Your Coronavirus Update – Today, Aug. 21, 2021


COVID-19 testing at: or call 401-222-8022. Or call 211 (press 6 or 9 to speak with a scheduler). The 211 call center has agents who speak multiple languages.

Governor of RI released a special list of back-to-school vaccination clinics, visit

Masks in schools – Gov. McKee said in his weekly report that “all students, teachers, school staff and visitors will be required to wear face masks inside public school buildings at the start of the 2021-2022 school year.”

Healthcare workers demonstrated against mandatory vaccinations, saying they will quit or be fired before conceding. Legal authority supports the employer’s right to require vaccinations.

RI now requires mask in all state buildings.

PVDFest is cancelled for this year due to COVID19 – some smaller events may be held.

Cranston School Committee votes 5-0 to mandate masks in school.

Electric Boat will require all employees to wear masks regardless of vaccination status, except those who work in social distancing situations

RI has reinstated mask-wearing requirement at all state courts, “regardless of vaccination status.”

RI College, URI, and PC are requiring masks for all, regardless of vaccination status.

Gov. McKee has instituted a new state of emergency in RI.

The Rhode Island Health Care Association, representing nursing homes in RI, says it supports mandating vaccines by health care setting employees, throughout the state.  

Vermont – employees at state prisons, the Vermont Veterans’ Home, and state-owned psychiatric facilities must be vaccinated

ARIA, the Association of RI Authors, had moved its meetings back to in-person, and now they will revert to ZOOM due to the virus upticks.

RI Sect. of State, Nellie Gorbea and RI Treasurer Seth Magaziner – both declared candidates for Governor – have supported call for mask mandates for schools.

MA DOC in Shirley, MA has 30 inmates with COVID

South County Hospital estimates more than 75% of their staff are vaccinated.

Westerly Hospital estimates more than 80% of their staff are vaccinated.

Landmark Medical Center estimates more than 87% of their staff are vaccinated.

Lifespan has vaccinated 71% of their employees – those vaccinated elsewhere are not included in this figure so vaccination rights likely to be higher.

70% of Cherry Hill Nursing Home staff are vaccinated, according to the facility. They have said they will follow the guidelines of CDC and RIDOH and their parent company, whichever is more stringent.

Governor Dan McKee signed legislation allowing restaurants to continue to sell alcohol with takeout orders.

UNAP, the union representing nursing home medical staff, responded to the mandatory vaccination policy in Rhode Island for nursing home and medical workers by saying it should be part of bargaining agreements.

74 people on Martha’s Vineyard have tested positive – the most since April – though they could not directly be related to former Pres. Obama’s birthday party.

The Patriots held their first game with fans in the stadium.

Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC) requires masks for all patrons – performers wearing masks is optional.

Columbus Theatre requires masks and proof of vaccination by all patrons and employees – the owner questions, when asked about his decision, “shoulder to shoulder in the theatre? For two hours?”

Immunocompromised people can get third doses at the Sockanosset Crossroads vaccination site and at hospital vaccination sites. To schedule an appointment for Sockanosset Crossroads, visit or call 844-930-1779. RIDOH expects third doses to be available at retail pharmacies in the coming days.

In an editorial by GoLocalProv, it was noted that at the beginning of the pandemic, “the Rhode Island Department of Health’s Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott made the decision to return those who had been infected and hospitalized back to their nursing homes despite there being clear evidence that this would spread the disease to the most vulnerable populations. Data from the first American outbreaks in the state of Washington at a nursing home facility and from China clearly indicated that RI’s program was fully flawed — truly flawed”.

RI has reopened 2 new testing sites – one at Barrington Shopping Center and one at the Smithfield Veterans of Foreign Wars Post.

Brewed Awakenings in Johnston has closed until further notice due to staff shortages – store chain is hiring at all locations.

The Governor’s COVID-19 update will come back to a weekly event – Thursdays at 2pm.

