PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Walgreens clarified that teachers, school staff and child care workers in Rhode Island are now eligible to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine at some of their retail pharmacies in the state.
Walgreens added then removed teachers from the eligibility list, before adding them again Monday.
“We apologize for the confusion this caused our customers, and will continue to work hand in hand with the state of Rhode Island to vaccinate our most vulnerable patients as quickly as possible,” the company said in a statement.
The announcement did come with some words of caution.
The vaccine is still in high demand and Walgreens says customers “may experience temporary issues with our vaccine scheduler, which may include delays and confusion in updating eligibility in their area.”
Some CVS locations in the state are also offering vaccines to teachers.
More than 232,000 people in Rhode Island have received their first dose of a vaccine, while more than 91,000 people have been fully vaccinated, according to state Department of Health numbers released Monday.
Gov. Daniel McKee last week announced that the state was working on a plan to prioritize teachers for vaccinations.
Rhode Island had 860 new confirmed coronavirus cases and eight more virus-related deaths over the past three days, the state Department of Health said Monday.
There have now been almost 129,000 known cases and 2,549 fatalities since the pandemic started. The department does not update on the weekends.
The number of people in the state’s hospitals with COVID-19 fell to about 130 as of Saturday, the latest day for which the information was available, the lowest one-day total since mid-October.
The latest seven-day average positivity rate in Rhode Island is 2.04%. State health departments are calculating positivity rate differently across the country, but for Rhode Island the AP calculates the rate by dividing new cases by test encounters using data from The COVID Tracking Project.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Rhode Island has dropped from about 320 on Feb. 21 to about 241 on Sunday, according to The COVID Tracking Project.
Many students in Cranston returned to the classroom full-time Monday for the first time in about a year.
Elementary and middle school students were given the option to attend in-person classes after the Cranston School Committee voted last week to allow the full-time return to school.
Many students had been learning in a hybrid model, but Superintendent Jeannine Nota-Masse said that plan isn’t an option anymore. Parents can opt out of in-person learning for their children.
High school students in Cranston will remain on a hybrid schedule for the time being.
State education officials say 208 schools in Rhode Island have moved to in-person learning, 99 are hybrid, and four schools are still remote.
PPP LOAN WEBINARS
The U.S. Small Business Administration in Providence announced Monday that it has scheduled two webinars this week for small business owners who want to apply for Paycheck Protection Program loans.
The agency said only a few weeks remain to apply, and because there are udates to the program, the webinars will help people increase their maximum loan amount.
The webinars are scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday mornings.
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