Rhode Island State News http://feed.informer.com/digests/EQKSTSKZ19/feeder Rhode Island State News Respective post owners and feed distributors Sat, 12 Sep 2020 05:10:10 +0000 Feed Informer http://feed.informer.com/ AG Neronha: 'I'm not here to be a cheerleader' for hospital mega-deal https://www.wpri.com/business-news/ag-neronha-im-not-here-to-be-a-cheerleader-for-hospital-mega-deal/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:6596c837-5240-6e07-da28-26ec90061d5a Thu, 25 Feb 2021 00:37:57 +0000 The proposal to combine Lifespan and Care New England must win approval from the attorney general, along with the Department of Health and the Federal Trade Commission. <p>PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) -- Attorney General Peter Neronha signaled Wednesday his office plans to do a thorough review of the newly announced proposal to create an academic health system that would bring together Rhode Island's biggest hospitals.</p> <p>The state's two biggest hospital groups, Lifespan and Care New England, announced Tuesday they <a href="https://www.wpri.com/business-news/ri-hospital-groups-lifespan-cne-sign-merger-deal-brown-u-commits-125m/">have signed a deal to merge</a> after months of negotiations and the failure of three previous attempts. Brown University plans to invest at least $125 million in the new health system on behalf of its medical school.</p> <p>Neronha's office is one of three government agencies that will need to sign off on the plan, along with the R.I. Department of Health and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. Executives at the three organization told 12 News they want the deal done by the end of the year.</p> <p>"I’m one of the regulators who will be evaluating that transaction, so in that role I'm not here to be a cheerleader for it," Neronha told 12 News.</p> <p>"My job is to analyze it and to make sure that it meets the criteria that it needs to meet for us to approve it -- or approve it with conditions, or ultimately not approve it, if that's what is best for Rhode Islanders," he said.</p> <p>Lifespan is owner of Rhode Island, Miriam, Newport and Bradley hospitals, while Care New England owns Women &amp; Infants, Kent and Butler. Together they are two of the state’s largest employers, with roughly 23,000 workers, and take in billions of dollars in revenue a year. Brown operates Rhode Island's only medical school.</p> <p>Lifespan President and CEO Dr. Tim Babineau argues the merger will benefit patients in addition to spurring economic development.</p> <p>"Quality will go up," Babineau said in a video released Tuesday. "The care they receive will be even better than it is today, and it's pretty darn good today."</p> <p>Neronha said the effect on patients will be front of mind for him, examining whether the deal will lead to "quality, accessible, affordable health care."</p> <p>"The question for me will be, using those broad principles, will this transaction achieve it, or won't it?" he said. "And exactly what is it about this transaction, what steps do we need to take, to ensure that if it is approved, that the conditions around that transaction are such that we can achieve those three broad purposes."</p> <p>Babineau said Tuesday the hospitals expect to file the required paperwork in the coming weeks and hope the process will be done "effectively," though he also stressed they are "very cognizant not to get ahead of the regulators."</p> <p>The attorney general did not offer a timeline for how long he expects the regulatory review process to take beyond saying it would take place "over the next several months."</p> <p>"There's going to be a lot of steps along the way," Neronha said. "There's a lot of information we have to get. There will be a chance for a lot of input from the people, people who are concerned about this transaction."</p> <p>He added, "Obviously, it's an important issue, but we've got to make sure that we get it right."</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <p><em><strong>Ted Nesi</strong> (<a href="mailto:tnesi@wpri.com">tnesi@wpri.com</a>) is a Target 12 investigative reporter and 12 News politics/business editor. He co-hosts <a href="https://www.wpri.com/news/newsmakers/">Newsmakers</a> and writes <a href="https://www.wpri.com/tag/nesis-notes/">Nesi's Notes</a> on Saturdays. Follow him on <a href="https://twitter.com/tednesi">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/TedNesi/">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://www.instagram.com/tnesi/?hl=en">Instagram</a></em></p> </div> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <p><strong><em>Tim White</em></strong><em> (<a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="mailto:twhite@wpri.com" target="_blank">twhite@wpri.com</a>) is the <a href="http://www.wpri.com/subindex/target_12">Target 12</a> managing editor and chief investigative reporter at 12 News, and the host of <a href="https://www.wpri.com/news/newsmakers">Newsmakers</a>. Follow him on <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="http://twitter.com/#!/TimWhiteRI" target="_blank">Twitter</a> and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/TimWhiteWPRI/">Facebook</a></em></p> </div> <p><em>Gina Marini contributed to this report.</em></p> Police: Newport man pried plaques off graves in Middletown cemetery https://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/east-bay/police-newport-man-pried-plaques-off-graves-in-middletown-cemetery/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:cd2f410f-a5ac-0912-efcd-44a869d18610 Thu, 25 Feb 2021 00:05:37 +0000 A 32-year-old man was arrested and charged with vandalizing several graves at the Newport Memorial Park earlier this month, according to police. <p>MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — A 32-year-old man was arrested and charged with vandalizing several graves at the Newport Memorial Park earlier this month, according to Middletown Police Captain Jason Ryan.</p> <p>Ryan said they received a call from the cemetery on Feb. 6 regarding the vandalism, which was first discovered by Pete Souza, a former forensics detective who was visiting his uncle's grave at the cemetery.</p> <p>He said while walking through the cemetery, he noticed several of the plaques marking the graves had been pried from the ground.</p> <p>"My instincts said something is amiss here," he recalled.</p> <p>The investigation led detectives to a scrap yard in Westport, where someone had attempted to sell the plaques.</p> <p>Police ultimately traced it all back to Kendall Maloney, a Newport resident who used to be a grounds keeper for the cemetery until he was let go last summer.</p> <p>Maloney was charged with breaking and entering, larceny and the removal of marks on veterans' graves.</p> <p>Ryan said several of the stolen plaques have since been recovered, though the incident remains under investigation.</p> <p>12 News reached out to the cemetery but they refused to comment.</p> Special season for two St. Andrew's players https://www.wpri.com/sports/high-school/special-season-for-two-st-andrews-players/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:9d4c1357-c4d4-2d90-41d8-d8e47eaca150 Wed, 24 Feb 2021 23:48:38 +0000 Barrington, RI (WPRI) - In a season that almost didn't happen, St. Andrew's senior basketball players and best friends Matt Constant and Dylan Ahearn shared a unique moment when they both passed the 1-thousand point mark in the same game, leaving their legacy on the Saints program. "To score a one-thousandth point with my best [...] <p>Barrington, RI (WPRI) - In a season that almost didn't happen, St. Andrew's senior basketball players and best friends Matt Constant and Dylan Ahearn shared a unique moment when they both passed the 1-thousand point mark in the same game, leaving their legacy on the Saints program.</p> <p>"To score a one-thousandth point with my best friend of four years, we can in as Freshman and to see other players accomplish that goal has been a big achievement for us," said Constant.</p> <p>"It's been awesome. I played with a lot of great players, learned a lot and definitely improved my game so much," said Ahearn. </p> <div class='s2nFriendlyFrame k k-KFlm7TyP' data-type='float'></div><script type='text/javascript' src='https://embed.sendtonews.com/player4/embedcode.js?fk=KFlm7TyP&cid=9364&offsety=140&floatwidth=400&floatposition=top-right' data-type='s2nScript'></script> <p>"Just being here and living on campus has been awesome too," state Ahearn.</p> <p>Both players hope to play at the next level but like all high school players, have to deal with the challenges of recruitment during a pandemic. </p> <pre class="wp-block-code"><code> </code></pre> AG Neronha: 'I'm not here to be a cheerleader for hospital mega-deal https://www.wpri.com/business-news/ag-neronha-im-not-here-to-be-a-cheerleader-for-hospital-mega-deal/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:9d450485-a6f9-1587-b5b4-4fdbd768b0e3 Wed, 24 Feb 2021 23:44:52 +0000 The proposal to combine Lifespan and Care New England must win approval from the attorney general, along with the Department of Health and the Federal Trade Commission. <p>PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) -- Attorney General Peter Neronha signaled Wednesday his office plans to do a thorough review of the newly announced proposal to create an academic health system that would bring together Rhode Island's biggest hospitals.</p> <p>The state's two biggest hospital groups, Lifespan and Care New England, announced Tuesday they <a href="https://www.wpri.com/business-news/ri-hospital-groups-lifespan-cne-sign-merger-deal-brown-u-commits-125m/">have signed a deal to merge</a> after months of negotiations and the failure of three previous attempts. Brown University plans to invest at least $125 million in the new health system on behalf of its medical school.</p> <p>Neronha's office is one of three government agencies that will need to sign off on the plan, along with the R.I. Department of Health and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. Executives at the three organization told 12 News they want the deal done by the end of the year.</p> <p>"I’m one of the regulators who will be evaluating that transaction, so in that role I'm not here to be a cheerleader for it," Neronha told 12 News.</p> <p>"My job is to analyze it and to make sure that it meets the criteria that it needs to meet for us to approve it -- or approve it with conditions, or ultimately not approve it, if that's what is best for Rhode Islanders," he said.</p> <p>Lifespan is owner of Rhode Island, Miriam, Newport and Bradley hospitals, while Care New England owns Women &amp; Infants, Kent and Butler. Together they are two of the state’s largest employers, with roughly 23,000 workers, and take in billions of dollars in revenue a year. Brown operates Rhode Island's only medical school.</p> <p>Lifespan President and CEO Dr. Tim Babineau argues the merger will benefit patients in addition to spurring economic development.</p> <p>"Quality will go up," Babineau said in a video released Tuesday. "The care they receive will be even better than it is today, and it's pretty darn good today."</p> <p>Neronha said the effect on patients will be front of mind for him, examining whether the deal will lead to "quality, accessible, affordable health care."</p> <p>"The question for me will be, using those broad principles, will this transaction achieve it, or won't it?" he said. "And exactly what is it about this transaction, what steps do we need to take, to ensure that if it is approved, that the conditions around that transaction are such that we can achieve those three broad purposes."</p> <p>Babineau said Tuesday the hospitals expect to file the required paperwork in the coming weeks and hope the process will be done "effectively," though he also stressed they are "very cognizant not to get ahead of the regulators."</p> <p>The attorney general did not offer a timeline for how long he expects the regulatory review process to take beyond saying it would take place "over the next several months."</p> <p>"There's going to be a lot of steps along the way," Neronha said. "There's a lot of information we have to get. There will be a chance for a lot of input from the people, people who are concerned about this transaction."</p> <p>He added, "Obviously, it's an important issue, but we've got to make sure that we get it right."</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <p><em><strong>Ted Nesi</strong> (<a href="mailto:tnesi@wpri.com">tnesi@wpri.com</a>) is a Target 12 investigative reporter and 12 News politics/business editor. He co-hosts <a href="https://www.wpri.com/news/newsmakers/">Newsmakers</a> and writes <a href="https://www.wpri.com/tag/nesis-notes/">Nesi's Notes</a> on Saturdays. Follow him on <a href="https://twitter.com/tednesi">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/TedNesi/">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://www.instagram.com/tnesi/?hl=en">Instagram</a></em></p> </div> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <p><strong><em>Tim White</em></strong><em> (<a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="mailto:twhite@wpri.com" target="_blank">twhite@wpri.com</a>) is the <a href="http://www.wpri.com/subindex/target_12">Target 12</a> managing editor and chief investigative reporter at 12 News, and the host of <a href="https://www.wpri.com/news/newsmakers">Newsmakers</a>. Follow him on <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="http://twitter.com/#!/TimWhiteRI" target="_blank">Twitter</a> and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/TimWhiteWPRI/">Facebook</a></em></p> </div> <p><em>Gina Marini contributed to this report.</em></p> 'Things look much better': Field hospital director optimistic there won't be another surge https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/covid-19-one-year-later/things-look-much-better-field-hospital-director-optimistic-there-wont-be-another-surge/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:0989a533-6aeb-7072-abe7-18eaf00dff41 Wed, 24 Feb 2021 23:14:57 +0000 With Rhode Island's field hospitals set to close in the coming weeks, Medical Director of Lifespan's Field Hospital at the Convention Center in Providence Dr. Selim Suner spoke with 12 News at 4 on the state's current coronavirus situation. <p><em>As we approach one year since COVID-19 arrived in Rhode Island, 12 News is bringing you&nbsp;<a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/covid-19-one-year-later/covid-19-one-year-later-heartache-heroes-and-hope/" target="_blank">special reports all this week at 6 a.m. and 5 p.m.</a>&nbsp;They’re stories of heartache, heroes and hope.</em></p> <p>PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — With Rhode Island's field hospitals <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/ri-field-hospitals-to-close-as-new-covid-19-cases-admissions-decline/" target="_blank">set to close in the coming weeks</a>, Medical Director of Lifespan's Field Hospital at the Convention Center in Providence Dr. Selim Suner spoke with 12 News at 4 on the state's current coronavirus situation.</p> <p>Suner previously spoke with 12 News in early December and said <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/a-nightmare-doctors-discuss-stark-reality-of-admitting-covid-patients-to-ri-field-hospitals/" target="_blank">he felt the situation was like a nightmare</a>, but Wednesday he said things are improving. </p> <p>While Suner said we may see another surge, particularly with the emergence of new variants, he's cautiously optimistic. </p> <p>"Today things look much better," he said. "The vaccination rates are increasing rapidly and if we can stay vigilant with mask using and social distancing, I think our chances are good of not having another surge."</p> <p>Suner's son, Kaya, launched a program called <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://nam03.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.covidconnectors.org%2F&amp;data=02%7C01%7CMDaSilva%40wpri.com%7Cc0cd573ec0274b6c674608d7dfbeaafb%7C9e5488e2e83844f6886cc7608242767e%7C0%7C0%7C637223882376092685&amp;sdata=sJmW%2BC8nmTim%2F22dBnsygZn8NOU3NgZyEutDcbG7ksE%3D&amp;reserved=0" target="_blank">COVID Connectors</a> back in April allowing people to donate gently used iPads or iPhones to hospitalized patients who were barred from having visitors at the time. </p> <p>"Them having the devices to connect to their family and loved ones was crucial," Suner said.</p> <p><strong><em>Watch the full conversation in the video above. </em></strong></p> 'It was very scary': Local health care workers say past year changed their lives forever https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/covid-19-one-year-later/it-was-very-scary-local-health-care-workers-say-past-year-changed-their-lives-forever/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:cfb8a127-7f2e-6c9c-6793-561a38fab2bb Wed, 24 Feb 2021 22:16:55 +0000 For health care workers, there's been no reprieve from the virus that's been dominating the headlines and our lives for the past year. <p><em>As we approach one year since COVID-19 arrived in Rhode Island, 12 News is bringing you&nbsp;<a href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/covid-19-one-year-later/covid-19-one-year-later-heartache-heroes-and-hope/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">special reports all this week at 6 a.m. and 5 p.m.</a>&nbsp;They’re stories of heartache, heroes and hope.</em></p> <p>PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — For health care workers, there's been no reprieve from the virus that's been dominating the headlines and our lives for the past year.</p> <p>Dr. Vince Varamo is a physician at Kent Hospital's Emergency Room and the Care New England Field Hospital in Cranston.</p> <p>"You don't even get to go to work and forget about it for a little bit, because you go to work to take care of it," Varamo said.</p> <p>Varamo recalled one night this past spring where the influx of sick patients was staggering and heartbreaking.</p> <p>"Within 15 minutes, 10 minutes, you realize you're going to have to put this patient on a ventilator, and there's no family that can be in the room with them at this time," Varamo recalled.</p> <p>"That was just the beginning of that shift," he continued. "After seeing several more people during the course of that shift, that was a particularly rough day."</p> <p>Westerly Hospital Lab Manager Kerry Kempke is working behind-the-scenes to determine which patients have the virus, and in her 22 years in the field, she tells 12 News she's never seen anything like it.</p> <p>"We were definitely frontlines, but in the background," she said. "This definitely puts into perspective why we do what we do. You always hear about this stuff, you hear about the possibility, you hear it on the news, but you never think it's going to happen."</p> <p>Kempke recalled one night where they were flooded with 500 tests. It was an overwhelming task for her crew that came well after they had identified their first positive case.</p> <p>"It was scary that, all of a sudden, it was here and that's how we knew it was here," she said. "It was very scary, and I know I was scared, and I know my staff was scared, and I said 'You know, we just have to do what we have to do, this is what we do and we're going to be OK.'"</p> <p>Fear, Kempke said, is something she tries to keep out of her mind. But Varamo said it's important for people to remember health care workers are human too.</p> <p>"It is mentally draining, but trying to get through this together is essentially what some of us -- we go to work and that's one of the things we look for the most is that camaraderie," he said. "You feel like after you go through a lot of this, you feel like you can take care of anything after this point."</p> <p>Kempke shared the good news that earlier this month they had their first day in a long time where they identified no positive cases. She said it's not a sign that we're out of the woods, but it was still a cause for celebration at the lab.</p> Woman arrested after crashing stolen car in Richmond https://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/south-county/woman-arrested-after-crashing-stolen-car-in-richmond/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:cc67ea6c-dd9a-1dbb-d81a-9b2781ed5dc7 Wed, 24 Feb 2021 20:52:55 +0000 A North Providence woman was arrested Sunday after she crashed a stolen car into a tree while intoxicated, according to police. <p>RICHMOND, R.I. (WPRI) — A North Providence woman was arrested Sunday evening after she crashed a stolen car into a tree while intoxicated, according to the Richmond Police Department.</p> <p>Police responded to KG Ranch Road after a caller reported that someone had crashed their car into a tree before driving off.</p> <p>Officers found the vehicle parked on the front lawn of a nearby residence with Emilia Martinelli, 34, in the driver's seat.</p> <p>Police said Martinelli showed signs of impairment and was subsequently arrested.</p> <p>Investigators later learned the vehicle Martinelli was driving was reported stolen out of North Providence on Feb. 20.</p> <p>Martinelli is charged with one felony count of possessing a stolen motor vehicle and a misdemeanor count of driving under the influence.</p> <p>She was arraigned as a bail violator Monday on a previous breaking and entering charge.</p> <p>Martintelli is currently being held without bail at the ACI in Cranston pending her next court date on April 16.</p> Dartmouth mass vaccination site causing community clinics to close, health director says https://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/se-mass/dartmouth-mass-vaccination-site-causing-community-clinics-to-close-health-director-says/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:69e5a390-433c-8f22-755f-2bd7aa92c864 Wed, 24 Feb 2021 20:13:48 +0000 Michaud said he is being bombarded with phone calls from concerned residents who got their first dose at the high school and were rescheduled for a second one. <p>DARTMOUTH, Mass. (WPRI) — While <a href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/new-mass-vaccination-site-set-to-open-in-dartmouth/">a new mass vaccination site opened in Dartmouth</a> Wednesday, nearby community vaccine clinics will reportedly have to close due to their doses being reallocated.</p> <p>Dartmouth High School has been holding their own clinics for members of the community, but those will now have to stop, according to Dartmouth Public Health Director Christopher Michaud.</p> <p>Michaud credits the town's collaboration with Westport, UMass Dartmouth and even Cuttyhunk for the ability to vaccinate thousands of eligible residents across Bristol County and beyond during just a couple of vaccine clinics.</p> <p>"We vaccinated 2,000 people in two days," he said.</p> <h2 class="has-text-align-center"><a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://vaxfinder.mass.gov/?page=1" target="_blank">Sign up for a vaccination appointment in Massachusetts here »</a></h2> <p>Michaud said he's confused why the state is instead refocusing efforts on just one mass vaccination site in the area.</p> <p>"It seems like a lot of these decisions are arbitrary and they're really not in the best interest of the people," he said. "We know what the needs are of the people in Bristol County and we're relying on one site and a few pharmacies. Taking it away from a few cities and towns is taking it away from the elderly."</p> <p>Michaud said he is being bombarded with phone calls from concerned residents who got their first dose at the high school and were scheduled for a second one.</p> <p>He said not to worry, adding that those residents can still show up for their appointment.</p> <p>"The Department of Health has guaranteed us second dose allocations," he said.</p> CVS adds 3 new vaccination sites in RI as distribution efforts increase; 11 more COVID-19 deaths reported https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/february-24-ri-coronavirus-update/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:eec4be70-b976-d9ad-40a7-fabca577a40e Wed, 24 Feb 2021 19:33:31 +0000 The Health Department also reported 375 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday and a 2.3% daily positivity rate. <p>PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Islanders looking to get vaccinated against COVID-19 are gradually getting more options to make an appointment.</p> <p>CVS Health confirmed Wednesday that locations in Providence, Cranston and Pawtucket have been added to the <a href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/map-see-the-new-vaccine-sites-cvs-health-is-adding-in-rhode-island/">growing list of pharmacies</a> where people can go to get a shot. The doses for those clinics are coming from the company's partnership with the federal government, not from the state's regular allotment, a CVS spokesperson told 12 News.</p> <p>Last week, both CVS and Walgreens <a href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/ri-launches-form-for-housebound-residents-seeking-in-home-covid-19-vaccination/">announced plans to increase the number of participating locations</a> after learning their supply of doses would be doubling.</p> <p>CVS has not released specific addresses for the new sites to prevent them from becoming overwhelmed. The spokesperson stressed that walk-in vaccinations will not be allowed; an appointment must be made on <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.cvs.com/" target="_blank">CVS.com</a> or by calling your local pharmacy.</p> <p>Roughly 64,000 people in Rhode Island are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to new data released Wednesday by the R.I. Department of Health, while more than 153,000 are partially vaccinated, having received the first of two doses.