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Coronavirus Update in RI – March 24, 2020


Israel demanding Parliament reopen – Supreme Court will rule

The Olympics will be postponed to 2021.

South Africa to go into nationwide lockdown

UK PM is ordering all UK residents to stay at home, except for basic necessities, one form of exercise per day, or a medical need. Police will enforce using fines. All shops closing, libraries, playgrounds, places of worship.


The View’s Meghan McCain is pregnant, and self-isolating; Joy Bahar & Whoopi Goldberg are also self-isolating and doing The View remotely.

Plumbers are warning not to flush toilet paper substitutes (paper towels, napkins, baby wipes) or disinfectant wipes down the toilet. Across US it’s #WipesClogPipes

Stocks sink again, after emergency fiscal stimulus package fails for second time, down about 600 points

Virginia schools close for rest of school year

Las Vegas‘ neon lights go dark as outbreak leaves thousands unemployed

Hawaii and Alaska close businesses, tell residents to stay home

NASA halts work on James Webb Space Telescope

Five University of Tampa students are recovering after testing positive for COVID-19 during spring break – the university would not say where they traveled

The first Michigan prisoner has tested positive for coronavirus

NYC Jacob Javits convention center becomes field hospital

Amy Klobuchar’s husband has coronavirus.

NYC police officers infected number in the 70s; NYFD in the high 40s

Union for New York City’s UPS workers pleads for cleaning supplies

Instacart to add 300,000 gig workers in coronavirus-driven hiring

New York first state to test treatment with blood from recovered patients

President’s Press Conference

Breakthrough with self-swab testing which will be available soon

Federal payments should be about $3000 for family of four

New rules on hoarding and price gouging of supplies

103 Americans have been returned from Brazil

Real ID will be delayed for some time

Fake websites & cures are being shut down

TY to truckers, healthcare workers and grocery store & restaurant workers

If you don’t have symptoms, don’t request a test.

All commercial labs will prioritize testing for hospitalized patients

All hospital labs must report to CDC test results

New supply chain task force working: 3M delivering 500,000K masks – several hundred thousand from Facebook; companies repurposing manufacturing companies to make ventilators, equipment. PPE and ventilator focus.

Ventilators – more available from outpatient surgi centers and ORs. Can be easily converted and used in hospitals.

Antibody testing and plasma foresis – couple of weeks out –

8 Days into #15DaysToSlowTheSpread

Experts agree that “It’s going to be bad”.


Workers at Stop & Shop, Star Market, and Shaw’s are getting temporary rasises

Rhode Island College has a student testing positive living in dorm that is still open

RITBA will change its call center hours to Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Stop & Shop to Donate One Million Dollars to Support its Regional Food Bank Partners

Rhode Island postponing presidential primary until June 2

CCRI remote learning continues for rest of year – graduation canceled

New Policy for those who are sick but do not have a primary care physician – do not call the RI Dept. of Health – find an urgent care center near you and call them. Note: For profit urgent care centers do not accept patients without health insurance. They would refer you to an emergency room. 

Bermuda-Newport race for 2020 canceled

Contech Medical in Providence is preparing 60,000 nasopharyngeal swabs

Massachusetts medical marijuana facilities are open – recreational marijuana facilities are closed.

Roger Williams University will temporarily lay off about 170 dining services and 12 shuttle personnel starting April 4 – however, hot required to work – health insurance will continue

Shaws is hiring now:

Governor’s Press Conference

23 new cases – 106 total. Ages 20-90s – none from nursing homes. New ones: Travel to NJ, NY, Utah. No int’l travel. 4 people are hospitalized.


  • Number of Rhode Island COVID-19 positive (including presumptive positive) cases: 106

Distribution by county:

  • Bristol County: 4
  • Kent County: 7
  • Newport County: 10
  • Providence County: 75
  • Washington County: 10

Distribution by age:

  • 0-9: 2
  • 10-19: 4
  • 20-29: 17
  • 30-39: 18
  • 40-49: 19
  • 50-59: 21
  • 60-69: 12
  • 70-79: 11
  • 80-89: 0
  • 90 and older: 2
  • Number of people who had negative test results at RIDOH’s State Health Laboratories: 1,120
  • Number of people for whom tests are pending at RIDOH’s State Health Laboratories: 77
  • Number of people who are currently instructed to self-quarantine in Rhode Island: approximately 3,000

Data notes:

  • Hospital laboratories and private laboratories are now testing for COVID-19. The number of positives reported above includes all positives from all laboratories for Rhode Islanders. However, the number of negative and pending test results are only for RIDOH’s State Health Laboratories. A unified data collection process for negative and pending test results is being developed. (Individual patients are being notified directly by their healthcare providers of negative test results.)
  • The county level data has been adjusted slightly from previous days based on updated address information received from patients. 

Supplies – 204 companies have offered to donate product – go to: if you have items to donate

Businesses – by 5pm all close contact businesses – hair salons, etc. will close. Gov. acknowledges innovation – generosity in tipping for restaurant pickup – please shop local online before going to Amazon, etc, state is hoping to help local businesses with online sales

Domestic Travel – ½ cases of virus in RI have involved travel outside of RI. Order: 7am tomorrow – anyone flying into RI must quarantine 14 days. Staff (National Guard) will be at TF Green to greet you, ask you for contact info. Does not apply to healthcare workers, public health workers, public safety professionals. Commuters: Train, bus, cars – people who commute outside of RI should try to work from home. RI Business owners with out of state workers – make every provision for them to work remotely. Provide laptops, etc. 521-HELP. 10am today – MA ordered closure of all non-essential businesses. Knowing that, RI will not have to shut down borders at this time.

Supplies – PPE, etc. Supply chain systems getting stronger.

RI College – cafeteria serving 70 students – grab and go only, no gathering

RI first responders – police, EMS, etc – who are also Nat’l

Guard – will not be called up

Special Ed students, DD community, English Language Learners, etc. – working on special plans

Reopening businesses – when that happens it will be a new normal – health screenings for returning workers, remote working, etc.

Self-employed – says federal govt should focus on that. Nothing in RI govt. Directing to social services. 521-HELP, etc. to sell wares online.

Testing – to reopen economy, would like to see 7-800 tests/day – hopefully in a week. Plan is to test all who need to be tested; identify positives; and then “put them into effective quarantine or isolation”. Want to test everyone with symptoms. Hospitalized. Congregate Settings (nursing homes). Healthcare workers.

Hospitals – only 4 in hospital now. Monitoring capacity now.

If you are sick with fever, look to urgent care centers around you – the state is also looking to set up respiratory clinics.

Childcare – detailed announcement tomorrow.

Next press conference – 1pm daily

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