Your Coronavirus Update – Today, Oct. 22, 2020

Photo: Seen by a highway construction site in Rhode Island


1 in 4 workers have contemplated quitting their jobs, related to the coronavirus

The EU is linking the various COVID19 apps in the region, into one centralized app

Researchers at Cornell University found that Americans were about 16% more likely to get a COVID-19 vaccine if i twas 90% effective instead of 50%. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said it would approve any vaccine that is at least 50% effective at preventing infection or reducing disease severity, roughly the same efficacy as the annual flu shot.

Chinese drugmaker, SinoPharm Group, is setting up production lines to supply 1 billion doses of two possible coronavirus vaccines that are being tested on 50,000 people in 10 countries.

Gov. Baker in MA suggests no one give out Halloween Fun-sized candy in baskets, but large candy bars, so kids don’t go through a large receptacle searching for what they want.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said he will quarantine after coming “in close proximity” with a member of his staff who tested positive

Vegas live shows will return on Nov. 6th

The global hunt for a COVID19 vaccine for kids is only just beginning — a lagging start that has some U.S. pediatricians worried they may not know if any shots work for young children in time for the next school year.

Patriots coach Belichick has come up with a new catch-phrase about his team’s working with the coronavirus – “day by day” – expect to see it stick.

Data shows the US is taking a devastating toll in mental health – with more than ½ of teenagers even discussing suicide, especially in LGBTQ communities.

New research shows 78.2 percent of people who have died from the CCP virus were over 65.

Between May 1 and Aug. 31, the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) recorded a total of 114,411 deaths from the CCP virus, with 64.3 percent of these deaths occurring in an inpatient facility, which includes nursing homes.

Ireland is locking down hard, for 6 weeks – no bars, restaurants – only essential businesses. Numbers are exploding. With hopes for a near-normal Christmas. Different countries in the area have had the same result – more cases.

UNICEF is stockpiling over half a billion syringes for future vaccine use.

HHS officials have stated that the U.S. alone could require 650 million to 850 million syringes and needles, and that it could take two years to manufacture them.

The official COVID-19 Vaccines Committee will meet for the first time this Thursday – seen as a crucial day and a sign that the vaccines are closer to final development.

Moderna CEO expects vaccine interim results in November

Plexiglass barriers like those set up for the debate, the subject of much wrangling between the candidates, offer little coronavirus protection, scientists say.

Cuomo says non-essential travel from New York to New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania is highly discouraged due to COVID-19 spike

France considers extending COVID state of emergency until mid-February

In New Hampshire, the state attorney general’s office has fined a restaurant where at least 18 people have tested positive for the coronavirus. Fat Katz Food and Drink restaurant has been fined $2,000 for violating emergency orders after it moved a karaoke event inside.

Restaurants and retailers will be allowed to continue operating outdoors through the holiday season in Maine’s largest city.

The pandemic has halted reproductive care for millions of women afraid to go to doctor visits and have tests done

Moderna is saying December for use of their vaccine which is in its final test phase now.

80% of people say they do not wash their mask – or use a new one after each use; 8% say they don’t change or wash their mask at all.

Cathay Pacific Airlines expected to lay off 6,000 employees.

All 62 residents of a Kansas nursing home have tested positive for coronavirus, and 10 have died

Brazil sees a slow but consistent drop in both new cases and deaths since early September

Citizens Bank has joined forces with Feeding America for the third consecutive year, donating $1 million to efforts to fight hunger, according to a news release. The donation includes $133,000 directly to Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund initiative, focused on emergency food relief and support for food banks. In 2019, Citizens Bank, through its partnership with Feeding America, helped provide 12 million meals to people in need.

The CDC is now saying that everyone should wear masks when engaging in any food of transportation such as buses, cars, trains, planes, share rides, etc.

Employees of Target will receive $200 gift cards for the holiday – and salaries have been raised to reflect a $15 minimum.

Beginning 10/31, Lowe’s will offer free deliver for Christmas trees with $45 minimum order.

In England, a challenge trial of 90 is underway – subjects are infected, usually a young healthy population, and then vaccines are used to see the effectiveness.

