Beaches, Salons Reopen in Massachusetts: New England Coronavirus Roundup

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Here are some of the top coronavirus stories from around New England for Tuesday.


 Massachusetts beaches opened Monday, but with restrictions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Beachgoers must keep at least 6 feet apart while walking and set up chairs and towels 12 feet away from others. Groups of more than 10 and organized games are not permitted.

Hair salons and barber shops were also allowed to reopen Monday with restrictions.

Barber shops and hair salons were allowed to reopen throughout Massachusetts on Monday.

“I’ve been chomping at the bit to get back to work, it’s been really rough, really hard, it’s been almost nine weeks without giving a haircut,” said Matt’s at the Buzzer owner Matt Corey.

Matt’s at the Buzzer in Millbury had a line of regulars waiting for them – socially distanced on the taped off sidewalk.

Corey said, “We have a high-volume walk-in business, so we’ve installed a deli server and a number sign in the window, and everybody waits outside, nobody’s allowed in the waiting room.

A group of black and Latino activists on Monday drove through downtown Boston in what they said was a funeral procession to honor those who have died of COVID-19.

They placed a coffin in front of the State House to send a message that the black and Latino community has suffered a staggering number of deaths. Resources to fight the virus must be directed proportionately "to the people feeling the most pain,'' said Armani White, an organizer from the Black Boston COVID-19 Coalition, in a written statement.               

On Monday, Massachusetts reported 596 new cases of COVID-19 and 44 deaths. The new cases bring the state's total to 93,271 cases. The death toll has reached 6,416.


Coronavirus hospitalizations in Connecticut increased slightly on Sunday, with five new admissions making for a total of 706, according to state data released Monday.

  The state reported 49 new deaths from the disease on Sunday and 405 new positive tests. All three numbers are still far below peak levels reached in mid-April.

In all, more than 40,800 people in Connecticut have tested positive for COVID-19 and 3,742 people have died.

Having a child in the hospital at any time is difficult, but it is especially difficult during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some parents cannot be with their children because of the virus.


 A Maine company that produces swabs for coronavis testing is developing a new plant that could help it nearly double its production of medical swabs.

Puritan Medical Products in Guilford said its converting a former plant in Pittsfield into its swab manufacturing plant, with the goal of having it operating by July 1, the Portland Press Herald reported.

The swabs are used to collect samples from people's nasal cavities and throats which are then run through machines to detect where the person has COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.

The company currently produces 21.6 million swaps per month. The plant could increase the company's production to 40 million swabs a month by August or September, said co-owner Timothy Templet.

Memorial Day weekend is traditionally a time for traffic, crowds and lines at seafood takeout joints in the Pine Tree State. But this year, because of COVID-19, cancelled parades and a 14-day quarantine for out-of-state visitors, crowds were virtually non-existent.

 On Sunday, Maine reported 19 new COVID-19 cases, with no new deaths. That brings the total number of people who have tested positive to 2,074, the Maine Center for Disease Control said. The total number of deaths remained at 78.

New Hampshire

The New Hampshire chapter of the National Endowment for the Humanities has distributed $400,000 to libraries, historical societies, museums and cultural nonprofit groups struggling financially because of the coronavirus pandemic.

New Hampshire Humanities allocated the federal funding to 64 organizations in about 50 communities.

Grants to libraries accounted for just over 40 percent of the total. Brittany Overton, director of the Minot-Sleeper Library in Bristol, said the money will help bridge the town's digital divide.


Rhode Island

Two state beaches opened in Rhode Island on Memorial Day, the traditional start of the summer season.

 Gov. Gina Raimondo announced last week that East Matunuck Beach in South Kingstown and Scarborough Beach in Narragansett would be the only two state-run beaches to open Monday but stressed that there would be limited parking and no lifeguards, concessions or other facilities.

NH seacoast beaches will reopen next Monday but with restrictions.


Marinas in Vermont are allowed to open as part of state's gradual reopening amid the coronavirus so that boaters can get out onto Lake Champlain and other waterway.

Mark Saba, owner of Bay Harbor Marina in Mallets Bay, told mynbc5 that normally the marina would have been open the third week of April. He estimated that the marina put 50 boats in the water Thursday, compared to what would have been around 20 in other years.

Associated Press/NBC
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