</p> <figure class="wp-block-embed-twitter aligncenter wp-block-embed is-type-rich is-provider-twitter"><div class="wp-block-embed__wrapper"> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet tw-align-center" data-width="550" data-dnt="true"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">NEW: Today&#39;s <a href="https://twitter.com/RIHEALTH?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@RIHealth</a> data is out<br><br>• RI averaging 5,000+ vaccinations a day since Weds<br><br>• New cases averaging a bit over 300 a day<br><br>• COVID hospitalizations staying below 200<br><br>• 10-day avg for COIVD deaths down to 3 a day<br><br>Interactive charts here » <a href="https://t.co/uK1NnLusZw">https://t.co/uK1NnLusZw</a> <a href="https://t.co/W0NeLuNl31">pic.twitter.com/W0NeLuNl31</a></p>&mdash; Ted Nesi (@TedNesi) <a href="https://twitter.com/TedNesi/status/1364636905300766724?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 24, 2021</a></blockquote><script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> </div></figure> <p>People 65 and older <a href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/as-eligibility-for-vaccine-appointments-expands-in-ri-adults-65-hitting-roadblocks-in-scheduling/">became eligible to receive the vaccine</a> this week. To sign up for an appointment at one of the state-run clinics, visit <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.vaccinateri.org/" target="_blank">VaccinateRI.org</a> or call (844) 930-1779 for assistance.</p> <p class="has-text-align-center"><strong><a href="https://www.vaccinateri.org/">Schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment »</a> | <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://portal.ri.gov/s/login/?language=en_US&amp;startURL=%2Fgettested%2Fs%2F&amp;ec=302" target="_blank">Sign up for the vaccine notification list »</a></strong></p> <p>Many cities and towns are also <a href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/list-ri-cities-towns-launching-covid-19-vaccine-clinics-for-residents/">setting up their own clinics for eligible residents</a>.</p> <div class="wp-block-image"><figure class="aligncenter size-full"><a href="https://www.wpri.com/12-on-12/12-on-12-vaccine-101/"><img loading="lazy" width="1220" height="200" src="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/12on12_V101_1220x200.jpg" alt="" class="wp-image-802560" srcset="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/12on12_V101_1220x200.jpg 1220w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/12on12_V101_1220x200.jpg?resize=300,49 300w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/12on12_V101_1220x200.jpg?resize=768,126 768w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/12on12_V101_1220x200.jpg?resize=50,8 50w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/12on12_V101_1220x200.jpg?resize=876,143 876w" sizes="(max-width: 899px) 100vw, 876px" /></a><figcaption><a href="https://www.wpri.com/12-on-12/12-on-12-vaccine-101/"><strong>Vaccine 101:</strong> Everything you need to know before getting the shot »</a></figcaption></figure></div> <p>The Health Department also reported 375 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday and a 2.3% daily positivity rate, with more than 16,000 tests administered the previous day.</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <div class="wp-block-columns"> <div class="wp-block-column is-vertically-aligned-top"> <p style="font-size:38px" class="has-text-align-center"><strong>COVID-19 Tracking: <a href="https://www.wpri.com/covid-19-tracking-timeline-maps/">Maps, Charts, Interactive Data »</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="wp-block-column is-vertically-aligned-center"> <div class="wp-block-image"><figure class="alignleft size-large is-resized"><a href="https://www.wpri.com/covid-19-tracking-timeline-maps/"><img loading="lazy" src="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/07/chart-1.jpg" alt="" class="wp-image-526482" width="306" height="222" srcset="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/07/chart-1.jpg 435w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/07/chart-1.jpg?resize=300,218 300w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/07/chart-1.jpg?resize=50,36 50w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/07/chart-1.jpg?resize=306,222 306w" sizes="(max-width: 899px) 100vw, 306px" /></a></figure></div> </div> </div> </div> <p>Additionally, 11 more people in Rhode Island have died after contracting COVID-19.</p> <p>Hospitalizations ticked down to 168, with 32 COVID-19 patients in the intensive care unit and 16 on ventilators.</p> 2 hard-hit cities, 2 diverging fates in vaccine rollout https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/2-hard-hit-cities-2-diverging-fates-in-vaccine-rollout/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:a39aa99d-d1a0-0214-520b-1775d26adda0 Wed, 24 Feb 2021 18:42:54 +0000 Mario Valdez, his wife and their 18-year-old son were fully vaccinated for COVID-19 this month as part of a special effort to inoculate every resident of Central Falls, the Rhode Island community hit hardest by the pandemic. <p>CENTRAL FALLS, R.I. (AP) — Mario Valdez, his wife and their 18-year-old son were fully vaccinated for COVID-19 this month as part of a special effort to inoculate every resident of Central Falls, the Rhode Island community hit hardest by the pandemic.</p> <p>“I feel happy,” the 62-year-old school bus driver said shortly after receiving his second and final dose. “Too many people here have COVID. It’s better to be safe.”</p> <p>Roughly 50 miles (80 kilometers) across the state line is Chelsea, a Massachusetts city that was an early epicenter of the virus. Like Central Falls, it’s a tiny former industrial city that is overwhelmingly Latino. Residents of both cities live in dense rows of triple-decker homes and apartment complexes, providing the workforce for their respective state capitals of Providence and Boston.</p> <p>But the two cities’ fortunes could not be more different during the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.</p> <p>Chelsea high school sophomore Mannix Resto fears that Massachusetts’ slow pace of vaccinations will continue to prevent students from attending classes in person. The 15-year-old says no one in his family has been vaccinated yet as the state focuses on front-line workers and residents who are older or have serious health conditions.</p> <p>“I just want to know how much longer it’s going to last,” Resto said earlier this month while walking with a friend on Broadway, Chelsea’s busy main street. “It’s been a year already. We can’t keep living like this.”</p> <p>Rhode Island began offering vaccinations to elderly Central Falls residents <a href="https://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/blackstone-valley/central-falls-residents-city-leaders-begin-to-receive-covid-19-vaccine/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">in late December</a> and gradually expanded it so that anyone 18 or older who lives or works in the city is now eligible.</p> <p>Nearly a third of adults in the city have received at least one dose of vaccine and about 16% are fully vaccinated, according to <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://ri-department-of-health-covid-19-response-vaccine-data-rihealth.hub.arcgis.com/" target="_blank">state data</a>. Health officials say the city of about 20,000 has seen a marked drop in COVID-19 cases as a result.</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <aside class="promo-link"> <a href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/february-24-ri-coronavirus-update/" class="promo-link__link" target=&quot;_blank&quot; > Related: RI averaging 5K+ vaccinations a day this week </a> </aside> </div> <p>In Massachusetts, meanwhile, public health experts, civil rights groups and immigrant activists have been complaining for months that the state isn't doing nearly enough to make sure Black and Latino residents are inoculated.</p> <p>Under mounting pressure, Gov. Charlie Baker recently <a href="https://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/se-mass/fall-river-new-bedford-to-receive-vaccine-help-through-new-outreach-program/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">announced outreach and public awareness efforts</a> targeted to hard-hit, minority communities, but critics say bolder action is needed to make up for lost ground.</p> <p>White residents have so far received 66% of all doses in the state while Black residents have received about 5% and Latino residents 4%, according to <a href="https://www.mass.gov/doc/weekly-covid-19-vaccination-report-february-18-2021/download" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">state data</a>. Meanwhile, Black and Latino residents are dying from the virus at <a href="https://www.bostonindicators.org/reports/report-website-pages/covid_indicators-x2/2020/december/persisting-covid-disparities" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">three times the rate</a> of whites in the state by some measures, and Chelsea remains one of the state's hardest hit communities, with a COVID-19 positivity rate higher than the state's.</p> <p>“It’s frustrating,” said Gladys Vega, executive director of La Colaborativa, a community nonprofit in Chelsea that’s part of a new statewide coalition calling for greater vaccine equity. “Chelsea has demonstrated over and over again that we support the economy. But we’ve been neglected for decades.”</p> <p>Some states and counties have taken different approaches to ensuring vaccines are fairly distributed to communities of color, but too many government leaders are reluctant to fully embrace the strategies as a necessity, says Dr. Bernadette Boden-Albala, dean of the public health program at the University of California, Irvine.</p> <p>Until hard-hit communities are properly addressed, their residents will continue to spread the infection, ensuring the virus persists, she and other experts say.</p> <p>“If the pandemic is a fire, the vaccination is the water," Boden-Albala said. "You need to bring it to where the fire is burning the most, or you’ll never put it out.”</p> <p>To be sure, Rhode Island and Massachusetts leaders have both faced withering criticism about the slow pace of vaccinations overall in their states. And the vaccine rollout hasn’t been all smooth sailing in Central Falls.</p> <p>Mayor Maria Rivera, <a href="https://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/blackstone-valley/central-falls-elects-rivera-as-first-ever-woman-mayor/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">who took office in January</a>, says the state hasn’t provided additional resources or manpower for the rollout in Central Falls, which went bankrupt during the 2008 recession and emerged from state receivership in 2013.</p> <p>The city’s main vaccination site, held every Saturday at the high school gymnasium, is an almost entirely volunteer operation.</p> <p>Rivera says city volunteers have been going door-to-door registering residents unwilling or unable to sign up for appointments online or by phone. They've also had to reassure residents living in the country illegally that they won’t be targeted by immigrant enforcement officials for seeking a shot, she says.</p> <p>“We just want them to show up,” Rivera says. “We’re not going to turn anyone away.”</p> <p>According to data provided by Rivera’s office this week, nearly 40% of doses have gone to Latinos and 27% to whites at three of the city’s main vaccination sites. Another 23% of vaccine recipients didn't provide their race or ethnicity, and demographic data wasn’t available for other vaccine locations, the office said.</p> <p>Across the state line in Chelsea, Vega's organization has partnered with a community health center to launch a public vaccination site at its office on Broadway.</p> <p>Vega says bringing the site to the city was a hard-fought achievement by local advocates. The only mass vaccination site the state has so far opened in a Boston-area community of color is about 10 miles (16 kilometers) from Chelsea, in Boston’s historically Black Roxbury neighborhood, she and other advocates say.</p> <p>And unlike vaccination sites in Central Falls, Chelsea's sites are limited by Massachusetts' eligibility rules, which only last week expanded to persons 65 or older, as well as people with two or more serious medical conditions.</p> <p>The clinic has vaccinated more than 900 since opening Feb. 4, but the numbers are expected to rise this week as more people in the state now qualify, according to the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, which operates the site.</p> <p>Earlier this month, David Evans was surprised to find he had the clinic mostly to himself as he received his first dose. “That went pretty smoothly,” the 82-year-old Chelsea resident said. "I was preparing for this to be an ordeal after hearing about places where people couldn’t get appointments or they didn’t have shots.”</p> <p>Out on Broadway that same day, the opening of the clinic was largely met with shrugs and indifference, suggesting officials have a long road ahead to win over skeptical residents.</p> <p>“If the government told me I must take the vaccine, then I’d take it. But at the moment, I don’t want it,” said Cesar Osorio, a 30-year-old construction worker washing his clothes at a self-service laundry down the block. “Spanish people, we have our own medicines. We don’t want vaccines.”</p> <p>Central Falls Mayor Maria Rivera is already dreaming of the return of beloved community events, like the city’s summertime salsa nights.</p> <p>She says the city is on pace to inoculate most residents by the summer. “I’m looking forward to the day we don’t have to wear face masks," Rivera said while volunteering recently at the high school site.</p> <p>Resident Mario Valdez has equally modest hopes. Now that he and his family are fully inoculated, they’re making plans to fly to his native Guatemala in July, a trip they make nearly every year to visit relatives.</p> <p>“It’s going to be great,” he said. “We love it down there.”</p> RI averaging 5K+ vaccinations a day this week; 11 more COVID-19 deaths reported https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/february-24-ri-coronavirus-update/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:9e3a92e3-11e4-440a-c6d9-062f46d8b20f Wed, 24 Feb 2021 18:37:17 +0000 The Health Department also reported 375 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday and a 2.3% daily positivity rate. <p>PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Roughly 64,000 people in Rhode Island are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to new data released Wednesday by the R.I. Department of Health, while more than 153,000 are partially vaccinated, having received the first of two doses.</p> <figure class="wp-block-embed-twitter aligncenter wp-block-embed is-type-rich is-provider-twitter"><div class="wp-block-embed__wrapper"> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet tw-align-center" data-width="550" data-dnt="true"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">NEW: Today&#39;s <a href="https://twitter.com/RIHEALTH?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@RIHealth</a> data is out<br><br>• RI averaging 5,000+ vaccinations a day since Weds<br><br>• New cases averaging a bit over 300 a day<br><br>• COVID hospitalizations staying below 200<br><br>• 10-day avg for COIVD deaths down to 3 a day<br><br>Interactive charts here » <a href="https://t.co/uK1NnLusZw">https://t.co/uK1NnLusZw</a> <a href="https://t.co/W0NeLuNl31">pic.twitter.com/W0NeLuNl31</a></p>&mdash; Ted Nesi (@TedNesi) <a href="https://twitter.com/TedNesi/status/1364636905300766724?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 24, 2021</a></blockquote><script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> </div></figure> <p>People 65 and older <a href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/as-eligibility-for-vaccine-appointments-expands-in-ri-adults-65-hitting-roadblocks-in-scheduling/">became eligible to receive the vaccine</a> this week. To sign up for an appointment at one of the state-run clinics, visit <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.vaccinateri.org/" target="_blank">VaccinateRI.org</a> or call (844) 930-1779 for assistance.</p> <p class="has-text-align-center"><strong><a href="https://www.vaccinateri.org/">Schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment »</a> | <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://portal.ri.gov/s/login/?language=en_US&amp;startURL=%2Fgettested%2Fs%2F&amp;ec=302" target="_blank">Sign up for the vaccine notification list »</a></strong></p> <p>Eligible residents can also get a shot at <a href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/map-see-the-new-vaccine-sites-cvs-health-is-adding-in-rhode-island/">certain CVS Health and Walgreen’s pharmacy locations</a>, and many cities and towns are <a href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/list-ri-cities-towns-launching-covid-19-vaccine-clinics-for-residents/">setting up their own clinics for residents</a>.</p> <div class="wp-block-image"><figure class="aligncenter size-full"><a href="https://www.wpri.com/12-on-12/12-on-12-vaccine-101/"><img loading="lazy" width="1220" height="200" src="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/12on12_V101_1220x200.jpg" alt="" class="wp-image-802560" srcset="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/12on12_V101_1220x200.jpg 1220w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/12on12_V101_1220x200.jpg?resize=300,49 300w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/12on12_V101_1220x200.jpg?resize=768,126 768w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/12on12_V101_1220x200.jpg?resize=50,8 50w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/12on12_V101_1220x200.jpg?resize=876,143 876w" sizes="(max-width: 899px) 100vw, 876px" /></a><figcaption><a href="https://www.wpri.com/12-on-12/12-on-12-vaccine-101/"><strong>Vaccine 101:</strong> Everything you need to know before getting the shot »</a></figcaption></figure></div> <p>The Health Department also reported 375 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday and a 2.3% daily positivity rate, with more than 16,000 tests administered the previous day.</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <div class="wp-block-columns"> <div class="wp-block-column is-vertically-aligned-top"> <p style="font-size:38px" class="has-text-align-center"><strong>COVID-19 Tracking: <a href="https://www.wpri.com/covid-19-tracking-timeline-maps/">Maps, Charts, Interactive Data »</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="wp-block-column is-vertically-aligned-center"> <div class="wp-block-image"><figure class="alignleft size-large is-resized"><a href="https://www.wpri.com/covid-19-tracking-timeline-maps/"><img loading="lazy" src="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/07/chart-1.jpg" alt="" class="wp-image-526482" width="306" height="222" srcset="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/07/chart-1.jpg 435w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/07/chart-1.jpg?resize=300,218 300w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/07/chart-1.jpg?resize=50,36 50w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/07/chart-1.jpg?resize=306,222 306w" sizes="(max-width: 899px) 100vw, 306px" /></a></figure></div> </div> </div> </div> <p>Additionally, 11 more people in Rhode Island have died after contracting COVID-19.</p> <p>Hospitalizations ticked down to 168, with 32 COVID-19 patients in the intensive care unit and 16 on ventilators.</p> RI tops 150K first doses as vaccination efforts ramp up; 11 more COVID-19 deaths reported https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/february-24-ri-coronavirus-update/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:f0ed46fe-6aa1-d39a-d382-745cf9000ca8 Wed, 24 Feb 2021 18:25:00 +0000 The Health Department also reported 375 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday and a 2.3% daily positivity rate. <p>PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Roughly 64,000 people in Rhode Island are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to new data released Wednesday by the R.I. Department of Health, while more than 153,000 are partially vaccinated, having received the first of two doses.</p> <figure class="wp-block-embed-twitter aligncenter wp-block-embed is-type-rich is-provider-twitter"><div class="wp-block-embed__wrapper"> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet tw-align-center" data-width="550" data-dnt="true"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">NEW: Today&#39;s <a href="https://twitter.com/RIHEALTH?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@RIHealth</a> data is out<br><br>• RI averaging 5,000+ vaccinations a day since Weds<br><br>• New cases averaging a bit over 300 a day<br><br>• COVID hospitalizations staying below 200<br><br>• 10-day avg for COIVD deaths down to 3 a day<br><br>Interactive charts here » <a href="https://t.co/uK1NnLusZw">https://t.co/uK1NnLusZw</a> <a href="https://t.co/W0NeLuNl31">pic.twitter.com/W0NeLuNl31</a></p>&mdash; Ted Nesi (@TedNesi) <a href="https://twitter.com/TedNesi/status/1364636905300766724?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 24, 2021</a></blockquote><script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> </div></figure> <p>People 65 and older <a href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/as-eligibility-for-vaccine-appointments-expands-in-ri-adults-65-hitting-roadblocks-in-scheduling/">became eligible to receive the vaccine</a> this week. To sign up for an appointment at one of the state-run clinics, visit <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.vaccinateri.org/" target="_blank">VaccinateRI.org</a> or call (844) 930-1779 for assistance.</p> <p class="has-text-align-center"><strong><a href="https://www.vaccinateri.org/">Schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment »</a> | <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://portal.ri.gov/s/login/?language=en_US&amp;startURL=%2Fgettested%2Fs%2F&amp;ec=302" target="_blank">Sign up for the vaccine notification list »</a></strong></p> <p>Eligible residents can also get a shot at <a href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/map-see-the-new-vaccine-sites-cvs-health-is-adding-in-rhode-island/">certain CVS Health and Walgreen’s pharmacy locations</a>, and many cities and towns are <a href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/list-ri-cities-towns-launching-covid-19-vaccine-clinics-for-residents/">setting up their own clinics for residents</a>.</p> <div class="wp-block-image"><figure class="aligncenter size-full"><a href="https://www.wpri.com/12-on-12/12-on-12-vaccine-101/"><img loading="lazy" width="1220" height="200" src="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/12on12_V101_1220x200.jpg" alt="" class="wp-image-802560" srcset="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/12on12_V101_1220x200.jpg 1220w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/12on12_V101_1220x200.jpg?resize=300,49 300w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/12on12_V101_1220x200.jpg?resize=768,126 768w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/12on12_V101_1220x200.jpg?resize=50,8 50w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/12on12_V101_1220x200.jpg?resize=876,143 876w" sizes="(max-width: 899px) 100vw, 876px" /></a><figcaption><a href="https://www.wpri.com/12-on-12/12-on-12-vaccine-101/"><strong>Vaccine 101:</strong> Everything you need to know before getting the shot »</a></figcaption></figure></div> <p>The Health Department also reported 375 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday and a 2.3% daily positivity rate, with more than 16,000 tests administered the previous day.</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <div class="wp-block-columns"> <div class="wp-block-column is-vertically-aligned-top"> <p style="font-size:38px" class="has-text-align-center"><strong>COVID-19 Tracking: <a href="https://www.wpri.com/covid-19-tracking-timeline-maps/">Maps, Charts, Interactive Data »</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="wp-block-column is-vertically-aligned-center"> <div class="wp-block-image"><figure class="alignleft size-large is-resized"><a href="https://www.wpri.com/covid-19-tracking-timeline-maps/"><img loading="lazy" src="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/07/chart-1.jpg" alt="" class="wp-image-526482" width="306" height="222" srcset="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/07/chart-1.jpg 435w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/07/chart-1.jpg?resize=300,218 300w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/07/chart-1.jpg?resize=50,36 50w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/07/chart-1.jpg?resize=306,222 306w" sizes="(max-width: 899px) 100vw, 306px" /></a></figure></div> </div> </div> </div> <p>Additionally, 11 more people in Rhode Island have died after contracting COVID-19.</p> <p>Hospitalizations ticked down to 168, with 32 COVID-19 patients in the intensive care unit and 16 on ventilators.