Updated isolation & quarantine recommendations.

Your Coronavirus Update – Dec. 28, 2021


The VA Medical Center is first hospital in RI to completely stop visitation due to omicron variant (exception for end-of-life).

President Biden says the federal government will support the states and they should let him know if they need anything – but it is the states that will handle the COVID situation at the local level.

ACI is giving boosters to ACI & Wyatt prisoners and staff

Only 42% of RI children are vaccinated who are eligible to be, 5+.

New testing site opens at St. Joseph Hospital

Providence Mayor Elorza has asked Gov. McKee to allow official government meetings to be virtual for the immediate future.

Two Massachusetts researchers are asking the CDC to consider a “circuit breaker” shutdown of restaurants, venues, when hospitals in region reach catastrophic conditions – going into Omicron with full hospitals is predicted to cause such serious conditions in January in MA.

East Providence assisted living facility, Winslow Gardens, sees COVID-19 outbreak after lifting visitor restrictions – 29 residents and 1 staff member, with 6 hospitalized – all expected to recover.

Providence College will require boosters for spring semester.

Massachusetts is under an order to limit elective surgeries at all hospitals.

The National Guard is now deployed at 55 MA hospitals.

The CAPP Food Pantry will be closed on Wednesdays 12/29/2021 and 1/5/2022. We will reopen on Wednesday, 1/12/2022 under a NEW, extended and biweekly schedule: Wednesdays 10am – 2pm and 4pm – 6:30pm; Saturdays 10am – 12pm. – to allow time for transition of operations and necessary repairs to facilities.

Dr. Philip Chan, consulting medical director for the RI Dept. of Health, said he is very concerned about the relatively low vaccination rate of RI children aged 5 and up, with latest figures showing 48% having received one shot and 42% with both shots.

Westerly Hospital now requires vaccine proof or negative test within a few hours for visitors.

Kent’s hospital-at-home program, which requires an in-person physician evaluation before someone is admitted, also entails daily home visits from a registered nurse and mobile integrated health paramedics, and a daily check-in with a physician, which can take place virtually.

Celtics Jason Tatum out for COVID protocols.

See a national website for requesting tests – not yet operational in RI –

Gov. McKee will appoint a Task Force to monitor, inspect and levy civil fines for failure of businesses, restaurants, etc. to follow state rules on masking, distancing, vaccination proofing. Fines can be $500 per incident.

South County Hospital has a new vaccine requirement or proof of a negative PCR test (within 48 hours) for all visitors.

The Venus de Milo owner wants to sell as soon as possible, having shifted to large scale take-out on the weekends, but now they can’t find staff. The owner wants to open Venus Foods, a take-out facility only in Providence.

Brattle Square Florist, a 100-yr old iconic flower shop closes in Boston due to supply issues and labor shortages.

Guests at CT. Gov. Lamont Family Holiday Gathering Test Positive For Covid-19

Salve Regina will delay the start of spring semester by a week.

Gifford Hospital in Vermont limits visitors to one – the same one – as a COVID precaution.

In RI, unvaccinated are 4 times more likely to get infected and 11 times more likely to be hospitalized.

Steve Balasco, owner of Warren pizza shop, died on Christmas Eve, of COVID.

Hospitals in Massachusetts with less than 15 percent of their staffed medical-surgical and intensive care unit bed capacity available must postpone or cancel non-essential, non-urgent scheduled procedures likely to result in inpatient admission to comply with a new Department of Public Health order.

Gov. McKee has reinstated the hospitals’ immunity from lawsuits in light of unusual circumstance Executive Order:


President Biden said the federal government will support the states and they should let him know if they need anything – but it is the states that will handle the COVID situation at the local level.

President Biden to the Governors: “If you need something – say something.”

For comparison purposes, Hepatitis B is three shots; DTaP is five shots; polio is four shots for the primary sequence.

Two pill medications are available for treatment, but must be taken as soon as COVID is known and are only for those with expectation of complications or at higher risk than average.

Pet Food shortage is growing – people advised to buy several weeks if they can.

Dr. Fauci said there is consideration for vaccine mandates for domestic travel.

184,000 private businesses in NY are now under a vaccination mandate for employees to come to work.

The average # of people claiming new unemployment claims averages 205,000 per week

California’s roughly 2.5 million healthcare workers have until Feb. 1 to get a coronavirus vaccine booster shot or risk losing their jobs, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday.

Search for a COVID-19 test means sold-out signs, long lines – tests at pharmacies are few and far between.

Omicron multiplies 70 times faster inside human respiratory tract tissue than the delta variant does.

