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Eighth death linked to Maine wedding

  • College students wear masks our of concern for the coronavirus on the Boston College campus, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

  • Fishermen on Capt. Tim Bayley's vessel "Persistence" prepares to haul in a purse seine net full of pogies on Casco Bay, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, off Portland, Maine. The pogies will be used as bait by lobster fishermen. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

  • A group of people associated with the Preble Street Resource Center hold an outdoor, socially-distanced meeting on the Eastern Promenade to discuss strategies for addressing homelessness, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020, in Portland, Maine. Preble Street, a nonprofit social service agency, has had its services stretched thin by challenges amplified by the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Published: 9/20/2020 9:04:50 PM
Modified: 9/20/2020 9:04:48 PM

An eighth death has been linked to a coronavirus outbreak stemming from a wedding and reception in the northern part of Maine.

The man who died was in his 80s and from Somerset County, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said Saturday.

The wedding and reception in the Millinocket area on Aug. 7 is linked to more than 270 cases of COVID-19, including in an outbreak at a nursing home in Madison and a jail.

The Maine CDC said Saturday that the number of deaths related to an outbreak at the Maplecrest Rehabilitation and Living Center in Madison is now seven.

The numbers

New Hampshire health officials announced 29 new cases of COVID-19 but no new deaths Saturday.

The Granite State has 318 active cases of the virus and 10 people are hospitalized with COVID-19-related illnesses, according to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services.

So far, 7,947 people in New Hampshire have tested positive for the coronavirus and 438 have died.

Meanwhile, Vermont reported five new confirmed cases of COVID-19, for a total to date of 1,715 on Sunday. No new deaths have been reported since late July.

Providence Collegemoves to remote learning

City officials are thanking the Providence College administration for taking quick action after a surge of about 120 new coronavirus cases among students.

The Rev. Kenneth Sicard, the school’s president, announced Friday that the private Roman Catholic college was moving to remote-only learning for at least two weeks. Students who live off campus cannot leave their apartments, and students who live on campus are not allowed to leave campus, with gatherings of any kind are banned, he said.

The college has been in constant contact with the Health Department and city of Providence since the incident started, said Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza and Providence City Council majority leader Jo-Ann Ryan.

“We all have a role to play in keeping our community safe, including the student population that live in close quarters,” they said in a written statement. “That’s why it is so important for our student population to adhere to social distancing mandates and the number of people that can gather at any one time. To not only keep themselves safe, but the residents that live around and work on the campus.”

Boston back-to-schoolin online model

Boston Public Schools are starting up on Monday with full remote learning amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Schools will later move to a hybrid model that will include some in-person learning.

Boston Schools Superintendent Brenda Cassellius said the hybrid model will allow students to learn in-person for two days a week and learn remotely three days a week, NBCBoston reported.

“Families with students who have not opted in to the hybrid model, and plan to learn remotely five days a week, will not lose their spot,” she said.

Parent Elizabeth Mayer said she was nervous for Monday, “but I’ve been reassured by the teachers here that they’re going to be as supportive as they can.”

The Boston Teachers Union is concerned about air quality in the city’s schools.

“The reason we’re willing to do remote learning is not because we want to, but because health and safety has to come first,” said Jessica Tang, the union’s president Jessica Tang.

Massachusetts reported 340 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 15 more deaths on Sunday.

The state has had a total of more than 125,000 confirmed cases and 9,000 deaths since the pandemic began.

Maine issuing more citations

In the last month, Maine has issued 14 citations to businesses for not complying with guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, up from just two in previous months.

The increased enforcement comes after a wedding ceremony and reception in the Millinocket area in early August that is linked to outbreaks in at least two other locations in Maine, with more than 170 people contracting the virus and eight deaths since.

The Portland Press Herald reports that 14 businesses, mostly restaurants, were given “imminent health hazard” citations since Aug. 20. Two of those establishments had been previously cited since the the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The state temporarily suspended the food and beverage licenses of two business for repeatedly violating state protocols, according to state health inspection program records obtained by the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. The other cited businesses were in compliance by last week.

Most businesses, particularly restaurants and hotels, are complying with the state’s safety guidelines, according to Dana Connors, president and CEO of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce.

“Maine businesses have done an incredible job of addressing their responsibilities and recognizing the role they play for the state,” Connors said. “Those that don’t are the exception and not the rule. I think businesses have stepped up and taken this on with tremendous responsibility, and I find it hard to be convinced otherwise.”

Maine reported 44 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Sunday for a total of more than 5,000 since the pandemic began. No new deaths were reported.

Rutland looks to buildhousing with relief funds

The Rutland Housing Authority is working to get permits for two projects that will provide about 20 units of transitional and affordable housing using federal coronavirus relief funding but officials say the deadline is tight.

One project called Woodstock Transitional Housing will provide housing for people currently in hotel rooms paid for by the state. The other — Pine Street Apartments — will be longer-term affordable housing and will accept people from hotel rooms or the Woodstock project, Kevin Loso, executive director of the Rutland Housing Authority, told the Rutland Herald.

The two projects will cost about $4.2 million, he said.

“The grant we received through the Vermont Housing Conservation Board requires us to have the properties completed no later than Dec. 20,” he said. “It’s going to be a mad dash to the finish line.”

There are currently 150 individuals and families in Rutland County living in hotels, with their stays paid for by the state, Loso said.

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