</p> <figure class="wp-block-embed-twitter aligncenter wp-block-embed is-type-rich is-provider-twitter"><div class="wp-block-embed__wrapper"> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet tw-align-center" data-width="550" data-dnt="true"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Rhode Island reported *four* new COVID-19 hospital admissions today. That&#39;s so low, health officials tell me they thought it was an error, which delayed getting data out today. It wasn&#39;t an error. Lowest since September. <br><br>Interactive version --&gt; <a href="https://t.co/p52MWxOdMB">https://t.co/p52MWxOdMB</a> <a href="https://t.co/epO0dNAftZ">pic.twitter.com/epO0dNAftZ</a></p>&mdash; Eli Sherman (@Eli_Sherman) <a href="https://twitter.com/Eli_Sherman/status/1364318433802878977?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 23, 2021</a></blockquote><script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> </div></figure> Bill seeks to tax sugary drinks, help with food insecurity in RI https://www.wpri.com/health/panel-to-examine-taxing-sugary-drinks-food-insecurity-in-rhode-island/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:97259d0e-3b92-08d5-af85-7d93270e4669 Wed, 24 Feb 2021 16:56:56 +0000 A panel of experts and Rhode Island legislators are set to discuss if taxing soda and other sugary drinks could help to feed Rhode Islanders struggling to put food on the table. <p>SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island Public Health Institute (RIPHI) on Wednesday put "strong support" behind legislation to establish a tax on sugary drinks in Rhode Island.</p> <p>If enacted, <a href="http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText21/SenateText21/S0327.pdf" data-type="URL" data-id="http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText21/SenateText21/S0327.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">the bill introduced </a>by Sen. Valarie Lawson and Rep. Jean Philippe Barros would designate a portion of the revenues generated to help expand access to nutritious meals for Rhode Islanders struggling to put food on the table.</p> <p>The University of Rhode Island, along with the RIPHI and Grow Smart Rhode Island, hosted a virtual conference Wednesday morning to examine food insecurity in the state.</p> <p>The conference featured two panels focusing on a sugary drink tax as a funding mechanism for the Retail SNAP Incentive Program and examining food access as it relates to transportation.</p> <p>"This important legislation will help alleviate hunger and promote healthy eating across<br>Rhode Island," RIPHI executive director Dr. Amy Nunn said. "We are committed to developing innovative and long-term solutions to Rhode Island's most pressing public health problems."</p> <p>Under the bill, beverage distributors would pay a 1.5-cents-per-ounce tax on bottled sugary drinks, syrups, or powders offered for sale. The tax does not apply to products without added sugars, such as diet sodas or bottled water.</p> <p>In last year's <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://2cyg1u24pr903unzk92wub21-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/2020-RICFB-StatusReport-FINAL-web.pdf" target="_blank">Status Report on Hunger</a>, the Rhode Island Community Food Bank found <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/hunger-report-finds-1-in-4-ri-households-are-food-insecure-in-2020/" target="_blank">one in four households in Rhode Island lacks adequate food,</a> which is the highest level of food insecurity recorded in the state in 20 years.</p> <p>A portion of the revenue from the tax would provide SNAP recipients with a minimum $0.50 credit on their EBT Card for each $1 spent on fresh fruits and vegetables at participating retailers to encourage the purchase of healthy foods.</p> <p>"I’m proud that this legislation will work to address major public health issues in Rhode Island<br>by reducing the amount of sugary drinks consumed, all while providing healthier incentives for<br>our most vulnerable population," Lawson said.</p> <p>According to Healthy Food America, a sugary drinks tax can reduce sales of those beverages, improve health equity and reduce the rate of costly and preventable diseases. The State of Childhood Obesity also reports that in Rhode Island, obesity rates nearly tripled from 11.1% in 1990 to 30% in 2019.</p> <p>"The pandemic has brought many things to light, particularly around food access and health<br>disparities in our most vulnerable populations, and we need to make the appropriate investments<br>to help correct this," Barros said.</p> New mass vaccination site opens in Dartmouth https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/new-mass-vaccination-site-set-to-open-in-dartmouth/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:53fd5286-1399-78db-0030-a5f654ed3044 Wed, 24 Feb 2021 16:52:40 +0000 The site is opening at the old Circuit City in the plaza off of Route 6 — the parking lot connects with that of the Dartmouth Mall. <p>DARTMOUTH, Mass. (WPRI) — The first mass vaccination site in Southcoast Massachusetts opened Wednesday morning in Dartmouth.</p> <p>The site officially opened at 11 a.m. at the old Circuit City in the plaza off of Route 6 — the parking lot connects with that of the Dartmouth Mall.</p> <figure class="ns-block-embed-anvato" data-anvato-player-id="p4"> <div id="anvato-player-p4" class="ns-block-embed__wrapper"> <div id="p4"></div> </div> <div data-react-component="AnvatoVideoPlayer"></div> <script>window.loadAnvato({"mcp":"LIN","width":"100%","height":"100%","video":"6378384","autoplay":false,"expect_preroll":true,"pInstance":"p4","plugins":{"comscore":{"clientId":"6036439","c3":"wpri.com","script":"//w3.cdn.anvato.net/player/prod/v3/plugins/comscore/comscoreplugin.min.js","useDerivedMetadata":true,"mapping":{"video":{"c3":"wpri.com","ns_st_st":"wpri","ns_st_pu":"Nexstar","ns_st_ge":"Video,News,Top Video","cs_ucfr":""},"ad":{"c3":"wpri.com","ns_st_st":"wpri","ns_st_pu":"Nexstar","ns_st_ge":"Video,News,Top Video","cs_ucfr":""}}},"dfp":{"adTagUrl":"https://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=1x1000&iu=/5678/lin.wpri/news/local_news&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=vmap&unviewed_position_start=1&vid=short_onecue&cmsid=1234&url=https://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/feed/&ciu_szs=728x90,300x250&ad_rule=1&description_url=https://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/feed/&cust_params=vid%3D6378384%26vidcat%3D/news/local_news%26bob_ck%3D[bob_ck_val]%26d_code%3Dna003"}},"accessKey":"m3E80nAx02K5gfOPJSgHJMr7nAk9MbDP","token":"eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJ2aWQiOiI2Mzc4Mzg0IiwiaXNzIjoibTNFODBuQXgwMks1Z2ZPUEpTZ0hKTXI3bkFrOU1iRFAiLCJleHAiOjE2MTQxODk1MDd9.qNwfg7hXzMPI09EOcEDhnfM-arDhUWx3TvWG95w9S_U","expectPrerollTimeout":8,"nxs":{"mp4Url":"https://nxsglobal.storage.googleapis.com/wpri/video/video_studio/102/21/02/24/6378384/6378384_42F2728CA10948C1A26BCAB9557D1214_210224_6378384_VIDEO_NOW__A_look_at_the_mass_vaccination_site_i_600.mp4"},"disableMutedAutoplay":false,"recommendations":false,"expectPreroll":true,"titleVisible":true,"pauseOnClick":true,"trackTimePeriod":60});</script> </figure> <p>The company running this site, Curative, says they have two goals, managing doses and customer experience.</p> <p>"Our goal is to minimize their total time on the site, so we can maximize the experience that they have and get them out the door with their second dose appointment in hand, so they come back wanting to be a part of this process again," Curative Director of Operations Blake Lackey said.</p> <figure class="ns-block-embed-anvato" data-anvato-player-id="p5"> <div id="anvato-player-p5" class="ns-block-embed__wrapper"> <div id="p5"></div> </div> <div data-react-component="AnvatoVideoPlayer"></div> <script>window.loadAnvato({"mcp":"LIN","width":"100%","height":"100%","video":"6379075","autoplay":false,"expect_preroll":true,"pInstance":"p5","plugins":{"comscore":{"clientId":"6036439","c3":"wpri.com","script":"//w3.cdn.anvato.net/player/prod/v3/plugins/comscore/comscoreplugin.min.js","useDerivedMetadata":true,"mapping":{"video":{"c3":"wpri.com","ns_st_st":"wpri","ns_st_pu":"Nexstar","ns_st_ge":"Video,News,Top Video","cs_ucfr":""},"ad":{"c3":"wpri.com","ns_st_st":"wpri","ns_st_pu":"Nexstar","ns_st_ge":"Video,News,Top Video","cs_ucfr":""}}},"dfp":{"adTagUrl":"https://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=1x1000&iu=/5678/lin.wpri/news/local_news&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=vmap&unviewed_position_start=1&vid=short_onecue&cmsid=1234&url=https://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/feed/&ciu_szs=728x90,300x250&ad_rule=1&description_url=https://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/feed/&cust_params=vid%3D6379075%26vidcat%3D/news/local_news%26bob_ck%3D[bob_ck_val]%26d_code%3Dna003"}},"accessKey":"m3E80nAx02K5gfOPJSgHJMr7nAk9MbDP","token":"eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJ2aWQiOiI2Mzc5MDc1IiwiaXNzIjoibTNFODBuQXgwMks1Z2ZPUEpTZ0hKTXI3bkFrOU1iRFAiLCJleHAiOjE2MTQxODk1MDd9.QVgsKlJrTCie2e_GkzzoNzTYa2ZvnvkMhCrd5Z5igHg","expectPrerollTimeout":8,"nxs":{"mp4Url":"https://nxsglobal.storage.googleapis.com/wpri/video/video_studio/102/21/02/24/6379075/6379075_25C644527AEB48B1B8B48A2E0E83E712_210224_6379075_VIDEO_NOW__Massachusetts_Gov__Baker_gives_a_COVI_600.mp4"},"disableMutedAutoplay":false,"recommendations":false,"expectPreroll":true,"titleVisible":true,"pauseOnClick":true,"trackTimePeriod":60});</script> </figure> <p>Appointments at the new Dartmouth site have been booked up shortly after they became available on Feb. 18, with 300 appointments Wednesday.</p> <h2 class="has-text-align-center"><a href="https://vaxfinder.mass.gov/?page=1" data-type="URL" data-id="https://vaxfinder.mass.gov/?page=1" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Sign up for a vaccination appointment in Massachusetts here »</a></h2> <p>About 500 doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be administered daily at first, with the goal of going up to 2,000 doses daily in the following weeks, but Gov. Charlie Baker is asking for patience.</p> <p>"When you have a million people who are eligible to get a vaccine, and you only get 130,000 first dose vaccines each week, that creates anxiety," Baker said. "Be patient, everyone is going to get vaccinated, but not everyone can get vaccinated at once because we don't have enough supply."</p> <figure class="ns-block-embed-anvato" data-anvato-player-id="p6"> <div id="anvato-player-p6" class="ns-block-embed__wrapper"> <div id="p6"></div> </div> <div data-react-component="AnvatoVideoPlayer"></div> <script>window.loadAnvato({"mcp":"LIN","width":"100%","height":"100%","video":"6379091","autoplay":false,"expect_preroll":true,"pInstance":"p6","plugins":{"comscore":{"clientId":"6036439","c3":"wpri.com","script":"//w3.cdn.anvato.net/player/prod/v3/plugins/comscore/comscoreplugin.min.js","useDerivedMetadata":true,"mapping":{"video":{"c3":"wpri.com","ns_st_st":"wpri","ns_st_pu":"Nexstar","ns_st_ge":"Video,News,Top Video","cs_ucfr":""},"ad":{"c3":"wpri.com","ns_st_st":"wpri","ns_st_pu":"Nexstar","ns_st_ge":"Video,News,Top 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</figure> <p>Baker said Thursday approximately 50,000 new appointments will be added to mass vaccination sites across the state, including the one at Dartmouth.</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <div class="wp-block-group"><div class="wp-block-group__inner-container"> <div class="wp-block-image"><figure class="alignright size-large is-resized"><a href="https://www.wpri.com/tag/covid-19-vaccine-updates/"><img loading="lazy" src="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?w=900" alt="" class="wp-image-587749" width="221" height="147" srcset="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg 7952w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?resize=300,200 300w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?resize=768,512 768w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?resize=1079,720 1079w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?resize=1536,1025 1536w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?resize=2048,1366 2048w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?resize=50,33 50w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?resize=221,147 221w" sizes="(max-width: 899px) 100vw, 221px" /></a></figure></div> <p class="has-text-align-center has-background has-large-font-size" style="background-color:#dfdfdf"><a href="https://www.wpri.com/tag/covid-19-vaccine-updates/"><strong>COVID-19 Vaccine:</strong> Here are the latest developments »</a></p> </div></div> </div> <p>Retail pharmacies are expected to administer 20,000 doses next week, the governor added.</p> <p>CVS in Fall River and New Bedford, Walgreens in Fairhaven, the Stop and Shop in Fall River, and Bristol Community College are a few other options in the area to get your vaccine.</p> <figure class="ns-block-embed-anvato" data-anvato-player-id="p7"> <div id="anvato-player-p7" class="ns-block-embed__wrapper"> <div id="p7"></div> </div> <div data-react-component="AnvatoVideoPlayer"></div> <script>window.loadAnvato({"mcp":"LIN","width":"100%","height":"100%","video":"6379100","autoplay":false,"expect_preroll":true,"pInstance":"p7","plugins":{"comscore":{"clientId":"6036439","c3":"wpri.com","script":"//w3.cdn.anvato.net/player/prod/v3/plugins/comscore/comscoreplugin.min.js","useDerivedMetadata":true,"mapping":{"video":{"c3":"wpri.com","ns_st_st":"wpri","ns_st_pu":"Nexstar","ns_st_ge":"Video,News,Top Video","cs_ucfr":""},"ad":{"c3":"wpri.com","ns_st_st":"wpri","ns_st_pu":"Nexstar","ns_st_ge":"Video,News,Top 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</figure> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <h1 class="has-text-align-center">Coronavirus: Coverage and Resources</h1> <h3 class="has-text-align-center"><a href="https://www.wpri.com/covid-19-tracking-timeline-maps/">COVID-19 Tracking: Maps, Charts, Interactive Data</a> | <a href="https://www.wpri.com/covid-19-projection-models/">Projection Models</a> | <a href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/heres-where-to-get-tested-for-covid-19-in-ri-mass/">Find a Testing Site Near You</a> | <a href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/school-updates/">School Updates</a> | <a href="https://www.wpri.com/coronavirus/">Latest Headlines</a></h3> <h3 class="has-text-align-center"><strong>RI Coronavirus Hotline:</strong> (401) 222-8022 | Work-Related Questions: (401) 462-2020 | Mental Health Assistance: (401) 414-5465</h3> </div> Panel to examine taxing sugary drinks, food insecurity in Rhode Island https://www.wpri.com/health/panel-to-examine-taxing-sugary-drinks-food-insecurity-in-rhode-island/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:b916d361-6e6b-1f30-7142-10b44df63847 Wed, 24 Feb 2021 13:00:55 +0000 A panel of experts and Rhode Island legislators are set to discuss if taxing soda and other sugary drinks could help to feed Rhode Islanders struggling to put food on the table. <p>KINGSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — A panel of experts and Rhode Island legislators are set to discuss if taxing soda and other sugary drinks could help to feed Rhode Islanders struggling to put food on the table.</p> <p>The University of Rhode Island, along with the Rhode Island Public Health Institute and Grow Smart Rhode Island, is hosting a virtual conference Wednesday morning to examine food insecurity in the Ocean State.</p> <p>State legislators and other experts will join two panels to talk about the benefits they believe a sugary drinks tax could provide.<br><br>The first of two panels will focus on whether a 1.5 cent per ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages used as a funding mechanism enabling SNAP recipients to receive a 50% reduction on the cost of fresh produce in retail grocery stores might serve to address food insecurity.</p> <p>A second panel will talk about how equitable public transit could help to play a role in ensuring access to healthy food.</p> <p>"Examining Food Insecurity in Rhode Island" will be held virtually from 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday, and URI notes advance&nbsp;<a href="https://web.uri.edu/food-center/foodsummit21/foodsummit21-followon/examining-food-insecurity-in-rhode-island/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">registration</a>&nbsp;is required.</p> <p>In last year's <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://2cyg1u24pr903unzk92wub21-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/2020-RICFB-StatusReport-FINAL-web.pdf" target="_blank">Status Report on Hunger</a>, the Rhode Island Community Food Bank found <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/hunger-report-finds-1-in-4-ri-households-are-food-insecure-in-2020/" data-type="URL" data-id="https://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/hunger-report-finds-1-in-4-ri-households-are-food-insecure-in-2020/" target="_blank">one in four households in Rhode Island lacks adequate food,</a> the highest level of food insecurity recorded in Rhode Island in 20 years.</p> Crews investigating rollover in Warwick https://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/west-bay/crews-investigating-rollover-in-warwick/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:05c834bb-1208-0932-c034-ce1e2d3dbcc5 Wed, 24 Feb 2021 12:52:57 +0000 The crash occurred around 12:30 a.m. across from the Rhode Island Mall. <p>WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Crews in Warwick are investigating after an early morning rollover on Wednesday.</p> <p>The crash occurred around 12:30 a.m. across from the Rhode Island Mall.</p> <p>It appears the car was driving North on Bald Hill Road and trying to turn onto Route 113 when it crashed. The car was on its roof at one point.</p> <p>At this time there is no word on what cause the crash or if there were any injuries.</p> <p><strong><em>Check back for updates.</em></strong></p> McKee: Still $150B in federal funding available for small business loans https://www.wpri.com/business-news/mckee-ri-still-has-150b-in-funding-available-for-small-business-loans/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:cfe19425-cafd-4b0a-db1c-164e7a1e4df4 Wed, 24 Feb 2021 11:42:42 +0000 There's currently roughly $150 billion left of the state's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and incoming Gov. Dan McKee is urging struggling small businesses to take advantage of the funding. <p>PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — There's currently roughly $150 billion available from the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and incoming Gov. Dan McKee is urging struggling small businesses across Rhode Island to take advantage of the funding.</p> <p>During an online forum Tuesday, McKee stressed that federal loans available through the Small Business Administration can be anywhere between $100,000 and $250,000, and sometimes even more.</p> <p>"If it is shaped properly, these dollars can be turned into an outright grant," McKee said. "That means you wouldn't have to pay the money back."</p> <p>Director of the Rhode Island SBA Mark Hayward said right now, businesses with 20 employees or less are being prioritized for the funding.</p> <p>R.I. Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor also provided an up-to-date list of the banks that are accepting first-time applicants:</p> <ul><li>BankNewport</li><li>Baycoast Bank</li><li>Berkshire Bank</li><li>Bristol County Savings Bank</li><li>Centreville Bank</li><li>Customers Bank</li><li>Greenwood Credit Union</li><li>HarborOne</li><li>Pawtucket Credit Union</li><li>Washington Trust</li></ul> <p>"They have their own parameters, they have their own guidance, but please approach them if you don't already have a bank," Pryor said.</p> <p>Pryor said <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://commerceri.com/covid-19-sba-loan-faq/" target="_blank">Rhode Island Commerce's website</a> also has a list of technical providers which can walk business owners through the process of applying.</p> <p>Any businesses that are hiring but unable to find candidates should contact McKee's office for assistance.</p> <p>"We have a third-party nonprofit recruiting firm that works with us that would be happy to help anyone that's in that situation" Matt Weldon, the interim director of the R.I. Department of Labor and Training, said. "I'd love to make that connection."</p> <p>Pryor said he plans to host an information session next week for businesses who want to learn more about the loans and application process.</p> <figure class="ns-block-embed-anvato" data-anvato-player-id="p12"> <div id="anvato-player-p12" class="ns-block-embed__wrapper"> <div id="p12"></div> </div> <div data-react-component="AnvatoVideoPlayer"></div> <script>window.loadAnvato({"mcp":"LIN","width":"100%","height":"100%","video":"6317515","autoplay":false,"expect_preroll":true,"pInstance":"p12","plugins":{"comscore":{"clientId":"6036439","c3":"wpri.com","script":"//w3.cdn.anvato.net/player/prod/v3/plugins/comscore/comscoreplugin.min.js","useDerivedMetadata":true,"mapping":{"video":{"c3":"wpri.com","ns_st_st":"wpri","ns_st_pu":"Nexstar","ns_st_ge":"Video,News,Top Video","cs_ucfr":""},"ad":{"c3":"wpri.com","ns_st_st":"wpri","ns_st_pu":"Nexstar","ns_st_ge":"Video,News,Top Video","cs_ucfr":""}}},"dfp":{"adTagUrl":"https://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=1x1000&iu=/5678/lin.wpri/news/local_news&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=vmap&unviewed_position_start=1&vid=short_onecue&cmsid=1234&url=https://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/feed/&ciu_szs=728x90,300x250&ad_rule=1&description_url=https://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/feed/&cust_params=vid%3D6317515%26vidcat%3D/news/local_news%26bob_ck%3D[bob_ck_val]%26d_code%3Dna003"}},"accessKey":"m3E80nAx02K5gfOPJSgHJMr7nAk9MbDP","token":"eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJ2aWQiOiI2MzE3NTE1IiwiaXNzIjoibTNFODBuQXgwMks1Z2ZPUEpTZ0hKTXI3bkFrOU1iRFAiLCJleHAiOjE2MTQxNzE3NDd9.wQg21hWB5J88kd088W3FZIEg_safHTFLOCWanqwpOFM","expectPrerollTimeout":8,"nxs":{"mp4Url":"https://nxsglobal.storage.googleapis.com/wpri/video/video_studio/102/21/02/23/6317515/6317515_60F822714CBD41FB8FC2B8F406B786A1_210223_6317515_Lt__Gov__McKee_holds_his_weekly_virtual_business_600.mp4"},"disableMutedAutoplay":false,"recommendations":false,"expectPreroll":true,"titleVisible":true,"pauseOnClick":true,"trackTimePeriod":60});</script> </figure> Alexander-Scott reflects on how leading the state's COVID-19 response changed her https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/covid-19-one-year-later/alexander-scott-reflects-on-how-leading-the-states-covid-19-response-changed-her/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:d52c019c-9970-8ae3-92fe-b06d399ed349 Wed, 24 Feb 2021 11:23:43 +0000 From the start, Alexander-Scott was the public voice of public health, delivering hopeful news alongside the breaking, while also taking the heat. <p><em>As we approach one year since COVID-19 arrived in Rhode Island, 12 News is bringing you&nbsp;<a href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/covid-19-one-year-later/covid-19-one-year-later-heartache-heroes-and-hope/">special reports all this week at 6 a.m. and 5 p.m.</a>&nbsp;They’re stories of heartache, heroes and hope.</em></p> <p><em>Many frontline workers have cared for coronavirus patients within the past year. <strong>Tonight at 12 News at 5</strong>, Kim Kalunian sits down with two medical workers who say working on the frontlines during these last 12 months has changed their lives.</em></p> <p>PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — One person who has become a household name is Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, who has been at the forefront of the state's coronavirus response.</p> <p>The Director of Rhode Island's Health Department has been questioned by reporters and has made sweeping public health decisions.</p> <p>Alexander-Scott's father always knew she'd be a doctor. Her mother became a nurse despite being told her skin color would prohibit that. Now, as a parent herself, Alexander-Scott says on her hardest days, it's her son who brings her solace.</p> <p>Away from the podium, and the spotlights of the Veterans Memorial Auditorium, she took a look back on what landed her the leading role in the state's coronavirus response.</p> <p>"I was drawn to public health when the last pandemic was here," she said.</p> <p>In 2009, H1N1 was when Alexander-Scott got the first taste of responding to a pandemic, and February 2020 reminded her of those days.</p> <p>"You certainly hope that you don't have too many pandemics in your career, and you can never imagine what each additional pandemic is going to be like," she recalled. "So I wouldn't say it was a total surprise but it was also something that no one could have imagined."</p> <p>From the start, Alexander-Scott was the public voice of public health, delivering hopeful news alongside the breaking, while also taking the heat.</p> <p>"Some of the longer days may have been times when people were rightfully concerned or questioned or even angry about what they were experiencing and I had to acknowledge that," she said.</p> <p>One year into the pandemic, more than 2,300 Rhode Islanders have lose their lives. Alexander-Scott says she's driven by the motivation to keep that number from climbing, and buoyed by the blessings big and small in her own life.</p> <p>When asked how this experience changed her personally and professionally, she said it has in many ways.</p> <p>"Having lost my father at a young age already taught me to have a sense of appreciation just for what you have and for life and not taking things for granted so I already had an element of that and certainly, the pandemic really strengthened that understanding," she continued.</p> <p>Alexander-Scott says she doesn't look back on 2020 with regrets, but said she has learned many lessons instead.