Your Coronavirus Update – Today, September 4, 2020

Photo: Edibly Rhody – Pt. Judith docks


Macy’s posting a $400M loss

Moo Inc. produced the first recyclable, 1-time use face covering.

A COVID-19 vaccine could be available earlier than expected if ongoing clinical trials produce overwhelmingly positive results, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease official

Amnesty International says more than 7,000 healthcare workers have died from coronavirus throughout the world.

Mount Sinai has identified drugs that could prevent COVID-19 replication. This effort focused on inhibiting viral uptake of SARS-CoV-2 in the first place, rather than inhibiting infection.

The federal government plans to ship rapid coronavirus tests to assisted-living facilities, moving to fill a testing gap for older adults who don’t need the constant attention of a nursing home.

Partners Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline started a first clinical trial for their Covid-19 vaccine candidate, trailing a handful of rivals but bringing decades of experience to the process.

France is investing $118 billion in creating jobs, saving struggling businesses and addressing the worst economic slump since World War II. The massive plan seeks to bring back manufacturing of medical supplies to French factories, develop hydrogen energy, help museums and the cinema industry, train young people for 21st century jobs and and hire more staff at unemployment offices.

The chairman and CEO of Pfizer said Thursday the company may have an effective coronavirus vaccine by the end of October.

The Maine wedding that led to an outbreak and two deaths now has 144 traced positive cases.

Disney officials have said they’re ready to reopen the Florida and California’s theme parks, including Universal Studios Hollywood, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Legoland California and Knott’s Berry Farm.

The South Dakota motorcycle rally of 400,000 has resulted in one death and 50 traced positive cases so far, statistically 0.0125% infection rate.

Empty hotels are a large asset to Boston universities in need of quarantine housing.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer suggested Canadians take to avoid their risk: Wearing a mask if they do have sex and avoiding kissing.

More than 1,000 students at the University of South Carolina have tested positive forCOVID-19, according to the university’s dashboard. But President Robert Caslen onWednesday said he has no plans of shutting down the school.

The US will have $62M to redirect to other COVID19 causes – this is from the money that would have been paid to the WHO.


Dr. Ashish Jha, a leading expert in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, is the new dean of the Brown School of Public Health.

While the best estimates project that about 14% of the United States population has been infected (and a bit higher proportion of people in Rhode Island, 16.2%), this is far from the 50-70% of population infected to reach herd immunity. Most Americans are still vulnerable to this disease and reaching herd immunity is highly unlikely. Further, it is also clear that many Americans will forgo getting vaccinated. And, it will take many months after a vaccine has been found to be safe and effective for it to be widely available. We should not expect widespread deployment of a safe and effective vaccine until the second quarter of 2021, maybe later.

U.S. jobless claims fall to 881,000, though layoffs remain elevated nearly 6 months after virus struck hard.

Jeopardy will return this fall – with a newly designed set due to coronavirus.

Cumberland decides to go with all virtual learning with exception of special ed, kindergarten, and special needs.

Providence City Council will consider several changes in its school programming.

Rep. Blake Filippi announced new legislation to assist parents with education options in RI, including ESAs, and public school choice.

Higher Ground Food Pantry in Providence has grown to 4 city blocks, from 1200 cars a day every other Thursday to more than 1500 in the past 3 weeks. The food pantry only runs for 3 more weeks. Donations can be made through a link on NBC10’s website.

Nearly 150 arts and cultural organizations are sharing in $815,000 worth of grants from Boston’s Arts and Culture COVID-19 Fund.

The CVS Health Charity Classic plans to hold virtual events in 2020 to help raise support nonprofits in Southern New England. The virtual events will include a silent auction, donation opportunities, and a Crave RI event for the culinary community, according to a release. The Crave RI event will take place for seven days, organizers say.

More businesses out of compliance:

TVLRI Vaporizer Store, Providence 

Sophie’s Salon, Providence   

A to Z Liquors, Providence   

Debbie’s Breakfast Place, Woonsocket

Restaurante Montecristo, Central Falls

Portside Tavern, Bristol

Omar’s Barbershop, Cranston

The Remnant Shop, Hope Valley

Smokehouse Gas Station, Tiverton

Metro PCS, East Providence 

Merrill Lounge, East Providence

RI Data:

4 Deaths; banner day for tests with over 8,000; percent positive less than 1%

By community:


A day back at school

Wake up. How do we feel. Use your downloaded Crush Covid app. It will give you a push message every day to check your symptoms. Symptom free, go ahead to school.

