Coronavirus Update – Today, May 8, 2020

Photo: Pictogram of an approved outdoor restaurant setup


66% of cases in New York City came from home

Frontier Airlines drops planned fee for empty middle seats

California begins to open – curbside pick up for stores; golf courses and hiking trails open for public use.

President’s food server tests positive for coronavirus; president and staff will be tested daily.

Neiman Marcus seeks protection in bankruptcy.

Colleges fear their international students may not return – usually makeup between 2 and 5 percent of student body

Several Italian beachside resorts are reporting empty beaches and hotels as fear limits reservations for holiday

Over 585,000 more people filed for pandemic unemployment this week; and 3.2 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance

New York Times executives have told the New York office staff that they likely won’t be able to return to work in the newsroom until Sept. 8, the day after Labor Day.

New York criticisms build about readmitting or admitting seniors recovering from covid19 back into nursing homes, sending rates of infection soaring.

The Pentagon suggests using microfiber cleaning cloth as the best material to use for a mask.

The Gap is set to emerge from bankruptcy and will open up approx.. 800 stores in the next month.

The New York Times gained approx.. 580,000 new subscribers since the pandemic, though advertising has been dramatically cut.

The NFL is scheduled to begin its regular season Thursday, Sept. 10, although coronavirus concerns make that nothing more than a target. The preseason is scheduled to begin in mid-August. The NBA and NHL seasons are still in the midst of indefinite suspensions, while reports say the MLB is targeting an early July start.

Samaritan’s Purse workers who came to NYC to set up an emergency tent facility have now been told they will have to pay NY taxes on wages earned while there. They treated 333 patients and were paid by Samaritan’s Purse; the nonprofit will boost their income so they can pay. Graham said, “we don’t look back over our shoulder at things that happen, we move forward”.

IRS deadline for filing that was extended to July may be extended again, trying to keep money in worker’s pockets.


2 residents at the RI Veterans Home died after testing positive

RI checkpoint has been set up at the Newport Bridge to inform visitors who intend to stay about the 14 day quarantine.

Workers protest at The Groden Center for hazard pay.

ProJo’s Kathy Gregg notes that on April 10, 2020, the Governor signed an emergency Executive Order providing immunity for healthcare workers, healthcare facilities, etc. Here is the Executive Order:

Florida beach areas have not seen the huge uptick predicted by the thousands who flocked to the beach.

The Villages in Florida had an original high rate of coronavirus positive tests, yet to date they have no active cases or deaths.

Florida is now focusing on nursing homes and group settings of seniors 75 and older.

Researchers are stumped by the 66% of New Yorkers who came “from home” with coronavirus.

Affordable Housing seen as RI’s path to recovery in housing teleconference today

St. Anthony’s Feast in North End of Boston this summer canceled.

Massachusetts dentists unhappy with Delta Dental for little assistance since their practices shut down.

The Eagle-Tribune of North Andover, The Daily News of Newburyport, The Salem News and the Gloucester Daily Times, told readers this week that daily papers will stop publishing a print paper on Tuesday and Saturdays as well as furloughs

Boston Herald said Friday that its members have agreed to a plan that would furlough 30 employees unpaid for two to five weeks, through June.

Walmarts in Abington and Avon, MA have been closed after coronavirus incidents

The Warwick Police Union has issued a letter to Gov. Raimondo saying they will not enforce the “wear a mask” law

Boston College High will be the site of a 2 gallon per person milk giveaway, organized by Massachusetts dairy farmers.

Massachusetts golf courses expected to be opened for this weekend. Carts will be restricted to one per player, unless two players are from the same household. Carts must be sanitized before and after each round of play.

In Massachusetts, an additional 55,000 people filed for unemployment.

RI Data – 5-7-2020

18 deaths – 14 lived in long term care – 2 were from RI Veterans Home – both were in 70s.

Data is a bit of a bump – reflective of the type of testing being done in higher-risk communities.

Reopening the economy – getting as many back to work as quickly as possible, without going backwards or jeopardizing health. Need to go slow, and stay ahead of the curve to control it’s spread. We’ll start to test our system.

We will lift the stay at home order on Saturday. We met all the triggers – 14 day downward trend, or stable trend in hospitalizations. 15% decrease in # of hospitalizations from 14 days ago. We’re testing all symptomatic people within 24 hours. Access to testing has increased to a good point. Dr. Birx reviewed where RI is and was complimentary of system, cases, and testing. Contact tracing is done within first 24 hours. Meeting needs of those in quarantine and isolation. 30% of ICU beds open and a good selection of PPE supplies. Supplies are on hand – PPE – Battelle system to sanitize masks all in place. Gowns coming from new supplier. Workplace guidance and resources are in place. Screening protocols for workplaces are in place. Technology coming on board.

Rhode Islanders should regain their confidence in moving forward.