Connecticut Governor issued statewide mask mandate – order will expire end of September, when Governor’s executive powers expire

General Treasurer Seth Magaziner announced today that, in the week since he announced the policy requiring staff in his office to either provide proof of vaccination or submit to regular testing, all of the 82 active staff in his office have demonstrated compliance. The Treasurer further stated this success demonstrates the policy can and should be expanded to all state and school employees.

Gov. Baker announced tens of thousands of state employees of MA must prove they have been vaccinated by Oct. 17 or risk being fired. Applies to telework employees too. Estimated to be 42,000 people.

Newport Hospital is preparing for an overflow of cases, having reinstituted their COVID command center at the hospital.

The RI Council on Elementary & Secondary Education has said there will be a statewide mandate requiring wearing of masks in schools.

United Nurses and Allied Professionals president Lynn Blais said her union “supports a mandatory vaccine for healthcare workers in Rhode Island. Without question, the vaccine is the best shot we have to end this pandemic, and we will do everything in our power to ensure as many of the nurses and health professionals we represent are vaccinated.” She went on to say “there are issues surrounding the implementation of the mandate that we believe should be bargained, including the scope of medical exemptions and flexibility around the October 1st deadline for our members who have yet to get their first vaccine shot.”

In Vermont, state health officials directed clinic staff to decide if and how to verify whether a patient is eligible for coronavirus boosters. Some clinics are taking people at their word. Others are asking for prescriptions.

Governor McKee, will hold a Back 2 School Town Hall Monday at 5:30pm with Department of Health Director Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH and Education Commissioner Angélica Infante- Location:

Protests have taken place by healthcare workers not wanting to be vaccinated as a condition of continuing employment.

RI Legislature said the Governor should have consulted with them about returning to session to help manage COVID crisis before he “said it to the media”.

15 Boston theatres to require proof of vaccination.


The FDA has authorized booster shots for those with weakened immune systems – about 3% of population – yet 40% of hospitalized population. Further booster shot candidates may be identified soon.

The Pfizer Vaccine will be approved officially as early as this Monday.

NIH study shows no significant benefit of convalescent plasma for COVID-19 outpatients with early symptoms

3 US Senators have had breakthrough COVID (after being vaccinated) – Sens. Angus King, I-Maine; Roger Wicker, R-Miss; John Hickenlooper, D-Colo. – all credit being vaccinated with mild or asymptomatic cases.

Gov. of Texas tests positive – but no symptoms – he has been testing daily.

New Jersey, Washington, and California have mandates for vaccinations by all teachers.

Gov. of Oregon has ordered all teachers/staff to be vaccinated.

There is some evidence that the Delta variant may cause more breakthrough infections than previous strains and that vaccines may become less effective over time

Moderna vaccine may be linked to higher possibility of rare complication of myocarditis.

Georgia Gov. Kemp signs executive order preventing local officials from requiring businesses to enact Covid-related mandates and other restrictions aimed at limiting the virus’ spread.

The Lambda strain of COVID is being detected in South Africa – and in California – it appears to be just as contagious as Delta, but not as serious.

In Florida at a mask optional school, on the 2nd day of schools, 51 positive staff/students with over 450 in quarantine.

Clinicians deployed to Covid hot zones are overwhelmed by unvaccinated patients 

From a JAMA study: “The administration of Covid-19 convalescent plasma to high-risk outpatients within 1 week after the onset of symptoms of Covid-19 did not prevent disease progression.”

Quinnipiac University to Restrict Internet Access for Unvaccinated Students

A new Covid treatment – that uses a pair of laboratory-made antibodies to attack the virus – has been approved for use in the UK.

In Philadelphia, all employees will be required to be vaccinated – those who have not will need to wear TWO masks when working indoors.

Live Nation employees, artists, fans must be vaccinated. Fans can show an optional COVID test.

