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Your Coronavirus Update – Today, Sept. 5, 2020

Photo: Fall Football “may” be moved to Fall2 (Spring) as Governor’s announcement and RI Interscholastic League differ, somewhat – see below.

NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL

FedEx to hire 70,000 workers

Sanofi and GSK begin vaccine trials

Dr. Fauci warned 7 states as we go into Labor Day because of an uptick in percent positives: North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Arkansas, Missouri, Indiana, Illinois.

1.4Million jobs added in August – unemployment down 8.4%

The FBI raids 2 nursing homes in Pennsylvania for neglect

1 in 10 families are now home schooling their children, double the usual average

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns people who are reopening buildings to watch out for potential hazards like mold and Legionella pneumophila, the bacterium that causes Legionnaires’ disease.

Portugal has reactivating their “state of contingency” to control the COVID19 virus.

Mental health therapists’ caseloads are bulging. Waiting lists for appointments are growing. And anxiety and depression are rising among Americans amid the coronavirus crisis, research suggests.

Days after filming resumed on “The Batman,” production shut down again after its star, Robert Pattinson, tested positive for the coronavirus.

63.6% of New York restaurants said they are likely to close by the end of the year,” the New York State Restaurant Association reports from a survey of 1,042 restaurateurs. “Of those who are likely to close, 54.8% will be forced to shut their doors before November.”

For international travelers looking to visit Portugal, or who have booked a trip that’s still under way, there is a new travel insurance program providing COVID-19-related coverage. Promoted by RNA Assistance Insurance, a Portuguese travel insurance company, the Portugal Travel Insurance program is said to cover surgical, pharmaceutical and hospital expenses associated with the current pandemic throughout the entire country.  

Northeastern has dismissed 11 first-year students after they were caught partying, violating social distancing rules, the school announced Friday. The students were gathered Wednesday night at the Westin Hotel, which is being used as a temporary dormitory this semester.

RHODE ISLAND & VICINITY

Out of the more than 35,000 RI college students tested, approx.. 30 have tested positive.

Rhode Island House Republicans filed legislation to address the pressing educational challenges brought on by COVID-19.  The Republican plan will: 1) establish Education Savings Accounts (ESAs), which are restricted receipt accounts, funded by tax and CARES Act dollars, but managed by families, to provide additional education tools and home schooling to students in districts without in-person learning; and 2) to provide public school choice to parents of any school that fails to provide in-person learning despite a state determination it is safe to do so.

The Escobar Corn Maze in Portsmouth is open and hay rides will start later this fall – Their theme this year is: “on the 8th day God made a farmer”. Visitors are required to wear masks and observe social distancing. Go to their website for more info… http://escobarfarm.com/the-maze/

More restaurant closures are bound to happen in the coming weeks, says David Dadekian, of Eat Drink RI

Through its Rhode Island Recovers grant program, United Way of Rhode Island announced $600,000 in grants to 41 nonprofits to support their efforts to continue offering services to Rhode Islanders impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The grants ranged between $5,000 and $25,000. Agencies are:

  • A Leadership Journey
  • AIDS Care Ocean State
  • Amos House
  • AS220
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Northern Rhode Island
  • Center for Dynamic Learning
  • Center for Southeast Asians
  • Child & Family
  • Clinica Esperanza/Hope Clinic
  • Community Action Partnership of Providence
  • Direct Action for Rights and Equality
  • Domestic Violence Resource Center of South County
  • Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island
  • DownCity Design
  • Federal Hill House Association
  • Fuerza Laboral – Power of Workers
  • International Charter School
  • Jammat Housing
  • Land and Water Sovereignty Project
  • Lucy’s Hearth
  • Man Up Inc.
  • McAuley Ministries
  • Mt. Hope Learning Center
  • Oasis International
  • Olneyville Neighborhood Association
  • ONE Neighborhood Builders
  • OpenDoors
  • Pawtucket-Central Falls Development
  • Pawtucket Housing Inc.
  • Progreso Latino
  • Reach Out and Read RI
  • Rhode Island Hospitality Education Foundation
  • Rhode Island Institute for Labor Studies and Research
  • San Miguel School
  • Stop Wasting Abandoned Property
  • The Rhode Island Center for Justice
  • Tomaquag Museum
  • Tri-County Community Action Agency
  • Woonsocket Neighborhood Development Corp.
  • Year Up Rhode Island
  • YMCA of Pawtucket

The Wakefield and Newport courts will reopen after Labor Day.

