Massachusetts health officials have announced the state’s first case of a more contagious variant of the coronavirus first discovered in Britain.
A Boston woman who traveled to England felt sick the day after she returned, the state Department of Public Health said Sunday. The health department said the results of the tests were notified on Saturday evening.
The woman in her 20s tested negative for COVID-19 before leaving the UK, officials said.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the variant is about 50% more contagious than other strains which currently cause the majority of cases in the country.
Health officials said in March the new strain was likely to become the dominant strain of coronavirus in the United States. The CDC says there is no evidence that it causes a more severe disease or is transmitted differently so wearing masks, social distancing and hand washing and other prevention strategies can still work.
More than 300 New Hampshire residents have made formal requests asking the Legislature to revoke powers granted to governors during emergencies such as the coronavirus pandemic.
The reprimand received by the clerk of the DPR on Thursday stated that the law which gives the governor the authority to administer emergency management is unconstitutional, even though it has been upheld in court.
“The experiences and feelings of your Memorialists too prove that some of the destructive exercise of undelegated power in issuing emergency orders and public policy guidelines was enforced due to a law recently adopted in New Hampshire,” the group wrote. Such actions could be made to get the good people of this country into the deepest trouble.
Several lawmakers have submitted bills that limit the governor’s powers. Someone will ask the governor to explain the conditions necessary to extend the state of emergency and will require approval from the Legislative Body or the Executive Council for reform. Another would allow the Legislature to terminate any emergency orders or portions of orders, while the third would require legislative approval of any orders issued during an emergency renewal.
Opinion polls show Republican Governor Chris Sununu enjoying bipartisan support for the handling of the pandemic, and he easily won re-election for a third term in November. He faced opposition from some members of his own party, as well as protests outside his home, however, from people who disagreed with the restrictions.
The Rhode Island House of Representatives canceled its hearing on Tuesday after several members of its senior and operational staff tested positive for COVID-19.
House Speaker Joe Shekarchi said by email to his representatives on Monday morning that he was canceling a scheduled session at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium “out of extreme caution,” WPRI-TV reported.
This is the second session this year that was canceled due to cases among several employees.
“As you know, my highest priority is protecting the health and safety of all Board members,” Joe Shekarchi, D-Warwick, wrote in the email. He did not say how many employees had tested positive or when they were infected.
The DPR still plans to hold another trial on Thursday, he said.
Hundreds of Connecticut schoolteachers were able to sign up for coronavirus vaccine appointments before they actually qualify, due to confusion over the launch rules, a newspaper reported on Monday.
Maura Fitzgerald State Health Department spokeswoman was told The Hartford Courant problem arose after several school districts mistakenly entered their entire staff roster into the registration system when the state actually asked for a list of school nurses.
Teachers in the district get an automated email confirming their registration. That allowed them to make appointments for injections, and unknown numbers did, the newspaper said.
The Vermont attorney general’s office said it had reached a settlement with owners of the Rutland gym which reopened in May against state rule at the start of the pandemic.
Under a settlement announced Friday, Club Fitness and owner Sean Manovill agreed to comply with the governor’s executive order and make payments to the Rutland Regional Distribution Center at Vermont Foodbank, the attorney general’s office said.
Currently, gyms are allowed to operate within occupancy and other restrictions.
“These are difficult times for all Vermonters, including small Vermont businesses,” said Attorney General TJ Donovan in a written statement. “But even in these difficult times, we all have to do our part. A large proportion of Vermonters have done the right thing by following executive orders and expert public health advice. “
Manovill could not be reached for comment. Phone messages were left at Club Fitness on Monday, a federal holiday.
The COVID-19 outbreak has closed the fire department in the city of Alfred.
All firefighters and EMS are in quarantine after several workers tested positive, newscentermaine.com reported.
An emergency call will be covered by Sanford, Waterboro, Lyman, Kennebunk and Goodwins Mills, city voters announced Saturday.
“Clearly our fire and rescue personnel are taking all possible precautions but given all the close contact with other people, it is no surprise this is the case,” wrote the voter in a Facebook post. “That’s the reason first responders got their first dose of the vaccine, but as you know the numbers have shot up recently and this is a reflection of that spike.”
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