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Your Coronavirus Update Today, Jan. 15, 2022

RHODE ISLAND & VICINITY

Rhode Island has received an additional 400,000 COVID-19 at-home rapid tests, bringing the total to 500,000 for this week. Thirty percent of the 500,000 tests will be redistributed through community-based organizations.

  • City and town distribution – A total of 350,000 at-home tests will be distributed by cities and towns, divided among cities and towns based on each community’s population size. Cities and towns will start having these tests on hand by mid-week next week. Municipal leadership will be communicating about where and when tests will be distributed in their communities.
  • Community-based organization distribution – A total of 150,000 tests will be distributed by roughly 30 community organizations in areas of Rhode Island where some people may otherwise not have the means to purchase tests. The organizations include faith-based organizations, cultural organizations, and housing authorities; they will be doing direct outreach to the people in their communities. Community organizations have started to receive tests, and will continue to receive them next week.

SouthCoast Hospitals suspend all visitation – exceptions for end of life, etc.

Quonset Air Show said to be returning to RI, with changes – National Guard will no longer run it and Air Dot will. There will now be a charge.

Barrington High School has canceled midterms due to COVID.

RentReliefRI program has reached a milestone, surpassing the $100 million mark in rental and utility assistance funds distributed to 13,761 renter households.

Boston schools had a walk out on Friday calling for remote learning and stronger COVID safety measures.

Federal medical assistance will be placed at RI Hospital and Kent Hospital:


  • A Department of Defense medical team consisting of 23 personnel will arrive as early as the end of next week to support Rhode Island Hospital in its Emergency Department and/or Medical/Surgical unit. They will be stationed there for 30 days. It will include a mix of doctors, nurses, medics, and support staff, appropriate to the COVID response requirements that Rhode Island Hospital has now.
  • A National Disaster Medical System medical team consisting of 14 personnel will arrive as early as next week to support Kent Hospital in its Emergency Department and/or Medical/Surgical Unit. They will be stationed there for 14 days. It will include a mix of nurses, medics, and support staff, appropriate to the COVID response requirements that Kent Hospital has now.

The “Center for COVID Control”, offering free COVID testing in Smithfield and Newport are both now closed due to non-licensing to do business in RI

PC-UConn this weekend canceled

The MLK Breakfast, usually held at Rhodes in Cranston, has been canceled due to COVID.

Siena in Providence closes permanently – unable to reopen in pandemic – but will keep restaurants in Smithfield and East Greenwich open and honor gift certificates there.

Providence Police must be vaccinated by TODAY, or they will begin to be terminated. Providence City Council met and has some members opposing this, with president Igliozzi saying if the Mayor is going to fire police, then he has to have a plan in place.

COVID-19 vaccination locations can be found at C19VaccineRI.org.

Community Based COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics for January 15

11:00am-1:00pm, Calcutt Middle School, 112 Washington Street, Central Falls, Moderna, Pfizer (12+)
10:00am-11:30am, CCRI – Lincoln, J&J, Pfizer
12:00pm-2:00pm, CCRI – Newport, J&J, Moderna, Pfizer (12+)
12:00pm-1:30pm, CCRI – Warwick, J&J, Moderna, Pfizer (12+)
9:00am-11:00am, South Road Elementary, 1157 South Road, Wakefield, J&J, Moderna, Pfizer (12+)
11:00am-4:00pm, Warwick Mall, Pfizer (12+)
10:00am-12:00pm, William Hall Library, 1825 Broad Street, Cranston, Pfizer (12+), Pfizer (5-11)

NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL

Beginning on Wednesday, Jan. 19th, Americans can begin ordering 4 tests per month, free, from the government at the website: covidtests.gov.

England cuts its isolation period to five days.

President Biden said he will make high quality masks available for free – and 1 Billion at-home test kits per month will be provided free and sent to homes.

BCBS and other insurers will pay for the 1 billion tests a month sent to Americans.

Cleveland, Newark, NYC, Washington DC, Chicago, Puerto Rico are seeing declines, giving evidence to the end of the uptick, having reached the plateau and now will come down.

13 of the 17 Polish medical committee managing COVID in the country resigned saying the government was not heeding best practices to get hold of the pandemic.

A Scottish study shows babies born to nonvaccinated women are more likely to die in the first month of life and to do less well if they contract COVID-19.

GE will no longer require vaccination/tests to work, following Supreme Court ruling.

Glenn Beck says he has COVID for the 2nd time, and is on “all the medications” as it is now in his lungs.

French demonstrations are expected this weekend as regulations eliminate testing instead of vaccination to enter restaurants and other venues – now, only vaccination proofs are allowed.

SCOTUS in a 6 to 3 ruling did not uphold the vaccine mandate for employers with 100+ employees, saying OSHA had no authority to mandate health regulations. Companies are free to develop their own policies.

SCOTUS in a 5 to 4 ruling did uphold mandates for Medicare/Medicaid healthcare groups. This impacts 10 million healthcare workers.

Novak Djokovic has had his immigration visa revoked for the second time, due to being unvaccinated. He has now been re-arrested and held back at a hotel. A hearing is scheduled in Melbourne Sunday morning. The Open begins on Monday.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said the COVID-19 variant is likely to infect “just about everybody.”

The monthly child tax credit payments begun during the pandemic, have ended to families

The NY Times says, “There are early signs that Omicron has begun to peak.”

WBUR’s Gabrielle Emanuel reports the level of COVID found in the city’s sewage is on a sharp decline, a potential indicator that a coronavirus case spike is over. A Harvard epidemiology professor called that “unambiguously good news.”

Remdesivir, for the most part, ineffective against omicron, is now seen as suitable when given intravenously on three consecutive days, for some patients, such as the immunocompromised. New research into making remdesivir as a pill for the general COVID population is underway by Gilead.

Toyota, Samsung and Volkswagen are all impacted by the China lockdowns. 

National data is showing the highest number of cases ever documented among nursing home staff and residents testing positive.

South America, Latin America, and the Middle East countries are all starting to administer a 2nd booster (or a 4th shot).

Vaccine appointments surge after Quebec requires vaccine to purchase cannabis, alcohol

YouTube temporarily suspended Dan Bongino for questioning efficacy of masks.

China is tightening its anti-pandemic measures in Beijing and across the country as scattered outbreaks continue ahead of the opening of the Winter Olympics in a little over two weeks.

Two new therapeutics have been added by the WHO to their Therapeutics guide – baricitinib and sotrovimab – view the guide, which is internationally based, at: https://www.who.int/teams/health-care-readiness-clinical-unit/covid-19/therapeutics

Study shows all teens hospitalized in ICUs in the U.S. were not vaccinated.

NYC Mayor says “we are turning the corner” as COVID cases peak and begin a downward tick.

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