Virus Outbreak Massachusetts

Diners eat in a cafe on Newbury Street, Sunday, June 28, 2020, in Boston. Under step two in phase two of the state's plan to reopen the economy during the coronavirus pandemic, beginning June 22, 2020 restaurants are allowed to serve meals indoors as well as outside. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

 

 

BOSTON (AP) — A look at coronavirus developments in New England:

 

MASSACHUSETTS

State officials reported 19 new COVID-19 deaths and 224 new positive cases of the virus Sunday.

The state's death toll now exceeds 8,000 and the total number of infections since the pandemic started in March is nearly 109,000.

Meanwhile, the city of Cambridge is reopening playgrounds, splash pads and other recreational areas starting Monday.

Basketball courts are among the facilities also allowed to reopen, though pick-up games, scrimmages and other large group play won't be permitted, city officials said. 

Courts will be open for non-contact play only and people must wait outside the court until others leave. People should also stay six feet apart, wear a face mask when possible and monitor children at all times to make they're following the guidelines. 

 

NEW HAMPSHIRE

State health officials reported 31 new cases of COVID-19 but no additional deaths Sunday. That comes after they reported two deaths and 51 new positive cases Saturday.

The weekend tallies brings New Hampshire's total death count to 367 since the pandemic started, and more than 5,700 cases of COVID-19. 

The two recent deaths were both women over the age of 60 who lived in Hillsborough County. The state Department of Health and Human Services also said Saturday that 35 people are currently hospitalized with the virus.

 

MAINE

State health officials reported 37 new coronavirus cases on Sunday and no new deaths.

The new cases brings to the total number of cases in Maine to more than 3,000. The death toll remains at 104, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Meanwhile, officials in Portland are warning bars and restaurants in the city's Old Port that police and code enforcement officials will be out enforcing the state's pandemic restrictions following reports of large crowds in the popular nightlife district in recent days.

And meat prices are on the rise in Maine as the result of temporary shutdowns of meat-processing plants around the country from COVID-19 outbreaks among workers, according to a Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram analysis of prices at the state's two largest grocery store chains, Shaw's and Hannaford Supermarkets.

The survey found ground beef prices increased as much as 30% from May 15 to June 15, and boneless chicken breasts prices rose as much as 50% during the time period.

 

RHODE ISLAND

State beaches have boosted their parking capacity this weekend to accommodate more beach goers as the state continues to reopen.

The state Department of Environmental Management announced Saturday that state beaches will now be operating at 75%, up from 50% last weekend. The agency also began providing live parking updates at riparks.com this weekend to help ease congestion. 

The agency stressed people still need to follow social distancing rules, including wearing masks around parking lots, bathrooms, concessions and other high traffic areas.

 

VERMONT

Health officials reported two new positive cases of the virus but no new deaths on Sunday. Two people are also currently hospitalized with COVID-19, according to the state Department of Health. 

Vermont has had more than 1,200 cases of the virus and 96 deaths since the pandemic started.

State lawmakers also approved more than $576 million in spending from the $1.25 billion Vermont received from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES, Act. 

Among the spending approved late Friday as the legislature adjourned until August was more than $200 million on broadband expansion, housing, and economic relief for towns and about $327 million for health care and human services-related expenses, including a "hazard pay" grant program for frontline workers and support for refugees and immigrants, and support for the legislature and state parks. 

Meanwhile, two central Vermont employers have laid off a total of roughly 100 workers due to the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

National Life Group in Montpelier said this week it has laid off 53 employees, and sock manufacturer Darn Tough, in Northfield, said it let go of just under 50 workers. 

National Life, which offers life insurance and annuity products, also laid off another 30 employees in Addison, Texas, and 12 in other remote locations, according to Mehran Assadi, the company's CEO.

He said the company does not expect further job cuts and that affected workers will be given severance pay and healthcare reimbursements.

 

CONNECTICUT

Gov. Ned Lamont reported five new coronavirus deaths and 97 new confirmed cases on Sunday.

There were a total of 46,303 cases to date and 4,316 deaths, with 103 currently hospitalized.

 

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