COVID-19 roundup: Cedar Hill outbreak in Windsor grows to 17; Mass. announces first case of variant 

Staff and Wire Reports
Published: 1/18/2021 8:00:12 PM
Modified: 1/18/2021 8:06:36 PM

WINDSOR — A COVID-19 outbreak at the Village at Cedar Hill has grown to include 17 people, including 10 residents and six workers at the Judith Brogren Memory Care Center and one employee in the skilled nursing center, according to co-owner Patricia Horn.

No residents or employees in Cedar Hill’s assisted living section have tested positive.

Kendal at Hanover and Valley Terrace Assisted Living and Memory Care both added single cases in staff members to their outbreak tallies over the weekend.

At Kendal, which sits off Lyme Road, that brings the total number of current cases to nine, including three residents and six workers, said Jeff Roosevelt, a Kendal spokesman.

At Valley Terrace on Christian Street in White River Junction, there are currently five active cases, including three residents and two employees, said spokeswoman Martha Cook, of Dallas-based The Point Group. Those numbers don’t include people who have recovered from the virus, she said.

Massachusetts announces first caseof virus variant

Massachusetts health officials have announced the state’s first case of the more infectious coronavirus variant first found in the United Kingdom.

A Boston woman who traveled to the United Kingdom felt sick the day after she returned, the state Department of Public Health said Sunday. The health department said it was notified of her test results on Saturday evening.

The woman in her 20s had tested negative for COVID-19 before leaving the U.K., officials said.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the variant is about 50% more contagious than the other strain that is currently causing the bulk of cases in this country.

Health officials said by March, the new strain will likely become the dominant strain of the coronavirus in the United States. The CDC says there’s no evidence that it causes more severe illness or is transmitted differently, so mask wearing, social distancing, hand washing and other prevention strategies can still work.

Claremont hospital reaching outto patients in anticipation of vaccinations

CLAREMONT — Valley Regional Hospital will begin reaching out to medically vulnerable patients on Tuesday to determine whether they would like to receive a COVID-19 vaccine and to confirm demographic information.

The hospital isn’t yet scheduling vaccines for such patients, but said via Facebook that the calls are aimed at speeding up the process once they are.

People over age 65, people with more than one medical condition that puts them at higher risk of developing serious illness due to COVID-19, staff and residents of residential facilities for people with disabilities and workers at correctional facilities can begin scheduling appointments on Friday for vaccinations beginning Jan. 26.

For more information, Granite Staters can visit or call 211.

VLS spring semester starts

SOUTH ROYALTON — Some Vermont Law School students are returning to campus as the South Royalton school began its spring semester with online classes on Jan. 4 and with virtual classes on Jan. 11

VLS regularly offers online classes, and the virtual classes are those that are normally held on campus but are not in-person, for now, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to VLS spokeswoman Jess Cover.

Most classes, including all master’s degree and certificate programs, are being held online, though there are 45 first-year Juris Doctor students who will be taking some classes in person this semester. Known as the “spring semester hybrid” cohort, those students took a preliminary COVID-19 test last week and will take another this Wednesday. Once they are cleared, they can begin taking in-person classes on Feb. 1, with continued testing every other week, she said.

VLS is also granting “limited access to campus” for printing, study space, access to wifi and related services for students living locally who comply with health and safety protocols, Cover said.

And, for the first time in its 48-year history, VLS allowed 11 students to start their legal studies at the South Royalton school in the spring semester. That included 9 JD and 2 master of laws students who started as new students this month, Cover said.

VLS’s first-year students include 134 who started last summer or fall, along with the 11 spring-start students.

New test to Sununu’s power

More than 300 New Hampshire residents have filed a formal request asking the Legislature to repeal the powers granted to the governor during an emergency such as the coronavirus pandemic.

The remonstrance received by the House clerk on Thursday argues that the law granting the governor emergency management powers is unconstitutional, though it has been upheld in court.

“The experience and feeling of your Memorialists too dearly prove that some ruinous exercise of undelegated powers of issuing emergency orders and public policy guidelines enforced as law has been lately adopted in New Hampshire,” the group wrote. “Such acts could have been devised to bring the good people of this State into the deepest distress.”

Several lawmakers have filed bills limiting the governor’s powers. One would require the governor to explain the conditions necessary to extend a state of emergency and would require approval of the Legislature or Executive Council for renewal.

Another would allow the Legislature to terminate any emergency order or part of an order, while a third would require legislative approval of any order issued during the renewal of a state of emergency.

Polls have shown Republican Gov. Chris Sununu enjoying bipartisan support for his handling of the pandemic, and he easily won reelection to a third term in November. He has faced opposition from some members of his own party, as well as protests outside his home, however, from people who disagree with the restrictions.

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