</p> <p>As for the future, the Senate confirmed her to another five-year term last year, and incoming Gov. Dan McKee says he plans to keep her in charge of the state's coronavirus response.</p> New mass vaccination site set to open in Dartmouth https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/new-mass-vaccination-site-set-to-open-in-dartmouth/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:73d5287d-1467-0c85-2f89-9eab948e4b0f Wed, 24 Feb 2021 10:40:41 +0000 The site is opening at the old Circuit City in the plaza off of Route 6 — the parking lot connects with that of the Dartmouth Mall. <p>DARTMOUTH, Mass. (WPRI) — The first mass vaccination site in Southcoast Massachusetts is set to open Wednesday morning in Dartmouth.</p> <p>The site is opening at the old Circuit City in the plaza off of Route 6 — the parking lot connects with that of the Dartmouth Mall. Previously, the closest mass vaccination sites were at Gillette Stadium and Fenway Park.</p> <p>Appointments at the new Dartmouth site have been booked up shortly after they became available on Feb. 18.</p> <h2 class="has-text-align-center"><a href="https://vaxfinder.mass.gov/?page=1" data-type="URL" data-id="https://vaxfinder.mass.gov/?page=1" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Sign up for a vaccination appointment in Massachusetts here »</a></h2> <p>About 500 doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be administered daily at first, with the goal of going up to 2,000 doses daily in the following weeks, but Gov. Charlie Baker is asking for patience.</p> <p>"When you have a million people who are eligible to get a vaccine, and you only get 130,000 first dose vaccines each week, that creates anxiety, Baker said. "Be patient, everyone is going to get vaccinated, but not everyone can get vaccinated at once because we don't have enough supply."</p> <p>Down the road from the Circuit City location, there was supposed to be a Southcoast Health vaccine clinic set up on Faunce Corner Road. They confirmed to 12 News those doses were reallocated by the state so they can no longer continue that operation.</p> <p>CVS in Fall River and New Bedford, Walgreens in Fairhaven, the Stop and Shop in Fall River, and Bristol Community College are a few other options in the area to get your vaccine.</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <div class="wp-block-group"><div class="wp-block-group__inner-container"> <div class="wp-block-image"><figure class="alignright size-large is-resized"><a href="https://www.wpri.com/tag/covid-19-vaccine-updates/"><img loading="lazy" src="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?w=900" alt="" class="wp-image-587749" width="221" height="147" srcset="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg 7952w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?resize=300,200 300w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?resize=768,512 768w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?resize=1079,720 1079w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?resize=1536,1025 1536w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?resize=2048,1366 2048w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?resize=50,33 50w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?resize=221,147 221w" sizes="(max-width: 899px) 100vw, 221px" /></a></figure></div> <p class="has-text-align-center has-background has-large-font-size" style="background-color:#dfdfdf"><a href="https://www.wpri.com/tag/covid-19-vaccine-updates/"><strong>COVID-19 Vaccine:</strong> Here are the latest developments »</a></p> </div></div> </div> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <h1 class="has-text-align-center">Coronavirus: Coverage and Resources</h1> <h3 class="has-text-align-center"><a href="https://www.wpri.com/covid-19-tracking-timeline-maps/">COVID-19 Tracking: Maps, Charts, Interactive Data</a> | <a href="https://www.wpri.com/covid-19-projection-models/">Projection Models</a> | <a href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/heres-where-to-get-tested-for-covid-19-in-ri-mass/">Find a Testing Site Near You</a> | <a href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/school-updates/">School Updates</a> | <a href="https://www.wpri.com/coronavirus/">Latest Headlines</a></h3> <h3 class="has-text-align-center"><strong>RI Coronavirus Hotline:</strong> (401) 222-8022 | Work-Related Questions: (401) 462-2020 | Mental Health Assistance: (401) 414-5465</h3> </div> 2 displaced after fire destroys Attleboro home https://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/se-mass/fire-destroys-attleboro-home/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:df1e9b4d-98c7-28a6-9634-b5642b0313f1 Wed, 24 Feb 2021 04:18:46 +0000 An Attleboro home went up in flames Tuesday evening. <p>ATTLEBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — An Attleboro home went up in flames Tuesday evening, displacing the two residents that lived there, according to Attleboro Fire Chief Scott LaChance.</p> <p>The fire broke out inside the Thatcher Street home around 7 p.m. LaChance said they arrived to heavy smoke and flames pouring from the building.</p> <figure class="ns-block-embed-anvato" data-anvato-player-id="p4"> <div id="anvato-player-p4" class="ns-block-embed__wrapper"> <div id="p4"></div> </div> <div data-react-component="AnvatoVideoPlayer"></div> <script>window.loadAnvato({"mcp":"LIN","width":"100%","height":"100%","video":"6319352","autoplay":false,"expect_preroll":true,"pInstance":"p4","plugins":{"comscore":{"clientId":"6036439","c3":"wpri.com","script":"//w3.cdn.anvato.net/player/prod/v3/plugins/comscore/comscoreplugin.min.js","useDerivedMetadata":true,"mapping":{"video":{"c3":"wpri.com","ns_st_st":"wpri","ns_st_pu":"Nexstar","ns_st_ge":"Video,News,Top Video","cs_ucfr":""},"ad":{"c3":"wpri.com","ns_st_st":"wpri","ns_st_pu":"Nexstar","ns_st_ge":"Video,News,Top Video","cs_ucfr":""}}},"dfp":{"adTagUrl":"https://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=1x1000&iu=/5678/lin.wpri/news/local_news&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=vmap&unviewed_position_start=1&vid=short_onecue&cmsid=1234&url=https://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/feed/&ciu_szs=728x90,300x250&ad_rule=1&description_url=https://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/feed/&cust_params=vid%3D6319352%26vidcat%3D/news/local_news%26bob_ck%3D[bob_ck_val]%26d_code%3Dna003"}},"accessKey":"m3E80nAx02K5gfOPJSgHJMr7nAk9MbDP","token":"eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJ2aWQiOiI2MzE5MzUyIiwiaXNzIjoibTNFODBuQXgwMks1Z2ZPUEpTZ0hKTXI3bkFrOU1iRFAiLCJleHAiOjE2MTQxNDQyMzJ9.zycIKOb5RPHtDQXdLowao3w_JlDZjGYuG-7PrUoMei0","expectPrerollTimeout":8,"nxs":{"mp4Url":"https://nxsglobal.storage.googleapis.com/wpri/video/video_studio/102/21/02/23/6319352/6319352_85415F27F5324613A888A18DBA9BFB0C_210223_6319352_Video_Now__Fire_destroys_Attleboro_home_600.mp4"},"disableMutedAutoplay":false,"recommendations":false,"expectPreroll":true,"titleVisible":true,"pauseOnClick":true,"trackTimePeriod":60});</script> </figure> <p>The house, which is set far back from the road, sustained significant damage.</p> <p>LaChance said no one was injured.</p> <p>The cause of the fire remains under investigation at this time.</p> Man dies in head-on crash in Wrentham https://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/se-mass/man-dies-in-head-on-crash-in-wrentham/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:6698d1f6-65a6-96b7-2b5f-f57a6d244a4c Wed, 24 Feb 2021 03:48:35 +0000 Police said the two-car crash occurred around 7:30 p.m. on the southbound side of Route 1. <p>WRENTHAM, Mass. (WPRI) — A 50-year-old Assonet man died in a head-on crash on Route 1 in Wrentham Tuesday evening, according to the Massachusetts State Police.</p> <p>Police said the two-car crash occurred around 7:30 p.m. on the southbound side of Route 1.</p> <p>The man was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the other vehicle was transported by MedFlight to Rhode Island Hospital with serious injuries.</p> <p>The cause of the crash remains under investigation at this time.</p> Fall River City Council votes 'no confidence' in school superintendent https://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/se-mass/fall-river-city-council-votes-no-confidence-in-school-superintendent/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:2c3493e2-96d5-e0b7-c34d-a4ca6522b6b8 Wed, 24 Feb 2021 03:38:40 +0000 The council also voted unanimously to send Superintendent Matthew Malone a letter Wednesday morning asking him to resign. <p>FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — The Fall River City Council has voted "no confidence" in the school district's superintendent Tuesday night.</p> <p>The council also voted unanimously to send Superintendent Matthew Malone a letter Wednesday morning asking him to resign.</p> <p>Malone said in a statement that the school committee previously investigated several allegations of complaints about his behavior. He said they found him at fault for using course language and was disciplined for it.</p> <p>"I regret my behavior and the poor leadership I displayed during the summer of 2020," he said. "I am embarrassed by my actions and I have apologized ... I have also acknowledged that I must change my style and therefore I have committed to the work of being less forceful, less aggressive and more sensitive to the feelings of others in my interactions."</p> <p>Mayor Paul Coogan had recused himself from the investigation because his brother works for the school department and reports directly to the superintendent, however, he issued a statement regarding the matter prior to the council meeting.</p> <p>"There can be no double standard among employees of the school department." Coogan said. "Whatever position one holds — there is a requirement that — all employees will be treated with dignity, respect and professionalism by other employees."</p> 2 displaced in after fire destroys Attleboro home https://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/se-mass/fire-destroys-attleboro-home/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:ea7a07a5-74c4-a5b2-838b-51f019b9b9cb Wed, 24 Feb 2021 03:31:50 +0000 An Attleboro home went up in flames Tuesday evening. <p>ATTLEBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — An Attleboro home went up in flames Tuesday evening, displacing the two residents that lived there, according to Attleboro Fire Chief Scott LaChance.</p> <p>The fire broke out inside the Thatcher Street home around 7 p.m. LaChance said they arrived to heavy smoke and flames pouring from the building.</p> <figure class="ns-block-embed-anvato" data-anvato-player-id="p3"> <div id="anvato-player-p3" class="ns-block-embed__wrapper"> <div id="p3"></div> </div> <div data-react-component="AnvatoVideoPlayer"></div> <script>window.loadAnvato({"mcp":"LIN","width":"100%","height":"100%","video":"6319352","autoplay":false,"expect_preroll":true,"pInstance":"p3","plugins":{"comscore":{"clientId":"6036439","c3":"wpri.com","script":"//w3.cdn.anvato.net/player/prod/v3/plugins/comscore/comscoreplugin.min.js","useDerivedMetadata":true,"mapping":{"video":{"c3":"wpri.com","ns_st_st":"wpri","ns_st_pu":"Nexstar","ns_st_ge":"Video,News,Top Video","cs_ucfr":""},"ad":{"c3":"wpri.com","ns_st_st":"wpri","ns_st_pu":"Nexstar","ns_st_ge":"Video,News,Top Video","cs_ucfr":""}}},"dfp":{"adTagUrl":"https://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=1x1000&iu=/5678/lin.wpri/news/local_news&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=vmap&unviewed_position_start=1&vid=short_onecue&cmsid=1234&url=https://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/feed/&ciu_szs=728x90,300x250&ad_rule=1&description_url=https://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/feed/&cust_params=vid%3D6319352%26vidcat%3D/news/local_news%26bob_ck%3D[bob_ck_val]%26d_code%3Dna003"}},"accessKey":"m3E80nAx02K5gfOPJSgHJMr7nAk9MbDP","token":"eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJ2aWQiOiI2MzE5MzUyIiwiaXNzIjoibTNFODBuQXgwMks1Z2ZPUEpTZ0hKTXI3bkFrOU1iRFAiLCJleHAiOjE2MTQxNDIxODN9.13-WW3K3KIuj3u_6UPdY36bFyj1cYGw_elgszlKV9u8","expectPrerollTimeout":8,"nxs":{"mp4Url":"https://nxsglobal.storage.googleapis.com/wpri/video/video_studio/102/21/02/23/6319352/6319352_85415F27F5324613A888A18DBA9BFB0C_210223_6319352_Video_Now__Fire_destroys_Attleboro_home_600.mp4"},"disableMutedAutoplay":false,"recommendations":false,"expectPreroll":true,"titleVisible":true,"pauseOnClick":true,"trackTimePeriod":60});</script> </figure> <p>The house, which is set far back from the road, sustained significant damage.</p> <p>LaChance said no one was injured.</p> <p>The cause of the fire remains under investigation at this time.</p> New Bedford firefighters union urges city not to decommission one of its engines https://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/se-mass/new-bedford-firefighters-union-urges-city-not-to-decommission-one-of-its-engines/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:60835372-1f8e-f9ab-27a6-adcd6203e422 Wed, 24 Feb 2021 02:36:40 +0000 Nearly one year after the New Bedford ended its controversial blackout policy, the firefighters union is asking the city not take one of its fire engines off the street. <p>NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — Nearly one year after the New Bedford ended <a href="https://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/se-mass/new-bedford/">its controversial blackout policy</a>, the firefighters union is asking the city not take one of its fire engines off the street.</p> <p>The blackout policy, which took one of the city's fire stations out of service on a rotating basis, was initially implemented to save money, according to city officials.</p> <p>But <a href="https://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/se-mass/new-bedford-to-end-blackout-policy-close-one-station-permanently/">stopping the practice</a> came at the cost of one of the department's 10 fire stations, since city officials said they did not have the financial means to support them all.</p> <p>Now Local 841 is pushing to prevent one of the city's fire engines from meeting a similar fate.</p> <p>"They want our fire department to do more with less," Local 481 President Billy Sylvia said.</p> <p>Kendra Frederic, a New Bedford resident, said without that engine, her house wouldn't still be standing.</p> <p>She said last month, the apartment above hers caught fire, forcing her family to evacuate.</p> <p>She said first responders were on scene "in the blink of an eye," meeting her family at the front door.</p> <p>"Literally, I opened the door and there's the police officers and Engine 8 was right there," she recalled.</p> <p>Frederic said Engine 8's quick response saved her home, and urged the city Tuesday not to take it off the streets.</p> <p>"It can't come off the road, we'd lose way too much," she said.</p> <p>Sylvia said the city wants to replace both Engine 8 and a ladder truck with a single truck called a quint. He said the quint is an older model and it won't be able to respond as quickly as Engine 8.</p> <p>"[It would take] a little bit longer for that quint to get to the scene because it's bigger and slower," Sylvia explained. "Also, when they get there, they will have less manpower and less boots on the ground actually putting the fire out."</p> <p>The station receives roughly 3,000 calls annually, and Sylvia said that delay could have deadly consequences.</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <aside class="promo-link"> <a href="https://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/se-mass/new-bedford/" class="promo-link__link" > Related: Fatal fire reignites concerns over New Bedford’s station blackouts </a> </aside> </div> <p>"You can't put a value on a house or someone's life," Frederic said. "There's been too many losses to fires."</p> <p>Sylvia said the firefighters union has applied for a federal grant to keep Engine 8 in service, but that could be approved as late as next year.</p> <p>12 News reached out to Mayor Jon Mitchell regarding Engine 8's future, but has not heard back.</p> Fire destroys Attleboro home https://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/se-mass/fire-destroys-attleboro-home/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:97e28b4d-089b-cacc-25e1-29af28c4ad85 Wed, 24 Feb 2021 02:32:29 +0000 An Attleboro home went up in flames Tuesday evening. <p>ATTLEBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — An Attleboro home went up in flames Tuesday evening.</p> <p>The fire broke out inside the Thatcher Street home around 7 p.m.</p> <p>The house, which is set far back from the road, sustained significant damage.</p> <figure class="ns-block-embed-anvato" data-anvato-player-id="p1"> <div id="anvato-player-p1" class="ns-block-embed__wrapper"> <div id="p1"></div> </div> <div data-react-component="AnvatoVideoPlayer"></div> <script>window.loadAnvato({"mcp":"LIN","width":"100%","height":"100%","video":"6319352","autoplay":false,"expect_preroll":true,"pInstance":"p1","plugins":{"comscore":{"clientId":"6036439","c3":"wpri.com","script":"//w3.cdn.anvato.net/player/prod/v3/plugins/comscore/comscoreplugin.min.js","useDerivedMetadata":true,"mapping":{"video":{"c3":"wpri.com","ns_st_st":"wpri","ns_st_pu":"Nexstar","ns_st_ge":"Video,News,Top Video","cs_ucfr":""},"ad":{"c3":"wpri.com","ns_st_st":"wpri","ns_st_pu":"Nexstar","ns_st_ge":"Video,News,Top Video","cs_ucfr":""}}},"dfp":{"adTagUrl":"https://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=1x1000&iu=/5678/lin.wpri/news/local_news&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=vmap&unviewed_position_start=1&vid=short_onecue&cmsid=1234&url=https://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/feed/&ciu_szs=728x90,300x250&ad_rule=1&description_url=https://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/feed/&cust_params=vid%3D6319352%26vidcat%3D/news/local_news%26bob_ck%3D[bob_ck_val]%26d_code%3Dna003"}},"accessKey":"m3E80nAx02K5gfOPJSgHJMr7nAk9MbDP","token":"eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJ2aWQiOiI2MzE5MzUyIiwiaXNzIjoibTNFODBuQXgwMks1Z2ZPUEpTZ0hKTXI3bkFrOU1iRFAiLCJleHAiOjE2MTQxMzc4NTN9.OkKjm72AnESaxJm_ybsF1LAJsyKNOxknpvXAwtQvE5g","expectPrerollTimeout":8,"nxs":{"mp4Url":"https://nxsglobal.storage.googleapis.com/wpri/video/video_studio/102/21/02/23/6319352/6319352_85415F27F5324613A888A18DBA9BFB0C_210223_6319352_Video_Now__Fire_destroys_Attleboro_home_600.mp4"},"disableMutedAutoplay":false,"recommendations":false,"expectPreroll":true,"titleVisible":true,"pauseOnClick":true,"trackTimePeriod":60});</script> </figure> <p>Firefighters on scene tell 12 News everyone inside made it out safely.</p> <p>The cause of the fire remains under investigation at this time.</p> <p><em><strong>This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information is provided.</strong></em></p> Woman hit by car in street-racing incident last fall determined to make full recovery https://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/west-bay/woman-hit-by-car-in-street-racing-incident-last-fall-determined-to-make-full-recovery/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:5dcaab01-e9a6-9a45-7164-8817079b6767 Wed, 24 Feb 2021 00:52:25 +0000 The woman who was hit by a car in Cranston last year tells 12 News she's lucky to be alive. <p>CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — The woman <a href="https://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/west-bay/two-charged-in-cranston-street-racing-crash-that-sent-four-to-hospital/">who was hit by a car in Cranston</a> last year tells 12 News she's lucky to be alive.</p> <p>Natacha Legein, one of the owners of <a href="https://www.facebook.com/crepecorneronline" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Crepe Corner</a> in Cranston, was in the wrong place at the wrong time when she was hit by a car back in September.</p> <p>The Smithfield resident said the crash happened the night before the Broad Street restaurant's grand opening. She was leaving a nearby business when she was hit.</p> <p>"All I remember was walking out [of the business]," she recalled.</p> <p>Legein, 37, was rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries and spent nearly two weeks in the hospital.</p> <p>She said while she's feeling a bit better, her road to recovery is ongoing.</p> <p>"It's hard," Legein said. "I really feel like if I didn't have my children and my husband, I probably wouldn't be here."</p> <p>The grand opening didn't go on as scheduled, and Crepe Corner ended up opening in November.</p> <p>The person who hit Legein was one of two men who were street racing that evening, police said.</p> <p>The incident, according to police, stemmed from a road rage incident between the two. Both have since been arrested and charged.</p> <p>Up until February, Legein couldn't move around much. She said right now, she's only making macarons, but she's determined to continue growing her strength so she can do more of what she loves.</p> <p>"I'd like to come back and and start redoing crepes, and basically the menu that I created," she said. "I just want to get back into seeing if I can make those movements and cook again for people."</p> <p>Legein said her days include a lot of physical therapy, but she's full of gratitude to everyone who's helped her recover.</p> <p>"I'm more sensitive to life in general and my loved ones, not that I wasn't before, but I'm just more in tune with little things that matter," she said.</p> <p>While the Crepe Corner in Cranston is now open, the restaurant still hasn't had the chance to host a grand opening celebration. Legein's husband<strong> </strong>tells 12 News they hope to do so in the next few months, once she's further along in her recovery.</p> <p>Legein said the best way anyone can support her is to <a href="https://crepecorneronline.com/?fbclid=IwAR3BL26N2Ao2jSdoAtwNmS1-fgVT3Rq69AmSsVj7czsH7ET0qFE5GgeQ1kc" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">visit the Crepe Corner</a> and give their business a try, adding that their flagship location is located on Westminster Street in Providence.</p> Police arrest suspect in New Bedford double shooting https://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/se-mass/police-arrest-suspect-in-new-bedford-double-shooting/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:5a970957-5b01-c587-a982-1bbec616f034 Wed, 24 Feb 2021 00:08:50 +0000 Police have arrested a 23-year-old man accused of shooting two people in New Bedford earlier this month. <p>NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — Police have arrested a 23-year-old man accused of s<a href="https://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/se-mass/new-bedford-police-investigating-overnight-shootings/">hooting two people in New Bedford</a> earlier this month.</p> <p>The incident took place on Tallman Street in the early morning hours of Feb. 6.</p> <p><a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.facebook.com/newbedfordpolice/posts/3994842447235010" target="_blank">The New Bedford Police Department said</a> both victims were rushed to the hospital with gunshot wounds, but survived.</p> <figure class="wp-block-embed-facebook aligncenter wp-block-embed is-type-rich is-provider-embed-handler"><div class="wp-block-embed__wrapper"> <fb:post href="https://www.facebook.com/newbedfordpolice/posts/3994842447235010" data-width="auto"></fb:post> </div></figure> <p>On Monday, police arrested Lyrik Vernosky Caraballo in connection with the shooting.</p> <p>Caraballo is charged with two counts of armed assault to murder and a series of other firearm-related offenses.</p> <p>Police said he was on probation stemming from a drug distribution conviction last year at the time of his arrest.</p> RI makes changes to scheduling appointments at state-run mass vaccination sites https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/new-appointments-for-ri-mass-vaccination-sites-to-be-added-at-9-a-m-each-day/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:9f9599df-2c82-d476-9503-2e38a2aa0163 Tue, 23 Feb 2021 23:45:05 +0000 In a phone call Monday, the R.I. Department of Health told reporters it would add new appointments for the state's mass vaccination sites — the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in downtown Providence or the former Citizens Bank headquarters on Sockanosset Cross Road in Cranston — each day at 9 a.m. <p>PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — After the first day adults 65 and older could start scheduling COVID-19 vaccine appointments in Rhode Island <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/as-eligibility-for-vaccine-appointments-expands-in-ri-adults-65-hitting-roadblocks-in-scheduling/" data-type="URL" data-id="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/as-eligibility-for-vaccine-appointments-expands-in-ri-adults-65-hitting-roadblocks-in-scheduling/" target="_blank">got off to a confusing start</a>, state health officials have clarified when appointments will be added online.</p> <figure class="wp-block-embed-twitter wp-block-embed is-type-rich is-provider-twitter"><div class="wp-block-embed__wrapper"> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet tw-align-center" data-width="550" data-dnt="true"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">RIDOH will release new COVID-19 vaccine appointments at State-run sites for eligible Rhode Islanders between 9 and 10 a.m. today. Visit <a href="https://t.co/5K5eXWADSA">https://t.co/5K5eXWADSA</a> to make an appointment.</p>&mdash; Rhode Island Department of Health (@RIHEALTH) <a href="https://twitter.com/RIHEALTH/status/1364178595409723392?