5 Major Coronavirus Developments - RI’s Conflicting Policies, Pfizer Vaccine, Are Outside Tents Safe

Monday, November 09, 2020


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Raimondo rolls back some restriction while implementing new ones

The numbers in Rhode Island continue to grow and the state now has record cases of the coronavirus, despite mild fall weather.

Governor Gina Raimondo issued a number of new “strategic” regulations that took effect on Sunday. And she rolled back other regulations -- a dizzying array of conflicting strategies.

Regulations, the former Rhode Island Health Director Dr. Michael Fine says, are “too little, too late.”



The biggest news may be an announcement by Pfizer on its vaccine efficacy — READ BELOW.

The Raimondo restrictions include number of steps, but she has refused to enforce restrictions like mask wearing.


Since the spring of this year when mask restrictions were put into place, no one has been issued a citation for failing to wear a mask according to Rhode Island State Police Col. James Manni.


Effective Sunday:

1. A stay-at-home advisory is in effect from 10pm-5am on weeknights, and 10:30pm-5am on Fridays and Saturdays. 


2. Also effective today, all restaurants, bars, gyms, recreational facilities (such as casinos, bowling alleys, and museums), and personal services must close at 10pm on weeknights, and 10:30pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Restaurants can continue to offer takeout and drive-through after that time.


3. State is lowering the capacity limit for indoor events and venues of assembly to 50%, with a maximum of 125 people. For outdoors, the limit will be 66%, with a maximum of 150 people. 


4. It is reducing the limit for catered events to 25 indoors and 75 outdoors.


5. It is reducing the capacity limit at malls and big box stores – retailers with more than 30,000 sq. ft. of space – back to the Phase 2 limit of 1 person per 150 sq. ft. 


6. In addition to working from home when possible, "we’re asking businesses to postpone or cancel nonessential work-related travel. "


7. It is updating the masking guidance to require masks at all times with "anyone you don’t live with." 


The numbers in Rhode Island continue to grow and the state now has record cases of the coronavirus, despite mild fall weather.

Governor Gina Raimondo issued a number of new “strategic” regulations that took effect on Sunday. And she rolled back other regulations -- a dizzying array of conflicting strategies.


Related Slideshow: 5 Major Coronavirus Developments —  November 9, 2020

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RI's Failed Contact Tracing Program

Rhode Island only has a fraction of the contact tracers it needs to address the growing infection. 

Covid Act Now writes:


With 501 new daily cases on average, Rhode Island needs an estimated 2,505 contact tracers on staff to trace each new case to a known case within 48 hours of detection.

Per our best available data, Rhode Island has 200 contact tracers, fulfilling only 8% of this staffing requirement. With insufficient contact tracing staff, Rhode Island is unlikely to be able to successfully identify and isolate sources of disease spread fast enough to prevent new outbreaks.

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Pfizer Reporting Success

The New York Times is reporting that Pfizer announced on early Monday "that an early analysis of its coronavirus vaccine trial suggested the vaccine was robustly effective in preventing Covid-19, a promising development as the world has waited anxiously for any positive news about a pandemic that has killed more than 1.2 million people."

"Pfizer, which developed the vaccine with the German drugmaker BioNTech, released only sparse details from its clinical trial, based on the first formal review of the data by an outside panel of experts," reported the NY Times.

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National Numbers Surging

The number of cases across the United States are running rampant -- a surge of new cases revealed a, de facto, snowball effect.

It took only 10 days for the country to increase from 9 million cases to what is expected to 10 million cases on Monday.

By comparison, it took more than three months for the country to go from no cases to 1 million in late April.

Public health officials reacted with dire warnings.

“Down this current path lies [a] continued rapid rise in cases,” Tom Inglesby, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, tweeted.

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Are Outdoor Enclosed Dining Tents Safe?

"Outdoor dining has raised worries among public health and medical experts who warn that it can create a false sense of security that it is inherently safer than being inside," reports the New York Times.

“You’re actually creating an environment where the virus is within the enclosure,” said Dr. Abraar Karan, a doctor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School who has treated Covid-19 patients and prefers dining at tables out in the open.

"If customers wind up in completely enclosed spaces, the benefits of being outdoors, like increased airflow, would be lost, and the virus could spread more easily from infected people, through droplets and aerosols, especially if they were not wearing masks," according to the Times.

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Out of Work, Out of School for 24-Days, Says Raimondo Administration

According to the Rhode Island Department of Health, those testing positive must notify their school or employer that they will be out for 24 days.

"Call the employers and schools of everyone in the house to let them know people will not be at work or school. Plan on 24 days home for everyone living in the house. (This is because symptoms can develop up to 14 days after your last exposure.) RIDOH will give you the exact dates when they call. Watch for symptoms of COVID-19 in everyone living with you," writes the RIDOH in an announcement on Monday.


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