Your Coronavirus Update – Today, Aug. 25, 2020

Photo: Dining on Federal Hill


Research is continuing on producing inexpensive, at-home coronavirus tests.

New York Yacht Club Regatta moved in October

Jerry Falwell, Jr. resigns as president of Liberty University

Boston court closes after staffer tests positive

Around 1 in 5 nursing homes in the U.S. have faced a severe shortage of personal protective equipment or staff during the Covid-19 pandemic

Uber has launched Uber Health for prescription delivery service.

At least 33 states and the District of Columbia are temporarily allowing cocktails to-go during the pandemic.

Florida wins lawsuit not to go back to in-person schools. Governor is appealing while virtual classes begin.

First day of school on ZOOM in many states yesterday caused nationwide outage as the system was overloaded.

American Airlines is adding a new disinfectant spray for high touch areas of their planes.

New home – and larger home – sales projections will be out today – expecting to rise nationwide.

Jamaica is having an outbreak, causing political campaigns to go on hold.

Danbury, CT, experiencing a city-wide outbreak has closed schools for two weeks – everyone over 60 is asked to stay home.

Mexico is asking its people to stop drinking so much Coca-Cola because of its role in obesity, a major risk factor for complications and poor outcome for those getting coronavirus. Mexico has one of the highest consumption rates in the world – 25% of some businesses’ income is due to soda sales.

Pharmacists in all 50 states are now allowed to give childhood vaccinations under a new directive aimed at preventing future outbreaks of measles and other preventable diseases.

46 people in Texas have been treated for drinking bleach, leading to new warnings.

One month after returning to school full fourth grade class is now in quarantine, even though they were on a split schedule.

In Mexico, school began – remotely.

Cannabis is one of the growing areas of the US economy.

Lynn, MA is seeing a new increase in coronavirus.


The Community College of Rhode Island is laying off 122 part-time employees, cutting pay for senior administrators, a freezing new hires for vacant positions, and combining courses.

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island has announced that it will provide an additional $11 million in medical and dental premium relief to its fully insured large group and small group customers, as well as individuals who purchase insurance through BCBSRI or HealthSource RI. Also, a $13.8 million medical premium relief and 25 percent dental premium credit.

More RI companies that had violations of state COVID19 regulations (check for status):

FabCity Cigar Lounge, Pawtucket

Antojitos De Mi Tierra, Providence

Interstate Navigation, as Operator of the Block Island Ferry

Lifespan is setting up more mobile testing centers

101st COVID Press Conference – Governor Raimondo:

Next week press conferences will be held every day at 1pm – Monday will be full length but every other day it will be short, 15 minutes to talk about K-12 school opening.

Data: Good news story – yesterday 39 new cases; Percent positive of 1.1%. Testing more and more people as school starts. No new deaths – but we lost 5 over the weekend (not associated with each other). High testing days have been tests done at colleges. Four to six days with over 5,000 a day (not in data dump, except for one day?). 80 people hospitalized, with 11 in ICU.  

Still have over 100,000 unemployed. Restaurants and shops hanging on by a thread.

CNN ranks RI’s economy as the 6th best in the US on measures of getting back to work.

Business inspections: More than 1,100 done last week. Good news. Mask compliance around 95%. Capacity restrictions at 98%. 13% rest/bars without proper separation and 6% with crowding around bar area. Try harder. 98% compliance with bar areas closing at 11pm.

School: Complimenting National Guard for their work from day one. They will be helping us open schools. Effective today – Education Operation Center will operate – very much like an emergency center in a hurricane. National Guard, RIDE, RIDOH, RIDOT, RIPTA, EMA will staff it. 24/7 operation. Real time support to schools, K-12.

School responsibility:  Chart on what school district is responsible for – and what EOC can help with. RI is doing testing, contact tracing, investigation…this is unique in US.

Before school: Every school facility will have a walk through to make sure the schools are ready to accept students.  13-page document will be posted at – to see what is being done in classrooms to make them safe.

Air Quality Expert: Will participate in the walk throughs and assist with fine tuning air quality issues.

Inspections in schools – audits will be done continuously throughout the year – if not in compliance, state will help get the school into compliance.

Private/Religious Schools: Next Monday school opening info will be announced. State will provide ALL schools with same testing, contact tracing, investigations. Private/religious schools who think they are ready to open before 9/14 may do so.

Check-ups and Immunizations: These will need to be caught up on ASAP. Pediatricians of RI have stepped up greatly. 25% of kids entering kindergarten and 50% of kids entering 7th grade will not be immunized – please call your pediatrician or a community health center and get those appointments to bring your children up to date.

Municipal Resilience Task Force – at the request of the RI League of Cities and Towns the state will set up this task force to help cities and towns in a post-COVID culture. How do we budget to serve our citizens and save funds – intergovernmental partnerships, shared services, etc. are some ideas. 

Unemployment Insurance – if you have jobs, you are lucky. Been in touch with FEMA – announcing that we received approval for $300 a week for THREE weeks. This is temporary – calling on the Trump administration to make it permanent or do something else to help. Disbursements won’t happen for 2-3 weeks.  You will get a one-time additional payment of $900. And that’s it.

Commissioner Green:

Appreciate the RI National Guard for their work.  RI’s back to school team will be the best in the US – we are the only state. Two powerful benefits – dedicated response group – and will allow rest of staff to focus on other initiatives of back to school.

Dr. Scott: Mentioned Day Care Center study done in RI that made national news. 274 of 598 new cases were identified as Hispanic/Latina. 55%. Continuing to prioritize short term prevention measures in place.


In-person learning – Governor’s mind seems to be made up? Gov. responded that testing criteria is well on its way to being set up – does anticipate making the decision soon. Next Sunday night will look at the # of cases and then make a decision.

Data – what percentage of parents have already opted to not come back for in-person learning. Some it is as much as 50-50. Some parents want to move to another district. RIDE is looking into that – is it allowed in a pandemic? 

Protesters outside of press conference – should distance learning be prioritized?  Gov. references protesters outside saying it is not safe for youngsters to be in school.  Gov. believes teachers want to be in the classroom but demand that we make it safe for them to go back. Many families with children with learning challenges are just not going back.  Has RIDOH approved any plans yet? Nothing

UI Benefits – When did state apply? Gov says as soon as there was an announcement – RI jumped on an application. RI needs to set up a system to administer it. This is for people receiving at least $100 – so if you weren’t getting that $100 RI will bump it up to $100 – the amount is determined by the feds.  Next Monday Gov. will go into detail about it.

Governor’s Press Conference:

This operations center will be ready and able to assist with anything our schools need. If they’re running low on hand sanitizer or masks, this team will immediately arrange for the supplies they need. If they need logistical support to ensure strong in-person learning, this team will be able to provide assistance. When they have a student or staff member who tests positive, this team will be on the ground to test, isolate and quarantine, preventing a large outbreak just as we have done with child care and congregate care settings over the past few months. The EdOC is activated as of today. By next week, every school district will have a designated point-of-contact, and we will ensure frequent lines of communication between districts and the EdOC. The EdOC will ramp up over the next few weeks with recognition of several milestones, including the return of teachers on the 9th and the return of students on the 14th. Once schools are open, the leaders at the EdOC will be prepared to deploy assistance teams to any school – in any city or town – on a moment’s notice.

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