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Your Coronavirus Update – July 29, 2021

RHODE ISLAND & VICINITY

Yesterday, a joint statement by Gov. McKee, Education Commissioner Infante-Green, and Health Dept. director Alexander-Scott: “we strongly recommend that school districts set a policy that requires masking in schools this fall regardless of vaccination status in direct correlation with CDC guidance.” The statement went on to ask all public school departments to develop policies along these lines for return to school in the fall.

Newport’s mayor released a statement requiring anyone coming into any public building in Newport to wear a mask as of August 2nd.

CDC’s recommendation for indoor mask wearing in high risk of exposure areas does not include Rhode Island, Connecticut or most of Massachusetts. Barnstable, Suffolk, Bristol, Nantucket, and Dukes in MA are impacted.

Governor Dan McKee and Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor will hold the tenth Rhode Island 2030 Community Conversation on Thursday, July 29 at 5:30 p.m. This conversation will be focused on Rhode Island’s small businesses and will be livestreamed on the Governor’s Facebook page. After a presentation there will be a panel discussion.

Gov. McKee said he does not see a reason to pull back on Rhode Island’s path at this time in terms of masks, etc. because of our high vaccination rate.

Luke Renchan, of the Wedding & Event Association went public with how he got COVID even after being vaccinated and is isolating and recovering.

Cases in Provincetown continue to climb by the hundreds – P-Town is one of the most vaccinated cities in the US – no deaths reported.

Bristol County, MA cases went up by 180% – Attleboro is going to reimpose mask mandates for public buildings.

Gov. Baker has yet to reinstitute universal mask mandate for schools, while 20 groups have asked him to do so.

Boston Beer Works will close all their bars in Massachusetts

Newport Town Council has returned to in-person meetings

Cranston City Council has returned to in-person meetings

Newport is one of the cities in RI with the fewest vaccinated.

Gov. McKee toured some areas of Newport giving out food boxes and encouraging vaccinations – a pop up clinic was held on 7/27.

SEE DETAILS ON MASK ANNOUNCEMENT FOR SCHOOLS IN RI, HERE: https://rinewstoday.com/ri-governor-health-education-leaders-required-masking-in-schools-for-students-staff-faculty-regardless-of-vaccination-status/

NATIONALLY & INTERNATIONALLY

President Biden and the CDC recommend universal mask wearing, regardless of vaccination status for returning to school.

President Biden is expected to require masks for all federal workers – or receive weekly tests and wear masks.

CDC is recommending mask wearing indoors for US locations in high risk of exposure.

Pfizer has said that after 6 mos their vaccine goes from over 90% efficacy to 80% for the Delta variant – they recommend a 3rd shot – a booster – which will bring up the efficacy and protection. The CDC said they do not recommend boosters at this time and the direction should come from them, and not companies.

The House of Representatives in DC will now require masks – the Senate will not.

Walt Disney World in Florida will require masks be worn indoors beginning today.

The concept of herd immunity is being talked about once again – should be 75% of population vaccinated, and we are only at 50% or so nationally. Mandates for workers in healthcare may help get us there.

President Biden seen wearing a mask outside and not wearing a mask at a crowded inside event.

Washington-Nationals game postponed after 12 players test positive. 11 had been vaccinated.

The Pentagon has required masks for all employees in high risk/density areas.

The VA has required vaccinations for all hospital workers, nationwide.

By Labor Day, all New York state workers must be vaccinated or go through weekly testing.

Global supply chain problems for appliances, furniture and – back-to-school supplies – not even too early to shop for Christmas

Google told their 135,000 workers to continue working from home unless they can show they have been fully vaccinated. Facebook is following up with similar guidelines.

Pfizer now sees $33.5 billion in 2021 vaccine sales, up from $26 billion, and says a third dose of its #COVID19 shot “strongly” boosts protection against the Delta variant.

AFL-CIO says they support federal employee vaccination mandate. Other unions do not support vaccine mandates.

While boosters are not being recommended right now, some health officials are pointing to studies that show levels of antibodies declining among people who received the Pfizer vaccine. There have also been studies showing those who have had COVID begin to lose their antibody protection in as little as 3 months.

Japan is considering not having the Paralympics in August due to the coronavirus 4th wave.

Florida & Arkansas are the states with the highest transmission rate.

Private employers have the legal right to mandate vaccinations for employees; vaccination can be considered a “condition of employment.”

The Washington Post has required all employees to be vaccinated.

Some states are seeing lawsuits filed by unemployed groups to restore the extra $300 per week in benefits.

AstraZeneca, reporting Thursday morning, the company was considering seeking a full FDA approval for its Covid-19 vaccine, rather than filing for the emergency authorizations obtained by its rivals. 

Scientist says that Delta strain may have more viral load left in the body than first iteration of COVID. If a vaccinated person is exposed to the Delta virus, there is a rare possibility that that person could spread it to others – if those others are unvaccinated, that is a problem for them.

In Indonesia, the nation of 270 million is talking about a “lost generation” to the pandemic.

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