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Your Coronavirus Update – Jan. 8, 2022

RHODE ISLAND & VICINITY

U.S. District Court Judge Mary S. McElroy did not bar the state from enforcing the vaccine mandate imposed by the Health Department requiring healthcare workers to be vaccinated.

Eleanor Slater Hospital on Thursday reported 28 patients had tested positive for the virus, totaling about 14% of the facility’s roughly 200 patients.

With RI now the highest case rate in the US, a peak is expected to be reached soon – followed by a decrease. Important to note that while case numbers have exploded, and do not even include home test numbers, we are testing more and the severity of disease is not at all like it was with Delta and hospitalization rates are rising, but not alarmingly so.

The Massachusetts Dept of Elementary and Secondary Education said there were 38,887 cases of COVID among public school students and 12,213 among staff members – 4 times as many as before the holidays.

Vermont schools should stop contact tracing and PCR surveillance testing for students and staff, the Agency of Education said Friday in an email to school administrators announcing an “imminent policy shift.” A new “rapid response” testing program will be used instead, the directive says.

Providence Police Dept. is told officers who do not get vaccinated will be terminated – there are about 80 who would be impacted.

Gov. McKee has authorized remote meetings to continue due to COVID

ACI has temporarily ended visitation – due to COVID.

President Biden has delayed his first State of the Union address until March 1st, the latest date ever given.

Bryant basketball coach Jared Grasso, is out with COVID

New Vaccination Clinics for Jan. 8 – register at C19vaccineri.org

10:00am-2:30pm, Achievement First Iluminar, 85 Garfield Avenue, Cranston, Pfizer (5-11)

10:00am-11:30am, CCRI – Lincoln, 1762 Old Louisquisset Pike, Lincoln, J&J, Pfizer

1:00pm-2:30pm, CCRI – Newport, 1 John H. Chafee Blvd, Newport, J&J, Moderna, Pfizer (12+)

12:00pm-1:30pm, CCRI – Warwick, 400 East Avenue, Warwick, J&J, Moderna, Pfizer (12+)

10:00am-2:00pm, George J. West Elementary School, 145 Beaufort Street, Providence, Pfizer (5-11)

10:00am-2:00pm, Old County Elementary School, 200 Old County Road, Smithfield, Pfizer (5-11)

9:00am-11:00am, South Road Elementary, 1157 South Road, Wakefield, J&J, Moderna, Pfizer (12+)

10:00am-12:00pm, Tiverton Library, 34 Roosevelt Avenue, Tiverton, Moderna, Pfizer, Pfizer (5-11)

11:15am-1:00pm, Calcutt Middle School, 112 Washington Street, Central Falls,Moderna, Pfizer

NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL

Pres. Biden: No, I don’t think COVID is here to stay – but having COVID in the environment here & in the world is probably here to stay. COVID as as we’re dealing with it now, is not here to stay. The new normal doesn’t have to be. It’s going to be better. We have many new tools.

The White House is proceeding with plans to ship 500,000 self-test kits to Americans requesting them from a website that will be set up. At the end of December, approximately 600,000 people had the virus. In 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau counted 331.4 million people living in the United States; more than three-quarters (77.9%) or 258.3 million were adults, 18 years or older. White House press secretary Jen Psaki played down the idea of mailing federally procured tests around the country, originally, back in the latter part of 2020 – “Should we just send one to every American?” she asked sarcastically at a Dec. 6 news briefing. “Then what happens if every American has one test? How much does that cost, and then what happens after that?”

NCAA accepting having had prior virus as equal to vaccine

Gov. of West Virginia is requesting approval to give 4th shot for those at high risk.

Germany mandates people over 50 to receive booster – failure to do so would mean withholding paychecks, etc. Admission to restaurants, bars, etc. requires negative flow test.

4th shot of Moderna will be needed by this fall.

Unemployment rate in US is now 3.9% – 6.4 million new jobs were added. ½ less than economists predicted as a measure of successful recovery.

The Two state lawyers arguing against the Biden administration’s vaccine mandates in front of the Supreme Court today tested positive for COVID and had to argue by phone.

Walmart’s home delivery service is hiring 3,000 new associates and building out a fleet of electric vehicles to deliver to 30 million more homes.

Israel to allow US visitors back in for the first time since November.

J&J says its single dose protects against breakthrough COVID-19 for up to 6 months

A new COVID-19 variant, called IHU, or B.1.640.2, was discovered in a male patient at the University Hospital Institute (IHU) Mediterranee Infection in Southern France around the same time Omicron was discovered in South Africa. So far it does not seem a variant to be concerned about, though it is being seen in more locations.

Paul Marik, MD, who has been in a legal battle with his hospital over prescribing ivermectin and other COVID-19 treatments, announced that he resigned from his position at Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS). A statement posted to the website of the group he co-founded, the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC), said Marik was leaving to “dedicate more time to multiple causes” including the FLCCC.

Portugal will allow students to return to school next week. Nightclubs can reopen on Jan. 14, but a negative test will be required to enter. Despite a record surge in COVID-19 cases, with hospital admissions still well below levels seen earlier in the pandemic. They are saying that vaccination success – 89% – has made this Omicron outbreak more manageable to deal with. Only coronavirus-infected people and those who live with them need to isolate, while those who have received a booster shot – about 3 million people – no longer need to do so. A work from home order stays in effect until Jan. 15th. A negative test will also continue to be requested from all air passengers travelling to Portugal.

The WHO’s latest message – video runs 7 minutes:

https://who.canto.global/s/KE4FH?viewIndex=0&column=video&id=h0lut3ken91339vdmvespof41d

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