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Your Coronavirus Update – Today, Jan. 16, 2021

Photo: Gillette Stadium mass vaccination program underway for Massachusetts medical and aligned workers.

RHODE ISLAND & VICINITY

CDC Vaccination information for RI – as of 1/13/21:

Rhode Island – 82,175 delivered to state; 42,028 given to people; that is 7,757 distributed per 100K – 3,967 administered per 100K

Next Week Vaccination Targets:

TODAY, Sat. 1/16/21, for Central Falls residents:

The town of Warren is having a large spike and city officials are calling to identify the town as a priority and vaccinate everyone over 65

Cox Communications announced it would temporarily double the download speed of service for its low-income internet service Connect2Compete customers, through June 30, to allow students using computers to complete the school year.

Fall River: 9,777 confirmed cases. Statistically, about one out of every 39 of those has been fatal.

The Cape Cod Melody Tent in Hyannis and the Cape Cod Fairgrounds in Falmouth are possible mass vaccination sites.

North Providence Dr. Anthony Farina has had his licensed suspended for knowingly treating patients while he was positive for COVID19, changing his medical records, etc.

Hospitals in RI: The Providence Journal is reporting that Lifespan and Care New England have been vaccinating low-risk employees with little or no patient contact such as office workers and extending even to board members. The Hospitals have defended their decision. Lifespan has now vaccinated 10,840 out of 16,000 employees, and are doing their second round of shots. But no hospitals in Rhode Island, besides Eleanor Slater Hospital, a state-run facility for people with medical and psychiatric needs, were offering shots to their patients or broader swaths of the community as of this week. Westerly Hospital, Charter Cares two hospitals and South County Hospital said their board members weren’t being offered vaccines. South County is now offering vaccinations to healthcare workers (and their staff) in the surrounding community. Landmark Medical Center did not provide information.

According to the COVID Tracker project, the top state for vaccine distribution is West Virginia where they have distributed 74% of the vaccines delivered to them.  In RI, they have only distributed 53% of the vaccine, or 44,871 of the 84,125 shots delivered.

Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) has launched a partnership with Schoolhouse.world, an online platform that pairs students with tutors around the globe. The initiative is free to RI families.

Lifespan is seeking volunteers to enroll in a Phase 3 safety and efficacy trial of a new COVID-19 vaccine being developed by Novavax – go here for more info: (https://www.lifespan.org/covidvax/)

IDD direct support professionals working in either congregant care or assisting multiple consumers in their homes are being added to phase 1.4. 

Attleboro schools are recommending going back to a hybrid model

National Guard has certified 800 of their own members in RI in preparation to vaccinate others.

Martin Luther King Holiday Hours for Monday, January 18th – All State-operated COVID-19 test sites will be closed.   Regular hours of testing will resume on Tuesday, January 19. 

Massachusetts to use Gillette Stadium and Fenway Park for vaccinations, with Gillette’s goal to be 300 per day, ramping up as vaccine supply increases.

Massachusetts will begin administering vaccinations next week to approximately 94,000 people in congregate care settings, such as prisons and shelters.

Residents of the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home who were moved out in the spring as the coronavirus tore through the facility will soon be welcomed back

Two inmates at a Massachusetts medium and minimum security prison that focuses on mental health have recently died of COVID-19 complications

Norton, MA police sargeant has died of COVID19

Framingham will hire two different types of professionals for their schools: first position is an emergency COVID response classroom supervisor. There are about 30 to 40 openings, and they will report to the building principals. This role will act as a collaborative partner to a teacher who will teach remotely while the individual who fills the position supervises and supports in-person students. The other position is emergency COVID response child care supervisor, of which there are five openings. This person will oversee children of staff by providing supervision and basic care for children’s needs to enable the staff to teach students.

Providence College political science professor: “I don’t know if this is tenable for the long term,” said Dr. Adam Myers, a political science professor at Providence College. “She’s going to have to move herself and her family to Washington, D.C. Her mind is probably going to be on being secretary of commerce, not so much on being governor of Rhode Island. This is a potential problem for the state for the next few months. We’re going to have a governor who is focused on at least two different responsibilities,” he added. access to Mayor Marty Walsh, Biden’s labor secretary nominee, has also recently been restricted.

