

November 2, 2020/RINewsToday


The Narragansett Council, Boy Scouts of America is hosting its 33rd Annual Scouting For Food Drive from November 7-14. Noting that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased regional food insecurity by 50%, this year’s annual food drive is even more important.


The Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts – The Narragansett Council, Boy Scouts of America has pivoted, because of the pandemic, to a new online donation model instead of the annual in-person event.


This food drive will support both The Greater Boston Food Bank and The Rhode Island Community Food Bank.


Scouts and others in the community can support the 2020 Scouting for Food Drive in two ways:


1.    Donate Food Online


2.    Donate Food In-Person, at select drop off sites


Scouts and other members of the community can purchase food items directly for local food banks by visiting Food banks have the ability to buy the items they need most at the best prices.


Massachusetts Scouts can donate to The Greater Boston Food Bank by clicking here –  and Rhode Island  Scouts can donate to The Rhode Island Community Food Bank by clicking here – Food purchased at these links will be distributed directly to community food pantries in need.


For donating food in-person, the Narragansett Council has compiled a list of nearly 130 locations across Southeastern New England that are offering in-person drop-offs of nonperishable food items.


Since 1988, the Scouts of the Narragansett Council have helped feed thousands of families in need by collecting nearly 10 million pounds of food. This yearly “Good Turn” is the largest annual Scout service project offered by the Narragansett Council.

During a normal year, thousands of Scouts across Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts walk door-to-door to drop off door hangers to local residents requesting donations of nutritional canned goods. The Scouts then collect the food and drop them off at their local food bank where they can be sorted. Last year, Scouts collected over 190,000 pounds of food.


The COVID-19 pandemic has increased food insecurity in the region by 50%. While the Narragansett Council Boy Scouts cannot safely collect food door-to-door, they are committed to supporting their neighbors in need and facing this challenge head on.


“Now more than ever we need our 10,000 Scouts across Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts to step up for the communities they live in,” said Narragansett Council CEO Tim McCandless. “Despite the unique challenges presented by the pandemic, we are confident that our Scouts will deliver for those who are experiencing food insecurity.”


“We encourage those who may not be not involved in Scouting to get involved as well! It is as easy as visiting and making an online donation. As the holiday season and winter approaches, food banks across the region need the contributions of this donated food,” McCandless added.


To learn more about how you can donate to Scouting for Food this year, please visit their website at


About the Narragansett Council:


The Narragansett Council, Boy Scouts of America’s mission is to serve others by helping to instill values in young people and, in other ways, prepare them to make ethical choices over their lifetime in achieving their full potential. The Narragansett Council’s research-backed, youth development programs are for boys and girls ages 6 to 20 through Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing and Exploring. The council serves nearly 10,000 youth in Rhode Island, Southeastern Massachusetts, and Pawcatuck, Connecticut. People can learn about Scouting programs and find groups near them at For more information, please log on to or visit on Facebook.



Bishop Tobin: RI churches are safe, and we're staying open.

Bishop Tobin: RI churches are safe, and “we’re staying open”

November 1, 2020/RINewsToday


Gov. Gina Raimondo, in her weekly coronavirus update address, put in place some added restrictions as cases have begun to increase at rate of concern. One area addressed was going to church or other houses of worship. In particular, “chit-chatting” before and after services, going for coffee or brunch with others were mentioned as increasing risk.


Later in the day, the Governor released this statement:


“Houses of Worship:  Another area where we’re seeing spread is in houses of worship. If any faith leaders are no longer offering virtual services, we’re asking them to bring that back, and proactively encourage your congregants to use that option for the next few weeks. I want to be able to hold in-person services over the holidays, but that will be dangerous unless we make a real commitment to worshipping virtually for the next few weeks.”


Saturday morning, in response to an inquiry by Justin Katz, Research Director for the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity, Bishop Thomas Tobin, Bishop of Providence for the Roman Catholic Diocese took to Twitter this morning to give guidance.


He said, “…our churches are staying open. I’m not aware of any evidence that the virus has been spread at church. Our churches are safe. Our pastors and parishioners have done a great job following guidelines. Of course, what people do after Mass is beyond our control.”


