Coronavirus Update: March 6, 2020

(Photo: John Hancock Investments)


Israel Travel – Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian Airlines cancel all Israel flights

UK – 115 new cases

Greece – has 21 more cases, shuts schools and bans public meetings

France – 100 new cases

Switzerland – first death noted

In Italy, where there have been more than 2,000 cases, all schools and colleges are shut for 10 days


$8M budgeted by federal government

Face masks being produced in US – 4 million a month, ongoing

Tennessee has its first case

Massachusetts has its second case – she had traveled to No. Italy – in her 60s, recovering at home

Washington state in county impacted – large meetings and events canceled

Washington state – using motels and now modular homes to quarantine people

Walmart has joined the “no travel” group of companies, & canceled a conference

The FCC bans “non-critical” travel and shuts its doors to anyone who had been to the handful of countries of concern.

Quest Diagnostics will launch its testing service for coronavirus next week (payment issue unclear – Quest & BCBS have both said they are working this out and will get back to us) Meanwhile CIGNA steps forward first to say it will waive co-pays and charges. Next up – LABCORP & BioReference

Long Island, New York – has its first case – total NY now 22

Rabbi at Yeshiva University in NY tested positive.

Colorado has two people who are positive

Cruise Ship still marooned off the coast of California while testing takes place

Starbucks is pausing the use of personal cups and “for here” ware in our stores. We will continue to honor the 10-cent discount for anyone who brings in a personal cup or asks for “for here” ware. (also reducing corporate travel)

Business Task Force – CEOs from: Pfizer, JPMorgan Chase, NASDAQ, Johnson & Johnson, Stanley Black & Decker, The Home Depot, CVS Health, United Airlines, American Airlines, Steelcase, and Accenture have organized to confront business difficulties from the coronavirus.

Rhode Island

Pawtucket – The St. Patrick’s Day Parade will go on on Saturday. The city will provide extra sanitizing stations and RIEMA will distribute informational flyers. The City asks that everyone wash hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Please also try to get at least 8 hours of sleep, stay hydrated, try to avoid and reduce stress, eat lots of fresh food and vegetables, and exercise daily.

Governor’s Press conference 3/5: what’s new:

  • RI maintains a low level of risk – be vigilant but not panic
  • 2 confirmed cases in RI – 1 who lives in MA also – 200 people in quarantine in RI; 1 Achievement First person tested negative.
  • Schools can call on Dept. of Health to support decisions about events, etc.
  • TY to unsung heroes – those who are cooperating with self-quarantine
  • There is a team of CDC officials here in RI working with Health Dept, particularly because of school involvement – to help us & to learn from us
  • #1 goal is containment – visitors to hospitals and nursing homes: people in these residential institutions are especially vulnerable. New visiting guidelines not to visit hospitals or nursing homes if ill, or exposed.
  • If you are symptomatic, do not go to the MD or hospital – call your primary care doctor, pediatrician, or Dept. of Health – they will help you decide what to do about testing.
  • Need to protect our healthcare workers, who could get exposed and then have to be quarantined.
  • Working with RIEMA to set up additional testing sites in RI that are not in traditional healthcare environments – where protected healthcare professionals can test you.
  • Employers: all state employees who have traveled to China, Iran, Italy, South Korea, Japan in last 14 days to stay home from work for 14 symptom free days. All RI employers are being asked to implement similar policy.
  • High Schools/Colleges/Lg Orgs – asking them to cancel organized trips abroad
  • Gov. has stopped shaking hands. Wash hands. Hand sanitizer. Masks only for health professionals. Response is evolving and will change as necessary.
  • Stay informed. Cough etiquette. Don’t share food and drink
  • Hotline is:  401-222-8022 – 24/7 – for professionals or the public
  • Expanded response structure w/added team here from CDC, now embedded at RIDOH – helping with contact tracing, school decisions, etc.
  • Tracing of even one person can go 40 persons deep
  • St. Ray’s and school coordination going well
  • While RI has testing capacity it needs, people without symptoms should not be tested. We have enough test kits, more are on the way
  • Still encouraging people to get their flu shot
  • We need to acknowledge our children, and their fear – simple, clear messages about washing hands will be good, reassuring information
  • Reemphasizing staying home from work if you are sick
  • Keeping surfaces clean – toys, bedside stands, bathroom
  • After 4:30pm, call 211
  • Email [email protected]
  • Website:
  • RI has considered closing schools – but no community transmission – that would be a consideration to close schools and have a public health emergency
  • Questions about help for families who need help to stay home for 2 weeks – Gov. Raimondo spoke to this: trying to assess what steps we can take for this from unemployment insurance, to TDI, talking with Labor Union leaders, hotel workers, etc. Urging employers to do the right thing, let employees discharge sick leave – hold their jobs – etc.
  • Right now quarantining is voluntary. Need help, call the hotline for groceries, etc. if there are no other ways. Over time if there is an outbreak, Gov would consider enacting greater powers.
  • Hasbro Gala has been canceled for this weekend, after conversation with the RI Dept. of Health – 500 plus healthcare workers together in a room drove prudency to cancel


Rhode Island pharmacies were given the go ahead to make their own sanitizers

120 proof vodka can work as a disinfectant – Vodka containing 60 percent of the total volume in alcohol is 120 proof. (Everclear 120 Proof Vodka is compared to homemade moonshine – so, put that in the desperate measures category).

To view updates from past dates – search under the word “Coronavirus Update” on our home page.

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