BOSTON (AP) — A look at coronavirus developments around New England:
Hartford’s Puerto Rican Day parade returned to city streets Saturday for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic started, with colorful floats winding their way through neighborhoods.
People on the floats and in vehicles in the caravan waved the red, white and blue flags of Puerto Rico and played music as hundreds of onlookers cheered and displayed their own flags. This year’s procession was smaller than in previous years.
Last year’s parade was canceled because of the pandemic. Saturday’s event also honored health care workers, first responders and other essential personnel for their work during the pandemic.
Parade watcher Juliany Polar said the parade had the atmosphere of a neighborhood party.
“People are happy,” Polar told the Hartford Courant. “People are ready to get out and about and enjoy the better weather, the better rates against COVID.”
State health officials on Saturday reported four additional deaths and more than 200 new cases of COVID-19.
Officials also said there are 181 patients currently hospitalized with the virus, of which 65 are in the ICU.
The state is averaging about 166 new cases a day, down from about 572 two weeks ago.
Massachusetts has recorded 17,907 deaths and more than 660,000 cases of the virus since the pandemic started.
Health officials in Maine on Saturday reported one additional death and nearly 100 new cases of COVID-19.
The state Center for Disease Control and Prevention also reported 62 patients with COVID-19 were hospitalized, with about half of them in intensive care.
Maine has reported 839 deaths and more than 68,000 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic started. The state is averaging around 72 new cases a day, down from about 194 a day two weeks ago.
A local baseball team is partnering with a public health network for a pop-up vaccine clinic in New Hampshire.
The clinic, run by the Greater Monadnock Public Health Network, targeted Keene SwampBats baseball fans Friday and Saturday.
“As an organization, we support the Greater Monadnock Public Health Network and their mission,” Kevin Watterson, SwampBats president, said in a statement. “Teaming up to offer community members who want a vaccine a seamless path to receiving it and taking in a ball game at the same time is a home run.”
The team was founded in 1998 and is a member of the New England Collegiate Baseball League that brings in college baseball players from throughout the country for the summer baseball season.
A Rhode Island town is unveiling a memorial to residents that died from COVID-19.
A public unveiling of the memorial in North Kingstown will be held Saturday evening outside the Old Meeting House and will include music, candlelight and remarks from local residents.
The Providence Journal reports artist Nancy Rafi and community volunteers in North Kingstown have created the display of white flags staked into the ground to honor the more than 80 residents that have died in the town of roughly 26,000.
Some of the flags include the names of the victims, as well as the date they died, a photograph and some words of remembrance.
Rafi tells the newspaper that the display will be up for several months and that volunteers will continue to make additional flags as needed. The North Kingstown Arts Council provided a $1,500 grant for the effort but organizers are also allowing anyone to sponsor a flag.
The Burlington Discover Jazz Festival is back with live music in Vermont's largest city after being cancelled last year amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The ten-day event kicked off on Friday night and is Burlington's first big event since the start of the pandemic.
The festival will be full of free outdoor events. Free music is being offered on the Church Street Marketplace, waterfront park, and city hall park venues as well as two more locations — at Starr Farm Park and Roosevelt Park in the Old North End — to avoid major overcrowding.
This year, there's a 900-person capacity limit at every event.
“Volunteers and folks from the Flynn and BCA (Burlington City Arts) will be counting to make sure we don’t cross that threshold,” Brian Lowe, Burlington's COVID-19 response leader, told WPTZ-TV.