Coronavirus Update – Today, March 31, 2020


Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation will donate 800 ventilators, 300,000 sets of protective gowns and 300,000 face shields to hospitals in Europe.

University of Michigan using dorms to house medical staff who need safe, close-by places to stay

Bulgaria makes wearing a protective mask in public places compulsory

Israeli’s PM Netanyahu will begin quarantining as well as his staff, after exposure

Texas courts overturn ban on abortion as not “medically unnecessary”

Hungarian Parliament votes broad powers to government

Olympic Summer Games now scheduled for July 21, 2021

Macy’s will be putting the majority of its 130,000 workers

7-Eleven stores – hiring 20,000 new staff, installing “sneeze shields” at registers

New York – keep social distancing – if you don’t do it, it’s criminal. Infection rate is somewhat slowing.

A tennis stadium in Queens, NY is being turned into a hospital

Virginia issues stay at home order as cases top 1,000

Gannett, publisher of USA Today and other newspapers, is temporarily slashing salaries

Public works officials across the US plead with people not to flush anything but toilet paper as systems can’t easily be repaired at this time

New York – 58 beds, 10 ICUs on 5th Avenue remote hospital location – set up by Samaritan’s Purse.  Javits Center also opens as temporary hospital.

Grants for restaurant workers in US available via National Rest. Association fund – at – 100% of donations go to employees – can donate or apply for $$

Homeless people in Las Vegas were directed to sleep in a parking lot marked off by painted squares, to indicate “social-distancing” dimensions, while hotels sat in the distance with thousands of vacant rooms.

Zuckerberg, Gates team up to contribute $25 million for research into coronavirus treatments

John Prine, age 79, is listed in critical condition – he is hospitalized & intubated

Johnson & Johnson to start human trials of coronavirus vaccine in September

8 Nursing home residents died at a nursing home in New Jersey

Funeral homes throughout the country are overwhelmed, and in new territory helping families through a

New York City had the lost of their first child, who had an underlying medical condition

Pentagon directs military bases to stop releasing coronavirus figures – last count was approximately 570 members.

Oklahoma Prison inmates sewing masks for the cause

One doctor calls this situation a Pearl Harbor moment for the country

Arizona issues stay at home order.

Washington state sees rates of infection slowing due to successful social distancing

Some delivery workers at Amazon, Instacart, etc. strike over safety concerns

Washington DC issues stay at home order

11 LA county nursing homes, and that “dozens and dozens” of local health-care workers have also tested positive.

Alabama, Iowa, Ohio and Oklahoma are sued after suspending abortions

Rep. Velazquez presumed positive, was near Pelosi and on House floor

President’s Press Conference

By following guidelines to extend social distancing to end of April, we can save 1 million lives.

Next 30 days challenging times – putting it all on the line.

Over 1 million Americans have now been tested, more than anywhere else in the world. Now testing near 100,000 a day. Thanks FDA, CDC, CMS and American companies and entrepreneurs. Now developed 20 tests or more.

Secured new treatment medications, and sterilization equipment.

Dr. Hahn, FDA: 5 minute test developed by Abbott Labs.

Sandoz, Teva Pharma, etc. all donating doses of medication.

Reported on New York City hospital built at Javits Center, with well over 2,000 beds. FEMA

Ford & GE making 50,000 ventilators in less than 100 days. Joining 9 other companies – as we outpace what we need we will send to Italy, France, Spain, etc.

14,000 National Guard activated to distribute PPE – anything we don’t need we will send to other countries –  over $100M surgical, medical

Honeywell, Jockey, Mike’s Pillows, Proctor & Gamble, United Technologies – reps spoke.  Honeywell announced RI expansion – 500 jobs – to make masks – another company in Arizona – similar program – and $10M program for their employees. Jockey: making 30-50,000 gowns per week. Donating 10K scrubs to Javits Convention Ctr. United Technologies & Raytheon – acknowledged company is at war – using technology to solve world problems – helping pilots that are moving patients – logistics wins war – 90K PPE, next week almost 1 million.  Mfg face shields, 10K shields in next month. All people at UTC and Raytheon are focused on winning this war. 

Seema Verma, CMS spoke about all the support for medical staff – now expansion of Telehealth (which will likely be permanent) – today announcing MDs will be paid for serving patients – also be able to use Telehealth in EDs. What usually takes a year to do we did in 2 weeks.

Virginia issued a 70 day stay – question was is it constitutional – people should be staying at home.

Question on national stay-at-home order…administration talked about state quarantine, hard to enforce, advisory regs seems to be working.

If it comes back in the fall, it will be a completely different story…therapeutic interventions should be available – and a vaccine will be on track.

Should everyone wear a mask? Maybe. For a period of time. GPS tracking. Etc.

President said I want to keep the country calm and strong and fight and win. And it will go away. Very proud of what everyone is doing. Almost a miracle on how it is coming together – CNN asks a snarky question.

Question on supplies perhaps going out the door – going from 10K to 300K masks over same period of time makes no sense – needs to be looked at.

Economy is #2 on list – first we have to save a lot of lives.


