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Your Coronavirus Update Today, Jan. 13, 2022

RHODE ISLAND & VICINITY

President sending medical teams to 6 states, including Rhode Island – they are expected to be placed in the Lifespan hospital system. Announcement will be made in national press conference today at 10:30am.

4 states – Rhode Island is one – have less than 10% ICU bed availability.

100K rapid tests will arrive in RI this coming week and will be distributed to cities/towns.

CCRI Warwick has begun a 24/7 drive-up testing site – it will be open 7 days a week.

A local business, in an effort to recruit workers, put up a sign with an expletive on it – he took it down 24 hours later as he had over 100 interested applicants.

1 in 4 patient residents test positive at the Eleanor Slater Hospital, Zambarano.

The Leon Mathieu Senior Center, the senior center in Pawtucket will present “COVID Updates” with the URI College of Pharmacy Outreach Program on Friday, Jan. 14, at 12:30 p.m.

Providence Mayor Elorza wants to terminate police without vaccinations who don’t take care of it by a deadline – the City Council met to consider blocking that action – a meeting will be held Friday to proceed forward.

Massachusetts has secured an order to get 26 million rapid antigen COVID-19 tests over the next few months, in rolling shipments.

PC game postponed Tuesday night due to COVID outbreak. The team had already flown out to California. The team will fly back home the same day.

Johnson & Wale’s “Who to Watch in 2022” event rescheduled to April

ARPA funds in Providence to be invested in 1) youth jobs, 2) high quality mentorships to help people learn how to get engaged, 3) non-violence training.

Bishop Hendricken High School will host a COVID-19 booster and vaccination clinic for students, faculty, staff, families, alumni, and the general public on Wednesday, January 26, 2022 from 8:30am-11:30am in Pepin Gymnasium. Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine as boosters, available to individuals ages 12+. Students under 16 must have their parents schedule their appointment to provide consent.

The MLK Ceremony to be held at the RI State House has been canceled due to COVID concerns.

Warwick and Burrillville have canceled their midterms due to absences from COVID.

Reports on Tuesday that there were 1,500 new cases in schools and 320 staff.

Providence to hold emergency City Council meeting to try to prevent Mayor from enforcing law against those employees not wanting to be vaccinated.

MA – “People should get a COVID test under two key scenarios: If they are exhibiting coronavirus symptoms or are considered a close contact of an infected individual, Gov. Charlie Baker said during a press briefing

The latest data from Massachusetts wastewater testing has shown a 41% drop from the peak level a week ago, maybe indicating we are now on the downside of the bell curve of cases.

Haverhill, MA city employees will receive $500 for getting vaccinated.

“Several unions representing police and firefighters in Boston are asking a judge Wednesday to step in and stop the city from requiring they get vaccinated by the end of the week.

The assistant speaker of the house in MA requests that lawmakers who refuse to comply with the mask requirement be confined in plexiglass ’isolation boxes’ away from other members of congress.

Press Conference – RI – Gov. McKee

3 main goals – increasing testing capacity – increasing vaccination capacity – relieve stress on hospital system

Starting Thurs – CCRI Warwick rapid test site will open 24/7 – portalri.gov

PCR Test turnaround time – averages 2 days – working to do better – goal 24 -48 hrs.

More testing being done now than at any time. Last week: 175,000 tests in one week – 17% of population in one week. RI testing 2X more than #2 state in US, 4X more than MA – #1 in US for testing. Gone from 10K per day to nearly 20K in one day.

At home rapid tests – today we rec’d 100K more tests – more coming in. Will be distributed through cities/towns/community partners. Info coming now – not yet out. “We are hunting down these tests, pursuing every avenue – called CVS, San Diego provider, etc.”

Vaccinations – capacity increased. Couple weeks ago, 45,000 appts – now we have 65,000 appts available. “Individuals who have not been vaccinated? They’ve made up their mind.” 50% of people in the hospital have not been vaccinated. To our friends who are not vaccinated? Be safe.

