Your Coronavirus Update – Today – August 8, 2020

Photo: The Olympic rings leave for repair work in Tokyo.


Norway reimposed a 10-day quarantine for all travelers from France, Switzerland and the Czech Republic

United States added 1.8 million jobs in July, a pullback from the gains of May and June and evidence that the resurgent coronavirus is stalling hiring and slowing an economic rebound. The economy has now recovered only about 42% of the 22 million jobs it lost to the pandemic-induced recession

The country’s top five labor union groups are calling on Congress to include expanded paid leave benefits in a new COVID-19 relief bill.

UMass Amherst changed positions and now if you only have online classes, you cannot live on campus.

All school districts across New York state can choose to reopen for in-person learning

The Gates Foundation is putting $150 million into an effort to distribute coronavirus vaccines to low-income countries in 2021

Students in one central Illinois district are barred from wearing pajamas while taking online classes, with education officials there saying sleepwear is “not acceptable school apparel.”

Researchers estimate 70,000 lives could be saved if everyone began to consistently wear a mask.

New York is ok to go back to in-person school, up to the districts to determine.

President Trump’s Press Conference, Friday night:

Reviewed new jobs and wage increases.

Reviewed status of unemployment negotiations – deferring payroll tax (retroactive from July to Dec); UI will continue to end of year; deferred student loans/interest until further notice; extend eviction moratorium. Attorneys are working on executive order for UI, etc. – would implement by end of week, if no resolution comes from House/Senate.

Virus cases have continued to surge – Latin America #1 – doing very little testing. Japan, etc. Comparatively speaking, the US is doing better than most parts of the world.

The U.S. Postal Service says it lost $2.2 billion in the three months that ended in June as the beleaguered agency — hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic — piles up financial losses that officials warn could top $20 billion over two years.

More than ½ of America’s counties report less than 20 cases. Percent of emergency room visits down ½ to what it was a few weeks ago.

Hotspots are improving (Texas, Florida, Arizona, etc.) with fewer hospital bed needs, etc.

Half of deaths have occurred in nursing homes and long term care facilities – doing much better now.

PPE supplies doing well.

Significant financial aid to New Jersey.

Therapeutics and vaccines: 3 candidates in Phase 3 trials – years above schedule.
Pfizer will manufacture Gilead’s drug, remdesivir.

Plasma treatments showing incredibly encouraging results. (Using blood from recovering victims)

Testing – 25% of the world’s testing – cases are increasing because tests are increasing. Keep this in mind when looking at stats. Turnaround times have turned around significantly. Pooled testing is going on but quick tests are increasing everywhere.

Health Insurance – requiring them to cover all preconditions – will do this by executive order – never been done before.

Lower drug prices and prescription drug prices – by Executive Order

US can charge only equal to or less than what they charge in other countries (favored nation clause) could drive drug prices down 50-70%. Eliminating middle men.

Opioids – $100 million to fight the crisis amidst coronavirus pandemic.


RI Data:

Deaths: 0 – 3-day average people hospitalized: 84

The Playbook was released today – outlining how schools will handle outbreaks

200 new jobs posted at Merrow, Fall River – as the company steps up its manufacturing of personal protection equipment.

RI goes on its own for rapid testing purchases – Six states led by a bipartisan group of governors are joining together in an effort to speed up coronavirus testing – Maryland, Virginia, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio and Massachusetts. It is led by the Gov. of Maryland, head of the National Governors Assoc. Rhode Island has chosen not to be part of the group and has formed a fast-test relationship with two companies – Accu Reference, of New Jersey, and Dominion Diagnostics, of Rhode Island.

Deborah Birx says Boston is among cities that need to ‘get on top’ of COVID-19 uptick

The Portsmouth School Department will hire 12 full-time, long-term substitute teachers for the 2020-2021 academic year. “We cannot go with the typical day to day sub model where individuals could potentially be working in different buildings and different districts.”

Bob’s Store has closed in Massachusetts

Gracie’s Restaurant will add a service charge to cover extra costs and lost income

Dr. Michael Fine remains working with Central Falls, but is not working as the medical coordinator for COVID19 for both Central Falls and Pawtucket.

Dr. Fauci will join Gov. Raimondo for a Live Facebook discussion on Thurs, Aug. 13th at 3pm

Massachusetts Governor Baker announced Friday he would pause some reopening measures and reimpose some COVID-19 pandemic restrictions amid an uptick in cases – Outdoor gatherings in the state must be limited from the previous maximum of 100 people down to 50 – Bars masquerading as restaurants also need to be closed – postpone indefinitely step two of the current phase three reopening plan

Misquamicut Beach Association is promoting the area for Rhode Islanders who have missed their out-of-state vacation – and to those in Connecticut who can come and enjoy and be home in the same day.

The developer of a Cranston Topgolf facility says the project has its final permits and construction will be in the late fall, with a 2022 opening planned.

The states quarantining other states’ visitors may be basing data on apples/oranges comparisons and RI is looking at the COVID Tracking Project, of The Atlantic Monthly Group and how RI data is reported.

WCVB, Ch. 5 clarifies the rules…

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