LA Raiders fans must show proof of vaccination by uploading when getting their tickets – no others will be allowed into the stadium.

Garth Brooks cancels all concert tour dates out of concern over COVID spread

Airlines will continue to require masks into 2022 for travel industry experts say.

In NYC there are no medical exemptions allowed from the vaccine passport.

Florida is launching a Rapid Response Team to dispense monoclonal antibodies to tackle Florida’s rising number of COVID-19 cases and reduce serious symptoms, preventing the potential for hospital overcrowding.  For seniors—the most vulnerable population in Florida—Gov. DeSantis said he would be initiating “strike teams” to enter nursing homes that had had an outbreak and perform the antibody treatment on those who were exposed to COVID-19 to stop the spread.

Ontario will mandate vaccines for hospital and LTC workers and begin targeted booster shots while keeping current pandemic restrictions indefinitely.

Australia is less than 30% fully vaccinated

Food stamps – SNAP – will go up 25% in response to COVID

There has been discussion by the CDC about vaccination passports for traveling interstate.

One fifth of UK adults had a relationship breakdown during COVID

New Zealand’s borders will remain closed until the end of 2021, but that fully vaccinated individuals from low-risk countries would be able to visit in 2022 without needing to quarantine.

Libraries are being used as Monoclonal Treatment clinics because the hospitals in Duval, Florida are full.

The state department has issued warnings that due to a perceived vulnerability because of the resurgence of COVID19, there may be increased terrorism threats, particularly around Sept. 11th.

A researcher from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital has said that a vaccine for 5-12 year olds may be available by the end of this month – children 2-5 by January, 6 mos to 2 about 3-4 months after that.

A federal judge on Friday refused landlords’ request to put the Biden administration’s new eviction moratorium on hold, though she ruled that the freeze is illegal.

Stevie Nicks has canceled five forthcoming performances at music festivals, citing coronavirus concerns.

The Society of Professional Journalists has decided to convert the SPJ21 journalism conference from a hybrid event to a fully virtual one, canceling the in-person New Orleans national event completely.

The WHO now wants to re-look at the Wuhan Lab – China is resisting.  A scientist from WHO is now calling a lab leak “probable”.

CVS is not giving out the J&J vaccine because of a supply shortage.

Boosters are now available for those 50 and up in Israel.

So far, 203 COVID-19 cases have been linked to the Lollapalooza festival – out of 350,000 attendees

Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi are seeing increased vaccination rates – as cases have also increased.

Fauci Says Teachers Should Be Required To Be Vaccinated

The federal government is going into Mississippi where the hospital system is expected “to fail” in 5-10 days.

Gilead to require U.S. workers receive Covid-19 vaccine.

Higher risk of Bell’s Palsy after Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine

Thailand to start human trials on COVID-19 shots via nasal spray

Hawaii will re-impose COVID-19 restrictions limiting social gatherings to avert straining the state’s healthcare

Illinois launches new portal called “Vax Verify” that allows residents to check their Covid-19 vaccination record.

New York Stock Exchange will now require vaccinations for all who want to be on the trading floor.

All Amtrak employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID by Nov. 1 or get tested weekly.

San Francisco will require proof of COVID vaccination inside bars, restaurants, and gyms, becoming the first major city to mandate the shots for a variety of indoor activities.

Carnival Cruise has 27 people on board of a cruise to Cozumel, Mexico, who are testing positive, all vaccinated. 26 are crew members and one is a guest. All are vaccinated, and most have either mild or no symptoms.

Reuters is reporting that the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines for people in American nursing homes and long-term care facilities, where residents are often elderly and frail, has dropped since the Delta variant became dominant.

Variants occur when there is a significant change or mutation to a virus’ genetic code over time. Variants are natural and expected, especially for viruses like COVID that are spreading widely across several distinct geographic locations. While many different COVID variants have been detected, the WHO has only categorized four as variants of concern: the Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta variants.

Posted in