Transportation will have buses very reduced. Hand sanitizer and assigned seats will be available. Windows will be open. Bus stop will look different. Smithfield: walk zones for those close to schools. Health screening before getting on the bus. In CF: temperature check. Drop off and pick up will look different – consult individual school. Chariho: buses have different drop off locations to prevent crowding. Most schools will have different systems than last year. Must prevent overcrowding.

Health checks: temperature checks, screenings, etc. Extra masks available.

Cranston: grab and go breakfasts.

Classroom: assigned seat, with open windows, fans, etc. Jamestown: signage on furniture and decals on floor. Classes, lunch, etc. may be outside. Little Compton: multiple designated outdoor learning spaces, including tents.

Lunch: most will eat in classroom with stable group. 30 people. Scituate: lunches will be delivered. Foster/Glocester & Barrington – will eat outdoors.

Recess: There will be recess. Woonsocket: wash hands before and after recess. May have their own play equipment for their specific group. Bristol/Warren, plans for all sanitizing of equipment. Scheduled use of parts of school yard.

Pickup procedures: Staggered, separate entrances.

Sept. 14 – 1st day of school, except for Prov/CF. Schools will ramp up gradually until Oct. 13th. Not all kids can be in school at once on Sept. 14th.

Next Thursday’s Facebook Live will answer kids questions

Unemployment: $900 will be sent out next week

Dr. McDonald:

Kids will have a hard time seeing friends after a long time. They also won’t know what 6 feet looks like – start to illustrate what that distance looks like. Pack kids an extra mask – and leave one in school. Send kids with hand sanitizer. Teach them when they touch something someone else touched, use the hand sanitizer. Let kids talk about how they feel. Ask them how the day went when they come home. Clean surfaces often – doorknobs, TV controls, etc. Role model for your children. Wash hands “with purpose”. Open windows as much as possible. Throw the mask away and switch it out if it is disposable – wash those that need to be washed.

Dr. McDonald shows pencils, erasers and crayons and encourages us to have fun – we must learn to live differently during this pandemic. Teach children how to live differently and to have fun with life.


Q: How much of these preparations are for short term or for long term?

A: We are thinking about flu season. We are thinking about outdoor use and windows as much as possible – while we still can. Some schools are placing orders now for air filtration systems for when winter comes. Renting trailers/trucks for when you can’t use outside. CARES Act applications.

Q: As you highlight cities that are doing well, do you think that this is contentious to point out cities that aren’t doing well?

A: I don’t have authority to overrule schools and committees. We are enabling schools to reopen and reinforcing good behavior of some schools by role modeling. Parents do have certain rights, esp those who have IEPs and they will be fighting for their rights.

Q: 15 gathering limit but now teachers and kids will be in much larger gatherings.

A: RIDOH studied this. It’s a consistent group, they establish rules, there is direction (teacher), we can keep track of them. Different than social gatherings where we may not know each other well, and they may not enforce the rules.

Q: Positivity rate is based on total test count – less than 1% is based on huge group tested.

A: It is confusing. But the absolute percentages and numbers are indicative of good results.

Q: Massachusetts travel number changed? Is RI still “hot”?

A: Test we are failing is the # of cases per week – we’re finding more because we are testing more. Good strategy is not to test less. We have not yet prevailed upon MA to change their rules.

Q: For parents who do distance learning, is there a way for a teacher to meet their students?

A: Dr. Green – this is why transition grades are so important. We’ve talked with schools about that. Should teachers be communicating with students/parents beforehand? Absolutely.

Q: The girl who was attacked in Providence was assisted by a teacher in reporting. It seems cruel that students will be denied that now.

A:  Acknowledges this.

Q: When will we see antibody test as a blood test? When will it be routinely part of a physical?

A: Dr. McDonald: More antigen testing should be coming out – nasal swab. As well as more rapid testing – Some day it will be like a rapid strep test. Blood work, IGG immunoglobulin testing is happening now, but does it predict long term immunity. We will see more serology testing in the future. “Herd immunity” is way ahead of itself.

Q: Case #s are astonishingly low – why not ease up on some of the orders?

A: Gov: If we relax things, we will be in trouble again. Everything we do is a judgement call, striking a balance.

Q: Do you think in the next 2 years we will have a vaccine and can fully open?

A:  Yes, by this time next year.

Governor’s announcements today at 1pm

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