Your Coronavirus Update – Today, Dec. 30, 2020


Central Falls vaccination of the general public will be held today. Knights of Columbus Hall is one site. Residents of Central Falls Housing Authority high rises may be the first group to receive the vaccine. Residents over 18 only. This is the first group of general public to be vaccinated.

Next groups of RI’s general public will be Pawtucket and Providence.

The Boston Globe reports that COVID19 has plummeted in Central Falls, falling by more than half, with possible herd immunity having been met. Vaccines will be delivered this week to the Central Falls Housing Authority to deliver to Forand Manor and Wilfrid Manor. CF now has the 8th highest rate in RI. “Rhode Island will be vaccinating people based on their risk level, and we will continue to maintain a focus on equity,” Department of Health director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott said last week. We will move on to other ZIP codes and communities that are hardest hit, as well.” “We want to get the whole city vaccinated as quickly as we can,” Fine said. “They are the people in the state who are most at risk.”

Boston Archdiocese To Ring Bells Wednesday For Lives Lost To COVID-19

Boston’s New Year’s Eve fireworks have been canceled.

Troop, a Providence restaurant has closed during the week and will only be open on the weekend, charging difficulties in getting state aid, saying, in the Providence Journal, ‘We applied for every grant possible since the start of the pandemic. The process has been exhausting. The turn around time has not been acceptable. The grants have been confusing, ever changing, and poorly orchestrated to say the least. We currently have 5 pending grant applications and $0 to show for them.

North Kingstown’s Oak Hill Tavern has closed with plans to reopen in March.

Birch and The Eddy Bar and Gracies in Providence have closed.

Giusto in Newport will close Jan. 1 and will reopen “when safe”.

County Cork Irish Pub in Warwick announced its closing for the months of January and February.

NBC10 reporter Katie Davis reported that hospitals can be reimbursed 20% more for Medicare patients with COVID19, including ventilating patient. Patients who die and are coded COVID19 must have a recorded positive test. There are violations for “over-coding”, David uncovered in her interview with the head of Care New England.

The Rhode Island Supreme Court has rejected a proposal to “alleviate serious health risks” in the state’s prisons, asserting that the system has already taken appropriate steps to keep nonviolent offenders out of jail during the pandemic.

Holyoke Veterans Home prioritized by Massachusetts

In Massachusetts veterans homes are being vaccinated with Air Force veteran, Robert Aucoin, becoming the first resident of the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home in Massachusetts to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. The state has made it a priority to get the residents of both the Holyoke facility and the Chelsea Soldier’s Home vaccinated.

CCRI union votes no confidence in President

When asked about a RI compliance promotional campaign, the Health Dept. responded, “We will be launching a wide ranging campaign to educate people of all different demographics about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine. That will start when vaccine becomes more widely available.”

Lawmakers in New Hampshire have probably the most creative solutions to coming together for session – they will park in front of a large screen at the University of New Hampshire in Durham and will remain in their cars for the duration of the Jan. 6 session.

Rhode Island Treasurer Magaziner is part of a national effort to prevent price gouging of COVID19 treatment medication, remdesivir, by Gilead. Over 61 others are part of this effort.

Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley, 76, received his Moderna vaccine, and encouraged Catholics and seniors to get theirs when their time presents itself.

Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation has donated $3Million more for Boston homeless causes.

Vaccination update w/Dr. Scott and Health Dept. team

30,700 doses of vaccines rec’d into RI – doesn’t include nursing home partnership doses.

Administered as of 9am – 12,869 doses

Hopeful RI will be getting higher levels of doses – working on approx.. 15,000 doses/week – shipments come in on Tuesday.

Exciting launch for the week – PODS for EMS and home health and hospice – fire, police at municipal level. Balancing # of slots and # of vaccines available.

1,185 at 5 regional pods given out.

763 staff/residents in nursing homes done.

First 9 days – 100% used.

Phase 1 – front line healthcare workers, older adults, people who live in hardest hit communities.