Vaccine distribution, when available, may take on four priorities:

First groups first – in the order of priority would be: health-care workers, emergency responders, people with underlying conditions, and older adults living in group settings. And, for the first time in history, there is a recommendation that prioritizes people who score high on the CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index, which identifies factors such as poverty, lack of access to transportation, or crowded housing that are linked to poor health outcomes.

Second group: Remaining adults older than 65, K–12 teachers, school staff, and childcare workers—as well as essential workers in industries such as meatpacking that don’t allow social distancing. Residents and staff of group homes, homeless shelters, prisons, and detention centers also fit into this category.

Third group: Children, young adults under 30, and other critical workers at increased risk.

Fourth group: Everyone else residing in the U.S.

Boston schools close to all students – going to full remote today as its positivity rate goes to 5.7%

Turkey farms are expecting a big decline in holiday ordering – and also seeing a need for smaller turkeys as family gatherings shrink in numbers.

The CDC has now redefined “close contact” with someone with COVID-19 to “spending  a solid 15 minutes within 6 feet of someone who tested positive for coronavirus. On Wednesday, the CDC changed it to a total of 15 minutes or more — so shorter but repeated contacts that add up to 15 minutes over a 24-hour period now count”.

The NFL is talking about their option to delay the Superbowl in February to March.

65 million Asian garment workers have been displaced from their jobs as their countries fight COVID19

Winthrop, MA has hired a COVID-19 Inspector with full enforcement powers.

Massachusetts is planning on $51 Million more for small businesses.

COVID-19 death rates are going down in hospitalized patients, suggesting that doctors are learning more about how to treat the virus. (NPR)

First Lady Melania Trump stayed away from the campaign trail on Tuesday, citing a lingering cough from her bout with COVID-19.


RI Data:

New cases: 284 (474 on national report)

Positivity: 2.6%

Deaths: 5

Dr. McDonald of RIDOH says our mortality rates have fallen from a high of 10% in RI to less than 2%. This is due to new knowledge in how to treat the virus – use of dexamethasone (steroid), anti-inflammatories, anti-coagulants, and ventilator management.

Reports of the high incidence in Narragansett – the highest rate in the state during the week that ended Oct. 10th – could be influenced by students returning to URI. Newport had the lowest rate in the state.

The City of Pawtucket will close one day a week, mostly Fridays, through the remainder of 2020, to save funds and avoid layoffs. This is through the Workshare Program. Otherwise, hours will remain the same and voting will continue.

Tracers Hired by RI are at 14% of need, according to national data source, noting RI has “Insufficient tracers, even if the program is run effectively”

Mass MBTA predicting cuts after big losses in travel

Protests continue about the closure of Warwick’s public pool – the McDermott Pool, even though some other pools in the state are closed, others are open. – the mayor notes how many seniors use the pool and the physical layout makes distancing and safety a greater issue.

Roger Williams University in Bristol has closed one building, as 23 new positive cases were identified, connected to the Marine and Natural Sciences building. In a twist, research being done using a virus which can mimic a coronavirus and cause a positive test, is suspected.

Providence College continues to test students weekly, including asymptomatic, and after their initial 270+ outbreak, they are now testing in the single numbers, or even zero on days.

Wyatt Detention Center has over 60 cases.

Only 9 school districts in RI are fully open.

Twin Oaks will remain closed, due to 3 staff who tested positive, and a cleaning that needs to be done while all other staff are tested.

Lt. Governor Dan McKee will be joined by Command Sergeant Major Glen DeCecco of the Rhode Island National Guard and other local partners to announce 2 seasonal initiatives to support Rhode Island service members and military families across the state. The announcement will include a plan for the Lt. Governor’s annual Operation Holiday Cheer initiative which sends care packages to troops who are away from home during the holidays. 

Dr. Alexander-Scott will receive Connecting for Children and Families’ Beacon of Hope Award

Gannett offered all its employees the option of applying for a voluntary buy-out – Gannett is the owner of the Providence Journal.