Bristol County Fire Chiefs Association President and Taunton Fire Chief Timothy Bradshaw is pleased to announce that the Association was recently awarded a $180,000 federal grant to be used for the purchase of PPE for fire departments throughout Bristol County. North Attleborough Fire Chief Christopher Coleman and Mansfield Fire Chief Justin Desrosiers applied for and received an Assistance to Firefighters Grant for $181,781 through FEMA for PPE for fire departments throughout Bristol County.

Latest businesses on non-compliance list in RI:

  • TVLRI Vaporizer Store, Providence
  • Sophie’s Salon, Providence
  • Blendz Barber Shop, East Providence
  • A to Z Liquors, Providence
  • Omar’s Barbershop, Cranston
  • Debbie’s Breakfast Place, Woonsocket
  • Restaurante Montecristo, Central Falls
  • Danny’s Bar, Westerly
  • Portside Tavern, Bristol

RI Governor’s address:

RI Data:

Deaths: 0;  8,800 tests; turnaround time less than 2 days; .7% positive rate; 58 new cases.

School Sports

Youth sports are vital; it’s more than playing a game – chance to have a mentor, having friends, learning discipline, fresh air, healthy exercise – keeps them in school working hard.

Worked with RIIL – they have a “can do” attitude. Also, TY to Janet Coit.

(Note: RIIL is noting that NO firm decisions have been made about school sports)

This fall ONLY outdoor school sports. Abbreviated season. Practices as early as 9/21. Competitions 2 weeks later. Wraps up by Thanksgiving.

We hope Middle School will also participate. Guidelines apply to both Middle and High School.

3 Categories of Sports: determined by contact and risk.

Green – cross country & tennis. Can play competitively this fall, no changes

Yellow – soccer, field hockey, sideline cheer. More physical contact, but safe to participate. Outdoors, large fields, limit contacts – some modifications which will be announced – such as disinfecting the ball, penalties for intentional contact, electronic whistles, etc.

Red – football and volleyball – NO sports this fall. Hope for Fall 2 season – in the spring. Four season format to make sports happen. (stay in shape, maybe run cross country).

We are trusting principals, coaches, parents, athletic directors, players, etc. to reinforce these guidelines.

Prov & CF can play sports. Schools on virtual go-back can still play sports. “Not right to punish the kids for the adults unwilling to do the work to get them back in school.” Districts have not decided – just announcing this now.

Labor Day: Good news – weather is great. Bad news – hope that doesn’t encourage large gatherings. Limited to 15 people. We are out in force, particularly watching collee kids – no parties at fraternities, no college bars (past 11pm), etc.

Facial Coverings: Snug fitting masks are safe – face shields are not. Essential indoors and outdoors.

Questions:

Q: Do you expect players to wear masks in the moderate risk categories?

A: Yes, wear masks.

Q: Any potential for rugby?

A: No, probably not this fall and maybe not this spring

Q:  At professional level, they have operated “in the bubble” – it’s not the game itself, it’s the showering, living, celebrating, locker room – how do you control that?

A:  We will have to be vigilant – busing, showering, changing, mask wearing, etc.

Q: Will constant testing be available?

A: We do not have testing separate for kids who play sports. This isn’t the NFL, we don’t have that kind of money.

Q: What about attendees?

A: It will be monitored. Spectators no more than 2 per athlete. Spectators masked and 6 ft. apart – no more than 250 rule.

Q: Walk-throughs – how many?

A: 57% – and all will be completed by end of the week.

Q: Push back from people over Gov’s choice of words “adults doing the hard work” – why do you feel it’s necessary that you push back on them for not doing the best they can?

A:  We agree that it is really hard, but sees that some districts have more of a can-do attitude, and they are making it happen. Disappointed in some districts. Going to have depression, suicides, etc. through the roof and it’s an issue of equity because the poorest and most in need will suffer. The kids need an advocate and I’m speaking up on their behalf.

Q: RIDE has denied media to go on walk-throughs.

A: “We decided not” – they are working consultations.

Q: CT and MA announced they would play girls’ volleyball – why not RI?

A: Just our judgement call.

Q: Funding for sole proprietors, etc. for small businesses – any available?

A:  I think there will be additional funds available. $50M and $5M has been dispersed. Expanding rules to include sold proprietors – within the next month. Congress at end of Sept. will pass a stimulus bill.

Q: Does sports as a whole because of competition with other teams go against the basic rule in RI that we will have a stable cohort of kids?

A:  This is a trial with weighing risk against benefit.

Letter from the RI Interscholastic League regarding sports changes this year – posted after the Governor’s press conference:

RIIL announces the Fall sports schedule remains FLUID – and no decisions have been made as of this time…this is a press conference held right after Gov. Raimondo’s press conference:

RI Interscholastic League “I Mask Up” Video…

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