Phase 1: Begins on Saturday. Won’t look different than it is right now. Focus on getting back to work. Social gatherings to a minimum. Non-critical retail can open with capacity limits. Limit browsing; wait in line with good social distancing. Need to see your doctor, go ahead. Use telehealth, or go in. Hospitals will provide required but non-emergency procedures. Every hospital has extensive plan submitted.

Offices – work from home if you can. Limited in-office opening – follow guidelines.

RIDEM – has list of state parks, etc., starting Saturday – which parks will be open – but don’t have outdoor games, etc. Limit to 5.

Keep network small. Keep contact journals. Don’t go visit mom on Mother’s Day or have play dates with kids. Limited to 5 people.  Mayors are concerned about social gatherings. Who will ”police”?  Will extend until May 22nd

We are still in between NYC and Boston, so we have to play it safe.

Extend to May 22nd – domestic travel – coming to RI. Not for work? Must quarantine for 14 days. Restaurants, cafes, bars – will remain closed for awhile – will do limited outdoor dining a little later in phase one.

Restaurants and bars can serve mixed drinks in sealed containers for pickup. If you can, do take out, leave a big tip, help these guides out.

Recreation & Entertainment – museums, theaters, gyms, salons, etc. – all will remain closed for now. – Golf courses, construction, manufacturing, never closed.

Every week we’ll have adjustments.

Expiration not happening – extending to 6/5 – come here outside US, must quarantine 14 days – anyone diagnosed and cleared, must quarantine fo =r 14 days Gun permits extended to June 15 to 30 day background check. Telehealth must be covered until

Churches – religious service in a house of worship, with a few people -5- and stream it you can do that. Drive in services. Funerals can go to 10 people. Socially distanced. Guidelines being published tomorrow.


Constitutionality of face mask regulation – Governor has broad powers under state of emergency.

Small boutique fitness centers – can they be pulled out of consideration along with large big-box gyms – looking at this.

Restaurants not opening because of risk to staff and customers – can’t force a business to open. But eventually we have to get out there and be brave. In-room dining time you should open then.

Restaurants in July could be at full capacity – unlikely, but don’t know. If experience is such that if restaurants are at 50% capacity then we can relax.

Some businesses say their employees won’t come back because they are making more on unemployment – the additional $600 check is a factor – expires.

System wide change for nursing homes – staffing, infection control, PPE support, how can stabilization exist into the future.

Raimondo Announces Stay-at-home Order will Lift Saturday, Extends Executive Orders

Press Release:

Governor Gina M. Raimondo today announced that Rhode Island’s stay-at-home order will lift this Saturday, May 9th.

Phase 1 will begin with the following restrictions:

  • Non-critical retail stores will reopen with capacity limits.
  • Elective medical procedures resume under safety guidelines.
  • Everyone who can work from home, should work from home. Offices will be permitted to start allowing people to come and go on a very limited basis.
  • Some state parks will reopen with limited parking.

Tomorrow, the Governor will issue a new executive order extending the ban on social gatherings of five people until May 22nd. In addition, the following orders will extend through May 22nd:

  • Domestic Travel: Anyone coming to Rhode Island from any other state for a non-work-related purpose by any mode of transportation must self-quarantine for 14 days. This restriction will not apply to anyone traveling for medical treatment or to obtain necessities like groceries, gas, or medication.
  • Restaurant dine-in: Restaurants, bars, and cafes will remain closed to dine-in service. Wine and beer can still be sold with take-out orders. In addition, starting Saturday, restaurants and bars will be allowed to sell mixed drinks in sealed containers.
  • Businesses closures: Recreation and entertainment businesses will remain closed. This includes theaters, cinemas, bowling alleys, concert venues, museums, and zoos. Close-contact businesses will also remain closed. This includes gyms, fitness centers, yoga studios, hair salons, nail salons, barber shops, and tattoo parlors.

In addition, the following executive orders will be extended to June 5th:

  • International Travel: Anyone coming to Rhode Island from outside of the country must self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • Quarantining: Anyone who has been diagnosed with coronavirus by a lab test or by a doctor who has assessed symptoms must isolate until cleared based on guidance from the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH). 
  • Gun Permits: In keeping with a request from the Rhode Island Police Chiefs’ Association, the state has extended the time period that law enforcement has to complete a background for a gun permit from seven days to 30 days.
  • Telehealth: Health insurers must cover telemedicine for primary care, specialty care and mental and behavioral health care.

In Phase 1, places of worship will be allowed to reopen for groups of five only. Drive-in services are allowed as long as people remain in their cars. Funerals will be allowed to have a maximum of 10 people, as long as they are appropriately socially distanced. More guidance for religious settings will be available on tomorrow. 

Enjoy – The Boston Pops at Home Presents Summon The Heroes

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