Tweeting to teach and preach:


In an interview with Mark Patinkin of the Providence Journal, earlier this week, when Patinkin light-heartedly asked, “Why do you keep causing trouble?”, Tobin said, “smaking trouble is not his intention. Then he paused and added, well, maybe a little bit. But he does so in the spirit of his mission — to publicly teach and preach.”


On the Diocese website, there is this further information for those who may choose to worship from home:


Televised & Live-Streamed Masses


Unable to attend Holy Mass? Find televised Masses and Masses live-streamed on the web/internet here: 


**Resuming Public Worship: Please consult parish websites, bulletins, and social media often for the most up-to-date Mass times as we slowly move to resume public worship.


Be reminded that some parishes may continue with live-streaming liturgies, Mass times may change, and each parish will have guidelines in place for parishioners. **


All Souls Mass – Monday, November 2, 2020


The Most Reverend Thomas J. 

Tobin, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, will celebrate Mass for the faithful departed at the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul in Providence on All Souls Day, Monday, November 2, 2020 at 12:00 noon.  Prayers will be offered for all those in the Diocese who have died in the past year, with a special remembrance of those who have died from COVID-19, and those who could not have traditional funeral rites during the statewide lockdown earlier this year.


“All Souls Day is a beautiful and solemn day for Catholics.  The Church speaks of the ‘Communion of Saints.’  We believe that the spiritual bonds forged in baptism are never broken, even by death.  It is very fitting, therefore, that in the Holy Mass we remember our beloved deceased with deep and lasting affection, and that we ask the God of mercy to forgive their sins and welcome them into the perfect peace and joy of heaven.”


While the Mass is open to the public and the media are invited to cover it, because of construction there is very limited parking and seating will also be limited since the required pandemic safety protocols will be followed.  The Mass will also be livestreamed on our diocesan YouTube page.


How to Make a Spiritual Communion:



Additional resources below prepared by the Office of Divine Worship, Diocese of Providence:


What Catholics can do when they cannot attend Holy Mass:


Prayers for Healing and Relief in Time of Crisis:

Posted in 


2023-02 | 2023-01 | 2022-12 | 2022-11 | 2022-10 | 2022-09 | 2022-08 | 2022-07 | 2022-06 | 2022-05 | 2022-04 | 2022-03 | 2022-02 | 2022-01 | 2021-12 | 2021-11 | 2021-10 | 2021-09 | 2021-08 | 2021-07 | 2021-06 | 2021-05 | 2021-04 | 2021-03 | 2021-02 | 2021-01 | 2020-12 | 2020-11 | 2020-10 | 2020-09 | 2020-08 | 2020-07 | 2020-06 | 2020-03 | 2020-02 | 2020-01 | 2019-12 | 2019-11 | 2019-10 | 2019-09 | 2019-08 | 2019-07 | 2019-06 | 2019-04 | 2019-03 | 2019-02 | 2018-08 | 2018-07 | 2018-06 | 2018-05 | 2018-04 | 2018-03 | 2018-02 | 2018-01 | 2017-12 | 2017-11 | 2017-10 | 2017-07 | 2017-06 | 2017-05 | 2017-03 | 2017-02 | 2017-01 | 2016-12 | 2016-11 | 2016-10 | 2016-09 | 2016-08 | 2016-07 | 2016-06 | 2016-05 | 2016-04 | 2016-03 | 2016-02 | 2016-01 | 2015-12 | 2015-11 | 2015-10 | 2015-09 | 2015-08 | 2015-07 | 2015-06 | 2015-05 | 2015-04 | 2015-03 | 2015-02 | 2015-01 | 2014-12 | 2014-11 | 2014-10 | 2014-09 | 2014-08 | 2014-07 | 2014-06 | 2014-05 | 2014-04 | 2014-03 | 2014-02 | 2014-01 | 2013-12 | 2013-11 | 2013-10 | 2013-09 | 2013-08 | 2013-07 | 2013-06 | 0020-07



Closings & Delays



image of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Rhode Island Features

On Facebook