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Your Coronavirus Update – Today, Jan. 23, 2021

Photo: NYC Posters encouraging COVID-19 Vaccinations

RHODE ISLAND & VICINITY

The AARP-RI calls on Rhode Island to prioritize vaccinations of Rhode Islanders 50 and older immediately. “The current disparity — which flies in the face of federal health recommendations and causes great concern for many older Rhode Islanders and their families — is inexplicable, life threatening and unacceptable,” said Kathleen Connell, the CEO of the watchdog agency.

Cranston City Council voted unanimously to pass a resolution asking Gov. Raimondo to stop the curfew on restaurants and businesses in RI.

Rep. Charlene Lima, of Cranston is proposing legislation to make it a felony to give coronavirus shots out of turn. It would be a misdemeanor to receive the vaccine if you know you shouldn’t be receiving it.

RI Reports Lowest Coronavirus Positivity Rate In Nearly 3 Months

Bristol Community College in Fall River is about to become a regional COVID-19 vaccination site.

Thundermist Health Center in Woonsocket is now offering free, drive-through, rapid COVID-19 testing 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. seven days a week through a partnership with Health Equity Zone Woonsocket. You can make an appointment at portal.ri.gov.

22,000 prisoners in Massachusetts have been prioritized for the vaccine; however, some prisons have as low as 9% of the population that wants to receive it. It’s hoped once older prisoners receive the vaccine and have no side effects, the younger, more resistant women and men will agree to it.

Massachusetts says all of Phase 1 priority groups are now eligible for the vaccine, with Phase 2 coming up (75+) in February.

The City of Pawtucket has announced that residents should expect to receive their motor vehicle tax bills for Fiscal Year 2021 beginning Tuesday, January 26th

Nearly 2,000 doses of a COVID19 vaccine were spoiled at Jamaica Plain VA Medical Center when a freezer failed, when it was accidentally unplugged.

Staff at the Jamaica Plain VA Medical Center discovered on Tuesday that a freezer had failed, compromising 1,900 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

Mass. Jobless Rate Rose in December to 7.4 Percent

Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders believes that a lack of preparation and infection control protocols, rather than staffing issues or the background of the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home‘s superintendent, was the biggest factor behind a tragic COVID-19 outbreak that struck the facility last spring

One measure, Covid Act Now, shows RI has moved from “severe outbreak” to “imminent or active outbreak”.

The MA. Civic Center Commission voted Thursday to start charging UMass Memorial Health Care rent for the use of the DCU Center as a COVID-19 field hospital.

About a week after announcing he tested positive for COVID-19, New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell continues to push forward through the virus. Mitchell, currently isolated at home, said he feels about the same and never became worse from when he first contracted the virus.

In Massachusetts, more health care workers, including those who work with patients in their own homes, are eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines as of Thursday, the Governor announced at Gillette Stadium.

The US March for Life 2021will be held in virtual format on 29 January in RI and in all US states

The University of Massachusetts is launching a program at several of its campuses to get students to volunteer to help the Covid-19 vaccination efforts, where they could do everything from administering the vaccine to registering folks for a second dose, or directing traffic at mass vaccination sites.”

Tens of thousands of New Hampshire residents registered online to get their coronavirus vaccine Friday morning, as the state opened up eligibility to more groups, including anyone 65 and over. Gov. Chris Sununu said that after just 40 minutes, 60,000 people had signed up for vaccinations. Others eligible under “Phase 1B” of the state’s plan include the medically vulnerable with two or more underlying conditions, residents and staff at residential facilities for people with intellectual disabilities, correction officers and staff, and any health workers or first responders not already vaccinated.

Next week’s Vaccination Plan in RI:

Update from the RI Dept. of Health: there is no action that older adults need to take at this time to get a vaccine. When we are ready to start vaccinating this population, we will communicate with the public, healthcare providers, and community organizations to provide instructions. We will also continue to share updates through this newsletter. 
We are prioritizing groups in order to decrease hospitalizations and deaths. Early vaccination of the highest risk people will achieve this and allow us to ease up on restrictions. We received feedback today from Rhode Island’s COVID-19 Vaccine Subcommittee on vaccinating additional priority groups. This feedback will help us finalize plans to distribute more vaccine going forward. Moving forward, we are focusing on protecting Rhode Islanders most vulnerable to severe illness from COVID-19. We plan on releasing more information next week, so everyone knows what to expect. Ordering, receiving, redistributing, storing, and administering vaccine is a very complex process, but the system is working well. We are grateful for everybody’s patience as we work to distribute our limited supply of vaccine as quickly as possible.

