MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The number of cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts jumped by more than 1,000 to a total of 4,257, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health said Saturday. The state also had nine more deaths from Friday for a total of 44.
“The numbers exploded over the course of the last four, five days,” Gov. Charlie Baker said Saturday, according to boston.cbslocal.com.
President Donald Trump has approved a disaster declaration for the state ordered federal assistance to help with recovery in areas impacted by COVID-19. The declaration approved Friday makes federal funding available for crisis counseling for people and for commonwealth, tribal and eligible local governments and some private nonprofit organizations for emergency protective measures, the White House said.
Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo ordered all visitors to the state to self-quarantine for 14 days and ordered residents to stay at home and nonessential retail businesses to close on Monday until April 13.
The state National Guard was going door to door in coastal communities telling people from New York to self-quarantine for 14 days. The measure is needed to help control the spread of the new coronavirus because the New York City area is the epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S., Gov. Gina Raimondo said Friday.
One person in their 80s died Friday night, the other person in their 70s died Saturday, the state Department of Health said.
State police on Friday set up a checkpoint where drivers with New York license plates must stop and provide contact information. They were also told to self-quarantine.
Political leaders expressed mixed views Saturday after President Trump said he was considering a quarantine affecting residents of their state, as well as New York and New Jersey. One questioned what such a quarantine would mean and how it would work. But another said he was open to any ideas on curbing the virus’ spread.
The Connecticut National Guard has deployed two climate-controlled tents at the VA Medical Center in Newington to deal with possible patient overflow in the future, similar to tents put up on grounds of the VA hospital in West Haven, Gov. Ned Lamont said Friday. Mobile field hospitals also were set up on the grounds of Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford and Danbury Hospital and another one was expected to be set up at Middlesex Hospital in Middletown in coming days, he said.
The number of COVID-19 cases rose to 211 in Maine on Saturday.
A Maine funeral home operator announced it’s providing an option for virtual funerals during the coronavirus. Hobbs Funeral Home, with locations in Scarborough and South Portland, will provide an option for video chats so people can say goodbye and grieve from the safety of their homes. Absent will be physical gatherings. Hobbs Funeral Home Director Jeffrey Inman says that’s just not possible for now.
Gov. Chris Sununu on Saturday asked out-of-state visitors who come to New Hampshire for non-work related reasons or extended stays to self-quarantine. The request extends to people staying in vacation homes, hotel rooms and other longer-term rentals.
The White Mountain National Forest closed scores of recreation sites and toilet facilities to promote social distancing. It was unclear when they would reopen. The Mount Washington Observatory will offer free distance learning programs three times a week in response to the school closures nationwide. The Legislature extended its closure through May 4 in line with Gov. Sununu’s stay-at-home order.
Vermont reported 211 COVID-19 cases and 12 deaths on Saturday. Half of the cases were in Chittenden County, according to the Health Department, with 18 cases in Windsor County, 15 in Bennington County and 15 in Addison County.
For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death. The vast majority of people recover.
AP reporter Michael Casey contributed from Boston.