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 23, 2021</a></blockquote><script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> </div></figure> <p>Tuesday morning, the R.I. Department of Health tweeted that it would release new appointments at the state-run sites--- the Dunkin’ Donuts Center&nbsp;in downtown Providence and the former Citizens Bank headquarters on Sockanosset Cross Road in Cranston — between 9 and 10 a.m. </p> <p>The Health Department made an additional announcement over Twitter, noting that as supply allows, new COVID-19 vaccination appointments would be made available on Tuesdays beginning at 9 a.m. and on Fridays beginning at 5 p.m.</p> <figure class="wp-block-embed-twitter wp-block-embed is-type-rich is-provider-twitter"><div class="wp-block-embed__wrapper"> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet tw-align-center" data-width="550" data-dnt="true"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">As supply allows, new COVID-19 vaccination appointments at the State-run sites will be made available on Tuesdays beginning at 9 a.m. and on Fridays beginning at 5 p.m. More appointments may be posted to <a href="https://t.co/5K5eXWADSA">https://t.co/5K5eXWADSA</a> at other times during the week as available.</p>&mdash; Rhode Island Department of Health (@RIHEALTH) <a href="https://twitter.com/RIHEALTH/status/1364179077352083460?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 23, 2021</a></blockquote><script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> </div></figure> <p>RIDOH says additional appointments may be posted to the state's website at other times during the week as available.</p> <h2 class="has-text-align-center"><a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.vaccinateri.org/" data-type="URL" data-id="https://www.vaccinateri.org/" target="_blank">Register for a COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment in RI here »</a></h2> <p>The Health Department said Monday over 10,000 appointments would be added around 9 a.m., and a majority were fully booked before noon that day.<br><br>Anyone who’s unable to register online can get help by calling <strong>(844) 930-1779</strong>. The call center will be open on weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and weekends from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <div class="wp-block-group"><div class="wp-block-group__inner-container"> <div class="wp-block-image"><figure class="alignright size-large is-resized"><a href="https://www.wpri.com/tag/covid-19-vaccine-updates/"><img loading="lazy" src="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?w=900" alt="" class="wp-image-587749" width="221" height="147" srcset="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg 7952w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?resize=300,200 300w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?resize=768,512 768w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?resize=1079,720 1079w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?resize=1536,1025 1536w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?resize=2048,1366 2048w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?resize=50,33 50w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?resize=221,147 221w" sizes="(max-width: 899px) 100vw, 221px" /></a></figure></div> <p class="has-text-align-center has-background has-large-font-size" style="background-color:#dfdfdf"><a href="https://www.wpri.com/tag/covid-19-vaccine-updates/"><strong>COVID-19 Vaccine:</strong> Here are the latest developments »</a></p> </div></div> </div> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <h1 class="has-text-align-center">Coronavirus: Coverage and Resources</h1> <h3 class="has-text-align-center"><a href="https://www.wpri.com/covid-19-tracking-timeline-maps/">COVID-19 Tracking: Maps, Charts, Interactive Data</a> | <a href="https://www.wpri.com/covid-19-projection-models/">Projection Models</a> | <a href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/heres-where-to-get-tested-for-covid-19-in-ri-mass/">Find a Testing Site Near You</a> | <a href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/school-updates/">School Updates</a> | <a href="https://www.wpri.com/coronavirus/">Latest Headlines</a></h3> <h3 class="has-text-align-center"><strong>RI Coronavirus Hotline:</strong> (401) 222-8022 | Work-Related Questions: (401) 462-2020 | Mental Health Assistance: (401) 414-5465</h3> </div> Southern New England gets a reprieve from cold, snow – will it last? https://www.wpri.com/weather/winter-weather/southern-new-england-gets-a-reprieve-from-cold-snow-will-it-last/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:e5c7aaef-04c4-524a-4677-b743856b9781 Tue, 23 Feb 2021 23:38:27 +0000 Winter isn't over just yet, however, the pattern of cold and snow we've been in over the past several weeks looks to be taking a break, dare I say until next year? <p>EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Winter isn't over just yet, however, the pattern of cold and snow we've been in over the past several weeks looks to be taking a break, dare I say until next year?</p> <p>The bitter cold has made its presence known, as one would expect during the winter months, and lately, it seems like we've seen some snowfall every few days or so.</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><img loading="lazy" width="984" height="552" src="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/old-pattern.png" alt="" class="wp-image-805607" srcset="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/old-pattern.png 984w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/old-pattern.png?resize=160,90 160w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/old-pattern.png?resize=300,168 300w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/old-pattern.png?resize=768,431 768w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/old-pattern.png?resize=320,180 320w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/old-pattern.png?resize=256,144 256w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/old-pattern.png?resize=512,288 512w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/old-pattern.png?resize=640,360 640w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/old-pattern.png?resize=960,540 960w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/old-pattern.png?resize=50,28 50w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/old-pattern.png?resize=876,491 876w" sizes="(max-width: 899px) 100vw, 876px" /></figure> <p>This was our weather setup over the past few weeks. Notice the jet stream to our south, which allowed cold arctic air to pour into New England. The storm track rode along the boundary between warm and cold air, hence why we saw several storms both minor and significant during this time period.</p> <p>Those storms helped bring our total snowfall to 33.5 inches at T.F. Green Airport. That's a little more than 7 inches above the average.</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><img loading="lazy" width="989" height="552" src="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/new-pattern.png" alt="" class="wp-image-805608" srcset="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/new-pattern.png 989w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/new-pattern.png?resize=160,90 160w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/new-pattern.png?resize=300,167 300w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/new-pattern.png?resize=768,429 768w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/new-pattern.png?resize=320,180 320w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/new-pattern.png?resize=256,144 256w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/new-pattern.png?resize=50,28 50w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/new-pattern.png?resize=876,488 876w" sizes="(max-width: 899px) 100vw, 876px" /></figure> <p>And now we get a break, at least for the moment. As we finish up the month of February and turn our attention to March, the weather pattern is slowly but surely transitioning.</p> <h3><strong>What does this mean?</strong></h3> <p>Expect more of a balanced weather pattern. We'll still see cold days, but the prolonged cold looks to be finally exiting for this winter. Our temperatures will run closer to average and we'll see more mixed precipitation as temperatures will be marginal.</p> <p>Now, let's not forget that March is notorious for surprise snowstorms.</p> <p>When temperatures fluctuate, as they often can during a transition period, it opens of windows of opportunity that are prime for a sneaky snowstorm, which can use just enough cold air to make Southern New Englanders want spring even more.</p> <p>Looking out into the long range, there are no major storms on the horizon. However, if we wanted to pinpoint a timeframe for a potential storm, the first week of March would be the one to watch. This is based off of historical trends and current long-range guidance.</p> <p>In the meantime, let's start thinking warm thoughts and hope all of the cold and snow is behind us for this winter.</p> <p>Only 25 days and counting until the official first day of spring.</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><img loading="lazy" width="986" height="551" src="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/spring-countdown1.png" alt="" class="wp-image-805609" srcset="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/spring-countdown1.png 986w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/spring-countdown1.png?resize=160,90 160w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/spring-countdown1.png?resize=300,168 300w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/spring-countdown1.png?resize=768,429 768w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/spring-countdown1.png?resize=320,180 320w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/spring-countdown1.png?resize=256,144 256w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/spring-countdown1.png?resize=50,28 50w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/spring-countdown1.png?resize=876,489 876w" sizes="(max-width: 899px) 100vw, 876px" /></figure> <p><em><strong>Be sure to connect with 12 News Meteorologist Steven Matregrano on social media:</strong></em></p> <p><strong>Facebook</strong>&nbsp;–&nbsp;<a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.facebook.com/StevenMatregranoWPRI" target="_blank">Steven Matregrano WPRI</a><br><strong>Twitter</strong>&nbsp;–&nbsp;<a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://twitter.com/smatregranoWPRI" target="_blank">smatregranoWPRI</a><br><strong>Instagram</strong>&nbsp;–&nbsp;<a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/smatregrano/?hl=en" target="_blank">smatregrano</a></p> McKee: RI still has $150B in funding available for small business loans https://www.wpri.com/business-news/mckee-ri-still-has-150b-in-funding-available-for-small-business-loans/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:8d040f41-a494-714b-f3e7-97e00df27f14 Tue, 23 Feb 2021 23:06:22 +0000 There's currently roughly $150 billion left of the state's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and incoming Gov. Dan McKee is urging struggling small businesses to take advantage of the funding. <p>PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — There's currently roughly $150 billion left of the state's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and incoming Gov. Dan McKee is urging struggling small businesses to take advantage of the funding.</p> <p>During an online forum Tuesday, McKee stressed that federal loans available through the Small Business Administration can be anywhere between $100,000 and $250,000, and sometimes even more.</p> <p>"If it is shaped properly, these dollars can be turned into an outright grant," McKee said. "That means you wouldn't have to pay the money back."</p> <p>Director of the Rhode Island SBA Mark Hayward said right now, businesses with 20 employees or less are being prioritized for the funding.</p> <p>R.I. Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor also provided an up-to-date list of the banks that are accepting first-time applicants:</p> <ul><li>BankNewport</li><li>Baycoast Bank</li><li>Berkshire Bank</li><li>Bristol County Savings Bank</li><li>Centreville Bank</li><li>Customers Bank</li><li>Greenwood Credit Union</li><li>HarborOne</li><li>Pawtucket Credit Union</li><li>Washington Trust</li></ul> <p>"They have their own parameters, they have their own guidance, but please approach them if you don't already have a bank," Pryor said.</p> <p>Pryor said <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://commerceri.com/covid-19-sba-loan-faq/" target="_blank">Rhode Island Commerce's website</a> also has a list of technical providers which can walk business owners through the process of applying.</p> <p>Any businesses that are hiring but unable to find candidates should contact McKee's office for assistance.</p> <p>"We have a third-party nonprofit recruiting firm that works with us that would be happy to help anyone that's in that situation" Matt Weldon, the interim director of the R.I. Department of Labor and Training, said. "I'd love to make that connection."</p> <p>Pryor said he plans to host an information session next week for businesses who want to learn more about the loans and application process.</p> VNA of Care New England nurse: Pandemic has taken emotional toll on housebound patients https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/vna-of-care-new-england-nurse-pandemic-has-taken-emotional-toll-on-housebound-patients/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:d3d9233d-e351-3e1c-a954-0e52ac0288f8 Tue, 23 Feb 2021 23:04:59 +0000 Jeff Wheeler, a registered nurse with VNA of Care New England, said some of his patients haven't left their houses in nearly a year. <p>PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — All year long, visiting nurses have been making old-fashioned house calls to care for their homebound patients.</p> <p>Jeff Wheeler, a registered nurse with VNA of Care New England, told 12 News Now at 4 anchor Brian Yocono that the pandemic has taken both a physical and mental toll on his patients. (<em>Watch the full interview in the video above</em>).</p> <p>He said some of them haven't left their houses in nearly a year.</p> <p>"It has certainly taken an emotional toll on them, and has probably not helped them in a positive way as far as staying active and doing things they would normally do," he said.</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <h1 class="has-text-align-center">Coronavirus: Coverage and Resources</h1> <h3 class="has-text-align-center"><a href="https://www.wpri.com/covid-19-tracking-timeline-maps/">COVID-19 Tracking: Maps, Charts, Interactive Data</a> | <a href="https://www.wpri.com/covid-19-projection-models/">Projection Models</a> | <a href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/heres-where-to-get-tested-for-covid-19-in-ri-mass/">Find a Testing Site Near You</a> | <a href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/school-updates/">School Updates</a> | <a href="https://www.wpri.com/coronavirus/">Latest Headlines</a></h3> <h3 class="has-text-align-center"><strong>RI Coronavirus Hotline:</strong> (401) 222-8022 | Work-Related Questions: (401) 462-2020 | Mental Health Assistance: (401) 414-5465</h3> </div> These nursing home workers went above and beyond during pandemic – and would do it all again if they had to https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/covid-19-one-year-later/these-nursing-home-workers-went-above-and-beyond-during-pandemic-and-would-do-it-all-again-if-they-had-to/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:8322b87f-d11b-9b83-2b0a-908ee789c715 Tue, 23 Feb 2021 22:46:58 +0000 One of the highest honors for nursing home staffers is to care for those who once cared for us. <p><em>As we approach one year since COVID-19 arrived in Rhode Island, 12 News is bringing you&nbsp;<a href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/covid-19-one-year-later/covid-19-one-year-later-heartache-heroes-and-hope/">special reports all this week at 6 a.m. and 5 p.m.</a>&nbsp;They’re stories of heartache, heroes and hope.</em></p> <p><em>Wednesday morning, 12 News reporter Kim Kalunian sits down with the state's health director to talk about the public health decisions made over the past year, and where we go from here.</em></p> <p>PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — One of the highest honors for nursing home staffers is to care for those who once cared for us.</p> <p>Over the past year, thousands of these men and women embraced that mindset and went far beyond their normal scope of duty to make sure residents were cared for and safe, from working prolonged hours to stepping into a variety of roles.</p> <p>"I helped out with the kitchen staff, developing a new way to serve our meals," Alicia Hicks said.</p> <p>"I came in and worked every single weekend. I learned how to do laundry. I can fold a sheet much better than I ever did," she added with a laugh.</p> <p>Hicks, normally the activities director at Village House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Newport, says she worked every day for two straight months.</p> <p>Rebecca Venticinque has been a registered nurse for 20 years and when Scalabrini Villa in North Kingstown needed someone to run its COVID-19 unit, she jumped at the chance. One of her responsibilities was providing updates every day to families separated from their loved ones.</p> <p>"Now, since this horrible pandemic, we are their family in here, because we see them every day," she said.</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <aside class="promo-link"> <a href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/covid-19-one-year-later/online-connection-helps-woonsocket-nursing-home-residents-feel-close-with-their-families/" class="promo-link__link" > Related: Online connection helps Woonsocket nursing home residents feel close with their families </a> </aside> </div> <p>Hicks and Venticinque take pride in caring for their elderly residents like their own loved ones, and while the past year was the most challenging of their careers, both said they wouldn't hesitate to do it all over again.</p> <p>"It's something I will remember for the rest of my life," Venticinque said.</p> <p>Both women were recently honored as pandemic heroes, receiving an award from an anonymous donor for their dedication and compassion over the past year.</p> <p>With the residents and staff at long-term care facilities getting vaccinated and life starting to move toward a more normal setting, Hicks said she can't wait to make a full return to her true passion as activities director.</p> <p>"Music, food and bingo – that's their big thing!" she exclaimed.</p> <p>"It's going to feel absolutely wonderful," she continued. "I am going to be very, very happy to be able to do all that again for them. We're hoping when that day does come we have a huge celebration here and invite family members, have entertainers here, and just ... it will be probably one of the happiest days of my life."</p> <h2 class="has-text-align-center">More Stories: <a href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/covid-19-one-year-later/">COVID-19 One Year Later »</a></h2> RI plans to open 2 additional mass vaccination sites by mid-March https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/ri-plans-to-open-2-additional-mass-vaccination-sites-by-mid-march/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:b95e2e3d-f785-e903-1311-7e651b6f9014 Tue, 23 Feb 2021 22:03:21 +0000 The R.I. Department of Health said Tuesday two more mass vaccination sites could be up and running by mid-March. <p>PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The R.I. Department of Health said Tuesday two more mass vaccination sites could be up and running by mid-March.</p> <p>The Health Department said they are looking to put two additional clinics in the northern and southern part of Rhode Island, also weighing the option of placing one on the East Bay.</p> <p>Less than a week after <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/first-state-run-mass-vaccination-sites-open-in-providence-cranston/" target="_blank">opening two mass vaccination sites</a>, more than 30,000 appointments have been made between them, according to the Health Department. More than half of those appointments were booked over the past two days.</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <aside class="promo-link"> <a href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/people-65-and-older-can-start-making-vaccination-appointments-monday/" class="promo-link__link" target=&quot;_blank&quot; > Related: Rhode Islanders 65+ can start making COVID-19 vaccination appointments </a> </aside> </div> <p>House Speaker Joseph Shekarchi toured the state's mass vaccination clinic at the Dunkin' Donuts Center Tuesday.</p> <p>"I saw a very efficient operation where hundreds of people were being vaccinated," he said.</p> <p>There are currently three different ways to get the vaccine in Rhode Island, and Shekarchi said each will play a role in getting shots into people's arms.</p> <p>"Obviously we need to get more done and faster," he said. "We are not satisfied, but I will tell you there has been a strong effort here and I clearly think we are moving in the right direction."</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <aside class="promo-link"> <a href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/list-ri-cities-towns-launching-covid-19-vaccine-clinics-for-residents/" class="promo-link__link" target=&quot;_blank&quot; > List: RI cities, towns launching COVID-19 vaccine clinics for residents </a> </aside> </div> <p>Rep. Raymond Hull, the chairman of the state's Vaccine Task Force, also a got a firsthand look at the operation. He said the mass vaccination clinic reassures him that things will get better over time.</p> <p>"We will get through this," Hull said.</p> <p>The Health Department said it plans to post <a href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/new-appointments-for-ri-mass-vaccination-sites-to-be-added-at-9-a-m-each-day/">mass vaccination clinic appointments</a> twice a week on Tuesdays at 9 a.m. and Fridays at 5 p.m.</p> <p>As of Tuesday, the Health Department said it has already canceled 50 appointments for Rhode Islanders who were currently not eligible to receive the vaccine.</p> COVID-19 abruptly ends seasons for Barrington boys, Warwick girls hockey teams https://www.wpri.com/sports/high-school/covid-19-abruptly-ends-seasons-for-barrington-boys-warwick-girls-hockey-teams/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:e087e1a3-8f29-d45c-8864-2e045e656bd0 Tue, 23 Feb 2021 21:48:34 +0000 The teams, which were both scheduled to begin their playoff runs Tuesday night, were exposed while facing opponents on the ice last weekend. Neither of the cases are connected. <p>BARRINGTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Two Rhode Island high school hockey teams seasons were suddenly cut short Tuesday after it was discovered the players were recently exposed to COVID-19.</p> <p>The Barrington boys and the Warwick Co-Op girls hockey teams both dropped out of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League’s boys and girls playoffs after the R.I. Department of Health determined the players needed to quarantine for 10 days.</p> <p>The teams, which were both scheduled to begin their playoff runs Tuesday night, were exposed while facing opponents on the ice last weekend. Neither of the cases are connected.</p> <div class='s2nFriendlyFrame k k-KFlm7TyP' data-type='float'></div><script type='text/javascript' src='https://embed.sendtonews.com/player4/embedcode.js?fk=KFlm7TyP&cid=9364&offsety=140&floatwidth=400&floatposition=top-right' data-type='s2nScript'></script> <p>"My eyes teared up when I told them ... unfortunately, our season is over," Barrington coach Kevin Croke said.</p> <p>"It's heartbreaking to go majority of the middle and late season without COVID being a factor," Barrington senior captain Jackson Gorman added. "I mean, everyone kind of wants that official ending, even if we had lost our next playoff game."</p> <p>The Warwick girls Co-Op team, too, was disappointed to learn their season had abruptly ended.</p> <p>"It was heartbreaking, especially being a senior, to hear that," Warwick senior captain Ella Centracchio said.</p> <p>12 News reached out to the RIIL to inquire whether the games could be rescheduled, but the league opted not to comment.</p> 'Hug station' at East Providence nursing home allows residents, loved ones to safely embrace https://www.wpri.com/news/its-good-news/hug-station-at-east-providence-nursing-home-allows-residents-loved-ones-to-safely-embrace/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:73a43edd-e2a4-d403-a65e-ea35ae02ef21 Tue, 23 Feb 2021 20:58:04 +0000 An East Providence nursing home has made it possible for its residents to hug their loved ones once again. <p>EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — An East Providence nursing home has made it possible for its residents to hug their loved ones once again.</p> <p>The R.I. Department of Health <a href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/ridoh-easing-visitation-restrictions-at-hospitals-long-term-care-facilities-friday/">eased visitation restrictions</a> on nursing homes and assisted-living facilities statewide last week, but Tuesday was the first day the Linn Health Care Center began allowing visitors.</p> <p>The nursing home went a step further, however, by creating a "hug station" where residents can safely hug their loved ones.