President Trump approves disaster declaration for Rhode Island

Three nursing homes – Oak Hill in Pawtucket, Golden Crest in North Providence, and the RI Veterans Home in Bristol have cases of coronavirus

The RI House and Senate increased efforts to call back the RI legislature to meet – remotely

Grab & Go Meals in Cranston has changed – pick up on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Families will get double meals each day. Fridays will include  meals for the weekend

11 Veterans die in a Massachusetts Soldiers’ Home

Massachusetts veterinary school loans out ventilators to support Boston hospital

RI Public Defenders office moves to have early release for certain people being held at the ACI with sentences of less than 90 days

Providence is delaying the deadline for residents to pay taxes – interest and late fees for non-escrowed tax payments will be waived until June 30 for property taxes, tangible taxes and car taxes.

2 nursing homes and the RI Veterans Homes have cases of coronavirus

To apply for emergency unemployment, if you are an independent contractor, self-employed, or a GIG worker, you must sign up, here: to receive notice when the form is up for you to apply.

Unemployment claims process:  “The Department is considering all options in continuing to handle the mass of claims being filed as well as the anticipated increase in volume, including increasing infrastructural and staff capacity. We work closely with the Division of Information Technology to monitor the system and improve performance. We are seeing not only an unprecedented volume of claims but the relaxation and modification of rules around the administration of unemployment insurance benefits, which means we are responding to systems change and high volumes concurrently. While our systems have not crashed, they are stressed, and we are working on getting these necessary changes implemented as quickly as possible, and thank Rhode Islanders for their continued patience.”


Data – 4th death – 114 new cases – total 408 – 41 in hospital

We are in a fast spread of the virus in RI – important to obey the rules.

School update: K-12, 140,000 children – distance learning going well. We will continue distance learning through end of April.  WiFi issue – All households that have a smart phone with hotspot and have Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, Cox, TMobile – access is free until May18th. It’s free hotspots for everyone. Cox will give 2 free months of internet service, then $10/mo after that for income qualified people. RIDE April Reading Challenge – read every day in the month. Books being donated, library drive-ups – more info coming.

Special press conference om Thurs for kids with Dr. Scott & Dr. Green.

Testing: Wants to test 1,000 a day – now we are about ½ way there. Hope to do this by end of week. RIC, URI & CCRI are having drive thru sites set up – you have to go through your primary care

Data – most recent fatality man in his 70s, not a nursing home resident.

Nursing home issue: RI has had cases – approx. 15 cases in 3 different homes. Additional steps being taken such as discharge process from hospital to nursing home; environmental cleaning – ideally every 4 hours on high touch surfaces and shared use areas. Staff must stay home if sick.

Testing: Must get MD to “prescribe” test if medically needed.

Ventilators: We used to have over 200 – want to get closer to 600..

Home health care workers: any temporary housing for people taking care of sick others in homes so they don’t infect their own families.

Testing: Want to first use up supply of swabs we have before using others. Also trying to get the Abbott Lab rapid test.

Urgent care centers should be able to take people without insurance thanks to health insurers, etc.

RI Veterans Home – staff member has been tested positive. Other critical staff can work with mask on?

Nursing homes – 27 patients being quarantined, staff who are critical staff can still work with in-shift monitoring

Status of PPE stockpile: teams of people are working hard on this. Right now some nurses are being told to use their mask for the entire day.

Testing: Not doing flu testing as a condition for Covid19 testing – have not had significant # of flu positive at this time.

Governor’s Press Release:
Distance learning: 
Citing the success of the first week of distance learning across the state and the necessity of continuing to implement social distancing measures, Governor Raimondo announced that Rhode Island will continue distance learning through the month of April.

WiFi: To ensure that all Rhode Island students have access to WiFi necessary for distance learning at home, the Governor today announced that all households that have a smart phone with a WiFi hot spot feature and have cell phone service from the four most common providers in our state – Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint – will be able to activate the hot spot feature for free. There will be no activation fee, no usage fee, and no overage fee. This policy will last until at least May 13.

April Reading Challenge: The Governor is asking Rhode Island students to read every single day in the month of April – all 30 days. The state will work with nonprofits, public libraries and some generous companies to distribute books to students who need them. More information is available online.

Kids Press Conference: This Thursday, the Governor will be joined by Education Commissioner Angelica Infante-Green and Dr. Alexander Scott for a special press conference for kids. Students can fill out a google form to submit their questions or leave a voicemail with their questions. Information is being distributed to teachers and will also be available on the Governor’s social media channels this afternoon.


Rhode Island has 114 new cases, and its 4th fatality, a male in his 70s (not in a nursing home).

Last Update: 3/30/2020
Number of Rhode Island COVID-19 positive (including presumptive positive) cases:408
Number of people who had negative test results: 3,187
Approximate number of people who are currently instructed to self-quarantine in Rhode Island. 1,000
Number of Rhode Island COVID-19 patients who are currently hospitalized41
Number of Rhode Island COVID-19 associated fatalities4

A moment of joy! This is Dr. Angelica Infante-Green’s daughter reinforcing the coronavirus message of “stay home”.

Dr. Green is Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education for the State of Rhode Island

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