Here's an update of Tuesday's COVID-19 news from across New England:
Gov. Charlie Baker outlined a four-phase plan to reopen businesses that have been closed since late March as part of the state's effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The reopening is set to begin May 18 and will require businesses to adopt a series of protocols to maintain the health of workers and customers.
Baker said the first phase would begin with businesses with little face-to-face contact and with customers and ``severe restrictions,'' followed by phase two that will allow businesses with more face-to-face contact to open with precautions.
Those precautions include ensuring employees and customers maintain a six-foot distance whenever possible; requiring the use of facial coverings.
The Massachusetts death toll from COVID-19 surged past 5,000 on Monday even as the state began mapping out plans to gradually restart the state's economy.
Rhode Island restaurants will be allowed to offer limited outdoor dining as the state seeks to slowly reopen its economy.
Gov. Gina Raimondo said the dining option that starts next Monday will be allowed only under strict new guidelines including screenings for the coronavirus.
Health officials say hospitalizations have steadily declined. There are now about 275 people in the hospital because of the virus, down from about 350 earlier this month.
The Rhode Island Supreme Court will also hear oral arguments this week using remote technology. And Save The Bay's annual open water swim to benefit Narragansett Bay is going virtual.
Connecticut's COVID-19 death toll has topped 3,000. Officials reported 41 additional deaths on Monday to bring the state total to 3,008.
Gov. Ned Lamont also announced that three children in the Yale Health system are being monitored for an inflammatory syndrome that may be linked to the coronavirus. But hospitalizations continued to decline in the state.
Connecticut officials say they plan to allow summer day camps to open next month with strict guidelines. They include limiting campers to 30 in each program, though larger camps can seek waivers. And officials are discussing what's needed to get children back in school this fall.
The Maine Air National Guard is honoring healthcare workers and essential personnel with a flyover on Tuesday.
A KC-135 from the 101st Air Refueling Wing will begin its flyover at 10:30 a.m. over Farmington. The tanker will fly as far south as Scarborough and as far north as Limestone before returning to Bangor after 1 p.m.
“The entire Maine National Guard is honored to extend our heartfelt gratitude to all the healthcare workers and first responders who are working on the front lines to combat COVID-19,” said Maj. Gen. Douglas Farnham, Maine's adjutant general.
”We are also deeply grateful for those essential personnel diligently working to keep our shelves stocked and families supplied.”
This event is part of Operation American Resolve, a nationwide salute first-line responders in the battle against the new coronavirus.
Retail stores will be allowed to open next week in Vermont at 25% capacity and must abide by health and safety requirements as the state takes another step to gradually reopen the coronavirus-stricken economy, Gov. Phil Scott announced Monday.
Vermont has the third-slowest rate of case growth in the country and reported no positive tests or deaths from the virus that causes COVID-19 from Sunday, Scott said. The state still needs to remain vigilant because of the outbreaks in nearby states, he said.
“Even as we continue to reopen, I urge Vermonters not to let up on physical distancing, washing your hands and staying home when ill, limiting travel and wearing masks around others,” he said.
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He said he's asked the Agency of Commerce and Community Development to work with the departments of Health and Public Safety to create and release guidance this week for the gradual reopening of retail May 18.
All retail employees must wear facial coverings, and everyone must maintain 6 feet between them, he said. Customers are also encouraged to wear face coverings, he said.
Manufacturing, construction and distribution businesses were allowed to return to full capacity this week.
The decisions are driven by data, science and the recommendations of experts, he said.
Republican Gov. Chris Sununu says he won't hesitate to shut down shopping malls again if safety guidelines aren't followed.
Monday was the first day that nonessential retail stores, hair salons and golf courses could reopen in New Hampshire under new rules aimed at preventing spread of the coronavirus.
Among those reopening were Mall at Rockingham Park in Salem, the Pheasant Lane Mall in Nashua, the Mall of New Hampshire in Manchester and the Merrimack Premium Outlets.