House oversight committee is considering putting state employees under oath when they testify because they say, “We’ve been lied to.” – “They look in our faces and laugh at us.” – “Even as these (mostly) unnamed state government officials are testifying before legislative committees, text messages arrive that say:  “Everything they just said to you is a bunch of B.S.” And then comes word that when these state agency representatives return to their state offices, they “have pet nicknames for us.” – this from a Providence Journal article.

RI Data – Jan. 22, 2021

Deaths: 7

Tests – 18,546 – Positives – 829 – Percent positive – 4.5%

Hospitalized – 352 – In ICU – 43 – Ventilated – 31 –

Deaths in hospital – 10 – New Admissions – 69 – New Discharges – 39

First vaccines: 52,125 – Second vaccines: 13,145

NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL

At least 20 U.S. Capitol Police officers have active cases of COVID-19.

100 National Guard members in DC now test positive.

With the easier-to-catch virus strain beginning to spread, the type of mask we wear will be more important – go for the N95s or surgical mask, and use the cloth masks only as a double, or a coverup mask – they do not filter small particles well enough to provide protection. For a starter pack of five, go to: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B086JD7TKZ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The World Health Organization has now released guidance to laboratories around the world to reduce the cycle count in PCR tests to get a more accurate representation of COVID cases. The current cycle was much too high and resulting in any particle being declared a positive case.

The word “manslipping” — about the tendency of men to let their masks fall below their noses — appeared for the first time in The Times yesterday.

Grocers like Trader Joe’s and Dollar General are paying workers to get COVID-19 vaccines

This week and next, Walmart will start providing inoculations in Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, South Carolina and Texas as well as in Chicago and Puerto Rico, the spokeswoman said. The shots will only be available to specific populations decided by each state and only at a handful of stores in each state. Walmart is already vaccinating healthcare workers in New Mexico and its home state of Arkansas.

Virus strains are mutating and we need to keep watch on that as viruses live to replicate. Slowly vaccinating may allow different strains time to develop and multiply – “The longer the virus has to circulate, the longer it has to mutate,” said Dr. Monica Gandhi, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

Atlanta will partner with Walmart to provide COVID-19 vaccinations.

Arkansas plans to “continue and expand” its existing partnership with Walmart, and that as additional vaccine doses become available, Walmart has agreed to be a key part of its distribution plan.

22K fans can attend the SuperBowl – most will be healthcare workers.

Two more people in Connecticut test positive for UK variant

A psychiatrist in Los Angeles, reports that a wealthy patient at her hospital offered $25,000 to jump the line and get the Covid-19 vaccine.

There are a number of reasons to get a shot if it’s offered to you, is advice being given. For one thing, there’s no reason to believe that if you forgo your dose, it will go to someone with a higher risk. Many vaccines are being distributed by institutions that can’t transfer extra doses elsewhere or to specific populations

Instacart will lay off 1,900 employees, including all its unionized workers.

The next James Bond film, No Time To Die, is once again pushing back its release amid the ongoing pandemic and widespread theater closures in many major markets across the globe.

Hungary has signed a deal to buy Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine, the first European Union country to do so,

Biden Plans Executive Action to Expand Food Stamps and Speed Stimulus Checks

Johnson & Johnson, close to emergency approval application says that it could provide 100 million Americans with doses by April – this is a one dose vaccine.

The National Park Foundation Has Helped Restore Access to 10,000 Miles of Trails

Vaccine Update:

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1 Comment

  1. Lesley Maxwell on January 23, 2021 at 5:19 pm

    Since our rate is going down, why on earth would we relax the rules? Per Business News or International (can’t remember), the FDA agreed to pay Pfizer for dosage. It was then discovered one might squeak out an extra dose or 2. Instead of the 120 million doses agreed upon, we’re getting 100 million. BUT – in order to get any extra dose, a special syringe is needed to scrape the bottom of the barrel. Not all providers have this special syringe so McKee (maker of syringes) is ramping up production of these syringes. In the meantime, those with the special syringes have to switch off their syringe for the special one. It’s more delay in getting from one patient to another. I’ll add that since the vial is filled by machine, there are vials that may not be a 6 or 7 dose vial.
    Line up soda bottles – is every one exactly the same? There are going to be aberrations.
    Pfizer’s making money hand over fist. I’d like to know what they’re charging the Feds for each dose.