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Coronavirus Update – Today – April 8, 2020

(Photo: Dinner time for those who are homeless, living in a mall in India – practicing their social distancing.)

NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL

China reports first day with no coronavirus deaths

Some Chinese leaders have begun wearing masks again

Antarctica cruise ship, with more than 80 positive coronavirus cases, stuck off coast of Uruguay

The mayor of Paterson, New Jersey, Andre Sayegh, says he has tested positive

Nearly one in four Americans responsible for rent or mortgage payments was unable to cover the full April bill for housing, a new analysis says. It cites a new, frozen “quarantine economy.”

Israel is using hotels as quarantine locations

DC looking to close national monument areas

Paris has stopped all outdoor exercise

With travel restrictions lifted in Wuhan, China, 65,000 have chosen to leave the area.

L.A. mayor says masks now mandatory

The WHO warns against relaxing guidelines too soon.

Officials now say a vaccine is 12-18 mos away

Funding for the WHO has been halted and a review called for.

Country, folk legend John Prine dies at 73

USNS Comfort has 44 people, who are positive for covid-19 on board

Boris Johnson is stable, not on a ventilator and is still in intensive care

Sen. Rand Paul testing negative now. He is now volunteering at a local hospital due to his assumed immunity

More small business money coming down from the federal government

France is at 10,000 cases – peak yet to come.

Buckling to pressure, many states deem gun stores ‘essential’ amid outbreak

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey donating $1 billion to coronavirus relief

Israel uses closed McDonald’s drive-ups for testing sites.

L.A. encourages those experiencing homelessness to social distance tents

RHODE ISLAND & VICINITY

RI Board of Rabbis says celebrate Passover at home, with who you live with – no company – no exceptions

Memorial Hospital parking lot will be site of new respiratory clinic – testing will be done there – must call Care New England first.

CVS rapid testing drive through clinic running in Lowell, MA

Stop & Shop aisles will all be 1-way starting today.

Ocean State Job Lot will give out free fabric for customers who want to create cloth masks

Providence parks, green spaces, the golf course shut down

Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester — was approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration Tuesday. The small, randomized trial of the Japanese antiviral drug favipiravir will look to study its effectiveness as a treatment for patients infected with the coronavirus

COSTS for Overflow RI “hospitals” – RI will pay the Rhode Island Convention Center $660,000 a month, plus security – $302,105 to Carpionato for Citizens Bank in Cranston; $100K for Lowe’s in Quonset, owned by CommerceRI

No babies have tested positive for coronavirus born at Women & Infants

Rhode Island Interscholastic League provided a picture of what a short run of games might look like should high school teams across the state be allowed to return to the fields

Governor Press Conference

3 new deaths – 30 total; 147 new cases – 1,229 total – 123 in hospital

Keep your contact journal or maybe in the future you won’t be able to get tested.

Be vigilant about hand washing, etc. because you’re going to be doing that for the next year.

No one should go to work if you are sick. You can take federal sick leave if you don’t have it at work – at least 10 days. Employers: do the right thing – let a sick employee stay home and pay them.

Asking employers to physically screen people to make sure they are not coming to work sick.

1,800 tests done yesterday. CVS soft-launched, building to 1,000.

Hospitals should submit daily reports to RIDOH on supplies, patient #s, etc. Gov. signed new Executive Order requiring hospitals to report

May 8th extension – social gatherings of more than 5 people prohibited (churches, parties, etc.) – Same for dine in service at restaurants – still can take out – and get alcohol with meals – Business closures, cinemas, museums, zoos, close contact businesses (nail, hair), until May 8th –  Domestic.int’l travel by any mode of transportation must quarantine for 14 days

Suspended open meetings act

Telehealth must cover telemedicine for all forms of care until May 8th.

Gun permits – extending time period from 7 days to 30 days until May 8th.

Closures indefinitely extended – RI State House, nursing homes, hospitals, ACI, asst. living, state parks and beaches, state based customer services will remain online only. RIDMV by appt only – casinos closed indefinitely.

Schools & childcare will be announced soon.

Tax filing extended to July 15th.

DLT – so many unemployed; 100,000 claims right now. 70,000 claims processed.  7 to 14 days to process.  Working on technology and more people.

Go to NextDoor.com – sign up for free acct. Go on website – go to Help map – see who needs help.

147 new cases – 3 new fatalities (2 in 70s, 1 in 90s – 1 in 70s was resident of Oak Hill. 1 in 70s and 1 in 90s – Golden Crest) – 30 fatalities in RI

If you work in a healthcare facility or nursing home – you need to stay home if you feel sick.

Wear cloth based covering in public; particularly for essential workers.

Testing: if you were negative, but if you experienced illness symptoms – you still need to stay home. Keep distance from others, do not go to work.

