Here's a look at coronavirus pandemic developments around New England:
Health authorities in the state reported on Saturday that a group of cities in towns located south of Boston have higher positivity rates for coronavirus than the state average. Massachusetts, like the country, is dealing with a resurgence of cases of coronavirus. The state's 14-day positivity rate was about 2.7%, but numerous towns in Bristol and Plymouth counties and on Cape Cod and the islands are higher than that, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported.
The positivity rate in the city of Fall River is more than twice the state average at 6%, the agency reported. Numerous smaller towns, including Fairhaven, Halifax and Truro, are also more than twice the state average, the agency said.
The trend is not universal. Towns in southern Massachusetts including Marshfield, Plympton and Falmouth remain below the state average.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Massachusetts has risen over the past two weeks from 657.14 new cases per day on July 29 to 1,155.86 new cases per day on Aug. 12. That is the highest daily case count of the six New England states.
News From Mass.
Police in Maine said they are dealing with a spike in thefts of catalytic converters from cars in the state during the coronavirus pandemic. Thefts of the converters have been reported around the country during the pandemic. The converters contain precious metals, and the value of precious metals has increased during the pandemic, making the converters a target for thieves.
Maine State Police said it has undertaken a months-long, multi-agency investigation into the thefts in northern Maine. The agency said it recently charged 10 people with scrap metal processors violations as part of its investigation. It said they sold more than 1,000 catalytic converters for more than $190,000.
"The theft of catalytic converters has become a major problem for law enforcement in Maine. Catalytic converters are difficult to trace and match up to a particular victims vehicle,'' Maine State Police said in a statement.
The agency said its investigation into the crimes is still going on and more charges are likely.
New Hampshire's largest teachers union is supporting its national leadership when it comes to vaccinations. The National Education Association on Thursday said all educators should be required to receive a COVID-19 vaccination or submit to regular testing.
The executive board of the New Hampshire chapter met Friday and voted to support that statement. Last month, the president of NEA-New Hampshire had said the group would not support calling for mandatory vaccinations for eligible students and staff, saying it was up to educators or parents to decide.
A lack of court security is forcing the Vermont court system to reduce in-person services at the Grand Isle Superior Court in North Hero. The new plan will still allow in-person drop off of filings two days per week. The changes will not limit the judiciary's ability to conduct hearings or address other court-related needs of the public. Since the start of the pandemic Since March 2020, the Grand Isle Courthouse has been conducting proceedings almost entirely remotely principally because the building lacks the ventilation system necessary to meet court's COVID-19 protocols. Court Administrator Patricia Gabel said the courts would continue to be available via phone and that remote hearings, which have been held in Grand Isle since the start of the pandemic, will continue.
The Vermont Supreme Court has also authorized a one-year pilot project for remote civil jury trials. The move comes after a committee studied how to utilize remote hearing technology to increase access to justice and address civil case backlogs. The issue is especially important as the judiciary continues to navigate challenges associated with COVID-19.
"The Judiciary has been using remote technology to facilitate operations in order to ensure access to justice and continuity of operations and to promote the health and safety of judges, staff, and court users during the pandemic,'' said state court administrator Patricia Gabel.
"Considering the ways available technology can assist us in managing our civil docket is an important step in our ongoing effort to leverage technology and adapt our operations to changing conditions,'' she said.
The pilot project will not affect criminal trials.
Democratic Gov. Dan McKee said some immunocompromised Rhode Island residents could begin receiving their third dose of coronavirus vaccines on Saturday. State officials said residents could get their third doses at the Sockanosset Crossroads Vaccination Site and at hospital vaccination sites. The Rhode Island Department of Health said the state also expects third doses to be available at retail and independent pharmacies in the days ahead.
The number of daily cases of the coronavirus is rising in all six New England states, and Connecticut has the second highest number in the region after Massachusetts.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Connecticut has risen over the past two weeks from 328.29 new cases per day on July 29 to 537.14 new cases per day on Aug. 12. The seven-day rolling average of daily deaths in Connecticut has risen over the past two weeks from 1.00 deaths per day on July 29 to 1.57 deaths per day on Aug. 12. Massachusetts, which is recording the highest number of new cases per day in the region, is reporting more than 1,100 new daily cases.
The AP is using data collected by Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering to measure outbreak caseloads and deaths across the United States.
Associated Press writers Holly Ramer in Concord, New Hampshire, and Wilson Ring and Lisa Rathke in Montpelier, Vermont, contributed to this report