East Greenwich continues to hold vaccination clinics with the hope of getting more shots into the arms of locals.
According to town manager Andy Nota, the town will hold two more clinics that will be open to everyone from 12-years old and up, as recommended by RIDOH and the CDC.
The clinics will once again be held at the Swift Community Center across the parking lot from St. Luke’s Church.
They will be held on Jan. 13 and 27, and they will both be held from 2 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.
Also, they will both feature Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for those permitted to receive a booster for any of the approved vaccines.
These two clinics will increase the total clinics held by the town to 38, where approximately 10,000 have received a shot.
Vaccine doses are coming from RIDOH and, “we have not any issues in recent date with supply chain on vaccine. The issue today is more to do with the supply and timely processing of Covid tests, based on the shift and the public demand for said tests,” Nota said.
“This will represent the greater challenge moving forward, seeing that even those vaccinated individuals are seeking tests and can still be impacted, even though to a lesser degree in most cases,” he added.
In many of the town’s offering vaccination clinics, the worry among residents is the cost of administering the tests.
In East Greenwich’s case and in most, if not all of the other towns holding clinics they “have been funded through direct federal grants processed through the state RIDOH and RIEMA. No local funds are budgeted for said clinics and no local funds will be needed. If funding would be needed, we would subsidize such efforts with the federal/state funds provided already.
And, while the town is administering plenty of vaccinations, East Greenwich town employees have not escaped unscathed.
“Employees are fine and we have incurred a few random positive cases, just like in the public in general, although no major outbreaks and no impact on our ability to deliver services. We have only one employee out of approximately 150 full-time employees that is presently not in compliance with the vaccination policy or the secondary masking and testing requirements. I am addressing this personnel matter directly with this individual and their bargaining unit. This matter presently remains confidential.
Nota said, a breakdown of employee positive rates as of Monday include:
Police Dept.: We have (1) individual out in the Police Dept. with (1) having returned recently.
Fire Dept.: We have (3) out with Covid, with (1) awaiting a test result.
Public Works: We have (2) out with Covid and have had (2) return to work in previous weeks.
“These are manageable numbers and we will continue to work with staff and the public in implementing added safety measures in our attempts to prevent any widespread impact,” Nota said
Cities and towns throughout the state are asking Gov. Dan McKee if they can go back to remote meetings as Covid rolls through the state.
Nota responded that, “Municipalities are seeking support from the Governor’s office and legislature to secure the authority to utilize virtual meetings (for a defined period of time) in accordance with present OMA regulations, in those instances that each community feels is necessary. Flexibility in the months to follow will permit all municipalities to continue to conduct local business on an as-needed basis, whether through in-person, hybrid or virtual meetings,” Nota added.
He concluded saying, “East Greenwich with its very favorable vaccination rate and extremely responsive and self-reliant community members is placed in a good health position overall, although that being said, we all need to remain vigilant and prudent in our cautionary actions in the months to follow.”