Your Coronavirus Update – Oct. 20, 2021

Photo: Nathan DaGraca, Grade 5, Curtis School, Pawtucket Calendar Photo Contest


RIDOH reports its team has made some adjustments, and turnaround times for PCR test results are improving. Roughly 80% of all PCR test results are ready within 24 hours. And 98% are ready in 48 hours.

Tommy’s Pizza Providence location will close permanently. Cranston location will remain open.

12 part-time workers have been terminated from City of Providence jobs for not complying with vaccination or regular testing mandates. This represents only .5% of the city’s 2,053 workers.

MA Gov. Baker has activated 450 National Guard members to help with COVID testing at K-12 schools and to fill in for a possible shortage of staff at the MA Dept. of Corrections.

Providence is offering $7 million to the city’s small businesses to ease the pandemic’s burden on enterprise.

There is a lawsuit in RI – Richard Southwell et al vs. Daniel J McKee and the RI Department of Health, to challenge mask wearing in schools. A unique legal strategy is deployed; one that, as its primary focus, challenged the State’s claimed “emergency” medical premises, rather than suing mainly on constitutional grounds. The lawsuit, brought by 35 parent-plaintiffs, each of whom detailed the heart-breaking physical and emotional harms caused by the forced-school-masking on their children.

299 State Police workers have not been vaccinated – 200 have sought exemptions – yet, over 90% have been vaccinated.

Majority of Executive Dept. workers in MA have been vaccinated, but those who have not will now have a 5-day suspension – 10-day suspension – then termination.

Nearly 1,600 MA employees did not keep Gov. Baker’s vaccination deadline.

RI group of demonstrators outside of Governor’s home filed complaints about abuse by the RI State Police.

Tilly’s Cheesesteak Restaurant in West Kingstown will close due to staffing and money problems due to the pandemic. All 3 locations will close – 1 permanently.

RI is still paying $332,686.86 a month to 100 Sockanosset Crossroad, the overflow hospital that was used only for a few short weeks and is now a vaccination site in Cranston. The state has said that the facility will be closed as a hospital, but no date given.

Five states – all in New England — have fully vaccinated more than 2/3 of their residents: Vermont (70.3%) Connecticut (69.6%) Rhode Island (69.4%) Maine (69.1%) Massachusetts (68.6%)

The Dean bar at the Dean Hotel has reopened.

RI has had 20,000 children (under 18) infected with COVID. Over 300 were hospitalized.

There are 80,000 children in RI between 5 and 12 to be vaccinated, once the vaccine is approved.

Booster dose vaccinating has started in the assisted living facilities and a small number of nursing homes. (Residents at three homes have been vaccinated, and 11 more homes are scheduled.) Many of the nursing homes are working with CVS and Walgreens to get their residents vaccinated. This is a federal program, so the timing is not in our control. The remaining nursing homes and the pharmacies are signing their agreements and getting the required paperwork squared away. Vaccinating should start at those sites very soon. – RI Dept. of Health

Dr. Fauci said that looking back on the data, the J&J vaccine should have been a 2-shot protocol.

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education confirmed that Ashland High School and Hopkinton High School had submitted documentation attesting that at least 80% of their students and staff are vaccinated for COVID-19. That’s the threshold established by the department for alleviating the mask requirement.

Some of the measures being taken to ensure that Rhode Island is ready to vaccinate children in the next age group include:

  • Surveying all pediatricians and family physicians to gauge their interest in enrolling as COVID vaccine providers and working to get those who are interested enrolled. Every pediatric practice and family medicine practice has been contacted directly by RIDOH. Of the 134 pediatrician and family medicine practices in Rhode Island, 81 have either been onboarded and are ready to vaccinate or are in the process of getting onboarded.
  • Coordinating with the major health systems in Rhode Island to try to get their entire provider networks onboarded as vaccine providers. 
  • Streamlining and simplifying the process of ordering vaccine.
  • Readying Rhode Island’s vaccine distribution network for an influx of vaccine for children 5 to 11 years old. 
  • Planning a wide-ranging communications campaign so parents and families understand the importance of COVID-19 vaccination for children.

Children 5 to 11 years old will be able to get vaccinated through all of Rhode Island’s existing COVID-19 vaccination channels. Those channels include the offices of enrolled primary care providers, pharmacies, school clinics, the State-run vaccination site at Sockanosset Cross Road, and municipal clinics.

RI’s price of gas is the highest it has been in approximately 7 years.

DCYF will look to fill over 50 positions in November, having not spent funds it had in the bank for months ago from the pandemic federal funding,

Speaker of the House Shekarchi said for every $1 of aid money available there are requests for $10.

Governor’s Press Conference

Approx. 110,000 Rhode Islanders are eligible and need to get vaccinated

Governor’s Press Conference

Approx. 110,000 Rhode Islanders are eligible and need to get vaccinated

RI #3 in US for being back in the “normal” index – CT is #5

10% recovery dollars for immediate relief to RI workers, families and small businesses – plan was submitted to RI legislature as a supplemental budget amendment – hearings will start this week

RI 2030 launched last week – great working document to begin public commentary – 1st one on Oct. 26th. Go to and review the document

RI Foundation released a plan today on how RI should spend the recovery funds $1.1 billion. We’re reviewing the plan now, and seeing how it dovetails with the RI 2030 plan.

Sen. Whitehouse’s RISE Act establishes dedicated stream of revenue for state’s to invest in coastal infrastructure improvements. We are supporting that.