Boosters – “we’re all about boosters” – Signs are on the highway. 40% of adults have had booster. 32% overall. We weren’t expecting boosters, but this is “not a one series and done” – to protect yourself and stay out of hospitals, this is a must

Hospitals – RI National Guard going to Butler Hospital. Deploying will allow them to increase capacity and take transfers to Butler. RING is expanding their use to 200 in RI with 60 at Butler.

Healthcare professionals – issuing emergency licenses to professionals in other states coming here – hospital staffing group working on staffing strategy here. Recent nurse grads can get immediately into workforce while completing exams, etc. Working with 4-5 nursing schools’ outreach – organized 2 virtual job fairs – Slater Hospital, Veterans Home, and Lifespan – more info at:  backtoworkri.com. We have many Dec. grads who are eager to work. “Let’s get them to work”. Mobilizing senior nursing students to do their in-place rotation sooner, and where needed. CCRI has 66 students helping Lifespan. EMTs are being contacted to help hospitals as well. Also met with health insurers and nursing home administrators to help move patients out to rehab facilities.

DATA – going to look into new reporting of hospitalized WITH vs. BECAUSE OF COVID.

TY to people in RI – they can be proud of RI for leading in many areas, controlling infections, boosters, vaxxing, etc.

Lt. Gov:

Stressed importance of vaccination & boosters. Asks people who have made a firm decision to reconsider one more time. Think about people around you – those who have died, ask what their status was about vaccination –

New vaccination sites being added – check state’s website frequently for new sites.

401 app is very convenient – for vaccine record and new information

Speaks to her case of COVID – it takes a toll on you and your family. The vaccine protected me – I probably would have been in the hospital if I had not been vaccinated and boosted.

Dr. Scott, RIDOH:

This is a whole of government response.

Our hospitalization is nearly surpassing what it was last year. These trends mirror other states, we are not unique. We’re estimating 90% of RI infections are Omicron. Good news is we could be nearing our peak, as Omicron surpassing Delta, and Omicron is less severe.

Testing: Priority for those with symptoms or been recently exposed, or work/reside in healthcare settings. If you recently tested positive, you don’t need to get retested in the next 90 days.

Treatments: MABs – first step is testing.

Boosters: Children 12-15 can get boosters – so now everyone over the age of 12 can be boostered – it will double your protection against Omicron. Even if you get it you have significant less chance of hospitalization. Protection will remain important for future variants.

This is a global pandemic – we only have ½ the world vaccinated. We expect COVID to be in our lives going into the future. Our hospitals and healthcare systems will be impacted into the forseeable future. As pandemic continues, we will need to strengthen individual approach to vaccination – private practices, clinics, etc.

Q/A:

Q: Why is National Guard only going to Butler?

A: Gen. Callahan – specific need from CNE to enhance wrap-around services at Butler. Support to hospital can be managed by RING such as transportation, observation, can help them open up more beds.

Q: Masks – KN95, N95, etc. Will RI hand out masks to people?

A: Dr. Scott – handing out masks has been done throughout.

Q: Clarify Butler issue – will this allow 2 closed units to be open?

A: Tells reporter to confirm with Butler. Could be patient from other hospital that needs to be transported for behavioral services to free up ER and hospital bed use

Q: Indoor mask mandate reconsidered?

A: Gov. says indoor mandate will be extended, most likely – right now ends on Feb. 14th – we will hope to extend.

Q: Why only100K tests? MA has ½ million? We need millions, do we not?

A: 175,000 tests done last week. Tom McCarthy: We have millions on order. 140K tests distributed each week to schools, etc. Mark Pappas: Using cities, towns to distribute – 100K is a good number to get out without over-burdening them, let them set up their systems as we ramp up.

Q: For the Guard already here – 180 – what is their experience?

A: They are spread out – 60 at Butler, 75 new vaccine effort, 25 in Central Falls, 5 or so in RI EMA. Healthcare professionals who are in the Guard will stay on the civilian side, so we don’t harm the systems we are trying to help.

