Your Coronavirus Update – Today, Sept. 2, 2020


NIH is disappointed that only 18% of patients who have volunteered for vaccine trials are minorities. One of the first minority women to participate is going on the speaking circuit to recruit others, saying, “I was scared at first, for my health [and] for exposing myself to something that hasn’t been tested in humans before,” she said. “I was technically patient No. 10.” As her hometown of Atlanta was being hit hard by the virus, Upshaw decided to participate in Moderna’s first vaccination trial at Emory University on March 16. As a Ph.D. student of biomedical engineering there, she was excited to be a part of scientific history. This vaccine is the first one ever made with mRNA, or messenger RNA, and it’s the first time it’s been put in humans ever, in the history of the world,” she said. “I was geeking out about it.”

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak moved to delay the end of the state’s eviction moratorium by 45 days.

Some lawmakers upset over Gov. Lamont’s extension of emergency powers as Connecticut into February of 2021.

Israel, seen as a model in responding to terrorism has now called in their Army to plan and fight the coronavirus spread happening.

Florida will allow some nursing home visitations again.

Iowa seems to be the hotspot right now and closing bars and restaurants may be their next step.

Boat sales nationally have increased – seen as a safe way to vacation and recreate.

Videos and photos of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi have surfaced on social media of her getting her hair and makeup done at a salon in California, where indoor services are not allowed.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Monday that it was reversing course and would extend at least through the autumn the flexible free school meals program helping to keep millions of kids fed

Saks is $2M in arrears on rent in Miami and may fact eviction.

Judge allows Men’s Wearhouse parent company to exist 100 leases.

Encore Casino lays off 385 of their furloughed workers

Russia’s virus exceeds 1 million case

New Jersey has announced a return to dining in restaurants – NYC has still not returned.

NYC is delaying the start of school until Sept. 21. Delay of about 10 days. Teachers will go back next week for prep time.

The surge in telehealth use at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic has begun to drop, and health care providers are now being forced to recalibrate their offerings. Telemedicine visits accounted for nearly 70% of health encounters back in April, but only 21% of health visits in the middle of July as people are increasingly returning to in-person meetings with their providers.


About a dozen hotel representatives from Rhode Island, along with thousands nationwide, recently signed a letter asking federal lawmakers to pass relief packages that would help hotel owners who are in danger of defaulting on loans and facing foreclosures because business has dried up during the coronavirus pandemic. Over 8,000 people in RI are unemployed from the hotel business.

The RI Foundation has added $1M to its Covid19 Relief Fund

Rally4Recovery RI will hold their annual event on Sept. 19 outside the Warwick Mall.

Newport is “phasing in and going cautiously.” That means most likely students in kindergarten and grades 1, 5 and 9 will be the first ones back inside buildings. 

The city of Woonsocket will launch a new grant and loan program within days that will provide up to $20,000 for small businesses trying to reopen successfully under COVID-19 restrictions. The “Jump Start” program, announced Monday by Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt, will provide up to $5,000 in grants and up to $15,000 in loans for working capital.

Over 1,200 evictions were filed this month in RI, however, that number is down from the average for this time last year.

Plans are being made by local orchards for distanced apple picking.

RI Governor’s address

Every day this week the Governor will have 15 minute addresses, most specifically on schools.  Today was billed as “testing”.

Every state is struggling. No one has been here before. RI continues to lead the way.

6 months ago today we reported our first case in RI.


Good news story – 3,500+ tests; Percent positive: 1.5%. 53 new cases. 81 hospitalized, 8 ICUs, 5 on ventilators, 2 deaths (1 in 60s, 1 in 70s).

Recap yesterday’s announcements:

Every district, except Prov & CF can return to full, in-person school, all students. “We expect districts will provide in-person, in-school, high quality education for every student.” – we expect there will be a gradual ramp-up until Oct. 13th. By Oct. 13th, every child will be in school every day.

Prov & CF – partial in-person start – reassess in one month


RI has run more test per capita than any other state in US – we’ve run 530,000 tests – more than ½ population. Average turnaround time is about 2 days.

Creating a separate testing structure for K-12 and staff of all public/private schools. Daily capacity to run 4,000 PCR tests with results in 48 hours. 1,200 rapid tests w/results within minutes.

If student/staff feels sick you cannot go to school; stay home and schedule COVID test for that day – call dedicated hotline – also call own physician for “best care” You’ll be scheduled for an appt at one of 12 dedicated sites. Prov, Lincoln, Cranston, Pawt, Westerly, Newport, Richmond, Smithfield, Warwick, Woonsocket, West Warwick, East Providence, North Kingstown, with more to come. 2 types of tests – PCR & Rapid Test. PCR takes 2 days. Rapid Test is immediate. While waiting for results you have to stay home. If test if negative, you can return to school as long as you are fever free for 24 hours. If positive, follow CDC guidelines – improving symptoms, 10 days after first symptom, fever free.

Tomorrow: Contact Tracing, quarantining if there is a positive case. Preventing outbreaks.

Sickness at school – student or teacher. Normally you would tough it out and get through the day – this year, different. Let teacher know – will be sent home. Dedicated isolation room. Wait there, until they can get home – then schedule test.

Asymptomatic populations – teachers and students who have had close contacts to positive case. Required to do distance learning, and testing required. If no symptoms, just PCR test.

Dr. Scott: Symptom review – cases can be considered probable with:

One of these symptoms: cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, loss of taste/smell

Two of these symptoms: diarrhea, fever, chills, muscle aches, headache, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, running nose, etc.

The ideal is that schools can do their own testing through their school nurses. But we have this system set up now.


Problem will be panic in a classroom with someone sick, or hearing of someone sick. Parents may want to pull kids out of classroom, or insist on testing because they were in close contact to sick child/teacher. Dr. Scott: the whole country will be facing this.

Critical message: Get your flu vaccine this year.

NEA: Schools not prepared for that many more students coming back, now that parents may feel more confident.

Gov: well, let’s get ready for that. Call us we will help you.

Warwick schools just sent out an email that they are not going back – what do you think?

Gov: “I think it’s terrible” – I would not be surprised if parents sue them. They may risk losing federal money. They just threw in the towel on those children. Advice to Warwick parents: “My heart goes out to the parents – and it really goes out to the kids – missing out on a year could have permanent consequences to these kids.” Parents, call us, we’ll help you figure out your legal recourse.”

School nurses don’t want to be overwhelmed – don’t want to overly burden them by having them responsible for testing. We may, however, get there.

Coronavirus spurs entrepreneurialism…

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