Massachusetts Boosts Testing; 2nd Connecticut Resident Dies

 Massachusetts Boosts Testing; 2nd Connecticut Resident Dies

A tent is set up outside Carney Hospital to test patients for the coronavirus Covid-19 in Dorchester, Massachusetts on March 18, 2020. – Since the virus first emerged in late December, 8,092 people have died around the world, with the global number of cases at 200,680, according to an AFP tally based on official sources as of 1300 GMT Wednesday. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso / AFP)


Tent set up outside Carney Hospital to test patients for the coronavirus in Dorchester, Massachusetts on march 18, 2020

By Associated Press VOA News


State officials are promising a significant increase in Massachusetts’ capacity to test for the coronavirus.

Massachusetts Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders said Thursday the state aims to administer 3,500 tests a day by the beginning of next week.  

Gov. Charlie Baker has said expanding coronavirus testing is among his top priorities as state-run labs can only currently process about 400 tests a day.

The top prosecutor for Boston and surrounding communities is seeking the release from custody of certain people who are particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus because of their health or age.
Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins’ office said in an emailed statement Thursday that it is working with defense attorneys to identity «individuals whose release we deem urgent and necessary for public health reasons.»

Rollins’ office said she is seeking to free from jail only those who «pose no meaningful risk to public safety.»  


A 91-year-old Connecticut man who was hospitalized with the coronavirus has died, becoming the state’s second victim of the virus, a local official announced.
The New Haven Register reports that New Canaan Councilman Steve Karl announced the death Wednesday night at a Town Council meeting.

A man in his 80s died Wednesday at Danbury Hospital, Gov. Ned Lamont announced.
For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death. The vast majority of people recover.

A Maine-based independent bioresearch institution announced Thursday it will begin conducting 150 tests a day for the coronavirus at its Connecticut laboratory.

The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine will conduct the testing of samples obtained by medical organizations, including UConn Health and Hartford HealthCare.


A Maine island community has rescinded its order banning visitors and seasonal residents because of the coronavirus pandemic. But the community’s leaders are still asking people to limit travel.
A new resolution from the North Haven Select Board «strongly» encourages people to stay where they are. It also says that people who live on the mainland with better access to medical care should refrain from the traveling to the island, where resources are limited.

Town Administrator Rick Lattimer said it was never the Select Board’s intention to keep summer residents away from the community with about 375 year-round residents and one medical clinic.
Two more people who live at a retirement community in Falmouth have tested positive for coronavirus, the director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.
The new diagnoses double the number of people from OceanView in Falmouth who have tested positive, Nirav Shah said.  

Shah made the announcement on the same day he announced the number of positive cases in the state has surged past 50. One person has recovered and four are hospitalized, Shah said.
The state is also changing rules to allow compounding pharmacies to help alleviate the state’s hand sanitizer shortage by making and selling their own, Shah said.

New Hampshire 

New Hampshire’s public university system is shifting to remote teaching for the remainder of the semester.

The University of New Hampshire, Plymouth State University and Keene State College initially had taken different approaches to students returning after spring break. But university system officials announced Wednesday night that all would extend remote teaching for the rest of the semester while restricting access to the campuses. Housing will continue to be provided to students who do not have a secure place to be and have been granted exceptions.


The University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington, Vermont’s largest city, is temporarily suspending visitation at the hospital with limited exceptions. It’s restricting entrances and screening everyone who enters the hospital or clinics.

Rhode Island 

The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans to Rhode Island small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

These loans can be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the outbreak’s impact, the agency said. Applicants can apply online.