DOA appointment of Brian Daniels of OMB and Joe Cordega as State Budget officer.

Sabina Matos, Lt. Gov:

Small business work underway with Quonset, Military First Holiday Cheer event, Go to Lt. Gov website for link to list of items that are needed. Cranston, Sat. 8am to noon & Sunday – for putting together packages.


Gov. said he sees no need at present to go forward with anymore mandates.

Sen Cruz wants to put ports of entry at Block Island and Newport. – Gov has no answer to that.


Mental health conditions have been added to the list of high risk medical issues for receiving booster shots. Having mood disorders, including depression, and schizophrenia spectrum disorders can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19.Get more information:

people in many parts of the United States can look forward to more traditional celebrations, now that “the delta surge of the summer has clearly turned a corner,” said Dr. Ashish Jha,

US to reopen borders to vaccinated visitors from Canada and Mexico in November

4.3 million people quit their jobs in August

Chicago police officers had their deadline pass that was to be their reporting time for vaccinations/no vaccinations. 13,000 police officers could be put on unpaid leave. The union aske his officers not to comply and estimated ½ of officers would engage in stop-work orders. The union is now in court and has told his officers: “hold the line”

The Virginia and Seattle police departments are experiencing same thing with deadlines coming Saturday and Sunday.

New Zealand says it will soon require most of its healthcare workers and teachers to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. The new vaccine mandate, announced on Monday, compels doctors, pharmacists, community nurses and other healthcare workers to be fully vaccinated by December.

40% of TSA workers are unvaccinated – they have until mid-November – just before the busy travel season – to become vaccinated or be terminated.

COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all people 12 years and older, including people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future. Evidence about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy has been growing. These data suggest that the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine outweigh any known or potential risks of vaccination during pregnancy. There is currently no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems in women or men. Pregnant and recently pregnant people are more likely to get severely ill with COVID-19 compared with non-pregnant people. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can protect you from severe illness from COVID-19. 

Texas Governor banned all vaccine mandates, even among private employers.

Midair mistakes are being reported after COVID kept some 100,000 pilots out of the cockpit for many months

The F.D.A. has been slow to approve rapid Covid tests, which helps explain why Britain, France and Germany are awash in the tests — but your local drugstore may not have any.

LinkedIn, the last major U.S. social network in China, is shutting down there.

Approximately 70 million Americans will see a 5.9% increase in their Social Security benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments in 2022.

40% of those who have died recently in Maryland were fully vaccinated – but not with a booster – emphasizing need to get boosters to those who need them.

Dr. Fauci spoke about the holidays again, specifically saying if everyone is vaccinated, then go ahead and enjoy your time together as a family. “You will have a very safe holiday.”

Russia will test a nasal spray form of its Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19 among adult volunteers, according to a state document published on Tuesday, as the country struggles to rein in rising numbers.

Walmart is committing 50% increase in deliveries to move product.

FedEx and UPS are also going to increase night deliveries by 50%

People who received the one shot J&J vaccine should get the Pfizer or Moderna booster – those are determined to be better than another J&J shot.

The FDA recommends a Moderna booster for those 65+, those at high risk for severe COVID19, and adults who work at riskier workplaces, healthcare workers, school workers, and grocery workers, as well as others.  

Entry-level workers have been rejecting jobs in home health, nursing homes during pandemic.

When COVID vaccines were first rolling out in the U.S., the CDC recommended waiting 14 days between shots. But the agency has since revised its guidelines and says the wait is unnecessary.

Published comment in late summer: “Public health officials fear packed stadiums, raucous tailgate parties and crowded bars could be tinder for the Delta variant.” And now that we’re a month-plus into the season? “We’re not seeing it,” Petersen said. “You would catch population spikes, and there is no spike happening.”

A University of Florida release this week was blunt: “So far, COVID-19 spikes from college football games haven’t materialized.”Outdoor events that have seen large spreads of Covid, such as the Sturgis Motorcycle rally earlier this year, have various additional factors that play into the spread, such as large unvaccinated populations attending , plus lots of indoor drinking at bars. Indoor parties on campus are leading to outbreaks at the University of Iowa, Petersen said. But the tailgates don’t seem to be a problem. The games at Iowa City’s Kinnick Stadium do not require proof of vaccination to attend, but the surrounding area has a high vaccination rate,

Transportation Security Administration, four in 10 members of its workers, including screeners, are unvaccinated against COVID-19 as Nov. 22nd deadline approaches.

The Moderna vaccine has been approved for boosters

Applications to nursing schools are rising, driven by what educators say are young people who see the global emergency as an opportunity and a challenge.

The panel of advisers to the Food and Drug Administration voted unanimously to recommend a Moderna booster shot for seniors, adults with other health problems, jobs or living situations that put them at increased risk for COVID-19.

For the first time in over a decade, tuberculosis deaths are on the rise, the WHO says, and the Covid-19 pandemic is to blame. 

A study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce shows that women-owned small businesses were disproportionally impacted by the pandemic, and on average, their outlooks for revenue, investments, and hiring were 10% lower than those of their male-owned counterparts.

A false news report has been going around about a supposed study co-authored by Dr. Anthony Fauci which found Spanish flu victims died from pneumonia caused by mask-wearing – not true.


Former RI Gov. Raimondo, now Commerce Secretary – brings “laser beam focus” to discussion about supply chain problems…

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