Focus on equity – realizing certain communities have been hit harder than others. We need to use “equity lens” said Dr. Scott.

All decisions about vaccine prioritization are being made with an expert subcommittee. There will be overlap between phases. One group doesn’t need to be completed before we move to other. It’s more about supplies and logistics. Some weeks the amount delivered will vary.

Phase 2 – will include other age groups, and many others – detailed breakdown will come in the future


Q: From Motif: Some groups were advocating certain geographies were prioritized and supercede Phase 1 – i.e., vaccinate everyone in CF, etc. Response was non-committal. Public confusion. Could you confirm? What are criteria – are you doing the whole city?

A: Dr. Scott – have included communities hardest hit as its own entity in Phase 1. Starting with CF as an entity. Would incorporate people outside of high risk demographics. We are prioritizing and working by zip code.

Q: East Greenwich News. Mid-state clinic held in EG yesterday. Getting questions about At-Med Clinic, and teachers – how/when are people chosen to participate? Is it all healthcare workers, or just some healthcare workers?

A: Majority of clinical community engaging with patients who are at risk are included in Phase 1. Started with hospitals, respiratory clinics, health centers, clinics, primary care, dentists, etc.

Q: Because there was room in vaccination clinics, you broadened it to include school nurse teachers?

A: Teachers not in Phase 1 – but considered critical for Phase 2.

Q: What about people with serious respiratory issues? What phase if they are not old?

A: They would be in Phase 2.

Q: NBC10 – What about older adults not in nursing homes? Are they in Phase 1? How does that work?

A: If over age 75, yes. We are working through logistics now.

Q: Ed Fitzpatrick, Boston Globe: How many vaccines in CF? What cities next?

A: Hardest hit communities approach. Phase 1 – CF; only go zip code by zip code beyond that. Next would be Providence and Pawtucket. Not sure if that will be in Phase 1 or Phase 2.

Q: WPRI: Have you rec’d less than you thought you would? How is that impacting?

A: We have not been significantly hindered, we’ve made some adjustments. Each week slightly different but on average it does align with what we thought it would be. Would be helpful if it was consistent.

Q: Public Radio: How is compliance so far?

A: In hospital setting very high.

Q: Prisons – who has been vaccinated?

A: Coordinating closely with them – we are prioritizing older, immune-compromised, and staff to protect residents

Q: Vaccinating inmates before nursing homes – speak to this?

A: First “tier” is to assure those at highest risks for negative outcomes are incorporated in Phase 1. Nursing home residents and staff. 2. Starting on subsequent groups as they become available.

Q: How long will we be in Phase 1 –

A: 12/14 – through Jan &  Feb. CVS and Walgreens is working on their tier. EMS is also underway. CF will begin this week (phase 1.3) Wednesday starts in CF.

Q: When will Governor get vaccine?

A: Phase 2 most likely

Q: How many people in Phase 1?

A: About 150,000

Q: Covid vs non-COVID on death certificates – explain?

A: Association with COVID and a death is distinct. May be a scenario where COVID was identified but not a public health report.

Q: Everyone to be vaccinated by June – too early to tell?

A: Definitely too early to tell. We have strong plans in place.

RI DataToday’s Data – Dec. 29, 2020

Deaths: 18

Total tests: 11,617 – Positive tests: 1,095 – Percent positives: 9.4%

Hospitalized: 423 – In ICU: 55 – Ventilated: 46

Deaths in-hospital: 8 – New hospitalizations: 32 – New Discharges: 21

Vaccinated, 1st shot: 12,869 (934+ since yesterday)


The federal stimulus bill that has been passed and signed includes: addition to unemployment was increased by $300 and continued until mid-March. Extends unemployment for gig workers and state programs up to 50 weeks. Revives PPP program. $30Billion for vaccine funding. $82Billion for schools and universities. Rental assistance program. Increase in SNAP benefits by 15% for 6 mos, and funds for food banks and farmers and ranchers. $10Billion for child care. $10 billion for the USPS. There is also $7 Billion to expand access to high speed internet service, including providing $50/month to low-income families and $300 million for infrastructure in underserved areas. Biden says he has authority over federal workers, interstate travel on trains, buses, and planes, etc.