</p> <p>The station is located in a doorway that is covered by plastic, with two arm sleeves on either side. Both the resident and visitor can simply place their arms through the plastic sleeves so they can hug one another.</p> <p>The heart-warming gesture allowed Toni Spencer and her 97-year-old mother Maria to hug for the first time since March.</p> <p>Toni and Maria were the first to utilize the "hug station" Tuesday. When asked what she thought of the embrace, Maria said it was "wonderful."</p> <p>"It's just heart-warming," Toni said. "My sisters are all jealous, and my brother."</p> <p>Toni said this was one of her most favorite visits to her mother's nursing home since the coronavirus pandemic began.</p> <p>"We were always giving each other hugs and holding hands, so it's been hard," Toni said. "It was hard when we could see her outside and couldn't touch her, and then this not seeing her at all has been tough."</p> <p>Jamie Sanford, the administrator of the nursing home, said they're grateful to provide the "hug station" for their residents and visitors.</p> <p>"We've been waiting for this since the first week of March, to have that warm embrace," Sanford said. "Physical touch is so important, it adds comfort and wellbeing. It is therapeutic and everybody needs it."</p> <p>Toni said her mother is fully vaccinated and has never tested positive for COVID-19. She's hopeful that their family can have more visits just like this one in the near future.</p> <p>"She's 97, so she still wants to be around to see everybody," Toni said. "Things will get better."</p> <p>Sanford said the facility will be hosting its third vaccination clinic this weekend.</p> Baker aims to phase out remote learning for elementary schools by April https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/school-updates/baker-aims-to-phase-out-remote-learning-by-april/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:77c16144-159e-8080-b0bf-b354f1282dcd Tue, 23 Feb 2021 20:52:51 +0000 He said the plan is to start with elementary school students, with the hope of phasing out remote learning by April. <p>BOSTON (WPRI) — Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced Tuesday he wants to start getting students statewide back in the classroom full-time.</p> <p>He said the plan is to start with elementary school students, with the hope of phasing out remote learning by April.</p> <p>"I think we all agree there is no substitute for in-person learning, especially for kids in elementary school," Baker said.</p> <p>About 80% of Massachusetts' school districts have some form of in-person learning in place, according to Baker, whether it be in full or a hybrid model.</p> <p>"Districts with in-person learning, regardless of how high COVID transmission is in their community, have seen few, if any, examples of in-school transmission," he added.</p> <figure class="ns-block-embed-anvato" data-anvato-player-id="p2"> <div id="anvato-player-p2" class="ns-block-embed__wrapper"> <div id="p2"></div> </div> <div data-react-component="AnvatoVideoPlayer"></div> <script>window.loadAnvato({"mcp":"LIN","width":"100%","height":"100%","video":"6317757","autoplay":false,"expect_preroll":true,"pInstance":"p2","plugins":{"comscore":{"clientId":"6036439","c3":"wpri.com","script":"//w3.cdn.anvato.net/player/prod/v3/plugins/comscore/comscoreplugin.min.js","useDerivedMetadata":true,"mapping":{"video":{"c3":"wpri.com","ns_st_st":"wpri","ns_st_pu":"Nexstar","ns_st_ge":"Video,News,Top Video","cs_ucfr":""},"ad":{"c3":"wpri.com","ns_st_st":"wpri","ns_st_pu":"Nexstar","ns_st_ge":"Video,News,Top 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</figure> <p>The remaining 20% of districts are fully remote, which Baker said affects roughly 400,000 kids.</p> <p>"With COVID cases and hospitalizations continuing to decline and vaccines well underway, it's time to set our sights on eliminating remote learning by April," he stated.</p> <p>The governor pointed to the tools they have given schools to reopen, including their <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.wpri.com/new-england/massachusetts/baker-pooled-covid-testing-to-begin-in-mass-schools-next-month/" target="_blank">weekly pool testing program that launched earlier this year</a>, which he says 900 schools currently participate in.</p> <p>"The evidence on this one is crystal clear and has been for months: it's safe to teach kids in the classroom, regardless of community transmission rates, as long as people abide by the protocols," Baker said.</p> <figure class="ns-block-embed-anvato" data-anvato-player-id="p3"> <div id="anvato-player-p3" 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</figure> <p>Mass. Education Commissioner Jeff Riley said he's hoping all elementary school students will be learning in person five days a week by April, adding that those who are fully remote will be able to begin with a hybrid approach.</p> <p>"It continues to be vital that we get as many students back in person as possible before the end of the school year," he said.</p> <p>Riley said parents will still be able to choose to keep their student at home through the end of the school year.</p> Rhode Island vaccine deliveries delayed by weather https://whdh.com/news/rhode-island-vaccine-deliveries-delayed-by-weather/ Rhode Island – Boston News, Weather, Sports | WHDH 7News urn:uuid:93f308de-5946-b154-5942-4abea379ffce Tue, 23 Feb 2021 20:08:18 +0000 PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Three community coronavirus vaccination locations in Rhode Island are rescheduling appointments because harsh winter weather in some areas of the country... <p>PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Three community coronavirus vaccination locations in Rhode Island are rescheduling appointments because harsh winter weather in some areas of the country delayed the delivery of more than 12,000 doses to the state, health officials say.</p> <p>Because the shipment of approximately 12,400 doses of the Moderna vaccine did not arrive in Rhode Island as scheduled on Monday, clinics at the Cranston Senior Center, the Swift Community Center in East Greenwich, and the West Warwick Civic Center are rescheduling Tuesday appointments, the state Department of Health said in a statement.</p> <p>People who had appointments Tuesday will be contacted directly by clinic organizers.</p> <p>The shipping delay could also result in the postponement of appointments scheduled for Wednesday, the agency said.</p> <p>The agency also said it would release new vaccination appointments for state-run sites at the Dunkin&#8217; Donuts Center in Providence and the former Citizens Bank headquarters in Cranston on Tuesday and Friday mornings.</p> <p>The state on Monday started accepting appointments for residents age 65 and older.</p> <p>Almost 148,000 people in Rhode Island have received a vaccine first dose, while nearly 63,000 have been fully vaccinated, according to health department statistics released Tuesday.</p> After beating cancer, Cranston boy raising money for friends still fighting https://www.wpri.com/news/its-good-news/after-beating-cancer-cranston-boy-raising-money-for-friends-still-fighting/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:94b5f6e9-50ae-e14e-33e8-a18bed5628c0 Tue, 23 Feb 2021 19:02:29 +0000 "I like helping people," Callan Duquette said. <p>CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — A 9-year-old Cranston boy is now cancer-free, but his heart is still with the kids he met in treatment.</p> <p>Callan Duquette had <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.wpri.com/news/small-but-strong/small-but-strong-boys-special-bond-inspires-way-to-treat-cancer-patients-like-royalty/" target="_blank">his last chemo treatment three months ago</a>.</p> <p>"It's amazing," he said.</p> <p>12 News first introduced you to Callan <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.wpri.com/news/child-battling-cancer-grants-christmas-wish-for-friend-fighting-same-disease/" target="_blank">in December 2018</a>, when he was looking to give his buddy Tommy at Hasbro Children's Hospital a special Christmas gift.</p> <p>"We said we have to get him something from the Bruins," Callan said.</p> <p>After our broadcast, the Bruins stepped up and offered both boys tickets to a game.</p> <p>"I like helping people," Callan added.</p> <figure class="wp-block-gallery columns-3 is-cropped"><ul class="blocks-gallery-grid"><li class="blocks-gallery-item"><figure><img loading="lazy" width="683"src="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/AirBrush_20201109165943.jpg?w=683" alt="" data-id="805209" data-full-url="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/AirBrush_20201109165943.jpg" data-link="https://www.wpri.com/?attachment_id=805209" class="wp-image-805209" srcset="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/AirBrush_20201109165943.jpg 988w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/AirBrush_20201109165943.jpg?resize=285,300 285w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/AirBrush_20201109165943.jpg?resize=768,809 768w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/AirBrush_20201109165943.jpg?resize=683,720 683w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/AirBrush_20201109165943.jpg?resize=47,50 47w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/AirBrush_20201109165943.jpg?resize=876,922 876w" sizes="(max-width: 899px) 100vw, 683px" /></figure></li><li class="blocks-gallery-item"><figure><img loading="lazy" width="2160" height="1632" src="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/AirBrush_20201109103020.jpg?w=900" alt="" data-id="805210" data-full-url="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/AirBrush_20201109103020.jpg" data-link="https://www.wpri.com/?attachment_id=805210" class="wp-image-805210" srcset="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/AirBrush_20201109103020.jpg 2160w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/AirBrush_20201109103020.jpg?resize=300,227 300w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/AirBrush_20201109103020.jpg?resize=768,580 768w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/AirBrush_20201109103020.jpg?resize=953,720 953w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/AirBrush_20201109103020.jpg?resize=1536,1161 1536w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/AirBrush_20201109103020.jpg?resize=2048,1547 2048w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/AirBrush_20201109103020.jpg?resize=50,38 50w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/AirBrush_20201109103020.jpg?resize=876,661 876w" sizes="(max-width: 899px) 100vw, 876px" /></figure></li><li class="blocks-gallery-item"><figure><img loading="lazy" width="599"src="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/mc2021.jpg?w=599" alt="" data-id="805211" data-full-url="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/mc2021.jpg" data-link="https://www.wpri.com/?attachment_id=805211" class="wp-image-805211" srcset="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/mc2021.jpg 1998w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/mc2021.jpg?resize=250,300 250w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/mc2021.jpg?resize=768,923 768w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/mc2021.jpg?resize=599,720 599w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/mc2021.jpg?resize=1279,1536 1279w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/mc2021.jpg?resize=1705,2048 1705w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/mc2021.jpg?resize=42,50 42w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/mc2021.jpg?resize=876,1052 876w" sizes="(max-width: 899px) 100vw, 599px" /></figure></li></ul></figure> <p>Last month, Callan began raising money for the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation's annual <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://secure.qgiv.com/event/walk-run-roll/team/873377/" target="_blank">Walk, Run, Roll event</a> during the month of April.</p> <p>The event aims to raise awareness of the 43 kids a day diagnosed with cancer in the U.S.</p> <p>Callan's not one of them any more, and he's hoping his fundraising will mean none of his friends will be either.</p> <p>"Because I like to help my friends," he said.</p> <p>The one thing Callan is excited to do once it's safe to do so is go to a restaurant with his mom.</p> <p>"Me and mom wanted to do, at the end of treatment, when my immune system is back up, we wanted to have like a date where we get to have food and play games and go out and stuff," he said.</p> <h1 class="has-text-align-center"><a href="https://secure.qgiv.com/event/walk-run-roll/team/873377/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Donate to Callan's fundraiser and learn more here »</a></h1> Vaccinations speeding up in RI, as infections and hospitalizations tumble https://www.wpri.com/target-12/vaccinations-speeding-up-in-ri-as-infections-and-hospitalizations-tumble/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:487c6926-6e9b-c7be-a1e6-ec98a17b6b20 Tue, 23 Feb 2021 18:59:11 +0000 The state's sped-up approach is replacing its more targeted strategy, which came under fire for moving too slowly. <p>PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Rhode Island continues to report huge declines of coronavirus infections and hospitalizations, although it remains unclear how much of the drop is directly attributable to vaccinations.</p> <p>Rhode Island set a single-day record for COVID-19 hospitalizations on Dec. 14, when at least 85 people with the virus were admitted to the hospital -- the same day the first coronavirus vaccine dose was administered in Rhode Island.</p> <p>Since then, the seven-day average for hospitalizations has tumbled 66%, with daily new patient admissions falling as low as 15 people last Thursday, according to a Target 12 analysis of R.I. Department of Health data.</p> <div class="ns-block-custom-html"> <div class="flourish-embed flourish-chart" data-src="visualisation/2362257"><script src="https://public.flourish.studio/resources/embed.js"></script></div> </div> <p>Meanwhile, daily coronavirus infections have declined consistently since <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.wpri.com/covid-19-tracking-timeline-maps/" target="_blank">surging around the holidays</a>.</p> <p>In early December, Rhode Island averaged more than 1,000 new infections per day, with another spike just after New Year's. By Monday, though, the average had declined to 310 cases a day -- still much higher than the double-digit levels seen last summer, but far below this winter's highs.</p> <p>“I know everyone’s focused on vaccinations at the moment — with very good reason — but I do think, though, it’s important that we keep our eye on the overall state of the coronavirus pandemic in Rhode Island,” Gov. Gina Raimondo said Monday during a <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.wpri.com/news/politics-government/raimondo-argues-ri-vaccine-rollout-is-on-track-no-timeline-yet-for-her-departure-to-washington/" target="_blank">conference call with reporters</a>. “The overall picture, as it relates to us, is that we’re in a good and stable place.”</p> <p>State leaders have argued that the Raimondo administration’s highly targeted vaccine rollout strategy – which has come under fire in recent weeks for moving too slowly but is now picking up speed – has played a role in the improved health outcomes.</p> <p>The Raimondo administration’s highly targeted vaccine rollout strategy has come under fire in recent weeks for moving too slowly. But it is now picking up speed, and state leaders argue the initial targeting played a role in the improved coronavirus trends.</p> <p>However, the extent to which the vaccination strategy has caused the decline is unclear. Health Department Director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott on Tuesday told the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Subcommittee that the improved results “are not solely due to our vaccine campaign or strategy.”</p> <p>“It is one of the three tools that we have promoted and focused on,” Alexander-Scott said, also pointing to the state’s robust testing infrastructure, improved treatment methods.</p> <div class="ns-block-custom-html"> <div class="flourish-embed flourish-chart" data-src="visualisation/4708109"><script src="https://public.flourish.studio/resources/embed.js"></script></div> </div> <p>As of Monday, only about 6% of Rhode Island’s roughly 1 million residents had been fully vaccinated, which would only represent a small portion of the estimated 70% to 90% threshold needed for broad population-level immunity that would stop the virus from spreading.</p> <p>Total immunity is <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/02/20/us/us-herd-immunity-covid.html" target="_blank">tough to measure</a>, and so far state health officials have not provided an estimate for Rhode Island. But the number would include Rhode Islanders who are the fully vaccinated, along with everybody who has been infected already and still has some immunity as a result.</p> <p>Nearly 12% of Rhode Islanders have tested positive for the coronavirus at some point during the pandemic and many more have likely contracted the virus without ever getting tested. </p> <p>There are signs that mass vaccinations have a significant effect. A new report released this week in the United Kingdom shows infections and hospitalizations falling sharply among vaccine recipients. Researchers are calling it the the first "real world" study -- done on the general public rather than in scientific trials -- and the <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/covid-vaccines-protection-uk/2021/02/22/216b1dac-751a-11eb-9489-8f7dacd51e75_story.html" target="_blank">clearest sign yet</a> that the vaccines cut down on infections, hospitalizations and transmission. </p> <p>No such study has been done in Rhode Island, but health officials are nonetheless bullish about cases and hospitalizations falling more quickly among the groups that were targeted first for vaccines.</p> <p>“You can see significant [decreases] in the populations that we have focused on,” Alexander-Scott said.</p> <div class="wp-block-image"><figure class="aligncenter size-large is-resized"><img loading="lazy" src="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/0223PublicHealth-Measures.jpg?w=900" alt="" class="wp-image-805134" width="900" height="425" srcset="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/0223PublicHealth-Measures.jpg 1367w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/0223PublicHealth-Measures.jpg?resize=300,142 300w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/0223PublicHealth-Measures.jpg?resize=768,363 768w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/0223PublicHealth-Measures.jpg?resize=1280,605 1280w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/0223PublicHealth-Measures.jpg?resize=50,24 50w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/0223PublicHealth-Measures.jpg?resize=876,413 876w" sizes="(max-width: 899px) 100vw, 876px" /><figcaption>(Courtesy/R.I. Department of Health)</figcaption></figure></div> <p>A state analysis of weekly infections between January and February shows cases decreased quicker among the targeted groups, including health care workers (65%), long-term care facility residents (55%), Central Falls residents (64%) and adults 75 years and older (51%), compared to a statewide decline of 49% during that time.</p> <p>The same analysis of hospital admissions shows the groups reported slightly larger declines than the statewide 42% decrease, with the exception of Central Falls, where hospitalizations fell by less than 5%. In a separate calculation, health officials reported that the state’s overall hospital admissions between January and February had declined faster than neighboring states and the nation.</p> <p>COVID-19 deaths have tumbled in Rhode Island in nursing homes (40%) and among adults 75 years and older (51%) faster than among the broader population (22%) over the past month. Deaths decreased by less than 5% among health care workers and in Central Falls.</p> <p>December and January were the second and third deadliest months during the pandemic, and a recent Target 12 analysis shows 2020 was the <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.wpri.com/target-12/tragic-toll-2020-is-deadliest-year-in-rhode-island-since-1918-flu-pandemic/" target="_blank">deadliest year</a> since the flu pandemic of 1918. </p> <p>Alexander-Scott expressed some frustration with national rankings that had triggered criticism of Rhode Island's strategy, saying the various groups -- including Harvard University and The New York Times -- didn't take into consideration improving infection and hospitalization rates that paint a better picture of Rhode Island's efforts.</p> <div class="wp-block-image"><figure class="aligncenter size-large is-resized"><img loading="lazy" src="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/0223HospitalAdmissions.jpg?w=900" alt="" class="wp-image-805143" width="900" height="450" srcset="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/0223HospitalAdmissions.jpg 1363w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/0223HospitalAdmissions.jpg?resize=300,150 300w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/0223HospitalAdmissions.jpg?resize=768,384 768w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/0223HospitalAdmissions.jpg?resize=1280,640 1280w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/0223HospitalAdmissions.jpg?resize=50,25 50w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/0223HospitalAdmissions.jpg?resize=876,438 876w" sizes="(max-width: 899px) 100vw, 876px" /><figcaption>(Courtesy/R.I. Department of Health)</figcaption></figure></div> <p>Some members of the subcommittee, a panel of mostly doctors and community leaders, likewise complained about the public frustration surrounding the state’s strategy in recent weeks.</p> <p>Without providing specifics, Dr. Beth Lange of Coastal Medical suggested there was “confusion in the press” and in “small neighborhood discussions” where the rollout plan wasn’t fully understood, adding that people should be proud of how things have turned out.</p> <p>“I would love for all of us to be proud of this work and send that pride out to the people of this state,” Lange said Tuesday. </p> <p>Still, health officials are now quickly moving away from the targeted approach and funneling the vast majority of doses the state receives into two mass-vaccination sites in Providence and Cranston. Alexander-Scott claims the state has largely accomplished what it wanted to get done during Phase 1, and the focus now is “speed and simplicity.”</p> <p>“With having enough vaccine to really roll out the mass vaccination sites, as you can see, we are well-positioned for accelerating that,” she said, highlighting how the number of daily doses administered accelerated quickly since the mass-vaccination sites opened Thursday. </p> <div class="ns-block-custom-html"> <div class="flourish-embed flourish-chart" data-src="visualisation/5377402"><script src="https://public.flourish.studio/resources/embed.js"></script></div> </div> <p>Raimondo on Monday rejected the idea that the shift to a more streamlined approach of inoculating as many people as possible had anything to do with public pressure -- including criticism from her <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.wpri.com/news/politics-government/mckee-criticizes-raimondo-administration-over-vaccine-rollout/" target="_blank">soon-to-be successor Lt. Gov. Dan McKee</a> -- claiming it was all part of the overarching plan. </p> <p>But there are already signs that the faster approach is complicating the state’s earlier goal of integrating socioeconomic equity into the vaccine rollout.</p> <p>The Rev. Chris Abhulime of The King's Tabernacle in Johnston said he tried to help a 65-year-old member of his church sign up for a vaccine appointment this week, but they failed because everything was booked so quickly. Abhulime said he's concerned the process is becoming less equitable to those without access to technology, which could be especially damaging among communities of colors where vaccine uptake is already historically low. </p> <p>"There is a level of a digital divide," Abhulime said. "Even people who want to do it can't do it because they're not technological enough to even register." </p> <p>Dr. Sapna Chowdhry of Thundermist Health Center likewise expressed concern that the new process is hurting members of her community in Northern Rhode Island, especially in Woonsocket, where she said many of her patients cannot book online and may not have the ability to travel to the two mass-vaccination sites. </p> <p>"I'm worried they're not going to make it to Providence or Cranston," Chowdhry said. </p> <div class="wp-block-image"><figure class="aligncenter size-large is-resized"><img loading="lazy" src="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/0223RaceAndEthnicity.jpg?w=900" alt="" class="wp-image-805166" width="900" height="444" srcset="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/0223RaceAndEthnicity.jpg 1373w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/0223RaceAndEthnicity.jpg?resize=300,148 300w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/0223RaceAndEthnicity.jpg?resize=768,379 768w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/0223RaceAndEthnicity.jpg?resize=1280,631 1280w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/0223RaceAndEthnicity.jpg?resize=50,25 50w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/0223RaceAndEthnicity.jpg?resize=876,432 876w" sizes="(max-width: 899px) 100vw, 876px" /><figcaption>(Courtesy/R.I. Department of Health)</figcaption></figure></div> <p>So far, only 3% of the state's doses have gone into the arms of Black Rhode Islanders, even though they make up 8% of the state's total population. Health officials argue this is because white Rhode Islanders make up more than half of health care workers and 80% of nursing home residents, which were targeted groups during Phase 1. </p> <p>"As we move to an age-, risk- and geography-based strategy and contribute additional vaccine to high-density communities, the proportion of people of color vaccinated is expected to increase," Health Department officials wrote in a presentation. </p> <p>Alexander-Scott reminded people that they could register online through&nbsp;<a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="http://vaccinateri.org/" target="_blank">VaccinateRI.org</a>, or by calling (844) 930-1779. She emphasized that targeted work would continue through municipal clinics, along with some specialty clinics set up in hard-hit and hard-to-reach neighborhoods. </p> <p>Rhode Island leaders are also planning to open at least two more mass-vaccination sites in the northern and southern part of the state sometime around mid-March. A third new location on the East Bay is also being considered.