Developments in the coronavirus outbreak across New England:
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont has received his second dose of the Pfizer vaccine and and is urging residents to sign up for their shots when they become eligible.
The 67-year-old received his second dose on Friday at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford. He was administered his initial shot on Feb. 16.
“I view receiving the COVID-19 vaccine as part of my obligation to protect myself, members of my administration, and my family,” Lamont said in a statement. “As we continue our vaccine rollout, I continue to urge all of our residents to receive their vaccination once they are eligible. These vaccines are safe, effective, and they will help us get back to normal.”
Currently, people age 55 and older are eligible to make vaccination appointments in Connecticut. The age threshold changes on March 22, when people 45 years and older can sign up for a shot. Lamont has said he expects Connecticut will be able to meet President Joe Biden’s call to make all adults eligible for COVID-19 vaccines by May 1. During an event on Friday, Lamont said he hopes to speed up the state’s current age-based rollout.
“Give us a few days to get back to you, but I think we’re going to try and accelerate along the way,” Lamont said during a news conference at a Danbury vaccination clinic.
More than 36,000 people have tested positive for the virus in Maine, including 206 cases announced Saturday. One new death was announced, bringing the total to 724.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Maine has risen over the past two weeks from 152 new cases per day on Feb. 25 to 172 new cases per day on March 11.
Light, fabric and rocks representing lives lost are part of a COVID-19 Memorial at the Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester this weekend.
Alongside one exterior wall, flecks of light representing each of the 2,206 people who have died in Essex County rise from the ground to the sky. Along a short path are lighted stone cairns in memory of the 61 people from Cape Ann’s four communities, and inside, a blue and white while features 41 squares for residents of Gloucester alone who have died.
“I hope it will provide the community with an opportunity to grieve, remember, and begin obviously what is a long process of healing,” Oliver Barker, the museum’s director, told Boston.com.
The memorial is open through Sunday. Visitors can reserve a time slot online.
The University of New Hampshire is helping public health officials better understand how variations of the coronavirus are circulating in the public.
The university recently started genomic sequencing of the virus from samples submitted to its testing lab and samples provided by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Sequencing of the first several hundred samples were completed last week, and the variant first detected in the United Kingdom was found in two samples. That variant first showed up in New Hampshire last month. Patient information in such cases is forwarded to the state for further action if necessary.
More than 78,000 people have tested positive for the virus in New Hampshire, including 256 cases announced Saturday. Four new deaths were announced, bringing the total to 1,199.
The latest federal coronavirus relief package will be a lifeline for working parents, U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse said Saturday.
Whitehouse, a Democrat, said the bill will send $93 million to Rhode Island child care centers.
“Parents of young children have had to navigate the impossible situation of balancing full-time jobs with reduced options for child care during the pandemic,” Whitehouse said in a statement. “The burden has disproportionately fallen on women, many of whom have had no choice but to step back from their careers."
The funding is expected to include $36 million for child care block grants, $57 million for child care stabilization grants and $3 million for Rhode Island Head Start programs.
Vermont Health Commissioner Mark Levine has received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Levine was vaccinated Friday at the University of Vermont Medical Center vaccination clinic held at the Essex fairgrounds, the state Health Department said.
Before receiving the shot, Levine reflected on what it means during the governor’s twice-weekly virus briefing.
“Like many of you, I look forward to spending time with family and friends, to seeing my out-of-state son and his wife, and my daughter and her husband and hugging my granddaughter. And yes, hugging will be in order and will be the doctor’s order for all of you who follow in my footsteps.”
He said while he’s somewhat grateful for Zoom that allowed him to see his granddaughter, “it has not come even close for missing seeing her grow from a five-month-old baby to a year-and-a-half (old) toddler.”