The White House reporter pool has asked spox, Jen Psaki, to move to virtual press events due to the COVID surge. She has been slow to reply.

Blood banks experiencing shortages due to people not donating because of fear of the virus.

Over 15 colleges going virtual first weeks of 2022 – this is expected to impact almost every college and university.

Flights continue to be canceled – expected to go on for days – airline companies have asked CDC to reduce quarantine from 10 to 5 days as employees’ callouts cause havoc on flying.

Israel is beginning a trial of a Pfizer 4th shot – or booster – with healthworkers. This is different than the 4th booster still being approved for high risk patients.

US Retail sales rose 8 1/2% for the Christmas holiday.

Spiderman Movie tops $18M – top movie

Chinese city being disinfected as cases rise – 13 million residents on lockdown.

Longhaul truckers and seafarers are expected to leave the industry in droves, making product shortages to increase in 2022.

Celtics leading scorer Jayson Tatum enters COVID protocol along with 7 other players

Boston Bruins have games canceled due to positive testing players.

Anti-vax podcaster, Doug Kuzma, is now on a ventilator with COVID

US to lift travel ban on 8 southern African countries – numbers continue to plummet in So. Africa

Several cathedrals – DC, Boston – moved all their services to virtual.

Rockettes ended show run entirely this year.

Nursing home/long term care staff is down 243,00 nationwide – with 25-50% of nursing homes unable to take new patients.

Omicron reaches higher levels in respiratory tract tissue 48 hours after infection.

A federal agency has released the first allocations of Paxlovid, the new COVID-19 treatment from Pfizer, to states and territories. Only 3 states will receive more than 3,000 for now, California, Florida, New York, and Texas.

Early data from South Africa, the United Kingdom and Denmark suggest a reduced risk of hospitalization for Omicron compared to Delta.

It is still unclear to what extent the observed reduction in risk of hospitalization can be attributed to immunity from previous infections or vaccination and to what extent Omicron may be less virulent.

Therapeutic interventions for the management of patients with severe or critical Omicron-associated COVID-19 that target host responses (such as corticosteroids, and interleukin 6 receptor blockers) are expected to remain effective. 

Some of the monoclonal antibodies developed against SARS-CoV-2 may have decreased effectiveness against Omicron.

Research shows the virus can linger in the body for 230 days – some with little to no impact, others responsible for long-COVID.

Healthcare workers can now decrease quarantines from 10 days to 7 days or use local discretion. They should also test negative.

The USS Milwaukee has paused its deployment to South America because of a COVID outbreak.

Multiple Broadway shows have been forced to cancel performances amid a sudden rash of COVID-19 outbreaks – shows on Christmas & Christmas Eve were canceled – Moulin Rouge, American Utopia, Waitress, Aladdin, The Music Man on Broadway.

UK has vaccinated 56% of its population.

Fiji has vaccinated 92% of its population.

Africa has fully vaccinated only 8.9% of its population.

The Vatican has instituted a vaccine mandate for all its staff, except those who can document they have had COVID.

AstraZeneca’s treatment for those at high risk is still not made in enough quantity to be available to all.

US Navy ship in Cuba has a COVID outbreak and is staying in place.

Say Yes! Covid Home Test a coopperative study with the NIH is up and running in a very limited offering for a few states with high risk – review here: – this may be what the free tests will look like – so they will be able to test more than one time per person.


CDC shortens isolation time:

“The CDC is shortening the recommended time for isolation from 10 days for people with COVID-19 to 5 days, if asymptomatic, followed by 5 days of wearing a mask when around others. The change is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after. Therefore, people who test positive should isolate for 5 days and, if asymptomatic at that time, they may leave isolation if they can continue to mask for 5 days to minimize the risk of infecting others.

Additionally, CDC is updating the recommended quarantine period for those exposed to COVID-19. For people who are unvaccinated or are more than six months out from their second mRNA dose (or more than 2 months after the J&J vaccine) and not yet boosted, CDC now recommends quarantine for 5 days followed by strict mask use for an additional 5 days. Alternatively, if a 5-day quarantine is not feasible, it is imperative that an exposed person wear a well-fitting mask at all times when around others for 10 days after exposure. Individuals who have received their booster shot do not need to quarantine following an exposure, but should wear a mask for 10 days after the exposure.  For all those exposed, best practice would also include a test for SARS-CoV-2 at day 5 after exposure. If symptoms occur, individuals should immediately quarantine until a negative test confirms symptoms are not attributable to COVID-19.


China is trying to “sterilize” an entire city:

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