All U.S. adults are now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. To register for a vaccine appointment in New Hampshire, please visit vaccines.nh.gov or call 2-1-1. To register for a vaccine appointment in Vermont, please visit healthvermont.gov or call (855) 722-7878.
Here are the latest developments regarding the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic throughout New England:
ConnecticutThe easing of the pandemic has brought an increase in families seeking mental health aid for children suffering the effects of being isolated from their peers.
A Norwich woman whose 9-year-old son was experiencing fits of rage contacted her pediatrician, who reached out to a medical center only to discover that it was overwhelmed with patients awaiting inpatient care.
“Right then there were 30 patients, ages 7 and up, who were waiting for inpatient care,” Dr. Richard Lavoie told The Day. They were staying in hallways, sitting on stretchers and in community rooms, waiting to be placed somewhere.”
A poll conducted by the American Psychiatric Association released last month found 48% of adults surveyed said the pandemic has caused mental health problems for one or more of their children, and about a quarter said they had sought professional mental health help for their children because of the pandemic.
“It’s about being separated from their peers,” Carrie Pichie, a clinical psychologist and a regional director of ambulatory services for Hartford HealthCare’s Behavioral Health Network, told the newspaper. “Early in the pandemic, not being in school and not being able to participate in sports and other extracurriculars was devastating for many kids. Some find it difficult to reintegrate when schools are back in session.”
MainePeople can continue to get a COVID-19 vaccine on Sunday in Portland without an appointment at a mobile vaccination unit.
On Saturday, Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, visited the site set up behind Rising Tide Brewery.
“We survived the last year and if we can keep everybody healthy, we’re going to have just an incredible summer so we really jumped on the opportunity to use a portion of our parking lot to give shots,” Heather Sanborn, the co-owner of Rising Tide, told WMTW-TV.
The clinic offers the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine to walk-ups from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday.
Coming to NH: A Maine-based chain of music and video stores is reopening a store in New Hampshire after abruptly closing it three weeks ago and laying off employees.
Bull Moose has not said exactly why it closed the Salem, New Hampshire store, but some laid-off employees said it was related to the company’s decision to allow unmasked customers in the store, the Portland Press Herald reported. Employees said most of Salem staff opposed the decision. Some workers also said there were other employee issues.
Communication between upper management and Salem workers broke down this spring over a number of issues and the controversy over the mask rule was a symptom, said Bull Moose founder Brett Wickard. Company officials should have been more sensitive to how issues such as mask-wearing should be dealt with locally rather than issuing one rule across the chain’s 11 stores in Maine and New Hampshire, he said.
The company realized it made the wrong move and “started aggressively listening to everyone,” including reaching out to terminated workers, Wickard said. The 23 employees have accepted offers to be rehired, he said. Wickard also apologized on Twitter on Friday.
The company prides itself on building community and acting with empathy, “yet we failed on both those counts,” he said.
MassachusettsMassachusetts schools had 103 coronavirus cases in students and staff in the last week, according to the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. That’s a decrease from 130 the week before and 1,279 cases two months ago, WBZ-TV reported.
Between June 3 and June 9, districts, collaboratives and special education schools reported 85 cases in students and 18 in staff.
About 735,000 students are now in classrooms in Massachusetts public schools and 140,000 staff are working in-person, according to state estimates.
The weekly report released Thursday shows cases for students who are in hybrid or in-person models and not for those in remote-only programs.
The numbers: The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Massachusetts has dropped to fewer than 150 patients for the first time since Aug. 23, 2020.
On Saturday the state reported 136 people were hospitalized, including 47 in intensive care.
The last time the state had fewer than 50 COVID-19 patients in intensive care was Oct. 5, 2020, WCVB-TV reported.
New HampshireThe Dartmouth College Class of 2021 will be honored Sunday, with two guests allowed per graduate at the outdoor ceremony.
The college originally planned to prohibit guests because of the coronavirus pandemic but later decided to allow two tickets for each student receiving an undergraduate degree.
Those receiving graduate and professional degrees will be allowed two guests at events hosted by their individual schools, but not at the larger ceremony. Masks will be required for all attendees.
The ceremony will be held in Memorial Stadium instead of the college green to allow for social distancing.
Drug overdoses: As the number of COVID-19 cases have fallen and restrictions have been dropped in New Hampshire, drug overdoses are on the rise in some cities.
Suspected overdoses in Manchester and Nashua rose by 26% in May, according to American Medical Response. The 72 suspected overdoses was the most in a single month since June 2019, WMUR-TV reported.
Overdoses decreased during the pandemic since more people were inside, said AMR Regional Director Chris Stawasz.
“It gives us concern that in the summer months, which we typically see as higher overdose months, we’re going to be back probably at levels we have not seen in several years,” he said.
More people now have access to the overdose reversal drug Narcan, officials said. There was record use of Narcan in May in Manchester.
VermontThe Vermont Agency of Human Services is getting nearly $28.5 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to support local efforts to address COVID-19 related health disparities.
The grant announced Friday is part of a $2.25 billion nationwide investment that seeks to improve health equity in the United States.
The grants “are an important step in our unwavering efforts to strengthen our communities’ readiness for public health emergencies—and to helping everyone in America have equal opportunities for health,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky.
The intention of the grants is to reduce COVID-19-related health disparities, improve and increase testing and contact tracing among underserved populations that are at higher risk, including racial and ethnic minority groups and people living in rural communities, and improve efforts to prevent and control COVID-19 infection, the CDC said.
Independence Day: The annual Independence Day celebration is returning to Vermont’s largest city.
Burlington expects thousands of people to gather along the Lake Champlain waterfront for the fireworks display on July 3, which was cancelled last year amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The events start with a ceremony at waterfront park at 5 p.m. honoring local COVID-19 victims and celebrating the community’s resilience, WCAX-TV reports.
The fireworks start at 9:30 p.m. More details are expected next week.