</p> <p>Alexander-Scott has long been a proponent of targeted health policy, such as health equity zones. And while speed has become the main focus of the state's vaccination strategy, she said she remains committed to working toward getting vaccines into hard-to-reach communities moving forward.</p> <p>"Being able to be as specific and responsible as possible across the various communities is going to be important for us," she said. </p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <p><em><strong>Eli Sherman</strong>&nbsp;(<a href="https://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/providence/providence-leaders-reach-agreement-on-770m-budget/esherman@wpri.com%E2%80%9D">esherman@wpri.com</a>) is a Target 12 investigative reporter for WPRI 12. Follow him&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/Eli_Sherman">on Twitter</a></em><a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.facebook.com/EliShermanWPRI/" target="_blank"> </a><em>and&nbsp;</em><a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.facebook.com/EliShermanWPRI/" target="_blank"><em>on Facebook.</em></a></p> </div> <p><em>Alexandra Leslie contributed to this story. </em></p> Kent Hospital releases new visitation policies https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/kent-hospital-releases-new-visitation-policies/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:34a8a2e7-31fa-aaa0-a61c-8f051a9e1e30 Tue, 23 Feb 2021 18:53:06 +0000 One visitor will be allowed to visit from 10 a.m. to noon, and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., and all visitors will be screened for coronavirus symptoms before entry. <p>WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — With medical facilities in Rhode Island <a href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/ridoh-easing-visitation-restrictions-at-hospitals-long-term-care-facilities-friday/">now able to bring back visitors</a>, Kent Hospital updated its visitation policies on Tuesday.</p> <p>The hospital will allow each patient to have one visitor from 10 a.m. to noon and another from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. All visitors will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms before entry.</p> <p>End-of-life visitation is permitted, however, there will continue to be no routine visitation with COVID-19 patients.</p> <p>A birth partner will be allowed at all times, along with a designated doula, the hospital said.</p> <p>Routine visitors will also not be permitted in the emergency department, but the hospital said exceptions can be made in collaboration with the care team and nursing leadership.</p> Schumer: Raimondo confirmation vote possible early next week https://www.wpri.com/news/politics-government/schumer-raimondo-confirmation-vote-possible-early-next-week/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:48437511-0ac5-45d7-5d5c-9729290f3ccc Tue, 23 Feb 2021 17:10:28 +0000 WASHINGTON, D.C. (WPRI) -- Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Tuesday predicted a confirmation vote for Gov. Gina Raimondo to President Joe Biden's cabinet as soon as next week. "We also hope to do Gina Raimondo, nominee for secretary of commerce early next week," he said on the Senate floor ahead of a vote on [...] <p>WASHINGTON, D.C. (WPRI) -- Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Tuesday predicted a confirmation vote for Gov. Gina Raimondo to President Joe Biden's cabinet as soon as next week. </p> <p>"We also hope to do Gina Raimondo, nominee for secretary of commerce early next week," he said on the Senate floor ahead of a vote on two other cabinet nominees. </p> <p>"Make no mistake, the Senate is going to move quickly to approve key officials in the Biden administration this work period," the Democratic leader continued. "At a time of acute national challenge, we need qualified leaders atop our federal agencies and fast. And that's what we intend to do."</p> <p>R.I. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse tweeted a short time later that Schumer said he would file cloture on Raimondo this week, a procedural move that ends the debate on a nominee.</p> <figure class="wp-block-embed-twitter aligncenter wp-block-embed is-type-rich is-provider-twitter"><div class="wp-block-embed__wrapper"> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet tw-align-center" data-width="550" data-dnt="true"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Leader Schumer has indicated he will file cloture on Gov. Raimondo&#39;s nomination this week, teeing up a final vote next week. I look forward to a swift confirmation for our new Commerce Secretary.</p>&mdash; Sheldon Whitehouse (@SenWhitehouse) <a href="https://twitter.com/SenWhitehouse/status/1364255987746619403?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 23, 2021</a></blockquote><script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> </div></figure> <p>The news comes after Raimondo <a href="https://www.wpri.com/news/politics/raimondo-argues-ri-vaccine-rollout-is-on-track-no-timeline-yet-for-her-departure-to-washington/">told reporters Monday there was still no timeline</a> for her departure to Washington.</p> <p>"I am not certain when I will be confirmed," she said Monday. </p> <p>Raimondo was approved by the Senate Commerce Committee on Feb. 3, but her confirmation by the full Senate was delayed in part by the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump and a scheduled Senate recess.</p> <p>The delay in Raimondo's confirmation has left Rhode Island in a gubernatorial limbo, with Raimondo still in charge but attempting to stay out of the spotlight, while Lt. Gov. Dan McKee -- set to take over as governor when Raimondo leaves -- has at times publicly disagreed with Raimondo's COVID vaccination strategy.</p> <p>But the two appeared to have reconciled somewhat on Monday, speaking at length and meeting in person as Raimondo signed an executive order giving McKee to the power to submit the state budget to the General Assembly, which is due March 11.</p> <p>"I'm just here supporting Lt. Gov. Mckee in his transition," Raimondo said.</p> RI hospital groups Lifespan, CNE sign merger deal; Brown U. commits $125M https://www.wpri.com/news/breaking-news/ri-hospital-groups-lifespan-cne-sign-merger-deal-brown-u-commits-125m/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:3a03a8a8-a5e8-5813-4788-b896f1990171 Tue, 23 Feb 2021 16:51:29 +0000 Rhode Island's health care landscape could be transformed by the landmark three-way agreement to create an academic medical center. <p>PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The three most powerful institutions in Rhode Island medicine announced Tuesday they have signed a landmark agreement to create an academic health system, taking a step that could transform the state’s health care industry.</p> <p>Rhode Island’s two major hospital groups, Lifespan and Care New England, said they have signed a definitive agreement to merge into a single organization. At the same time, the hospital groups signed an additional agreement with Brown University, which operates the state’s only medical school, to make Brown part of the new health system’s governing board.</p> <p>Brown’s active participation distinguishes Tuesday’s announcement from previous efforts to merge Lifespan and Care New England, not least because the Ivy League school is putting its money where its mouth is, committing to spend at least $125 million on the new effort over the next five years. Brown is already linked to both hospital groups through its Warren Alpert Medical School. </p> <p>The three not-for-profit organizations are launching a campaign to win public support for the deal, including a website called <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://healthierri.com" target="_blank">HealthierRI.com</a>. They will need to get government sign-off from the R.I. Department of Health and Attorney General Peter Neronha, as well as the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. The paperwork is expected to be filed with regulators in the coming weeks.</p> <p>“What I am most excited about is the ability of our new, locally based, academic health system to compete at a national level, innovate, attract top talent, develop new scientific knowledge, improve the care we deliver and serve as an economic engine for Providence and the state,” Lifespan President and CEO Dr. Timothy Babineau said in a statement.</p> <p>Babineau added, “This is an exciting moment in time, we cannot let it slip through our grasp yet again.”</p> <p>In an interview with 12 News, the leaders of three organizations said they hope to close the merger by the end of the year -- an ambitious timeline considering the scale of the combination and the drawn-out duration of previous hospital transaction efforts in Rhode Island.</p> <p>"It's our very strong desire and hope that we will get this done in calendar year 2021," Babineau said.</p> <p>Brown President Christina Paxson added that there will still be "plenty of time to get community input" about how the new entity should operate. "We're not going to try to rush it," she said.</p> <div class="wp-block-image"><figure class="aligncenter size-large is-resized"><img loading="lazy" src="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/Hospital-merger-Feb-2021.jpg?w=900" alt="" class="wp-image-805060" width="768" height="512" srcset="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/Hospital-merger-Feb-2021.jpg 1680w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/Hospital-merger-Feb-2021.jpg?resize=300,200 300w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/Hospital-merger-Feb-2021.jpg?resize=768,512 768w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/Hospital-merger-Feb-2021.jpg?resize=1080,720 1080w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/Hospital-merger-Feb-2021.jpg?resize=1536,1024 1536w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/Hospital-merger-Feb-2021.jpg?resize=50,33 50w" sizes="(max-width: 899px) 100vw, 768px" /><figcaption>Leaders from Lifespan, Care New England and Brown University at Tuesday's signing of an agreement to create a new academic health system in Rhode Island. (photo credit: Lifespan/CNE/Brown)</figcaption></figure></div> <p>That phrase — “yet again” — hints at why Rhode Islanders may be skeptical about the latest announcement.</p> <p>Lifespan is owner of Rhode Island, Miriam, Newport and Bradley hospitals, while Care New England owns Women &amp; Infants, Kent and Butler. Together they are two of the state’s largest employers, with roughly 23,000 workers, and take in billions of dollars in revenue a year.</p> <p>The two organizations already have close ties, with Care New England even leasing the land that Women &amp; Infants sits on from Lifespan. But three previous merger attempts dating back to the 1990s have failed, due to a mix of personalities and politics.</p> <p>However, that tortured history may help spur completion of a transaction this time.</p> <p>A few years ago, Care New England was on the cusp of becoming a subsidiary of Boston-based Partners HealthCare, owner of Mass. General and Brigham &amp; Women’s. But Gov. Gina Raimondo stepped in late in the process and urged a renewed effort to merge Lifespan and Care New England, derailing the Partners deal.</p> <p>Raimondo had expressed concern about the loss of local control over some of the state’s most important health care facilities — a worry echoed by others including Brown President Christina Paxson, U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and Rhode Island Foundation CEO Neil Steinberg. Trends in the medical industry suggest Rhode Island’s hospitals could wind up as outposts of larger out-of-state health systems amid broader consolidation and due to a need for cash.</p> <p>"Individually, Lifespan and Care New England are smaller than major academic medical centers," the groups noted in materials released Tuesday. "The proposed merger will combine the complementary strengths of the two systems and create much-needed scale as we work to strengthen population health initiatives and move into risk-based payment systems."</p> <p>"The danger if they do not merge is the likelihood that, eventually, one or both health care systems would be compelled to merge with national, for-profit hospital systems or other regional systems from the north or south," they continued. "This could have the damaging effect of moving high-quality, specialty care out of the state, further distancing it from our local communities."</p> <p>Lifespan and CNE renewed merger talks last year, after the pandemic led to closer collaboration between the two organizations. On Tuesday, Care New England President and CEO Dr. James Fanale argued the Lifespan-CNE-Brown deal could be transformative for Rhode Island.</p> <p>“The uniting of health care with medical education and research serves to advance biomedical discovery, educate future physicians, nurses and health practitioners in medicine and health care, and create a vibrant economic nexus in the region based on the health care industry,” he said.</p> <p>Raimondo hailed the "historic agreement" in a statement Tuesday.</p> <p>"There is no question that a local, integrated health care system is in the best interest of Rhode Islanders," the governor said. "Today's announcement will benefit patients by ensuring they have access to the highest quality of care and will spur economic growth by helping us attract top talent and solidify our position as a hub of innovation and scientific development."</p> <p>Officials at the organizations argue the new health system will provide better care, promote economic development, and reduce health disparities. Lifespan Chairman Larry Aubin said it will “serve as an economic engine for the state.”</p> <p>Still, there is bound to be concern about how dominant the new Lifespan-CNE-Brown entity would be in Rhode Island health care. About 77% of all patients served by a hospital in Rhode Island went to either a Lifespan or Care New England facility in 2020, with nearly half at Lifespan, according to data published by CNE.</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <p><em><strong>Ted Nesi</strong> (<a href="mailto:tnesi@wpri.com">tnesi@wpri.com</a>) is a Target 12 investigative reporter and 12 News politics/business editor. He co-hosts <a href="https://www.wpri.com/news/newsmakers/">Newsmakers</a> and writes <a href="https://www.wpri.com/tag/nesis-notes/">Nesi's Notes</a> on Saturdays. Follow him on <a href="https://twitter.com/tednesi">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/TedNesi/">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://www.instagram.com/tnesi/?hl=en">Instagram</a></em></p> </div> RI hospital groups Lifespan, CNE sign merger deal; Brown U. commits $125M https://www.wpri.com/business-news/ri-hospital-groups-lifespan-cne-sign-merger-deal-brown-u-commits-125m/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:6ecf699c-3241-0e8b-d4e4-737c496cdc26 Tue, 23 Feb 2021 16:12:57 +0000 Rhode Island's health care landscape could be transformed by the landmark three-way agreement to create an academic medical center. <p>PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The three most powerful institutions in Rhode Island medicine announced Tuesday they have signed a landmark agreement to create an academic health system, taking a step that could transform the state’s health care industry.</p> <p>Rhode Island’s two major hospital groups, Lifespan and Care New England, said they have signed a definitive agreement to merge into a single organization. At the same time, the hospital groups signed an additional agreement with Brown University, which operates the state’s only medical school, to make Brown part of the new health system’s governing board.</p> <p>Brown’s active participation distinguishes Tuesday’s announcement from previous efforts to merge Lifespan and Care New England, not least because the Ivy League school is putting its money where its mouth is, committing to spend at least $125 million on the new effort over the next five years. Brown is already linked to both hospital groups through its Warren Alpert Medical School. </p> <p>The three not-for-profit organizations are launching a campaign to win public support for the deal, including a website called <a href="https://healthierri.com" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">HealthierRI.com</a>. They will need to get government sign-off from the R.I. Department of Health and Attorney General Peter Neronha, as well as the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. The timing of the next steps is unclear.</p> <p>“What I am most excited about is the ability of our new, locally based, academic health system to compete at a national level, innovate, attract top talent, develop new scientific knowledge, improve the care we deliver and serve as an economic engine for Providence and the state,” Lifespan President and CEO Dr. Timothy Babineau said in a statement.</p> <p>Babineau added, “This is an exciting moment in time, we cannot let it slip through our grasp yet again.”</p> <div class="wp-block-image"><figure class="aligncenter size-large is-resized"><img loading="lazy" src="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/Hospital-merger-Feb-2021.jpg?w=900" alt="" class="wp-image-805060" width="768" height="512" srcset="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/Hospital-merger-Feb-2021.jpg 1680w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/Hospital-merger-Feb-2021.jpg?resize=300,200 300w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/Hospital-merger-Feb-2021.jpg?resize=768,512 768w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/Hospital-merger-Feb-2021.jpg?resize=1080,720 1080w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/Hospital-merger-Feb-2021.jpg?resize=1536,1024 1536w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/02/Hospital-merger-Feb-2021.jpg?resize=50,33 50w" sizes="(max-width: 899px) 100vw, 768px" /><figcaption>Leaders from Lifespan, Care New England and Brown University at Tuesday's signing of an agreement to create a new academic health system in Rhode Island. (photo credit: Lifespan/CNE/Brown)</figcaption></figure></div> <p>That phrase — “yet again” — hints at why Rhode Islanders may be skeptical about the latest announcement.</p> <p>Lifespan is owner of Rhode Island, Miriam, Newport and Bradley hospitals, while Care New England owns Women &amp; Infants, Kent and Butler. Together they are two of the state’s largest employers, with roughly 23,000 workers, and take in billions of dollars in revenue a year.</p> <p>The two organizations already have close ties, with Care New England even leasing the land that Women &amp; Infants sits on from Lifespan. But three previous merger attempts dating back to the 1990s have failed, due to a mix of personalities and politics.</p> <p>However, that tortured history may help spur completion of a transaction this time.</p> <p>A few years ago, Care New England was on the cusp of becoming a subsidiary of Boston-based Partners HealthCare, owner of Mass. General and Brigham &amp; Women’s. But Gov. Gina Raimondo stepped in late in the process and urged a renewed effort to merge Lifespan and Care New England, derailing the Partners deal.</p> <p>Raimondo had expressed concern about the loss of local control over some of the state’s most important health care facilities — a worry echoed by others including Brown President Christina Paxson, U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and Rhode Island Foundation CEO Neil Steinberg. Trends in the medical industry suggest Rhode Island’s hospitals could wind up as outposts of larger out-of-state health systems amid broader consolidation and due to a need for cash.</p> <p>"Individually, Lifespan and Care New England are smaller than major academic medical centers," the groups noted in materials released Tuesday. "The proposed merger will combine the complementary strengths of the two systems and create much-needed scale as we work to strengthen population health initiatives and move into risk-based payment systems."</p> <p>"The danger if they do not merge is the likelihood that, eventually, one or both health care systems would be compelled to merge with national, for-profit hospital systems or other regional systems from the north or south," they continued. "This could have the damaging effect of moving high-quality, specialty care out of the state, further distancing it from our local communities."</p> <p>Lifespan and CNE renewed merger talks last year, after the pandemic led to closer collaboration between the two organizations. On Tuesday, Care New England President and CEO Dr. James Fanale argued the Lifespan-CNE-Brown deal could be transformative for Rhode Island.</p> <p>“The uniting of health care with medical education and research serves to advance biomedical discovery, educate future physicians, nurses and health practitioners in medicine and health care, and create a vibrant economic nexus in the region based on the health care industry,” he said.</p> <p>Officials at the organizations argue the new health system will provide better care, promote economic development, and reduce health disparities. Lifespan Chairman Larry Aubin said it will “serve as an economic engine for the state.”</p> <p>Still, there is bound to be concern about how dominant the new Lifespan-CNE-Brown entity would be in Rhode Island health care. About 77% of all patients served by a hospital in Rhode Island went to either a Lifespan or Care New England facility in 2020, with nearly half at Lifespan, according to data published by CNE.</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <p><em><strong>Ted Nesi</strong> (<a href="mailto:tnesi@wpri.com">tnesi@wpri.com</a>) is a Target 12 investigative reporter and 12 News politics/business editor. He co-hosts <a href="https://www.wpri.com/news/newsmakers/">Newsmakers</a> and writes <a href="https://www.wpri.com/tag/nesis-notes/">Nesi's Notes</a> on Saturdays. Follow him on <a href="https://twitter.com/tednesi">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/TedNesi/">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://www.instagram.com/tnesi/?hl=en">Instagram</a></em></p> </div> RIDOH makes changes to scheduling appointments at state-run mass vaccination sites https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/new-appointments-for-ri-mass-vaccination-sites-to-be-added-at-9-a-m-each-day/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:1b0a245a-2591-ee36-c484-e13906d2666d Tue, 23 Feb 2021 13:00:12 +0000 In a phone call Monday, the R.I. Department of Health told reporters it would add new appointments for the state's mass vaccination sites — the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in downtown Providence or the former Citizens Bank headquarters on Sockanosset Cross Road in Cranston — each day at 9 a.m. <p>PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — After the first day adults 65 and older could start scheduling COVID-19 vaccine appointments in Rhode Island <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/as-eligibility-for-vaccine-appointments-expands-in-ri-adults-65-hitting-roadblocks-in-scheduling/" data-type="URL" data-id="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/as-eligibility-for-vaccine-appointments-expands-in-ri-adults-65-hitting-roadblocks-in-scheduling/" target="_blank">got off to a confusing start</a>, state health officials have clarified when appointments will be added online.</p> <figure class="wp-block-embed-twitter wp-block-embed is-type-rich is-provider-twitter"><div class="wp-block-embed__wrapper"> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet tw-align-center" data-width="550" data-dnt="true"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">RIDOH will release new COVID-19 vaccine appointments at State-run sites for eligible Rhode Islanders between 9 and 10 a.m. today. Visit <a href="https://t.co/5K5eXWADSA">https://t.co/5K5eXWADSA</a> to make an appointment.</p>&mdash; Rhode Island Department of Health (@RIHEALTH) <a href="https://twitter.com/RIHEALTH/status/1364178595409723392?