Your Coronavirus Update – Today, May 22, 2020

Photo: Outside distance dining in Germany


As more COVID-19 tests become available, pharmacists will now be able to order and administer them, even in states or localities where they previously weren’t allowed to do so.

New device called Path Findr is a personal beeper type device worn which sends out a signal when someone comes within 6 feet of the wearer. Out of the UK –

Contact Tracing apps from Apple and Google said Alabama, North Dakota, South Carolina, and other states, and 22 countries have requested the software. Germany, Italy, and Ireland are reportedly expected to release theirs in the coming weeks.

Hong Kong microbiologist: “Not wearing masks in Hong Kong is like not wearing pants”

The US pledged up to $1.2 billion to access 300 million doses of newly developed protocols from AstraZeneca

JetBlue blocks middle seats through Fourth of July holiday

TSA changes in how luggage is checked in, etc. More at airport website.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. is extending its sailing suspension through July 31, with ships nowscheduled to resume embarkations in August.

New Hampshire Concord newspaper says children should be allowed to return to camps and athletic programs under strict safety measures this summer, according to a task force on reopening the state’s economy.


Rhode Island deaths now approximate 80% from nursing homes – some of the highest anywhere in the US – expects to exceed chart listing RI as 4th highest in US.

Governor says she would have isolated the sick in covid19 nursing homes if she knew then what she knows now. General population had extensive isolation efforts – but nursing home patients were kept in same facility, and even added to.

RI Convention Center, Civic Center have no scheduled events through end of 2020

New Bedford: Churches will have capacity of 25% or 100, whichever is lower. Feast of Blessed Sacrament is canceled.

Crush Covid RI App reporting to be a big drain on phone batteries – also locations don’t match actual travel.

Connecticut is looking to get youth softball back on the field at the end of June.

RI hires DC lobbying firm – Peck Madigan Jones to advocate for RI to get more federal funding – paying them $20K/month

Special Olympics RI will hold their event virtually in 202

Boston Globe restaurant reviewer, Devra First, said she’s not ready to go to restaurants again. “…there are simply too many sticking points right now — practical, moral — to contemplate anything more up close and personal than takeout”

Connecticut: Restaurants were allowed to begin offering outdoor dining service Wednesday.

Retail pot shops are set to reopen Monday in Mass. with new rules in place

With two state-run beaches about to reopen in time for Memorial Day, some communities are making plans to open municipally run beaches. Newport aims to open Easton’s Beach on or around June 4, and Middletown Town Council voted to reopen Third Beach as of Saturday, but with limitations, including that only town residents will initially be allowed.

RI unemployment rate for April is 17%

Ballards is considering opening on 6/12 with a concert.

46-50 trailers are in waiting at UPS for delivery – as the entire company is overwhelmed with work.

RI Courts open next week – elevators restricted to 2 persons at a time. Superior Court at 15% capacity – 2 courtrooms open. Adoption may need to be done virtually. Many new rules.

Portsmouth’s Sandy Point Beach to open Saturday, with restrictions

RI Data: 5-21-2020

Deaths: 18. 2 in 50s, 2 in 60s, 6 in 70s, 6 in 80s, 2 in 90s.

Governor’s Address

Gov says she sees the light at the end of the tunnel – out of the crisis mode – beginning the recovery mode – we will have a good summer, if it’s slow and steady. Friday will discuss Phase 2. No press conferences Sat, Sun or Monday.

Nursing Homes: Gov. would have shut down sooner had she knew then what she knows now.

App Update: 25,000 Rhode Islanders – 2.5% of population in 48 hours

Travel policy: If you leave the state you are in quarantine for 14 days.

Social Gathering Limit: 5 person contact limit still in place.

Summer Camps: 6/29 – camps can open with restrictions. Full guidelines for camps on  Rules: No larger than 15 people. Stable groups – same every day. Separate from one another. Drop off/pick up rules. Social distancing. Cleaning. Daily screening to make sure they aren’t sick. Adults wear masks. Kids to wear masks as much as possible. Lots of hand sanitizer. Be physically active. Can’t do team sports, focus on technical skills, 7-on-7. Indoor, outdoor, pools. All providers must create a Covid-19 plan and to submit to DHS.

Congregate Care settings – nursing homes:  Greatest crisis is in nursing homes. Perfect storm in a sad way. Older, sicker, more frail people living in close proximity, with staff coming in and out, working in more than one location. Made it very difficult to control spread and death. Put together teams to go into a home that is struggling to do testing, cleaning, infection control, etc., and we send them in. Team has been contacted 44 times. First they do RNA – Rapid Needs Assessment – team gets deployed if necessary – lead infection control practices (PPE protocols, etc.) Testing been offered to every employment and staff – now we will continue every 7-10 days. Team connects those in need to grief counseling and other services. Help develop safety protocols. Connecting homes to staff resources (RIResponds) – volunteers and per diem staff. Data is crystal clear. These are our hardest hit. That is the reality of it. We have to work overtime to keep them safe. If you have a loved one in a home, know that “we are there, meeting their needs”. 


App: does it share your contacts – no, completely separate. 20% of people with smart phones won’t be able to access the app.

Nursing Homes: any progress?  Slowly collecting data. Seeing slight decreases in percent positive with increased testing. Absolutely more work for us to do. From surveillance standpoint most helpful to continue to assess staff 7-10 days. 80% of fatalities in nursing homes. “I wish we could do better” – we need to help these homes with infection control – they weren’t set up for this. They aren’t in the business of donning and doffing PPE. “Reason we’ve done such a good job in the general population is that everyone has followed the rules.”  We know that some folks in the hospitals were released to more than 1 nursing home – we don’t do that now.

17% unemployment rate – higher than national average. “We are going to get people back to work.”  Some people don’t want to go back to work – they are afraid to come back. Some are getting their $600 a week which is more than they were making. We need to build confidence.

Testing – antibody positive numbers is not in the daily number “tests positive”.

RI National Guard is moved away from checkpoints – they are now refocused on nursing homes, and testing. Also doing contact tracing.

Graduating Seniors – thinking twice about what colleges to go to. CCRI is looking very attractive – are you prepared – where does Promise free tuition stand? Gov: Excellent education at excellent price – we’ll be prepared to accept. Promise will be there for them. College is going to look different – and will look different forever – or for a very long time. Blend of digital and traditional.

Foxwoods/Mohegan – risky step – doesn’t feel RI will be ready by 6/1 for Twin River.

Press Release:

  • Summer camps and youth programs: 
    Today the Governor announced new regulations and guidelines for summer camp and summer youth programs. These programs will allowed to begin in-person operations starting June 29. For a full list of regulations and guidance, visit 
  • Congregate Setting Support Team: At the end of April, the state launched a new Congregate Setting Support Team to support nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and group homes in their response to COVID-19. The team includes personnel from the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS), RIDOH, the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF), the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities, and Hospitals (BHDDH), the Department of Labor and Training (DLT), the Rhode Island Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) and the Rhode Island National Guard. In the past three weeks, they have been contacted by 44 different homes representing more than 3,000 Rhode Islanders. In each of these requests for assistance, a Rapid Needs Assessment was performed by a clinical team member. In addition, the team has helped congregate care facilities implement a number of COVID-19 safeguards. 

Animals quickly reclaim land in countries all over the world – from wild boar charging down the streets to these traffic obeying kangaroo in Australia…

Posted in