March 26, 2021 Briefing

Below are the latest health-related news, media announcements, resources, and updates for our CTC-RI practice and community members during the COVID-19 crisis. The next briefing will be shared in the coming weeks as needed.

Latest News and Media Announcements 

March 25 announcements from Governor McKee and Director Alexander-Scott press conference:
  • Governor McKee noted RI currently has the capacity to administer 100,000 vaccine doses per week, and next week the state's capacity will increase to 160,000 doses. The state is receiving roughly 50,000 vaccine doses per week from the federal government. 488,430 vaccine doses have been administered in RI, including fully vaccinated 187,694 individuals.

  • Governor McKee noted the next age cohort (50-59 years of age) should be eligible to get the vaccine by April 5. If the vaccine rollout remains on target, the 40-49 age cohort would become eligible on April 12 and the 16-39 age cohort eligible on April 19 (according to RIDOH, roughly 45% of the 60-64 age cohort has been vaccinated).

  • Starting March 26, restaurants and catered events can increase outdoor seating capacity from 8 people to 10 people per party size. Self-seating at food establishments will be allowed. Commerce continues to evaluate the public health conditions to determine when restaurants can increase indoor dining capacity from 75% to 100%, which neighboring MA just allowed this week.
Health and Vaccine Updates and Resources

"Path to Free Vaccine" Document Recaps Current Vaccine Avenues and Information
RIDOH is offering a "Path to Free Vaccine" document to communicate the various avenues and opportunities for vaccination currently in RI, as well as local community information.

COVID-19 Monoclonal Antibody Treatment Available
MABS (monoclonal antibodies) is a fast, easy, and highly effective treatment for COVID-19. If you’ve tested positive, ask your doctor right away about MABS. This treatment is most successful on mild to moderate symptoms. Many people start feeling better as early as the next day. Learn more at

Private Vaccine Clinics Available for 16-22 Year Olds with Disabilities and Underlying Medical Conditions
RIDOH is partnering with the Rhode Island Medical Reserve Corp to run private clinics for people 16-22 years old with intellectual or developmental disabilities and underlying medical conditions at increased risk for complications if infected with COVID-19. These private clinics will meet the needs of youth with mobility issues and behavioral health conditions that require additional support during the vaccination process.

2-1-1 Provides Vaccine Registration Support
People who live, work, or go to school in Rhode Island can now get additional support when scheduling a COVID-19 vaccine appointment. People can call 2-1-1 to talk to a live, trained person who can offer help in multiple languages when scheduling appointments on or signing up for the COVID-19 Vaccine Interest Notification List on This help is available 24/7. For more information about COVID-19 vaccination in Rhode Island, visit RIDOH’s COVID-19 Vaccine page.

Homebound Rhode Islanders Can Now Receive Vaccines
RIDOH is partnering with three agencies — Alert Ambulance, MedTech Ambulance, and PACE — to administer COVID-19 vaccines to homebound people in their residences. After completing this survey, one of these agencies will contact an interested individual to schedule a vaccination appointment.

COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs for the Public  
RIDOH maintains updated FAQs regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, answering questions from, "How do I get vaccinated for COVID-19?" to "Will I get sick from the vaccine?"

Walmart and Stop & Shop Now Offering COVID-19 Vaccines
Stop & Shop vaccines are available in 4 location (Lincoln, North Smithfield, Warwick, and East Providence) and 9 Walmart locations have started offering the vaccine (Coventry, Cranston, Newport, North Kingstown, North Smithfield, Providence, Warwick, and Westerly). Click here for more details.

State Launches "Vaccine Interest Notification List" 
RIDOH has launched a notification list for individuals interested in the opportunity to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. People not currently eligible can add their contact information to this list to get updates as eligibility opens to new groups. Enrolling in this list does not guarantee an appointment for vaccination.

