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Massachusetts: Schools ‘very protected’ despite COVID-19 surge

BOSTON (AP) – The variety of COVID-19 infections in Massachusetts colleges is rising however a college official insists that colleges are “very safe.”

A report exhibits 801 new coronavirus instances amongst college students and 244 amongst faculty staffers for the week that ended Wednesday. Combined, that’s the biggest quantity this educational yr, and it comes simply days earlier than elementary colleges return to full-time, in-person studying on Monday.

But the rising charges amongst pupil and workers don’t imply colleges are the place the illness is being transmitted: Cases are additionally surging within the normal inhabitants.

Russell Johnston, senior affiliate commissioner on the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, advised the Boston Globe that coronavirus transmission amongst public faculty youngsters is essentially taking place exterior school rooms, at household occasions, after-school actions and sports activities video games.

“The school numbers going up does not mean that schools are not safe. In fact, schools are very safe,” he stated.

In different coronavirus-related information within the area:

CONNECTICUT

University of Connecticut officers have positioned 5 dormitories underneath quarantine due to a spike in coronavirus instances which may be associated to giant, off-campus events.

Quarantines have been imposed at 4 p.m. Friday on the Eddy, Middlesex, Windham, Rogers and Russell dormitories on the principle campus in Storrs. Students in these dorms are barred from attending in-person instruction or occasions by means of subsequent week.

UConn officers reported 20 new on-campus coronavirus instances Friday, after seeing 15 new instances on Thursday. The new infections gave the impression to be concentrated within the North, Northwest and Alumni residential complexes.

Last weekend, state police stated a celebration attended by greater than 100 folks at a home close to campus resulted in two arrests and one infraction quotation. Earlier in March, 150 to 200 folks gathered for a celebration a couple of mile from campus, leading to three folks being issued infractions.

Since the semester started, 324 college students who stay on campus have examined constructive for the virus. The present constructive testing charge is 1.5%.

MAINE

As extra older Mainers are vaccinated, a surge of infections is being pushed by folks youthful than 30.

Case numbers are rising in Maine – and the typical age of contaminated people skewing youthful – despite a vaccination marketing campaign that has reached roughly one-third of the state’s residents, the Portland Press Herald reported.

The age distribution of instances has modified dramatically in a single yr. On March 31, 2020, folks youthful than 30 accounted for less than 11.7% of all Maine instances. A yr later, they account for 18.2% of all instances.

Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, stated expanded vaccinations will assist. The state is making COVID-19 vaccine out there to everybody 16 and older on Wednesday.

“We talk a lot about the light at the end of the tunnel. Vaccines are our vehicle out of that tunnel,” he tweeted.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

The University of New Hampshire will host two COVID-19 vaccination clinics subsequent week for in-state college students, workers and school subsequent week.

The clinics will likely be open Thursday and Friday on the Whittemore Center in Durham. Participants will obtain the primary dose of the vaccine, the Portsmouth Herald reported. Those who’ve already acquired their first photographs, in addition to college students, workers and school who stay out of state, are excluded.

“We continue to advocate for all UNH community members, but at this time we can only vaccinate New Hampshire residents,” stated UNH Chief of Police Paul Dean and the varsity’s well being and wellness director, Peter Degnan.

Those affiliated with the varsity’s Manchester campus and the Franklin Pierce School of Law in Concord are also eligible for the vaccines in Durham.

RHODE ISLAND

Rhode Island’s soccer recreation in opposition to New Hampshire was postponed due to COVID-19.

The recreation, which was being hosted by Rhode Island, was speculated to be performed Saturday in Kingston however there was a COVID-19 outbreak that affected the New Hampshire program, officers stated.

A choice on rescheduling the sport will likely be made at a later date. Rhode Island is because of play Maine on April 10.

VERMONT

Vermont is establishing particular clinics in distant Essex County to get extra folks vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19 in a spot that has the bottom vaccination charge within the state.

Human Services Secretary Mike Smith says the state must get folks vaccinated from Essex County, situated alongside the northeast nook of the state, abutting the Canadian border and the Connecticut River border with New Hampshire.

The state will likely be sending cell clinics to 9 separate areas within the county on April 10 and 11. By Saturday folks will be capable to make appointments on-line particularly for Essex County.

In addition, the state is in discussions with a New Hampshire well being care supplier situated simply over the state line to manage vaccines to Vermonters.

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