RI businesses with COVID19 violations:

Mt. Fuji Japanese Steakhouse80 Dean St.,
Providence
Notice of Compliance with CO
Compliance Order
1/13/2021

1/12/2021
Nara Lounge248 Atwells Ave.,
Providence
Citation
Immediate Compliance Order
1/11/2021

1/11/2021
Coventry Mart1100 Main St.,
Coventry
Compliance Order1/11/2021
The Joint Bar and Grill1150 Oaklawn Ave.,
Cranston
Citation
Compliance Order
1/6/2021

1/6/2021
El Caribeno Restaurant226 Academy Ave.,
Providence
Citation
Compliance Order
1/4/2021

RI Data – January 14, 2021

Deaths: 9

Tests – 17,569 – Positives – 789 – Percent positive – 4.5%

Hospitalized – 375 – In ICU – 53 – Ventilated – 34

Deaths in hospital – 8

New Admissions – 44 – New Discharges – 73

Vaccinations in one day – 1st: – 1,305 ; 2nd: 1,170

Total Vaccinated, 1st shot: 39,502; 2 shots: 48,118

RI Data – January 15, 2021

2021Deaths

9 Tests – 19,211 – Positives – 901 – Percent positive – 4.7%

Hospitalized – 384 – In ICU – 51 – Ventilated – 35

Deaths in hospital – 3 – New Admissions – 57 – New Discharges – 50

Vaccinations in one day – 1st: 2,475; 2nd: 627 Total Vaccinated, 1st shot: 41,977; 2 shots: 9,243

NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL

Akiko Iwasaki, a professor of immunology at Yale School of Medicine gave advice about the new strain of COVID19 which is starting to spread across the US: People are more likely to catch the virus variant because it’s able to replicate at higher levels in the upper respiratory tract. This means that every time a person breathes, coughs or talks, more virus is emitted. The good news: The variant doesn’t seem to be evading the vaccine. But the bad news is that vaccine rollout is slow, so the only protective measure most people have right now is to avoid exposure. For essential tasks like grocery shopping, that means staying in the store for the shortest time possible, or having your food delivered if possible. And it would probably be wise to wait on other nonessential tasks, like getting a haircut.

Eric Lander, the founding director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, will step down and take an unpaid leave of absence to serve as White House science adviser, a new Cabinet-level post.

Charles Barkley of the NBA said that players pay so much in taxes they should be given preferential treatment for vaccines – when asked “over life and death”, he responded “yes”.

Only 1/3 of available vaccines have been given to people, according to the federal govt.

States with vaccine supply to give out are seeing sign-up systems crashing and chaos. Questions as to why systems weren’t in place in preparation for this don’t have answers.

COVID-19 patients taking monoclonal antibody treatments must do so within 10 days of the onset of symptoms for the antibodies to be effective.

Dr. Azar from HHS claims overly tight restrictions have caused problems – open it up to all those over 65 – he blames the Governors for the states not being prepared for mass vaccinations, etc. He suggests using retail pharmacies, community health centers, etc. and not the systems now being used. He also said 2nd dosages are no longer being stockpiled – they have all been shipped to states. He also said politics from the states” perspective with the federal government have gotten in the way.

The highly contagious variant B.1.1.7 originally detected in the U.K. could become the dominant strain in the U.S. by March.

Prosecutors and public defenders are advocating for vaccinations because of their exposure to prisoners and the court system.

Yankee Stadium to become mass vaccination site in NY

The Dollar Store will pay employees to get vaccinated

Rep. Adriano Espaillat of NY tests positive for COVID-1

The Capitol riots were seen as a superspreader event – at the event, in the Capitol building, all around the US – and now we’re heading for another one with the military in close quarters preparing for the Biden inauguration. The current public health response doesn’t have the capacity to track these paths.

Indonesia is prioritizing the young, over the old, for vaccinations.

