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Your Coronavirus Update – Today, April 7, 2021

Photo: SusannaDW, of Cranston, who got her first shot yesterday, said, “If I ran a vaccination site, there would be party music playing. All the time welcomed by Kool & the Gang (“vaaaaaaaccination time, come on!”) & dance your way out of the room in a socially distant conga line. (It’s probably a good thing I don’t run a vaccination site.)” – Safe to say, Susanne was very excited to receive her vaccine, as she dressed-up in glitter and red boots for the occasion.

RHODE ISLAND & VICINITY

RI’s pre-registration system will begin sending out emails tomorrow. Emails will come from no-reply@multistateP4P.com – pre-registration system is a way for people to submit their information in advance and then get notified when an appointment is available. You can pre-register through the Vaccine Interest Notification List, which you can join through portal.ri.gov. People will be notified either through phone, text message, or email when an appointment is available. People will get a one-time use link for an appointment at a State-run site. The link will be good for 24 hours, and the appointments will generally be for a date two weeks in the future. For most people, there will be flexibility in the time of the appointment, but it will be for a set date at a set location. In addition to notifications about appointments, weekly messages will be sent to people confirming that they are still on the list, even if a slot has not yet opened up. These weekly emails will come from RIDOH.DONOTREPLY@health.ri.gov.

Cranston Mayor Kenneth J. Hopkins called on the Rhode Island Department of Health to open up vaccination eligibility to all High School Seniors. He cited senior year-end class activities, such as proms & graduations as key school events. He also noted that many colleges and universities plan to require vaccinations in order to enroll in school for the fall. “We need to begin exploring a more aggressive approach to vaccinating our students,” said Mayor Hopkins. “While I applaud the RI Department of Health for expanding eligibility for younger people with preexisting conditions, I believe that we can do more. Our students deserve a return to normalcy in the final months of their high school experience. With our schools having received no formal direction in regards to proms and graduations, I believe this would be a big step in order to facilitate these memorable events.” Notably, at the very beginning of the pandemic Cranston’s first surge came from older school children participating in community activities, without adhering to the ‘stay-at-home’ recommendations, leaving then Mayor Fung having to padlock playgrounds and taking down basketball nets.

Central Falls: In an effort to provide some relief to the struggling families of Central Falls, The Rhode Island Food Dealers Association (RIFDA) and two of its members, Packaging & More and PriceRite, and the City of Central Falls and Mayor Maria Rivera are teaming up to host a series of community food distribution events at Packaging & More’s headquarters at 30 Higginson Avenue in Central Falls. The distribution events are being planned to begin in late-May and will be free and open to the public; the only eligibility requirement is that visitors must wear a facemask when picking up their donation. Dates will be announced to the public as they are scheduled and will also be listed at www.rifda.com.     

Weymouth’s South Shore Health manager uncovers 30,000 counterfeit masks

Gov. McKee will tour the Westerly & East Providence Senior Center vaccination sites today.

Newport’s Gallery Night returns this week

Northeastern University will require vaccinations for attendance in the fall.

Brown University will require vaccines for fall attendance.

RWU has already stated vaccination requirement.

Gov. Charlie Baker of MA received his first shot today at the Hynes Convention Center.

RI Assoc. of Independent Colleges representing 8 schools is saying if vaccination rate could get to 80% it may be good without mandates. 

Lakeville, MA firefighters are visiting homebound to deliver vaccines in their town.

Restaurant workers are in short supply, with many choosing to stay on unemployment either out of fear of returning to work, staying home to help children with virtual learning, or simply making more with added benefits than in an industry where volume of customers does not add tip income in a significant way. This trend continues as restaurants reopen and it has left the restaurant industry short on workers. As restaurants reopen to full capacity, they are struggling to fill their employee schedule with good quality employees. Kanekt 365, a New Hampshire based company, is helping restaurants with outsourced order taking systems.

Mass. becomes state with most cases of new COVID-19 variant after Cape Cod outbreaks

Dr. Jha of Brown University, is advising on school sports, recommending they be held outdoors, not use locker rooms, and use of masks and distancing whenever possible.

Connecticut will be getting fewer doses of J&J next week because of the quality issue of last week.

MA advising again this year against proms, or a delay until most have been vaccinated.

Dorothy Z. Pascale, chief of the Office of Internal Audit for the past eight years was appointed RI’s director of the Pandemic Recovery Office. She is charged with overseeing the $1.1 billion in federal stimulus funding that is heading to the state per passage of the American Rescue Plan. Pascale. Pascale follows Jeremy Licht who resigned from the post to pursue a new opportunity.

Underlying Conditions are different from state to state. Massachusetts vs. Rhode Island are listed, here:

Massachusetts “underlying conditions”:

Cancer – Chronic Kidney Disease – Chronic Lung Diseases – Demention/Neurological Conditions – Diabetes, both types – Down’s Syndrome – Heart conditions, including hypertension – HIVC – Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) – Liver Disease – Overweight & Obesity – Pregnancy – Sickle cell disease – Smoking (current or former) – Solid organ or blood stem cell transplant – Stroke – Substance Use disorders

Rhode Island “underlying conditions”:

Diabetes, both types – Lung Disease – ALS – Heart Disease – Down Syndrome – Kidney Disease – Weakened immune system – Cancer – People receiving chemotherapy/radiation – People who have had a transplant or are waiting for a transplant – HIV – AIDS – Sickle cell disease – Weakened immune system – Pregnancy

AARP lists the following conditions that the CDC previously said “might” put individuals at greater risk are now listed as putting someone at “high risk”:

Diabetes, both types – moderate to severe asthma – stroke/cerebrovascular disease – cystic fibrosis – high blood pressure – dementia or other neurological conditions – liver disease – pregnancy – HIV infection – a weakened immune system from blood or bone marrow transplant – and being overweight. The CDC also added substance use disorders (such as alcohol, opioid or cocaine use disorder) to the list.

Department of Veterans Affairs will sponsor a vaccination clinic at 1400 W. Main Rd in Middletown. Doses of the single-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine will be offered from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Veterans and their spouses will be given the doses on a first-come, first-served basis. Second doses of Pfizer vaccine will be distributed from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. This is a follow-up from the first doses given out on March 22.  To qualify, veterans must bring a DD214, photo ID and a filled out 1010EZ form, available at va.gov.

NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL

President Biden says he will require all states to open vaccinations to all adults starting with April 19th. He notes that while we are moving in a positive direction, we are not ½ way there yet and the virus variants are still spreading.

21 states have released mask mandates – so far, no big upticks in the virus.

California is expected to open up completely in mid-June, with the exception of mask-wearing.

CDC says team sports are the source of communicability of the virus, and not classrooms.

40,000 children have lost one parent to COVID-19

While healthcare providers have administered vaccines to their staffs for months, most hadn’t mandated vaccination for employees. But mandatory vaccination may be an opportunity to lead the country out of the pandemic.

Disney says you can now take your mask off when taking photos but those photos must still be socially distanced.

The CDC issued new guidance on disinfecting surfaces: In most situations, cleaning surfaces using soap or detergent, and not disinfecting, is enough to reduce risk. Disinfection is recommended in indoor community settings where there has been a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 within the last 24 hours. The risk of fomite transmission can be reduced by wearing masks consistently and correctly, practicing hand hygiene, cleaning, and taking other measures to maintain healthy facilities.

Moderna spent about $188,000 on personal and home security for four of its executives, and then it spent $1 million securing CEO Stéphane Bancel. Moderna “began to provide such services to address increased security concerns as they pursued the development of a Covid-19 vaccine during 2020.” Midway through the vaccine development process, they removed the company name from their buildings.

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