MASSACHUSETTS

Harvard president, his wife test positive for COVID-19

The president of Harvard University and his wife have tested positive for COVID-19, the school announced Tuesday.

In a letter to students and faculty, President Lawrence Bacow said he and his wife, Adele, started experiencing symptoms including a cough, fever and chills on Sunday. They were tested Monday and received the positive results on Tuesday.

Bacow and his wife had been working from home and limiting their contact with others since March 14 as a precaution. The state’s Department of Public Health will contact anyone who had recently been in contact with the couple, Bacow said.

“We will be taking the time we need to rest and recuperate during a two-week isolation at home,” Bacow said in the letter.

Harvard said 18 of its community members have tested positive for COVID-19 or are presumed to have the illness. The school shut down much of its campus March 17.

Number of COVID-19 deaths rises to 11

The number of people in Massachusetts who have died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, increased to 11.

Public health officials said the number of residents who have so far tested positive for the disease jumped to 1,159 as the state ramped up its testing capacity. More than 13,700 have been tested.

It’s a dramatic increase from the total of 777 reported on Monday. At least 94 people have been hospitalized.

Mass Audubon, Trustees, closing their outdoor facilities

Two organizations that have been providing an outdoor respite for Massachusetts residents feeling cooped up because of the coronavirus pandemic are closing their doors to visitors on Tuesday.

Mass Audubon and the Trustees of Reservations both announced that they are shutting down their outdoor facilities in line with Gov. Charlie Baker’s order requiring all nonessential businesses to close for two weeks and the state Department of Health’s stay-at-home advisory.

“We know how important it is to get out in nature, and there is nothing we like better than seeing people enjoying our trails,” Mass Audubon President Gary Clayton said in a statement. “But the health and safety of the residents of Massachusetts and beyond must take priority.”

He encouraged people to enjoy the outdoors, just close to home.

The Trustees said their agricultural facilities will remain in operation in compliance with state guidelines for the care of animals and the production and distribution of food, but will be closed to visitors.

Mass Audubon operates 60 wildlife sanctuaries across the state, including Broadmoor in Natick and Ipswich River in Topsfield.

The Trustees of Reservations operates dozens of facilities, including Crane Beach in Ipswich and Worlds End in Hingham.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

New Hampshire seeks volunteers, stay-at-home order resisted

New Hampshire is seeking volunteers, both medical and non-medical, who can help deal with surging cases of the new coronavirus in the state.

Volunteers needed include licensed, as well as retired, doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, administrative, transportation, information technology and security professionals. They can register online at www.nhresponds.org, a site that was created to get help with emergency situations following 9/11. Medical corps, community emergency response, disaster animal and behavioral health response teams have formed to respond to past crises.

The coronavirus situation in New Hampshire doesn’t yet warrant a stay-at-home order, Republican Gov. Chris Sununu said.

“We very well may have to take steps in the future to escalate things. We’re not there today. We’re going to look at the variables, the interaction with our citizens, how businesses are doing,” he said.

CONNECTICUT

Businesses adapt to new order

Connecticut businesses adapted to new social distancing guidelines Tuesday, and state lawmakers were planning to continue work on an assistance package for small companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak despite the postponement of the legislative session.

The changes come the same day Gov. Ned Lamont announced how the number of infections across the state jumped by more than 200 since Monday, to a total of more than 600 positive cases. The Democrat said 12 patients have now died.

VERMONT

Governor orders nonessential businesses to close

Gov. Phil Scott on Tuesday ordered in-person operations of non-essential businesses to close and Vermonters to stay home to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus as the number of deaths in the state rose by two to seven and confirmed cases increased to 95.

RHODE ISLAND

Block Island orders lockdown, jobless claims surge

The tourist haven of Block Island became the state’s first community to order residents to shelter in place as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases continues to climb.

Local officials on Tuesday said they’re also strongly discouraging second homeowners and other visitors from traveling to the island, and ordering them to self-quarantine for at least 14 days if they do.

For full-time residents, they’re asking people to restrict off-island travel to essential trips such as seeking medical care or obtaining food or other vital provisions.

Hotels, inns and rental homes, meanwhile, have been ordered to cancel reservations for the duration of the lockdown, which is effective Tuesday evening through April 15.

Violators could be fined up to $500 or sentenced to up to 30 days in jail.

Jessica Willi, executive director of the Block Island Tourism Council, said in a statement that officials are concerned about the island’s limited medical capacity in the event of an outbreak.

As of Tuesday, there were no confirmed cases of the coronavirus on the island, which is located about 12 miles offshore. It has about 1,000 year-round residents and swells to nearly 20,000 visitors a day in the summer.


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