Undocumented immigrants should not be afraid – you need to get tested, nothing will happen to you.

Racial disparities – equity in disease/treatment – RI is looking at demographics to better understand the equity lens. Will report on data soon.

Opening the economy – still trying to figure out what needs to be in place to reopen economy. Ability for rapid, widely available testing; ability to quarantine and isolate at any one time; hospital beds and ventilators and PPE supplies. Early next week Gov. will talk about how to open economy. In no scenario will it be “we’re back to normal” all at once. New regs, industry by industry so we can keep everyone safe. Large gatherings still a problem in the future.

Doesn’t know if RI budget will even resemble the one previously proposed.

All parks and walking paths, etc. were closed in Providence – statewide we have no plans to do this at this time. We will monitor. Still more concerned about big box stores and groceries, though we are doing better.

Where is Lt. Gov? He is a great partner – he’s working from home. Every confidence he’ll do whatever necessary to help the cause.

State furlough?? Can’t say they won’t happen. Will do her best to see it doesn’t happen. So long as we can all work together, be flexible, be cooperative, etc. then we can try to get through this together.

Are we securing PPE for funeral homes – and how will they be supported after Covid-19 outbreak begins and funerals also begin.

Massachusettsis testing seniors at nursing homes using the National Guard and DPH teams – they have gone to 80 facilities and tested 1,350 people – today they did 20 more facilities.

Massachusetts – $800 million will be put into healthcare providers – ½ to hospital facilities – other ½ to nursing homes, etc. Rapid testing launched in Lowell. 

As of 12:00PM today, April 7, all Providence parks, green spaces, dog parks, sports fields and courts and off-road trails– including Roger Williams Park, North Burial Ground, Blackstone Boulevard and Pleasant Valley Parkway—are closed for pedestrian and recreational use until May 1. 

Press Release:

Governor Gina M. Raimondo and Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH, the Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH), made several announcements today about the state’s response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Today the Governor announced that she plans to extend the following executive orders until May 8th:

  • Gatherings: All gatherings of more than five people are prohibited.
  • Restaurant dine-in: Restaurants, bars and cafes will be closed to dine-in service. They will be allowed to sell wine and beer with take-out orders.
  • Business closures: Public recreation and entertainment businesses (e.g., theaters, cinemas, bowling alleys, museums, zoos, etc.) as well as all close-contact businesses (e.g., hair salons, nail salons, barber shops, tattoo parlors, gyms, yoga studios, etc.) will remain closed.
  • Travel: Anyone returning to Rhode Island from domestic or international travel by any mode of transportation must self-quarantine for 14 days. 
  • Open Meetings Act: The Governor has suspended the provision of the Open Meetings Act that prohibits meetings taking place by phone or video conferencing. All meetings must still allow for public access.
  • Telehealth: Health insurers must cover telemedicine for primary care, specialty care and mental and behavioral health care.
  • Gun Permits: In keeping with a request from the Rhode Island Police Chiefs’ Association, the Governor has extended the time period that law enforcement has to complete a background for a gun permit from seven days to 30 days.

Several other closures will extend indefinitely:

  • The Rhode Island State House is closed to visitors. 
  • Nursing homes, hospitals, and the ACI are not allowing visitors. 
  • State parks and beaches are closed.
  • All state-based customer services (for example, services from the Rhode Island Department of Human Services, the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, and Health Source RI) – will remain online only.
  • The DMV is open by appointment only. All road tests are suspended indefinitely.
  • Casinos are closed. 

In addition, the Governor signed an executive order ensuring that hospitals provide data to the state regarding supplies, patients being treated for COVID-19, and testing. This order ensures the state will have the most accurate information available as it seeks to procure additional supplies to respond to this crisis. The Governor noted that hospitals have been great partners throughout this response and have already been providing data to RIDOH regularly.

Finally, the Governor also urged Rhode Islanders to sign up for a free account on www.NextDoor.com. On their platform, Rhode Islanders can offer help to their neighbors or request help for things like grocery shopping and dog walking.

COVID-19 Data Update

Dr. Alexander-Scott announced today that Rhode Island has 147 new cases of COVID-19. This brings Rhode Island’s count to 1,229. RIDOH also announced three additional COVID-19 associated fatalities. Two people were in their 70s and one person was in their 90s. All three were nursing home residents. Rhode Island’s number of COVID-19 associated fatalities is now 30. A full data summary for Rhode Island is posted online.

A joyful moment… from our friends at Wicked Tulips…

We are holding out hope that we will be able to open in some capacity. If we can, we will be ready! We are kicking around ideas and working out the myriad of details that would go into a Drive-Thru Bouquet Pick-up and Tulip Delivery Service. –

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