Talking About the 3 Available COVID-19 Vaccines
The emergency use authorization of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine is great news for vaccine access across the country. With 3 vaccines now available, many people have questions about the differences. It is critical to communicate that all three vaccines are safe and effective and that the best vaccine is whichever one is available. Download and share the Public Health Community Collaborative’s one-pager and social media content with FAQs about the 3 vaccines and visit their tough Q&A, recently updated to address the latest pandemic news, to support your COVID-19 vaccine communication efforts.

AMA Offers "Do’s and Don’ts for Talking with Patients about COVID-19 Vaccines"
To build COVID-19 vaccine acceptance, it is vital that physicians and health systems communicate effectively. This means using the right words, the right messengers and the right methods to reach diverse audiences. The AMA offers a COVID-19 vaccines guide for physicians to help build trust in vaccine safety and efficacy. 

CDC Provides Ready-Made Toolkits for Medical Centers, Pharmacies, and Clinicians to Help Build Confidence in COVID-19 Vaccination Among Healthcare Teams
CDC has released several audience-specific toolkits with ready-to-use materials to help build confidence in COVID-19 vaccination, answer patient questions, and provide proper storage and handling information. Toolkit content includes items such as posters, flyers, newsletter templates, social media messages, and more.

Ad Council Launches "It's Up to You" Campaign on Making Informed Vaccine Choices
The Ad Council officially launched their COVID-19 vaccination campaign, “It’s Up to You,” focused on helping people make informed choices about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. All of their materials are open source so everyone can share unified, tested messages that move people to vaccinate.

Additional COVID-Related Resources for Practices

Rhode Island-Specific Results from National Primary Care Survey
State-specific results are now available from the national Larry A. Green Center and Primary Care Collaborative survey fielded February 12-16, 2021. Click here to view the results.

Be Kind RI Connects Neighbors in Need with Volunteers
Be Kind RI is a new technology platform that connects volunteers to their neighbors across Rhode Island through text alerts to coordinate food deliveries from grocery stores and food pantries. Volunteers can lend a hand where and when they can. Be Kind was made possible through a partnership between Age-Friendly Rhode Island, Rhode Island Community Food Bank, and Family Service of RI.

Mental Health First Aid Virtual Class on April 10
With the support of the EOHHS Healthcare Workforce Transformation Project, CCRI is offering a free virtual Mental Health First Aid class on Saturday, April 10, from 8:30am–2pm. Virtual Mental Health First Aid is a class that teaches attendees to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. The training provides participants with the skills needed to reach out and provide initial assistance to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem or experiencing a crisis. All participants are required to complete the 2-hour self-guided coursework and take the quiz before they may participate in the virtual real-time class. Seats are currently available for the April 10 class, but space is limited. Please contact Mackenzie Johnson, Program Director of Continuing Education in Nursing and Allied Health at [email protected] to register.

COVID Black Launches to Address Racial Health Disparities
COVID Black provides critical information and data that, long-term, can help to combat heath disparities and foster health equity. Its purpose is also to restore a sense of humanity for our Black Community as we honor Black Americans who have physically died from COVID-19 at twice the rate of any other racial/ethnic group in this nation. The new website features a Homegoing Living Memorial in their honor, which will be updated on an ongoing basis.

Locate a Rhode Island COVID-19 Testing Site
RIDOH's testing webpage features updated information on drive-up/walk-up testing sites, and weekly rapid testing opportunities, available throughout the state.

Free Mental Health Support Lines for Healthcare Workers
Lifespan and Care New England have partnered to offer a free service available to all healthcare workers in Rhode Island, and can be accessed Monday - Saturday, 8am - 8pm by calling 401-606-6000. Callers will be offered an appointment for support from an individual provider. There is also a national Peer Support Line for physicians navigating the pandemic.  

Support for Patients with Diabetes
People with diabetes using Novo Nordisk Inc. insulin who have lost health insurance coverage because of a change in job status due to COVID-19 may now be eligible for enrollment in the company's Diabetes Patient Assistance Program and receive insulin free of charge for 90 days. Criteria can be found on or by calling 1-844-NOVO4ME (1-844-668-6463).

If you have any further questions, please reach out to CTC-RI directly at [email protected].
Care Transformation Collaborative of RI | [email protected] |