Trump Wades Into Maine Reopening Debate: Today's Coronavirus Primer for New England

The latest update on coronavirus cases across the region

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Here's a look at the latest news around New England related to the coronavirus pandemic:


As the sun shined and temperatures climbed into the mid-70s on Sunday, Revere Beach filled with people trying to take advantage of the warmer weather, something the city used as an opportunity to hand out face masks and other supplies. 

The weekend warmup came just days after the governor signed an executive order requiring everyone to wear a face mask, in an effort to combat the coronavirus. 

Mayor Brian Arrigo and a handful of volunteers set up tables along the beach and distributed 1,000 bags that also included gloves and alcohol wipes. 

Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo and a handful of volunteers set up tables along the beach and distributed 1,000 bags that included masks, gloves and alcohol wipes.

Long-term care facilities in Massachusetts accounted for nearly 60% of all coronavirus-related deaths in the state, one of the highest publicly reported rates in the country.

Citing data from the Kaiser Family Foundation, The Boston Globe reports Rhode Island appears to have the highest rate in the nation, at about 71%, followed by Massachusetts.

About 41,000 people are living in nursing and rest homes in Massachusetts.

“If you have someone in the nursing home, you are just holding your breath,” said Elizabeth Dugan, associate professor of gerontology at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

State data shows that at least 67% of the state's 476 long-term care facilities have reported infections.

A Walmart in Worcester was closed after 81 employees tested positive for the coronavirus. On Saturday the store remained temporarily closed as city officials completed tests of the store's nearly 400 employees.

The store was shut on Wednesday.

A Walmart spokesperson said the store was slated for a one-day closure on Thursday as part of a company-initiated program of cleaning and restocking.

Initial plans called for reopening the store on Friday, but the company is working with Worcester officials to ensure that all the necessary steps are taken before reopening.

A July convention of the NAACP planned for Boston has been postponed because of the coronavirus. Boston chapter president Tanisha M. Sullivan said she expects the convention will be held eventually, but worries about the virus meant it could not take place as originally planned.

On Sunday, Massachusetts reported 158 new deaths, bringing the total number of deaths related to COVID-19 to more than 4,000.


President Donald Trump says there are many complaints coming in about the state of Maine.

In retweeting a message about a dispute between the state and a restaurant owner who lost his state licenses after defying an order to remain closed, Trump wrote, ``Don't make the cure worse than the problem itself. That can happen, you know!''

A group of Republicans in the Maine House of Representatives are asking Democratic leaders of the Legislature to call the body back into session to end the state of civil emergency declared by Democratic Gov. Janet Mills to cope with the coronavirus outbreak.

The GOP lawmakers say they have been denied information about the progress of the disease in Maine and about how the state's businesses can reopen.

On Sunday, Senate President Troy Jackson, a Democrat, said stripping Mills of emergency powers would jeopardize the state's COVID-19 funding, limit the state's ability to procure medical supplies, and leave essential workers without the support they need.

“So far, the Legislature has worked together to put Maine people ahead of partisanship,” Jackson said in a letter distributed on Sunday. As we begin to reopen the state, we must do the same.

As of Sunday, Maine had 1,185 confirmed cases, with 706 people recovered, and 57 deaths from COVID-19.

Maine is among the 21 states in the country that began to reopen Friday amid the coronavirus pandemic.


On Sunday, Vermont reported 11 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to nearly 900. The state is now reporting 52 deaths.


The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services says community transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 is still occurring in the state. Still, most virus cases have had histories of travel to domestic locations or have had close contact with a person with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19.

More than 1,500 individuals were tested Friday for the virus that causes COVID-19, the state's highest one-day total.

On Sunday, New Hampshire reported 90 new cases of COVID-19, bringing its total to more than 2,500. The state also reported two more deaths, bringing the total to 86.

In New Hampshire, protesters gathered outside the State House calling for Gov. Chris Sununu to reopen the state's economy.


Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo reported Sunday the state saw 24 additional deaths from COVID-19, the state's highest single-day toll, increasing the state's fatalities to 320.

The new deaths were in addition to 188 new positive tests for people carrying the virus, increasing the statewide total to just below 9,500.

Raimondo used her Sunday news conference to remind people not to congregate outside in the good weather.

“It is so tempting to have some friends over, get together in a big group, go play ball in the park, let your kids hang out with a bunch of friends in the park, I'm just asking you to please not do that,” she said. “Hang in there for just a little bit longer and it will keep all of us safe.”

She said it appears that people failed to abide by the no-congregation request over the Easter and Seder religious holidays of last month.

“What we saw two weeks after that was a marked increase in hospitalizations,” she said. “So let's hunker down to the extent possible today so that two weeks from now we don't see any unfortunate increase in hospitalizations.”

She said Rhode Island is also joining with a number of other East Coast states to jointly buy personal protective equipment and other medical supplies.

“We've all learned, every governor who has been living this for the past couple of months, knows how hard it is to get your hands on the PPE you need at the price that you are willing to pay exactly when you need it,” she said.

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo shared her vision of what school might be like next fall during a news conference Thursday.


Connecticut is banding together with six nearby states to purchase equipment and supplies that sometimes have been hard to come by during the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, Connecticut farmers are shifting how they get products to consumers, faced with new challenges during the coronavirus pandemic.

Heading into one of their busiest times of year, farmers, growers and operators of open-air markets are grappling with new social distancing rules, fluctuations in demand and smaller crowds at markets.

Some farm stores are installing protective shields at cash registers and many are pushing online sales. Pick-your-own farms may try ``one-way rules,'' as grocery stores have done with aisles to curb the flow of traffic, Nichols said.

Gov. Ned Lamont has deemed farmers markets an essential service. They're allowed to operate with new rules including requiring staff and sellers to wear gloves and masks, limiting the number of customers and putting more space between vendor tables.

State public health officials said Sunday that 59 more people who tested positive for COVID-19 died, for a statewide total of 2,495 deaths. Connecticut has had more than 29,280 positive cases overall, including an additional 523 announced Saturday.

NBC and Associated Press
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