Q: Would you feel comfortable eating in a restaurant, go to a basketball game, go to a concert in a club, etc?

A: It’s important to conduct behaviors differently, particularly right now. We don’t have to be as restricted as this time last year. We do have tools to conduct our required daily activities – masks, testing, vaccinations, social distancing, washing hands, limiting your group. Take those guidelines into account to determine your behavior. Dr. Scott says she would enjoy sports on television from within her own home.  (Q: people are riddled with anxiety….)

Q: Rehiring unvaccinated medical workers?

A: No. It stays as the protocol. We’re developing other partnerships for medical staffing.

Q: RI Latino Radio asks about strategy for schools for next few weeks.

A: Schools are working tirelessly to keep schools open. We know schools are safest place for them.

More community sites added for today:

10:30am-1:00pm, Amos House, 460 Pine Street, Providence Moderna, Pfizer (12+)
3:00pm-7:00pm, Barrington Senior Center, 281 County Road, Barrington Pfizer (5-11)
5:00pm-7:30pm, East Greenwich Library, 82 Peirce Street, East Greenwich, Moderna, Pfizer, Pfizer (5-11) 10:00am-2:00pm, JWU Harborside Campus (Wildcat Center), 305 Shipyard St, Prov, Moderna, Pfizer (12+)
4:00pm-7:30pm, Lincoln Middle School, 152 Jenckes Road, Lincoln, Pfizer (12+)
5:00pm-7:00pm, Open Doors, 485 Plainfield Street, Providence, J&J, Moderna, Pfizer (12+)
5:00pm-8:00pm, South Road Elementary, 1157 South Road, Wakefield, Moderna, Pfizer (5-11)
2:00pm-6:15pm Swift Community Center 121 Peirce Street East Greenwich Moderna, Pfizer (12+) 3:00pm-5:45pm Blessed Sacrament School 240 Regent Avenue Providence Pfizer, Pfizer (5-11)

Schools with cases over 10 by 1/11:

Hampden Meadows, Barrington – 10-14

Hugh Cole, Bristol/Warren – 10-14

Ella Risk, Central Falls – 10-14

Chariho – 10-14

Cranston East – 10-14

Western Hills – 10-14

Cumberland High – 10-14

International Charter – 10-14

Learning Community Charter – 15-19

Agnes Little – Pawtucket – 10-14

Potter-Burns – Pawtucket – 10-14

Classical HS – Prov – 10-14

MLK Elementary – Prov – 10-14

Spaziano – Prov – 10-14

Fogarty Elem – Prov – 10-14

Times 2 – Prov – 10-14

William D’Abate – Prov – 10-14

Data from Jan. 12, 2022:

NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL

Project N95 is the nonprofit vetted source for N95s, KN95s. The importance of wearing a higher quality mask due to the tiny particles of virus has been stressed – you can find information at: https://shop.projectn95.org/masks – make sure your mask has the NIOSH notation on it.

President sending medical teams to 6 states – New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island, Michigan and New Mexico – to help hospitals overburdened by COVID-19

1/2 million tests are being ordered – they say they are going out “shortly” said VP Harris.

Inflation is the highest in 40 years.

The majority of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in New Jersey were actually admitted for reasons other than COVID-19, officials said on Jan. 10. Of the 6,075 people with COVID-19 and hospitalized in the state, just 2,963 were admitted for COVID-19.

The U.S. Army needs more recruits – offering $50K sign-on bonus for some.

Italy and France have banned the unvaccinated from public transportation, restaurants, hotels and gyms

20 million people in China are confined to their homes.

Mandatory masking is returning to Delaware, where the governor signed a universal indoor mask mandate

Canada extends its business loan program through 2023.

Canada’s students mainly going to school virtually. PM Trudeau says, “this is not easy – make sure you get vaccinated, ages 5 and up. “It sucks, but you’ve been amazing. I’m counting on you. Continue to do the right thing.”

1.4 M more cases in 24 hours – researchers are predicting we may be peaking as the virus runs out of people to infect.

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