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Conn. state parks shut parking lots to control crowds

A look at coronavirus-related developments around New England on Sunday.


Gov. Ned Lamont reported another 32 COVID-19 deaths on Sunday, bringing the statewide total to 3,944 as the reopening of businesses is slated to continue this week.

The statewide total of confirmed coronavirus cases rose by 179 to 42,201, but hospitalizations continued to decline. Lamont's office said a technical issue resulted in incomplete daily data, which would be corrected on Monday.

With pleasant weather bringing out throngs of visitors, at least eight Connecticut state parks closed their parking lots to additional vehicles as of noon Sunday. The state has been closing down parking lots to limit overcrowding and ensure social distancing during the pandemic.

Barbers and beauticians are set to open on Monday with precautions such as appointment-only services, closed waiting areas, chairs 6 feet apart and masks required for customers. 



The Rhode Island Department of Health on Sunday reported another seven deaths from COVID-19 and 106 new positive cases, WPRI-TV reported.

Hairdressers, barbers, tattoo parlors, malls, gyms, yoga studios, indoor restaurants, child care facilities are other businesses are allowed to reopen Monday, with limits on capacity and safety guidelines. The state is also reopening all beaches Monday; two were currently open.



More than 30 Maine business owners have joined a federal class action lawsuit over the governor's decision to delay the reopening of restaurants in Cumberland, York and Androscoggin counties to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Bill Palladino, owner of The Shed Restaurant and Willy’s Ale Room in Acton, told WMTW-TV that his Paycheck Protection Program funding is running out and he will soon have to make some tough decisions.

“I have people that have been there since the beginning of the restaurant opening that have made their entire livelihood in that one building that are going to be let go unless something changes,” he said.

He planned to reopen for indoor dining Monday but Gov. Janet Mills announced this past week that that phase of reopenings is delayed indefinitely in those counties due to a spike in positive cases and hospitalizations. Mills said Saturday that the Maine Department of Corrections commissioner has agreed to purchase excess food from restaurants in those areas.

Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey issued a statement in response to the lawsuit: “The Executive Orders and the Restarting Plan at issue in this lawsuit were carefully crafted and have been reviewed and updated in order to protect Mainers’ health during the COVID-19 pandemic."

The state reported 43 more cases of COVID-19 on Sunday for a total of 2,325. The number of deaths from the illness caused by the coronavirus remained the same at 89.



Vermont courthouses will resume hearings Monday after being in a judicial emergency since mid-March amid the coronavirus outbreak. Most hearings have been postponed since then.

When courts resume some of their normal operations, visitors can expect that they will be required to wear masks and that they will be asked basic questions about their health and possible exposure to the coronavirus before being admitted, the Times Argus reported.

Courtroom staff have been instructed to maintain social distancing among the members of the public, said Judge Brian Grearson, Vermont’s chief superior judge.

“I think it’s going to look different in every courtroom because even if there’s a capacity for, let’s say, 25, not all of our courtrooms will allow for that,” Grearson said.

Vermont on Sunday reported a total of 981 positive cases and 55 deaths from COVID-19 so far.



Rivier University in Nashua is offering new full-tuition scholarships for licensed practical nurses employed at nursing homes.

The scholarships will allow recipients to earn associate of science in nursing degrees, which is a prerequisite for becoming a registered nurse. The program, called Project Advance, is funded from a $600,000 gift from an anonymous donor.

Classes are held on nights and weekends so students can work full-time. Applications are due June 22.

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services reported Sunday that 106 additional cases have been confirmed, bringing that state's total to 4,651. Three more people have died, bringing the state death toll from the virus to 245. 



Gov. Charlie Baker is expected to announce on Monday an executive order that will give more details about phase two of the state’s economic reopening plan. He said Friday that businesses allowed to restart in phase two can begin to bring back some workers to help prepare for reopening.

Restaurants would be able to offer outdoor dining during the first part of phase two with indoor seating possible later.

On Sunday, Massachusetts reported 664 new cases of the virus and 78 deaths. That brings the state’s totals to 96,965 confirmed cases and 6,846 confirmed deaths.




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