PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo has a message for Super Bowl fans this year: Enjoy the game, but when it comes to parties, wait until next year.
The Democrat this week reminded residents that they should limit any gatherings for Sunday's big game to their immediate household.
“The end of this pandemic is in sight and we can’t throw that progress away,” she wrote in an message to Rhode Islanders. “We’ll all be able to gather soon, and before you know it, we’ll be watching the start of the 2021 season together.”
Rhode Island’s seven-day average of new cases continues to fall, from 756 on Jan. 22 to 493 on Friday. No new data was announced on Saturday.
In other coronavirus-related developments around New England:
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal said Saturday he expects Connecticut will receive a large influx of federal funding from President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief legislation that is working its way through Congress, money that can be used to ramp up vaccinations throughout the state.
‘Hundreds of millions of dollars will come to Connecticut so we can vaccinate everyone. And we need to do it as quickly as possible,” said Blumenthal, who was on hand for a vaccination clinic at Dunkin’ Donuts Park in Hartford.
The Senate early Friday approved a measure that would let Democrats muscle Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan through the chamber without Republican support. That package, which includes $160 billion in funding for vaccination and testing efforts, now returns to the House for further action.
Blumenthal said large vaccination sites like the one at the baseball stadium in Hartford are going to be needed as more vaccines are approved and more doses are delivered to the state.
Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin, a fellow Democrat, said he expected more than 200 people would be vaccinated on Saturday. While the city plans to hold another event at the ballpark next weekend, Bronin said there are smaller clinics being held during the week, as well as mobile units that are going to people’s homes and neighborhoods.
Appointment-only vaccination clinics were being held throughout the state on Saturday. Currently, residents 75 years and older are allowed to get the shot.
The seven-day average of daily new cases in Connecticut stood at about 1,336 on Friday, down from 2,056 on Jan. 22.
Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey has warned Androscoggin county commissioners that they must abide by the governor’s executive order requiring masks at public meetings.
In a letter sent Friday to the commission’s chairperson, Frey wrote that not only are face masks now mandated for public meetings, they’re also the smart way to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
“My office has received reports that at one or more public meetings of the Androscoggin County Commissioners, there were individuals in attendance, including commissioners, who were not wearing masks,” Frey wrote in the letter, The Portland Press Herald reported.
The warning comes after the commission met Wednesday to consider a resolution against mask-wearing. Many of those at the meeting were not wearing masks. The commission voted 4-3 to postpone action on the resolution.
Following the meeting, Androscoggin County Sheriff Eric Samson said Thursday that he and his staffers won’t attend future meetings in person because of the risk of contracting COVID-19.
Maine’s seven-day average for new cases is now 284, down significantly since the holidays.
On Saturday, the Maine Center for Disease Control reported two more deaths, bringing the state’s total to 634.
Remote teaching comes with its share of surprises, as teacher Betsy Doyle was reminded Friday when the fire alarm sounded in the home of one of her students.
The alarm went off just as the Brockton teacher was instructing her fourth-grade class on Zoom. The 9-year-old female student alerted her teacher.
“She was like, ‘the fire alarm is going off Mrs. Doyle. The fire alarm is going off!’" Doyle told WCVB-TV.
Doyle, who could hear the alarm over her computer, told the student to flee her home and called the fire department.
“That was not something I thought I’d be dealing with,” Doyle said.
Firefighters found found clothes burning in a downstairs bedroom but WCVB reports there was no serious damage.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Massachusetts stood at about 2,851 on Friday, down from 4,504 on Jan. 22.
Fifty-nine newly confirmed coronavirus deaths were announced on Saturday, bringing the state’s confirmed COVID-19 death toll to 14,622 since the start of the pandemic.
The University of New Hampshire has canceled overseas programs for this summer and the fall, citing uncertainty about the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, the emergence of new variants of the virus and restrictions on U.S. travel.
The decision was announced Jan. 27 by the UNH Global office and the Education Abroad team.
“We thought it would be important to be transparent and send this message at the beginning of the semester, so that students can plan accordingly,” said Leonie Meijer, interim director of education abroad.
Students can petition to override this decision on a case-by-case basis. Examples of possible exceptions are travel to a country that permits entry for study or internships and exchanges accepting U.S. students.
New Hampshire’s seven-day average for new cases has decreased over the past two weeks from 779 new cases on Jan. 22 to 394 on Friday.
Six additional deaths were announced on Friday, bringing the state’s total to 1,091.
The state of Vermont is continuing to monitor the increased spread of the coronavirus in Bennington County in the southern part of the state, Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine said.
The Health Department plans to increase opportunities for testing in the region and is engaging the ski industry in the effort, he said Friday, during the state’s virus briefing.
“The situation there started with multihousehold gatherings in early December and does reflect to a minor degree the increased virus activity in neighboring New York state and possibly visitors to ski resorts,” Levine said. “But I must stress that the majority is just plain community transmission at work sites and throughout communities.”
He urged people to be vigilant and to maximize distancing and masking and avoid crowded indoor settings.
Vermont reported 150 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, for a statewide total since the pandemic began of over 12,700 cases. A single additional death was reporting, bringing the state’s total to 182.
Vermont’s seven-day average of new cases has dropped slightly in the past two weeks, from 146 on Jan. 22 to 136 on Friday.