Thursday, May 6, 2021

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A mobile vaccination effort that is slated to administer 500 COVID-19 immunizations per day rolled into East Boston on Saturday.

The “Mobile Vax” buses are a joint effort of Tufts Health Plan and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care to focus vaccination efforts on Black, Latino and non-English speaking communities in Massachusetts.

Saturday’s vaccinations were completed in Central Square Park in East Boston. Stops in Chelsea, Holyoke and Chicopee are planned for the next several weeks.

Appointments are required; community organizers are spreading the word by calling residents and going door-to-door in target areas.

Massachusetts is averaging about 1,600 new COVID-19 cases daily, down from about 2,000 two weeks ago, according to data from Johns Hopkins. The state’s death toll from the virus is 17,181.

More than 3.2 million Massachusetts residents have received first doses and about 2.2 million people have been fully immunized.

___

VERMONT

Vermont has more than 400 summer programs currently available for youth with more in the works as the state moves to expand opportunities using federal coronavirus relief money, Gov. Phil Scott said.

The Republican Scott, independent U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Agency of Education, Vermont Afterschool and others are working together on “our goal to make sure kids can reconnect with their friends and have some fun this summer after missing out on so much over the last year,” Scott said Friday during his bi-weekly virus briefing.

Scott said he was encouraged by what he heard about plans when he and Sanders met with superintendents from across the state this past week. Parents can view a map of available camps on online at vermontafterschool.org.

“We’re working to make these programs accessible, affordable and impactful for our youth,” Scott said.

Many full- and part-time staff positions for these programs are available this summer around Vermont, he said.

Vermont reported 64 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Saturday, for a statewide total since the pandemic began of nearly 22,500.

A total of 23 people were hospitalized with five in intensive care.

One additional COVID-19 death was reported, bringing the state’s total to 244.

___

NEW HAMPSHIRE

The Governor’s Economic Re-Opening Task Force created at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic marked its 77th — and last — meeting by approving a “universal best practices” document to replace previous “stay at home” guidance for businesses.

The best practices document, which would go into effect on May 7, will be reviewed by health officials and Gov. Chris Sununu.

The task force also approved guidance for amateur and youth sports; health and fitness and performing arts venues; and childcare and summer day camps.

DJ Bettencourt, the task force’s policy director, said Friday the group appreciated the public’s feedback during its meetings.

“Certainly not everyone agreed with every decision we made. In fact, some people I know were downright mad at us on a couple of occasions for going too fast or oppositely, going too slow,” Bettencourt said.

He added that if people on “both poles of an issue are a little upset with you, then you’re probably right where you need to be” to make the vast majority happy.

More than 93,000 people have tested positive for the virus in New Hampshire, including 377 cases announced Friday. Two new deaths were reported, for a total of 1,281.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in New Hampshire decreased over the past two weeks, going from 424 new cases per day on April 8 to 332 new cases per day on Thursday.

___

MAINE

State officials are investigating after inmates at a women’s correctional facility tested positive for COVID-19.

WABI-TV reported Friday that the five women who tested positive are all residents in the same housing unit at the Maine Correctional Center’s women’s facility in Windham.

The state Department of Corrections says it is working with the Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to contain the outbreak.

The Maine CDC reported Saturday that the state has been the site of nearly 60,000 cases of the virus and 772 deaths, including one new one, and more than 370 current cases.

___

RHODE ISLAND

All students, staff and faculty at the University of Rhode Island are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine this weekend.

The shots will be offered Saturday and Sunday at a state-run vaccine clinic at the Schneider Electric building.

Shuttles will be used to transport students and staff from the university’s Memorial Union to the vaccine site.

No new deaths were reported when new numbers were announced Friday showing 259 new cases. The death toll from the pandemic remained at 2,660. The state did not release updated numbers on Saturday.

___

CONNECTICUT

More New York residents than Connecticut residents had been vaccinated at a CVS by the time state officials visited the location in February, according to a published report.

Health officials had been warned days earlier that New York residents were lining up at the CVS in Waterford to get vaccinated, according to documents and emails obtained by the New Haven Register under freedom of information laws.

By the time officials visited the store, 318 people with New York addresses had been vaccinated there, compared to 301 Connecticut residents who had received shots, according to records reviewed by the newspaper. Residents from 10 other states also had received vaccines.

Many of the New York residents had taken advantage of a computer glitch to get appointments, and had typed in Long Island zip codes and were directed to the Waterford site.

A CVS spokesperson told the newspaper the company has since changed its website to make sure vaccine recipients meet eligibility requirements.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Connecticut decreased over the past two weeks, going from 1,090 new cases per day on April 8 to 815 new cases per day on Thursday. The state has had more than 8,000 COVID-associated deaths.

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