$600 should be in the mail or direct deposited by this weekend. If another bill passes a second amount to total $2000 will be sent.

More than 11 million doses of vaccines have been delivered, 2 million people have been vaccinated – the national goal was 20 million to be vaccinated. It’s acknowledged that more shots may have been given, due to a reporting time.

In Florida, drive through vaccinations are being held for all residents over the age of 65.

Moderna employees will vaccinate their employees, voluntarily.

Sen. Marc Rubio has taken on conflicting messages of medical experts, in particular Dr. Fauci: “Dr. Fauci lied about masks in March,” Rubio tweeted. “Dr. Fauci has been distorting the level of vaccination needed for herd immunity. It isn’t just him. Many in elite bubbles believe the American public doesn’t know ‘what’s good for them’ so they need to be tricked into ‘doing the right thing.’” – Dr. Fauci responded: “We have to realize that we have to be humble and realize what we don’t know,” explaining that his numbers were “guestimates” based on extrapolations from what we know concretely about measles.

Television sales has increased by 40% since the pandemic.

AstraZeneca & Oxford Univ. vaccine has been approved in UK

Moderna vaccine is being given in South Korea.

LA County has seen 7,000 hospitalizations in one day – it is the epicenter for all the US.

The first known U.S. case of the highly transmissible variant of Covid-19 discovered in the U.K. has been reported in Colorado.

Luke Letlow, 41 years old, congressman about to take office in Louisiana died of COVID19

Digital vaccine proof will become required – concern over privacy has risen. Vaccination proof will be required for admission to events, etc. – digital passports will not be in the cloud.

Australia’s New Year’s Eve celebration – residents are being told to watch from home and it has been reduced to 7 minutes

UK hospitals have paused nonurgent hospital procedures

Dr. Fauci endorsed the requirement that travelers from Britain be required to have a negative coronavirus test before entering the U.S.

NovaVax has started its Phase 3 trial. AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson are already in Phase 3 trials.

More than a dozen anti-vaxxer and COVID-19denial physicians have been disciplined in Rome, local officials say. All had taken to TV or social media to spread their beliefs.

Vermont’s airport had an 80% decline in travel in and out.

A national organization of gym owners, Community Gyms Coalition, are petitioning the federal government for targeted assistance.

The president of Mexico said: “We are not opposed to commercializing the vaccine, to companies importing it and selling it to those who can pay,”

In California, 1 out of every 95 has had COVID19 with 1 person dying every 10 minutes – 0% availability of ICUs – creating makeshift ICUs – ambulance circling hospitals – oxygen and medication running low – staffing levels below what is needed – fears of switching to a rationing of care are building.

Indonesia bans international visitors for 2 weeks over new virus strain

South Korean officials are vowing to speed up efforts to launch a public coronavirus vaccination programme as the country on Monday announced it had detected its first cases of the virus variant 

India’s Serum Institute expects approval for AstraZeneca

Golf legend Greg Norman is recovering after being hospitalized for COVID19

In Minnesota, 800 out of 2,800 recorded COVID19 deaths were from other causes. The state is calling for an audit.

Pres-elect Biden:

Worse will come before things get better. Thousands will die. Nowhere near vaccine goal. Wants people to get 100 million shots in 100 days – wear masks for 100 days – Trump should encourage people to take the shot and to wear a mask. Ramp up private industry for production. Equitable distribution of vaccines. Free. Down payment of stimulus plan – billions more will be needed. Also said no overall improvement until March. He took no questions.

Russia has put out this promotional video on the Sputnik V Vaccine:

Russia, Belarus and Argentina launched mass coronavirus vaccinations with the Russian-developed Sputnik V shot after a full promotional campaign to alleviate citizens’ concern about getting the shot –

Posted in