October 14, 2022
SPANISH / PORTUGUESE
Rhode Island COVID-19 Partner Update
All Five Counties Upgraded to Medium COVID-19 Community Level
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated the COVID-19 community levels for Rhode Island’s counties. Case and hospitalization metrics for all Rhode Island counties (Washington, Providence, Bristol, Kent and Newport) are now designated as “medium.”
Each week the CDC identifies the COVID-19 community level in every county in the country as “low,” “medium,” or “high” using case rates and data on hospital admissions and percentage of hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients. The CDC has recommendations by community level available online. Regardless of the designation of someone’s county, everyone should get tested if they have symptoms of COVID-19 and stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines. (This means getting the recommended booster dose when you are eligible.)
Monkeypox Vaccination Update
The Rhode Island Department of Health is reaching out to community members and partners to better understand demand and perceptions around JYNNEOS monkeypox vaccines. This survey should take less than five minutes. Responses are voluntary and will be confidential. Responses will be analyzed in aggregate, meaning as a group, instead of at an individual level. RIDOH maintains confidentiality by using REDCap, which is a HIPAA-compliant tool for gathering data. Information will be used to inform RIDOH’s monkeypox vaccination campaigns. Thank you and your community members for taking the time to complete this short survey. Your input is appreciated!
For an updated list of monkeypox vaccination clinics, please see bit.ly/MPVvaccine
For more information about monkeypox, please see health.ri.gov/monkeypox.
COVID-19 Vaccine Update
Stay up to Date with COVID-19 Vaccines and Get Your Booster Dose!
You are best protected from COVID-19 when you are up to date with the COVID-19 vaccines recommended for you—this includes booster doses. COVID-19 vaccines are recommended by age and health status.
As of October 12, CDC recommends that everyone age 5 or older get an updated bivalent COVID-19 booster dose at least two months after their last dose (e.g., after their primary series or after their last booster dose) or three months after a recent COVID-19 infection. Before October 12, bivalent boosters were only available to people age 12 or older.
“Bivalent” means that these boosters protect people against two strains of COVID-19, the original strain and the Omicron variant.
Right now, there are two bivalent boosters, one from Pfizer and one from Moderna. The booster from Pfizer can be used by people age 5 or older. The booster from Moderna can be used by people age 6 or older.
Everyone age 5 or older should get an updated, bivalent booster at least two months after their last dose or three months after a recent COVID-19 infection. This recommendation applies no matter how many booster doses a person has already received. For example, if you got your primary series and two booster doses, you should still get an updated booster at least two months after your last dose.
You can find bivalent boosters in most places that offer COVID-19 vaccine. You can find vaccines near you at Vaccines.Gov. For more information on COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccines, please visit C19VaccineRI.org.
If you are unable to leave your home and need to schedule an at-home vaccination, visit covid.ri.gov/vaccination#athome. You can call Alert Ambulance, Purple Shield Medical, Bristol Emergency Medical Services, or Cumberland Emergency Services for support.
For more information on staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccines, please visit CDC’s webpage on COVID-19 vaccines.
Substance Use and Overdose Prevention Update
Public Health Alert: Increased Drug Overdose Activity in Cumberland, Lincoln, Smithfield, and North Smithfield
On Oct. 12, RIDOH and BHDDH issued a Public Health Alert due to increased non-fatal opioid overdose activity in Cumberland, Lincoln, Smithfield, and North Smithfield (Region 3). This alert was prompted by an exceedance of the pre-established opioid overdose threshold in this region for a seven-day period, from Oct. 2, 2022 to Oct. 8, 2022. In addition, East Greenwich, West Greenwich, Exeter, Richmond, and Hopkinton (Region 9) reached pre-established opioid overdose threshold activity for ED visits and EMS runs. Read the full Alert here: https://bit.ly/3ThTpjG
Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force
September’s Task Force newsletter for the Governor’s Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force includes highlights from the recent monthly meeting, International Overdose Awareness Day and statewide naloxone distribution, an upcoming stigma training webinar opportunity, a social media campaign about peer recovery outreach specialists, and other news. Read the newsletter and please share across your networks. https://bit.ly/3Lsmw0P
Rally 4 Recovery Features Celebrations and Support
Sunny skies and positive vibes drew hundreds of attendees to the 2022 Rally 4 Recovery that was held on September 17 at the Temple to Music in Roger Williams Park, Providence. There were more than 60 resources tables, guest speakers, a job fair, music, food, and other activities at this year’s event. Find a connection to local recovery resources at PreventOverdoseRI.org.
Drug Take Back Day is October 29
Prescription drugs, like opioids and antibiotics, should never be shared – intentionally or unintentionally. It’s important to dispose of medications properly to make sure they don’t get into the wrong hands. You can drop off these and any medications, no questions asked, at Rhode Island State Police barracks and most local police departments on Drug Take Back Day on Oct. 29 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. There are many other locations statewide, like pharmacies, where you can also dispose of medications off anytime. To learn more and find a prescription drug take back location near you, click here.