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Some mass vaccination sites in Connecticut to close; Maine to drop most mask requirements

Coronavirus developments around New England:


Yale New Haven Health is closing mass vaccination sites, the New Haven Register reported.

Dr. Ohm Deshpande, associate chief clinical officer for the health system, told the Register that the system will cease first doses after May 25 and after that it will be open for second doses by appointment and on walk-in basis.

Deshpande said popup clinics will continue and the trailer from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will return to New Haven in June. 


Maine Catholics will soon return to churches with greatly relaxed restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Diocese of Portland is changing its guidance for the 141 Catholic churches in Maine just as the state is preparing to eliminate mask requirements in most settings. Maine's indoor mask order goes away on Monday.

That same day, masks will no longer be required for any person at any time, inside or outside churches, the diocese said. Pew seating arrangements that establish six or more feet of distance between people are also eliminated that day, the diocese said.

The diocese said it's also restoring distribution of Communion to homebound Catholics, and indoor choir practices can be held without distancing.

Many churches will provide space in areas such as parish halls for spread out seating during services, the diocese said. Livestreaming of services will also continue, the diocese said.

"We hope that by continuing to offer a variety of ways to participate in Mass and through updating these protocols, all will feel welcomed to grow in their faith together in Christ," Bishop Robert Deeley said.



The number of daily coronavirus deaths in Massachusetts has trended slightly upward over the last two weeks despite positive signs about the control of the spread of the virus.

The seven-day rolling average of daily deaths in Massachusetts has risen over the past two weeks from 8.29 deaths per day on May 6 to 10.14 deaths per day on May 20. That happened as the seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Massachusetts fell. That average went from 967.43 new cases per day on May 6 to 572.57 new cases per day on May 20.

The AP is using data collected by Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering to measure outbreak caseloads and deaths across the United States.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported late Friday that there have been 17,453 confirmed deaths from the coronavirus in the state since the start of the pandemic. The average age of patients who died of COVID-19 was 70, the agency reported.



Vermont will be distributing COVID-19 vaccines to primary care physicians, said Human Services Secretary Mike Smith.

The state will start with the Moderna vaccine, but will expand to Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines when enough supplies are available, he said Friday during the governor’s twice-weekly virus briefing.

It’s part of the push to get 80% of eligible Vermonters vaccinated. Gov. Phil Scott said Friday that he would drop all pandemic-related restrictions early if the state reaches that vaccination rate before the July 4 full reopening plan.

People no longer have to sign up for vaccines and can walk in to clinics, pharmacies and school clinics and get a shot, Smith said.

The state is also renewing its effort to vaccinate vulnerable populations including the homeless and people under Department of Corrections supervision, he said.



The coronavirus pandemic inspired smaller, more personal commencement ceremonies at the University of New Hampshire.

The campus is hosting a series of small ceremonies to recognize both 2020 and 2021 graduates. Graduate students got their degrees May 16, while undergraduate ceremonies were split up among several days. On Saturday, students graduating from the university’s business school and college of liberal arts will get their diplomas, and on Sunday, 2020 graduates who didn’t get a ceremony last year will be honored.

Because of the smaller events, students will be called on by name to walk across the stage and accept their degrees. Attendees are required to show either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the ceremony.



New hospitalizations and new cases of the coronavirus are both falling in Rhode Island.

The Rhode Island Department of Health reported that this past week's 81 new hospital admissions were a decrease from 117 the previous week. New cases per 100,000 of the population also fell from 157 to 117 this past week.

The state has had more than 150,000 total cases of the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.





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