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January 27, 2023                                                     SPANISHPORTUGUESE

Rhode Island Community Partner Update

In This Issue

COVID-19 Update 

Temporary COVID-19 Testing to Close 

As a result of COVID-19 community levels trending downward, the COVID-19 test sites that RIDOH temporarily set up in Providence and Kent counties will close at the end of the week.  The last day of testing will be Saturday, Jan. 28. To view this week's schedule, please visit or view the banner at the top of  
COVID-19 test sites were set up in Providence and West Warwick as a temporary measure to address the post-holiday increase in cases. According to the latest data, no Rhode Island counties are currently in the high COVID-19 community level. All five counties are currently in the medium community level. Data show that cases will likely continue to go down. However, people should still take steps to protect themselves and others from COVID-19: 
COVID-19 testing is still available at many local pharmacies, clinics, and primary care offices for those who have symptoms or need to get tested after an exposure. You can also test yourself for COVID-19 at home. Federal programs are available to support free COVID-19 testing and treatment for people who are sick.  For more information about locations that offer COVID-19 testing services and where you can get free self-tests, visit 

New CDC COVID-19 Testing Resource  

This week, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  launched the COVID-19 Testing Locator website, which helps people find free COVID-19 testing sites near them. The locator is part of the CDC Increasing Community Access to Testing (ICATT) program, which provides access to COVID-19 testing, focusing on communities at a greater risk of being impacted by the pandemic, people who do not have health insurance, and surge testing in state and local jurisdiction. 

Office of Immunization Updates

Personal Stories of Families Impacted by Vaccine Preventable Disease  

Vaccines help prevent different infectious diseases. Before we had vaccines, many infectious diseases devastated communities across the globe. Misinformation about vaccines has helped some of these vaccine-preventable diseases, like measles, come back. Texas Children’s Hospital put together an Immunization Project to highlight personal stories of families impacted by vaccine-preventable diseases. 

CDC: How Vaccine Recommendations are Made  

The CDC recently released this video outlining the role of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) in vaccine recommendation. It also provides information on the development and approval process for vaccine recommendations.

Substance Use and Overdose Prevention Updates

Notice of Change to Data Waiver Program for Prescribing Buprenorphine   
Last month, President Joe Biden signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act [] into law. This Act includes three bills intended to greatly improve treatment for people who have substance use disorder (SUD). In a related development, this Act eliminated the federal requirement for practitioners to have a DATA waiver to prescribe medications, like buprenorphine, for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD). For more information, see RIDOH’s Provider Advisory.   

Governor’s Task Force Newsletter for January
The January Governor’s Overdose Task Force Newsletter features meeting highlights, such as presentations on stimulant dispensing trends and stimulant use treatment, PreventOverdoseRI’s new xylazine webpage, information about President Biden’s Consolidated Appropriations Act to improve treatment for substance use disorder, and other news. 
If you or someone you know would like to sign up to receive this newsletter, please share this link: 

Updates from the Center for Emergency Preparedness and Response

Protect Your Health During Winter Storms and Extreme Cold  

It is officially winter, which might mean snow a very low temperatures. Winter storms and extreme cold can have negative impacts on people’s health. There are steps you can take before, during, and after winter storms or extreme cold to protect your health.
  • Know the signs of and treatments for cold-related illnesses like hypothermia and frostbite:
  • Know the signs of and how to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning:
  • Wear layers when going outside. Limit exposure of your skin to the cold.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol as it can lower the body’s ability to keep warm
  • Call 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency
  • Check on older family, friends, and relatives. Older adults are especially at risk for health problems when it is very hot or very cold.
  • Be careful not to overexert yourself when shoveling snow. Stay hydrated.
  • Do not run your vehicle until exhaust pipes have been cleared of snow.
  • De-ice the sidewalk, driveway, and any well-traveled areas outside of your home. This helps to prevent slips and falls.

Press releases from the Governor’s Office:
Recent executive orders:
COVID-19 prevention guidance:
COVID-19 testing information:
COVID-19 vaccination information:
COVID-19 Information for Parents and Schools:
COVID-19 publications and resources:
COVID-19 resources in multiple languages:
CDC COVID-19 information:
Project Firstline Rhode Island: 

Social media platforms:

To view all past publications and to subscribe to our distribution list to receive future communications visit the COVID-19 Periodic Briefings, Advisories, and Updates webpage at

Please contact RIDOH Infectious Disease Communications Coordinator Aaron Frechette ( for assistance with educational materials and communication resources. Please contact the RIDOH COVID-19 Information Line at 401-222-8022, or email, with any other questions.
Copyright © 2023 The Rhode Island Department of Health, All rights reserved.

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