What You Need to Know Today About the Coronavirus Outbreak in 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:


Gov. Charlie Baker extended his order to shutdown non-essential businesses and his stay-at-home advisory through May 18 on Tuesday. The order, which also bans gatherings of 10 people or more, was set to expire on May 4.

"I know pushing these dates back a couple weeks is probably not what people want to hear," Baker said. "Believe me, I'm just as frustrated as anybody else. We all look forward to stepping in front of this podium to tell you that we're starting to reopen for business. I know we'll get there soon, but we have to be smart in how we do it."

Meanwhile, cities and towns across Massachusetts are beginning to issue fines to people who aren't wearing masks or face coverings in public amid the coronavirus crisis. Baker issued an advisory in mid-April urging people to wear masks in public but it hasn't been compulsory.

Massachusetts health officials on Tuesday reported 150 more deaths from the novel coronavirus, bringing the state's death toll from the outbreak to 3,153. The number of coronavirus cases rose by 1,840, bringing the total number of people infected with COVID-19 to 58,302.

Nearly 70 residents sickened with the coronavirus have died at a Massachusetts home for aging veterans, as state and federal officials try to figure out what went wrong in the deadliest known outbreak at a long-term care facility in the U.S.

While the death toll at the state-run Holyoke Soldiers' Home continues to climb, federal officials are investigating whether residents were denied proper medical care and the state's top prosecutor is deciding whether to bring legal action.

Sixty-eight veteran residents who tested positive for the virus have died, officials said Tuesday, and it's not known whether another person who died had COVID-19. Another 82 residents and 81 employees have tested positive.

Following Boston Mayor Marty Walsh's initiative, Gov. Charlie Baker is now urging all residents to begin wearing masks in public amidst the coronavirus crisis.


Maine Gov. Janet Mills extended the state's stay-at-home order Tuesday and announced her administration's plan to gradually reopen the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Maine's stay-at-home order, which was set to expire Thursday, will now last through May 31.

The new "Stay Safer at Home" order is subject to change but will still require residents to stay at home with limited exceptions like grocery shopping or exercising.

The plan to reopen the economy will be done in four stages, Mills said. Stage 1 begins May 1 and continues the prohibition on gatherings of more than 10 people.

As of Tuesday, there were 17 new cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, bringing the total to 1,040, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. There were no new deaths reported Tuesday leaving the state's death toll at 51.

Maine Gov. Janet Mills announced Tuesday the extension of the state's stay-at-home order to May 31 as well as her administration's plan to gradually reopen the economy.


The organization that represents makers of artisan spirits in Vermont warned Tuesday that losses from the coronavirus may force a large number of craft producers across the country out of business — permanently.

“We’ve been struggling,” Jeremy Elliott of the Distilled Spirits Council of Vermont said Tuesday of his industry as a whole.

Elliott, who co-owns Smugglers’ Notch Distillery, cited a survey by his group’s national counterpart, the American Craft Spirits Association, that showed two-thirds of small producers of craft spirits may not make it through the COVID-19 outbreak.

Meanwhile, a limited number of Vermonters are returning to work this week and must abide by safety precautions after Republican Gov. Phil Scott eased some of the restrictions intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Vermont officials are urging interested businesses to sign up quickly for the relief fund Congress created to help small businesses through the coronavirus pandemic.

A second round of funding for the Paycheck Protection Program was approved last week. Also, the Vermont Health Department has created a list of virus cases by town.

The breakdown gives the number of cases in towns that have at least six. The Health Department says a range of zero to six is used for towns with fewer than six cases to protect privacy. The list is updated weekly.   

The Craft Spirits Council of Vermont warned that a survey by its national counterpart showed two-thirds of small producers of craft spirits around the country may not make it through the coronavirus crisis.


The event known as Bike Week, which draws thousands of motorcycle riders to New Hampshire each June, has been postponed because of the coronavirus.

The Laconia City Council voted Monday to move the event from Aug. 22 to Aug. 30.  It had been scheduled from June 13 to June 21.

Meanwhile, one of the groups figuring out how to spend New Hampshire's $1.25 billion in federal coronavirus relief aid explored the pandemic's impact on everything from the arts to eye care Tuesday.

State officials say New Hampshire hopes to be testing 1,500 people per day for the coronavirus in the coming weeks.

A program to test longterm care facility workers in two counties is expanding statewide, and five new testing sites for the general public are being set up.

While a doctor's referral will still be necessary, health care providers now are being advised to recommend testing for anyone with even slight symptoms of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Gov. Chris Sununu says a task force on reopening the economy will start making recommendations by the end of the week.

As of Tuesday, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services announced 72 new positive test results for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, bringing the number of overall cases to 2,010. There were no new COVID-19 deaths reported, leaving the number of deaths to 60.

The New Hampshire chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is raising concerns about the state providing first responders with the names of people who have tested positive for the coronavirus.

State officials say the release is permitted under a provision of the federal health privacy law that allows information to be disclosed for the greater benefit of protecting public health.

The information is the minimum necessary to allow first responders to limit their potential exposure to the virus. The executive director of the state ACLU says it is alarming that private medical information is being shared without people's consent.  

A stay-at-home order has been issued in New Hampshire until May 4 but Gov. Chris Sununu said it's possible that could be extended.


Gov. Gina Raimondo has issued an executive order she says will cut the insurance red tape for people seeking prompt and proper health care during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Democrat said Tuesday the order that will remain in effect until May 27 bars insurers from changing prescription benefits, streamlines the process for getting referrals to see specialists, and waives requirements to seek prior authorization from an insurer for certain procedures.

The state Department of Health reported 218 news cases of COVID-19, the lowest daily number of new cases in about three weeks. The agency also reported six more deaths, for a total of 239.

Gov. Raimondo says a partnership with will make contact tracing process more efficient, scalable.


Experts from the state Department of Public Health joined Gov. Lamont during a news conference on Tuesday to discuss Connecticut's plans for contact tracing to help track the virus throughout the state.

The agency has teamed up with Microsoft on a project called ContaCT, according to Kristen Soto, director of infectious diseases for the Connecticut Department of Public Health.

Contact tracing entails identifying people who are positive for COVID-19 and then determining other people who may have come in contact with that person, who may also be infected.

The process will use about 300 people from DPH and local health departments to do the tracing. The agency hopes to add another 400-500 people from academic institutions, Soto said.

Coronavirus hospitalizations continue to fall in Connecticut, according Lamont. Net hospitalizations fell by 26 on Tuesday, to 1,732 currently in the state. It is the sixth straight day of declines.

The state reported a total of 2,089 coronavirus-related deaths Tuesday and a total of 26,312 cases.

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