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 23, 2021</a></blockquote><script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> </div></figure> <p>Tuesday morning, the R.I. Department of Health tweeted that it would release new appointments at the state-run sites--- the Dunkin’ Donuts Center&nbsp;in downtown Providence and the former Citizens Bank headquarters on Sockanosset Cross Road in Cranston — between 9 and 10 a.m. </p> <p>The Health Department made an additional announcement over Twitter, noting that as supply allows, new COVID-19 vaccination appointments would be made available on Tuesdays beginning at 9 a.m. and on Fridays beginning at 5 p.m.</p> <figure class="wp-block-embed-twitter wp-block-embed is-type-rich is-provider-twitter"><div class="wp-block-embed__wrapper"> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet tw-align-center" data-width="550" data-dnt="true"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">As supply allows, new COVID-19 vaccination appointments at the State-run sites will be made available on Tuesdays beginning at 9 a.m. and on Fridays beginning at 5 p.m. More appointments may be posted to <a href="https://t.co/5K5eXWADSA">https://t.co/5K5eXWADSA</a> at other times during the week as available.</p>&mdash; Rhode Island Department of Health (@RIHEALTH) <a href="https://twitter.com/RIHEALTH/status/1364179077352083460?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 23, 2021</a></blockquote><script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> </div></figure> <p>RIDOH says additional appointments may be posted to the state's website at other times during the week as available.</p> <h2 class="has-text-align-center"><a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.vaccinateri.org/" data-type="URL" data-id="https://www.vaccinateri.org/" target="_blank">Register for a COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment in RI here »</a></h2> <p>The Health Department said Monday over 10,000 appointments would be added around 9 a.m., and a majority were fully booked before noon that day.<br><br>Anyone who’s unable to register online can get help by calling <strong>(844) 930-1779</strong>. The call center will be open on weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and weekends from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <div class="wp-block-group"><div class="wp-block-group__inner-container"> <div class="wp-block-image"><figure class="alignright size-large is-resized"><a href="https://www.wpri.com/tag/covid-19-vaccine-updates/"><img loading="lazy" src="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?w=900" alt="" class="wp-image-587749" width="221" height="147" srcset="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg 7952w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?resize=300,200 300w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?resize=768,512 768w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?resize=1079,720 1079w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?resize=1536,1025 1536w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?resize=2048,1366 2048w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?resize=50,33 50w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?resize=221,147 221w" sizes="(max-width: 899px) 100vw, 221px" /></a></figure></div> <p class="has-text-align-center has-background has-large-font-size" style="background-color:#dfdfdf"><a href="https://www.wpri.com/tag/covid-19-vaccine-updates/"><strong>COVID-19 Vaccine:</strong> Here are the latest developments »</a></p> </div></div> </div> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <h1 class="has-text-align-center">Coronavirus: Coverage and Resources</h1> <h3 class="has-text-align-center"><a href="https://www.wpri.com/covid-19-tracking-timeline-maps/">COVID-19 Tracking: Maps, Charts, Interactive Data</a> | <a href="https://www.wpri.com/covid-19-projection-models/">Projection Models</a> | <a href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/heres-where-to-get-tested-for-covid-19-in-ri-mass/">Find a Testing Site Near You</a> | <a href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/school-updates/">School Updates</a> | <a href="https://www.wpri.com/coronavirus/">Latest Headlines</a></h3> <h3 class="has-text-align-center"><strong>RI Coronavirus Hotline:</strong> (401) 222-8022 | Work-Related Questions: (401) 462-2020 | Mental Health Assistance: (401) 414-5465</h3> </div> DMV halts vanity plate applications; asks public to weigh in as to what is 'acceptable' https://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/west-bay/dmv-halts-vanity-plate-applications-asks-public-to-weigh-in-as-to-what-is-acceptable/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:b03ab219-c217-d55c-4e18-81b78e0a4ae3 Tue, 23 Feb 2021 12:26:31 +0000 If you're looking to get a vanity plate in Rhode Island, you won't be able to at this time. <p>CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — If you're looking to get a vanity plate in Rhode Island, you won't be able to at this time.</p> <p>The DMV is <a href="http://www.dmv.ri.gov/plates/vanity/" data-type="URL" data-id="http://www.dmv.ri.gov/plates/vanity/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">halting vanity plate applications</a> while asking you to weigh in what combination of letters and numbers is acceptable for public display while, at the same time, protects the vehicle owner's free speech.</p> <p>This comes from a continuing lawsuit that started back in March when Sean Carroll of Scituate sued the DMV for recalling his vanity plate.</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <aside class="promo-link"> <a href="https://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/providence/lawsuit-dmv-shouldnt-choose-which-offensive-license-plates-to-censor/" class="promo-link__link" > Lawsuit: DMV shouldn’t choose which ‘offensive’ license plates to censor </a> </aside> </div> <p>The DMV issued the plate to Carroll without a problem, and at some point, realized it could be read as a four-letter word, even though Carroll says the plate on his Tesla is an abbreviation for "Fake Gas."</p> <p>The lawsuit, filed by the Rhode Island ACLU, made its way to federal court. The issue is a state law that a federal judge ruled unconstitutional earlier this month.</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <aside class="promo-link"> <a href="https://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/providence/judge-rules-fkgas-license-plate-owner-can-keep-the-vanity-plate/" class="promo-link__link" > Related: Judge rules RI man can keep ‘FKGAS’ license plate </a> </aside> </div> <p>According to the DMV, the law reads in part, "Any letter or combination of letters and numbers that might carry connotations offensive to good taste and decency."</p> <p>That is what the DMV has used until now to determine whether to prohibit certain vanity plates.</p> <p>The DMV is now asking for public input, which began last week and goes on until May. The state wants to know what you think is appropriate to display on a license plate.</p> <h3 class="has-text-align-center"><a href="http://www.dmv.ri.gov/documents/plates/280-RICR-30-10-13%20ANPRM.pdf" data-type="URL" data-id="http://www.dmv.ri.gov/documents/plates/280-RICR-30-10-13%20ANPRM.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Questions from the DMV regarding vanity plates »</a></h3> <p>The DMV also welcomes any additional comments or questions on any other issues related to vanity plate messages.</p> RI Department of Health makes changes to scheduling appointments at state-run mass vaccination sites https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/new-appointments-for-ri-mass-vaccination-sites-to-be-added-at-9-a-m-each-day/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:baf5dc0b-e8ce-53dd-cc24-a17216ed830d Tue, 23 Feb 2021 12:00:24 +0000 In a phone call Monday, the R.I. Department of Health told reporters it would add new appointments for the state's mass vaccination sites — the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in downtown Providence or the former Citizens Bank headquarters on Sockanosset Cross Road in Cranston — each day at 9 a.m. <p>PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — After the first day adults 65 and older could start scheduling COVID-19 vaccine appointments in Rhode Island <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/as-eligibility-for-vaccine-appointments-expands-in-ri-adults-65-hitting-roadblocks-in-scheduling/" data-type="URL" data-id="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/as-eligibility-for-vaccine-appointments-expands-in-ri-adults-65-hitting-roadblocks-in-scheduling/" target="_blank">got off to a confusing start</a>, state health officials have clarified when appointments will be added online.</p> <figure class="wp-block-embed-twitter wp-block-embed is-type-rich is-provider-twitter"><div class="wp-block-embed__wrapper"> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet tw-align-center" data-width="550" data-dnt="true"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">RIDOH will release new COVID-19 vaccine appointments at State-run sites for eligible Rhode Islanders between 9 and 10 a.m. today. Visit <a href="https://t.co/5K5eXWADSA">https://t.co/5K5eXWADSA</a> to make an appointment.</p>&mdash; Rhode Island Department of Health (@RIHEALTH) <a href="https://twitter.com/RIHEALTH/status/1364178595409723392?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 23, 2021</a></blockquote><script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> </div></figure> <p>Tuesday morning, the R.I. Department of Health tweeted that it would release new appointments at the state-run sites--- the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in downtown Providence and the former Citizens Bank headquarters on Sockanosset Cross Road in Cranston — between 9 and 10 a.m. </p> <p>The department made an additional announcement over Twitter, noting that as supply allows, new COVID-19 vaccination appointments would be made available on Tuesdays beginning at 9 a.m. and on Fridays beginning at 5 p.m. </p> <figure class="wp-block-embed-twitter wp-block-embed is-type-rich is-provider-twitter"><div class="wp-block-embed__wrapper"> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet tw-align-center" data-width="550" data-dnt="true"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">As supply allows, new COVID-19 vaccination appointments at the State-run sites will be made available on Tuesdays beginning at 9 a.m. and on Fridays beginning at 5 p.m. More appointments may be posted to <a href="https://t.co/5K5eXWADSA">https://t.co/5K5eXWADSA</a> at other times during the week as available.</p>&mdash; Rhode Island Department of Health (@RIHEALTH) <a href="https://twitter.com/RIHEALTH/status/1364179077352083460?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 23, 2021</a></blockquote><script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> </div></figure> <p>RIDOH says additional appointments may be posted to the state's website at other times during the week as available.</p> <h2 class="has-text-align-center"><a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.vaccinateri.org/" data-type="URL" data-id="https://www.vaccinateri.org/" target="_blank">Register for a COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment in RI here »</a></h2> <p>The Health Department said Monday over 10,000 appointments would be added around 9 a.m., and a majority were fully booked before noon that day.<br><br>Anyone who’s unable to register online can get help by calling <strong>(844) 930-1779</strong>. The call center will be open on weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and weekends from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <div class="wp-block-group"><div class="wp-block-group__inner-container"> <div class="wp-block-image"><figure class="alignright size-large is-resized"><a href="https://www.wpri.com/tag/covid-19-vaccine-updates/"><img loading="lazy" src="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?w=900" alt="" class="wp-image-587749" width="221" height="147" srcset="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg 7952w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?resize=300,200 300w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?resize=768,512 768w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?resize=1079,720 1079w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?resize=1536,1025 1536w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?resize=2048,1366 2048w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?resize=50,33 50w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?resize=221,147 221w" sizes="(max-width: 899px) 100vw, 221px" /></a></figure></div> <p class="has-text-align-center has-background has-large-font-size" style="background-color:#dfdfdf"><a href="https://www.wpri.com/tag/covid-19-vaccine-updates/"><strong>COVID-19 Vaccine:</strong> Here are the latest developments »</a></p> </div></div> </div> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <h1 class="has-text-align-center">Coronavirus: Coverage and Resources</h1> <h3 class="has-text-align-center"><a href="https://www.wpri.com/covid-19-tracking-timeline-maps/">COVID-19 Tracking: Maps, Charts, Interactive Data</a> | <a href="https://www.wpri.com/covid-19-projection-models/">Projection Models</a> | <a href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/heres-where-to-get-tested-for-covid-19-in-ri-mass/">Find a Testing Site Near You</a> | <a href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/school-updates/">School Updates</a> | <a href="https://www.wpri.com/coronavirus/">Latest Headlines</a></h3> <h3 class="has-text-align-center"><strong>RI Coronavirus Hotline:</strong> (401) 222-8022 | Work-Related Questions: (401) 462-2020 | Mental Health Assistance: (401) 414-5465</h3> </div> Online connection helps Woonsocket nursing home residents feel close with their families https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/covid-19-one-year-later/online-connection-helps-woonsocket-nursing-home-residents-feel-close-with-their-families/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:ad1a7d56-17cc-4d3e-dbc2-6cc90c63ae54 Tue, 23 Feb 2021 11:46:03 +0000 At Oakland Grove Health Care in Woonsocket, where they lost some 30 men and women, Social Services Director Catherine Rasco knew early on they had to keep families connected. <p>WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — More than 1,400 Rhode Islanders in nursing homes died of COVID-19 over the past year, and so many long-term care staff members worked extra shifts to help out during the crisis.</p> <p>At Oakland Grove Health Care in Woonsocket, where they lost some 30 men and women, Social Services Director Catherine Rasco knew early on they had to keep families connected.</p> <p>In the early days of the pandemic, there was a palpable shift in the hall of many long-term care facilities as they dealt with crippling numbers of COVID-19 cases.</p> <p>"The staff here did amazing things, but we were scared, we were afraid, how would it affect them? How would affect us and our families? But the staff just stepped up," Rasco said.</p> <p>Rasco said she knew she had to go beyond just stepping up at the Oakland Grove Health Care Center. They had to focus on reaching out with so many families not able to see their loved ones in person.</p> <p>"I've worked here for 13 years, since I was 27, and I had never had a situation where I felt helpless," Rasco said. "People needed to feel that love and have a connection to allow that."</p> <p>That's when an online connection turned into an unexpected gift. Rosaalyn Yassurra offered to hand crochet and knit special red hearts for men and women receiving end of life care.</p> <p>"We had 30 patients who received one, some of them had them pinned on, others held them, and we sent the other one for the familiy to let them know hey were connected in some way," Rasco said.</p> <p>While Rasco showed compassion during loss, she knew it was important to celebrate those who survived the virus, and the staff that endured so much pain during the past year. She decided to organize a heroes parade, with an extra twist.</p> <p>"It was also a birthday celebration, 100 years for someone who survived COVID, it was an emotional night, lots of tears, something I will never forget," she said.</p> <p>At the Oakland Grove Center progresses with completing life-saving vaccinations, Rasco said she can start to see hope in what felt like a hopeless situation for so many days.</p> <p>"I am looking forward to group bingo! To bingo arguments! To see people in the hallways, to see families in the building, I am looking for the heartbeat of long-term care to return to the hallways," she said.</p> <p>Rasco was honored with a COVID-19 hero award, an anonymous donor contributing $28,000.</p> <p>There were also 27 different nominated health care heroes who received a small toke for their compassion and tireless efforts over the past year.</p> <p>You can meet two nursing home employees who say even though this has been a challenging year, they would do it all over again. <em><strong>Their heartfelt mission can be seen Monday night at 5 p.m. on 12 News.</strong></em></p> New appointments for RI mass vaccination sites to be added at 9 am each day https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/new-appointments-for-ri-mass-vaccination-sites-to-be-added-at-9-a-m-each-day/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:a8829099-295e-4069-8f5f-2c2ac4db8d05 Tue, 23 Feb 2021 09:54:49 +0000 In a phone call Monday, the R.I. Department of Health told reporters it would add new appointments for the state's mass vaccination sites — the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in downtown Providence or the former Citizens Bank headquarters on Sockanosset Cross Road in Cranston — each day at 9 a.m. <p>PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — After the first day adults 65 and older could start scheduling COVID-19 vaccine appointments in Rhode Island <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/as-eligibility-for-vaccine-appointments-expands-in-ri-adults-65-hitting-roadblocks-in-scheduling/" data-type="URL" data-id="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/as-eligibility-for-vaccine-appointments-expands-in-ri-adults-65-hitting-roadblocks-in-scheduling/" target="_blank">got off to a confusing start</a>, state health officials have clarified when appointments will be added online.</p> <p>In a phone call Monday, the R.I. Department of Health told reporters it would add new appointments for the state's mass vaccination sites — the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in downtown Providence or the former Citizens Bank headquarters on Sockanosset Cross Road in Cranston — each day at 9 a.m.</p> <h2 class="has-text-align-center"><a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.vaccinateri.org/" data-type="URL" data-id="https://www.vaccinateri.org/" target="_blank">Register for a COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment in RI here »</a></h2> <p>The Health Department said Monday over 10,000 appointments would be added around 9 a.m., and a majority were fully booked before noon that day.<br><br>Anyone who’s unable to register online can get help by calling <strong>(844) 930-1779</strong>. The call center will be open on weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and weekends from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <div class="wp-block-group"><div class="wp-block-group__inner-container"> <div class="wp-block-image"><figure class="alignright size-large is-resized"><a href="https://www.wpri.com/tag/covid-19-vaccine-updates/"><img loading="lazy" src="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?w=900" alt="" class="wp-image-587749" width="221" height="147" srcset="https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg 7952w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?resize=300,200 300w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?resize=768,512 768w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?resize=1079,720 1079w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?resize=1536,1025 1536w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?resize=2048,1366 2048w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?resize=50,33 50w, https://www.wpri.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/09/GettyImages-1254511513.jpg?resize=221,147 221w" sizes="(max-width: 899px) 100vw, 221px" /></a></figure></div> <p class="has-text-align-center has-background has-large-font-size" style="background-color:#dfdfdf"><a href="https://www.wpri.com/tag/covid-19-vaccine-updates/"><strong>COVID-19 Vaccine:</strong> Here are the latest developments »</a></p> </div></div> </div> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <h1 class="has-text-align-center">Coronavirus: Coverage and Resources</h1> <h3 class="has-text-align-center"><a href="https://www.wpri.com/covid-19-tracking-timeline-maps/">COVID-19 Tracking: Maps, Charts, Interactive Data</a> | <a href="https://www.wpri.com/covid-19-projection-models/">Projection Models</a> | <a href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/heres-where-to-get-tested-for-covid-19-in-ri-mass/">Find a Testing Site Near You</a> | <a href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/school-updates/">School Updates</a> | <a href="https://www.wpri.com/coronavirus/">Latest Headlines</a></h3> <h3 class="has-text-align-center"><strong>RI Coronavirus Hotline:</strong> (401) 222-8022 | Work-Related Questions: (401) 462-2020 | Mental Health Assistance: (401) 414-5465</h3> </div> Woonsocket opts out of upcoming Fall II football season https://www.wpri.com/sports/high-school-football/woonsocket-opts-out-of-upcoming-fall-ii-football-season/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:26f65f4c-0c60-26f6-e3e8-a7a65207ef39 Tue, 23 Feb 2021 04:08:02 +0000 The Woonsocket Villanovans, the two-time defending Division II state champions in football, recently moved up to Division I, will not be taking part in the upcoming Fall II football season. School administrators and head coach Charlie Bibeault tell 12 sports that with their weight room being closed and challenges with facilities including no field with [...] <p>The Woonsocket Villanovans, the two-time defending Division II state champions in football, recently moved up to Division I, will not be taking part in the upcoming Fall II football season.</p> <p>School administrators and head coach Charlie Bibeault tell 12 sports that with their weight room being closed and challenges with facilities including no field with lights, it would be unfair to put players on the field to play a contact sports without a bigger runway to get ready for a season this time of year.</p> <p>School leaders say its disappointing for the players and seniors who miss out on their senior year but they are prioritizing health and safety.</p> <div class='s2nFriendlyFrame k k-KFlm7TyP' data-type='float'></div><script type='text/javascript' src='https://embed.sendtonews.com/player4/embedcode.js?fk=KFlm7TyP&cid=9364&offsety=140&floatwidth=400&floatposition=top-right' data-type='s2nScript'></script> Masks will hopefully become a recommendation by the summer, RIDOH medical director says https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/masks-will-hopefully-become-a-recommendation-by-the-summer-ridoh-medical-director-says/ Local News | WPRI.com urn:uuid:99ce3e08-d45e-4974-6ec9-878bd75eb20c Tue, 23 Feb 2021 03:12:06 +0000 McDonald said something the pandemic has highlighted is that people of color and high dense communities were unequally impacted by the pandemic. <p>PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Dr. Jim McDonald from the R.I. Department of Health joined 12 News at 4 Monday for his weekly question and answer.</p> <p>On Monday, McDonald said 10,000 new COVID-19 vaccination appointments became available.</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <aside class="promo-link"> <a href="https://www.vaccinateri.org/" class="promo-link__link" target=&quot;_blank&quot; > Schedule a COVID-19 Vaccine </a> </aside> </div> <p>"Keep your eyes open every day," he said. "A lot of it depends on supply."</p> <p>McDonald said pharmacies' allotment of doses has increased, along with the state's, so eligible residents should make sure to check their as well.</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <aside class="promo-link"> <a href="https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/map-see-the-new-vaccine-sites-cvs-health-is-adding-in-rhode-island/" class="promo-link__link" target=&quot;_blank&quot; > Map: See the new vaccine sites CVS Health is adding in Rhode Island </a> </aside> </div> <p>He said Saturday the state administered over 9,000 doses of the vaccine.</p> <p>"You're really seeing the numbers go right up," McDonald said. "One of things you're seeing this week is we are really doing a lot more vaccines Saturday."</p> <p>As far as wearing a mask, he hopes by the summer it will be a recommendation and not a requirement.</p> <p>"Let's wait and see, I'm hoping for a nice New England summer," he said.</p> <p>McDonald said something the pandemic has highlighted is that people of color and high dense communities were unequally impacted by the pandemic.</p> <p>"It has magnified so many issues we have in our culture and one of the things I really think about is equity," he said.</p> <p>He said this is one thing that we should look back on how to fix in the future.</p> <p>"That's a good example of something that requires long-term structural change," McDonald said.</p> <p>McDonald added that he's excited about wear medicine is going, but COVID-19 won't just go away.</p> <p>"One year from now I hope we are talking about something other than the pandemic," he said. "It's going to be a normal disease like every other disease we have."</p>