The RI DBR has listed these companies for COVID19 safety violations since our last update:

Domino’s Pizza448 Newport Ave.,
Compliance Order10/20/2020
Little Caesar’s Pizza529 Broad St.,
Compliance Order10/20/2020
Versa Barbershop308 Broad St.,
Immediate Compliance Order10/19/2020
Majestic Nails50 Ann Mary St., Suite 113,
Compliance Order10/19/2020
Exchange Street Cafe49 Exchange St.,
Compliance Order10/19/2020
RI Market130 Broad St.,
Compliance Order10/19/2020
Back in Thyme Herb Garden and Kitchen493 Main St.,
Compliance Order10/19/2020
Underground Culture Smoke Shop4 Main Rd.,
Compliance Order10/14/2020
Watch Hill Outfitters157 Main St.,
Notice of Compliance with CO
Compliance Order

Beve Lounge345 Atwells Ave.,
Compliance Order10/14/2020


Governor’s Address

Data is not good – we have community spread all across the state and US. We have not yet crossed the threshold into a 2nd wave. Let’s buckle down now. We have to take action.

Few additional things we can do: Last week we were at 2% positivity and now we are close to 3%. We did see slight decline in hospitalizations. Still seeing double digit new hospitalizations every day.

Testing: New Binex Now Test – RI is getting 300K tests by end of year. Results in 15 minutes. What we’ll do with the tests: by Thanksgiving, we will deploy the 300K tests in K-12, in community health centers with focus in high-density communities, and in college communities. Everyone should go and get tested even without symptoms – go to – free – need an appointment. Payments: should not be paying or asked for insurance. If they are telling you that, something is wrong. Goal of 4K last week – almost met that goal. Name of game is to identify positives as fast as possible. Goal now is to identify and get people into quarantine.

Thanksgiving:  Keep it local; stay home for Thanksgiving. Celebrate with those you live with. If you are sick elsewhere, you  may not be able to get home. Consider having virtual dinner. If you go ahead determined to do a big event, we are asking you to be very careful in the 14 days leading up to Thanksgiving – avoid non-essential travel, activities, etc. Consider getting a test before the day. See Guidelines for a Safe Thanksgiving (below) – see illustration. If you have older folks or those at higher risk, put them in another room or outside. Get creative.

Colleges – we learned when students came back – they quarantined before coming here – percent was astoundingly low.

Halloween: Safe & Spooky Halloween Contest – share how you will be celebrating this year while observing guidelines. Cash prizes for best ideas in early learning centers, elementary, middle, high schools – 3 winners from each – $50. Submit ideas to – by 10/27, 4pm.

New Resource to Job Seekers through Back 2 Work program: in partnership with Google you can access virtual job matching program. Go to Jobs posting and free training programs – all free. You can also chat with “Skipper”, new virtual assistant who can direct you to training and jobs. Site will host virtual meetings with career coach and job recruiter.

Manufacturers: Announce today that RI Mfg. Assoc and RI has created a manufacturers auditor program, where person at industry audits the company for safety protocols.

Mental Health Issues – 414-LINK for adults; for children.

Family Service RI launched Be Safe Campaign – delivered 26,000 kits of basic necessities – running out of money. If you can contribute, text BESAFE to 44321. Or go to

Enforcement: Enforcement will be stepped up in the coming weeks.

Oct. 6-12 – 1,209 new cases – younger 20-24 more represented than others. 21% of RI cases. Also seeing work-related cases, particularly with socializing times – break rooms, improper mask wearing, carpooling. Also seeing cases associated with religious gatherings – 30 cases from these. Increase in social gathering size – went to 27.6 – last week it was 22.9.  Going in the wrong direction – go smaller. Some people refuse to provide information to RIDOH callers. Also people are not answering the phones.


Talks are underway for RI travel with MA and other states.

Asymptomatic cases more prominent in younger population – more than 50%.

In people who are the most sick, what are demographics?

Coronvirus in consistent – still older people, underlying illnesses.

Teachers might think they should not have students going back to school before Thanksgiving starts.

Have not seen any widespread spread.

COVID Exit Strategies data for RI is inaccurate – we have sufficient capacity for hospitals, ICUs, and other measures.

Off-topic about ATV demonstrators – RI is planning for every eventuality – will call out National Guard if necessary – Rhode Islanders should feel confident. Feeling that Providence is out of control – no place for violence. RI State Police will supplement Providence Police, on an ongoing basis.  Also – none of the Providence Police officers were wearing masks.

Massachusetts is running this cute video to encourage testing for symptomatic and asymptomatic people:

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