Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 — May, 18, 2022

“Shared expectations lead to predictability.”

541.   Questionnaire Result #1 – The pace of changing restrictions is explored.

         QHow many members of our congregation want to lift all restrictions quickly?

         A:  Our UUS:E congregation feels comfortable with the pace we have been changing restrictions to match the rise and fall as risks fluctuate.  The number who want to go slower is almost as large as the group who want to go faster.  This is the conclusion of one analysis made from the questionnaire conducted in April.

The UUS:E Emergency Preparedness Task Force decided to determine how the congregation views their comfort levels on a series of actions we may be taking.  In April, a questionnaire was developed and copies were sent out to members and friends of the church.  After nearly 2 weeks, 147 people had returned replies.  In the narrative sections, where respondents used their own words to convey their thoughts, 51 commented on their view of the pace we have been moving toward a return to normal.  The majority, 27 of those responses, felt the current pace was good.  Rating the pace as needing to go faster were 14 and needing to go slower were 10.  The conclusion was reached that “In the future, these respondents would likely accept changes that would be slightly less restrictive than we had made before.  But that edge is narrow, and dramatic moves to remove or impose restrictions would not be possible.  Those on either side can easily see that not everyone feels the same way that they do.  This analysis will be used as we develop future changes to our policies.”    

542.  Hospitals that treat the uninsured face a financial crisis.

         Q:  How long will federal funding cover the costs of care for Covid-19?

         A:  In a recent New York Times article, Noah Weiland, health reporter in the Washington office, defined a fiscal crisis hospitals are starting to face as federal funds for pandemic aid is drying up.  Previously, billions of dollars in aid not only guaranteed that uninsured Covid patients would not face medical bills during the pandemic, it also offered a lifeline for financially stressed institutions that provide extensive uncompensated care for the poor.  This infusion of aid is now ending.  Doctors and nurses say that a wide range of health problems that worsened during the pandemic are now overwhelming hospitals.  And by law, patients without the ability to pay must be treated, raising the costs to hospitals.

This Covid-19 Uninsured Program provided more than $20 billion in reimbursements to roughly 50,000 hospitals, clinics and other providers for testing, vaccinating and treating the uninsured.  A pandemic relief package that has stalled in the Senate will most likely not be passed leaving reimbursements during future Covid waves unlikely.  And the Biden administration’s social policy bill, which would have provided poor adults in states that did not expand Medicaid with access to free coverage, appears all but dead.

543.   A new CDC tool can evaluate cruise ships’ ability to manage Covid.

         Q:  Are all cruise lines operating safely now? 

         A:  The CDC has established a “cruise ship status dashboard.”  This new color-coding system gives travelers information they can use to make informed decisions before choosing to travel. Color status designations indicate the number of COVID-19 cases reported for each ship in the program, whether an investigation is needed, and additional public health measures a ship is taking.

This website can be found at:

But participation is not mandatory and many ships do not appear in this dashboard.  In addition, managing Covid on a ship cannot be compared to how Covid is managed onshore.  On a cruise ship, quarantine usually must be in the stateroom, away from scheduled activities and excursions.  Development of serious cases at home can have care provided in a hospital, of which there are now many available.  On a cruise ship, the medical ward is usually small and limited in the services it can provide.  The number of crew members on board is limited, and if any test positive, they can not help others while they are quarantined.  If tested positive toward the end of the cruise, the passenger will have to leave the ship before the quarantine period is over and complete it in a hotel at their own expense.  Most cruises do not provide compensation for post-cruise quarantines – or for the added costs of the delayed return travel home!

544.  New York City is in a higher CDC category of infection but is not taking action.

         Q: How can I find out if it is safe to visit my brother out west?  I don’t know anything about conditions out there!

         A:  There is now a “Covid-19 Visit Risk Calculator” to help people safely go anywhere.  This includes making a visit, attending a meeting, going to a party, or simply sightseeing.  Vaccination programs against COVID-19 are well underway and various jurisdictions are lifting their previous COVID-19 public health measures. However, COVID-19 remains an important public health issue as it continues to spread in communities around the world, especially with the emergence of variants of concern such as Omicron. As a result, careful assessment before deciding to visit with others remains vitally important.

Using the best available scientific evidence and the input of leading experts in infectious diseases, public health and epidemiology, this website was developed in Toronto, Canada by the Ryerson University’s National Institute on Aging (NIA) to help people of different ages and states of health better understand the factors that affect the risk of getting COVID-19 when visiting others. Many of these same factors also apply to the risk of getting other respiratory infections like influenza.

It takes about 3 minutes to answer this website’s short online risk calculator questions,  The tool can be used at any time for a fresh assessment.  The information you provide to access and use this website is collected anonymously.

You can access this tool at:

My COVID-19 Visit Risk Calculator (2021 – 2022) (

545.  Covid-19  is surging faster than our New England neighbors.

         Q:  Are we better or worse with Covid-19 than our neighboring states?

         A:  The New York Times is publishing a daily dashboard tracking the coronavirus in places across the United States.

This can be found at:

It is interesting to review how Connecticut is doing compared with its neighboring states.

As of May 15, 2022:


Daily Cases per 100,000 population 14 day change Daily deaths per 100,000 population 14 day change
Connecticut 53 +105% 0.16 +150%
Massachusetts 61 +56% 0.12 +44%
Rhode Island 72 +59% 0.11 +43%
New York 53 +43% 0.11 +27%


All four neighboring states over the past two weeks have seen an increase in the prevalence of cases and deaths within their borders.  But the rates of increase in cases in Connecticut is nearly double that of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and over double that of New York.  The Connecticut rate of deaths is well over 3 times that of other neighboring states.  Connecticut is experiencing a greater surge than our neighboring three states.  If you are eligible, getting a booster shot is of significant importance to prevent infection – even if you are already fully vaccinated.