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Boston poised to enter third phase of economic restart

News about the coronavirus across New England, beyond Connecticut.

A week after most of the rest of Massachusetts, Boston is scheduled to enter the third phase of its coronavirus economic restart on Monday.

Under the plan, movie theaters, museums and historical sites, as well as gyms are among the businesses allowed to reopen with appropriate public health measures in place, including social distancing and mask-wearing.

Boston's plan differs slightly from the state plan. For example, libraries will remain closed for browsing, but card holders can still order books for pickup.

The city is also limiting attendance at outdoor gatherings to 50 people, while the state limit is 100.

“We took an extra week here in Boston, as most people know, to take extra steps due to our unique concerns here in the city,” Mayor Marty Walsh said Saturday.

Somerville officials announced Friday it would delay phase three until July 20.

Mayor Joseph Curtatone said he's still concerned about transmission of the disease in indoor spaces in the state's most densely populated city.


Encore Boston Harbor became the second of Massachusetts' three casinos to reopen to gamblers on Sunday.

Capacity at the Everett resort is capped and guests will undergo temperature checks and be required to wear face coverings inside.

MGM Springfield is scheduled to reopen Monday.

Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville reopened last week.



A huge increase in demand, driven in large part by the coronavirus pandemic, is proving to be a challenge for the New Hampshire Food Bank.

If current demand keeps up, food bank officials estimate they will hand out a one-year record of 20 million pounds of food by the end of the year, according to WMUR-TV.

Distribution has increased by about 50% compared with this time last year, officials said.

The nonprofit says most of the new people who have come to them for help in recent months are families affected by the pandemic.

“There are people who have been gainfully employed that all of a sudden don’t have an income coming in that they were used to having," according to Nancy Mellitt, the food bank’s director of development. “Individuals still have rent to pay, mortgages to pay, vehicles that they need to maintain."



The Rhode Island Blood Center has put out a call for donors because even though the need for blood has rebounded to pre-pandemic levels as hospitals resume elective and non-critical surgeries, donor participation has not.

About 50% of the region’s blood supply comes from mobile blood drives, but from March through June, most of those were canceled because of the pandemic.

And even though blood drives have resumed, they are not being scheduled at pre-pandemic levels, blood center spokesperson Kara LeBlanc said in a statement.

In addition, about one-fifth of the people who make appointments to donate blood do not show up.

The state should have a seven-day inventory of all blood types on hand, but that has dropped to a two- to three-day supply, she said.



Maine health officials on Sunday reported two new coronavirus-related deaths and 19 new confirmed cases.

There have now been more than 3,500 confirmed and probable cases in the state and 114 deaths, the Maine Center for Disease Control said.

The new deaths reported were in Penobscot and Cumberland counties.

Nineteen people are currently in the hospital with the disease and nine of those patients are in intensive care.



There are 14 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Vermont on Sunday, for a statewide total of nearly 1,300, the state Department of Health reported.

Nine of the new cases are in Chittenden County and three were in Grande Isle County, the department said.

Two patients are currently hospitalized, the same as the previous day. The number of deaths remains at 56, where it has been since mid-June.



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