Dr. David Kessler, who will have the title of chief science officer of COVID response, had headed the Food and Drug Administration under the Bush and Clinton administration.

Calling the Trump administration’s vaccine rollout “a dismal failure” and doubling down on his pledge to help administer 100 million doses in his first 100 days in office. He also encouraged states to open up vaccinations to all those 65 and over. He pledged to increase supply.

Former FDA chief David Kessler to lead Operation Warp Speed.

Pfizer confirmed Friday it will temporarily reduce deliveries to Europe of its COVID-19 vaccine while it upgrades production capacity to 2 billion doses per year.

Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a one dose and proving to be effective.

Yelp will now allow users to rate restaurants’ safety precautions and sanitary measures related to COVID-19.  A restaurant’s review page will now ask patrons if the staff was wearing masks, as well as whether or not social distancing is enforced in a given establishment.

The head of Moderna said that COVID19 will be around “forever” – it will be endemic, part of society’s viruses or diseases that never go away and we will always need to be vigilant about in terms of vaccinations.

There are reports that in D.C., pharmacies have started quietly offering leftover COVID-19 shots to anyone around. For more than a week, lines have quietly been forming at certain D.C. supermarket pharmacies, which have started giving away leftover vaccine doses each day just before closing time, usually to between one and three people.

China denied entry to two members of a World Health Organization team investigating the origins of the novel coronavirus after both tested positive for COVID-19 

Operation Warp Speed: U.S. on track for herd immunity by summer

Colleges as vaccination sites: In addition to Rowan and Icahn, students at Marian University (Indianapolis), the University of New England (Maine), Touro College (outside Las Vegas), and Indiana University schools of medicine are working vaccination sites, according to umbrella organizations the Association of American Medical Colleges and American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine.Exact responsibilities and other parameters vary: Icahn students are spread out across six New York City “pods”; New England students are pairing up to work 8-hour shifts with preceptors vaccinating the 23,000 employees at MaineHealth; and Marian students are assisting a site run by their clinical partner, Ascension St. Vincent Hospital. Faculty and administrators are also volunteering at the sites, where they and some students are also receiving the vaccines.

The U.K. will close its borders to travelers from South America and Portugal on Friday as concern grows over a new coronavirus variant that researchers believe emerged in the Brazilian Amazon

Biden unveiling $1.9 trillion plan to stem virus and steady economy

1 in 3 Los Angeles County residents have been infected with the coronavirus

Medical students call on ICE to provide Covid-19 vaccines to all detained migrants

New vaccine regulations:

CDC put states on warning that those that don’t rapidly use their doses will see their supplies diminished in the future. Vaccination allocation so far has been based strictly on a population basis; beginning in two weeks, states that rapidly use their doses will get a larger allocation. Operation Warp Speed will no longer hold back half of vaccine supplies, a move it took to ensure that when people need to get their booster dose, there was enough available to give them a second, matching vaccine in the timeframe required — 21 days for the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, and 28 days for the one developed by Moderna.

Tom Frieden, former director of the CDC, was among the people who criticized the original decision to hold back the second dose. “You need to flood the zone with the vaccine that’s available, anticipating that the manufacturers will not fail,” said Frieden, who is now president and CEO of the global health initiative Resolve to Save Lives

Adults of any age with certain underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19. Severe illness from COVID-19 is defined as hospitalization, admission to the ICU, intubation or mechanical ventilation, or death.

Adults of any age with the following conditions are at increased risk of severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19:

COVID-19 is a new disease. Currently there are limited data and information about the impact of many underlying medical conditions on the risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Based on what we know at this time, adults of any age with the following conditions might be at an increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19:

The COVID Tracking Project lists RI on its worst 5 states:

  1. New Jersey — 227 people dead per 100K residents
  2. Massachusetts — 196
  3. Rhode Island — 188
  4. South Dakota — 186
  5. Connecticut — 182

RI National Guard coming into Rhode Island to help with vaccinations:

Massachusetts beginning 300 vaccinations per day at Gillette Stadium, with plans to ramp up:

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