A look at coronavirus developments in New England:
The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it has awarded the Rhode Island Department of Health more than $3 million to help with expenses that resulted from the coronavirus pandemic.
The federal agency said the money was provided “for various supplies which included personal protective equipment, mortuary-related supplies for the state’s five refrigerated trucks and supplies for contracted personnel to assist with staging and relocation of hospitalized COVID-positive elderly patients statewide.”
Regional administrator and federal coordinating officer Capt. Russ Webster said FEMA plans to keep helping Rhode Island "meet its long-term goals to recover stronger, safer and smarter.”
Emergency medical technicians in southern Maine are beginning to receive the coronavirus vaccine.
The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention has said thousands of people have been vaccinated in the state, which is focusing its early efforts on front-line health care providers and residents of long-term care facilities.
The York County Incident Management Team said it has started its rollout of the vaccine to all EMTs in the county.
Fire departments in the county are storing and distributing the vaccine under an agreement with the incident management team. Fred Lamontagne, the operations chief and the fire chief in Old Orchard Beach, said the goal of the effort is to “protect our first responders in those communities with the most active outbreaks of COVID-19.”
Public health authorities in Maine have reported more than 21,500 cases of the new coronavirus in the state. About a fifth of those are in York County, the southernmost county in the state.
The Vermont Supreme Court is requiring that most court hearings be held remotely. Previously, remote hearings were urged “to the maximum extent possible.”
The requirement to hold hearings remotely does not apply to jury trials. Courts may still hold partial or full in-person hearings upon a finding of good cause to do so.
“The dynamic nature of the pandemic requires the judiciary to continually assess its operations and adapt accordingly,” said State Court Administrator Patricia Gabel.
The revision to the court’s earlier order is designed to ensure continuity of operations within the context of the latest guidance from public health experts, Gabel said.
Additional changes to court operations and policies are expected in the weeks ahead, including those related to access by the public to remote hearings in Vermont’s courts.
New restrictions designed to limit the spread of the coronavirus took effect in the state on Saturday. The new rules state that most industries in Massachusetts are now subject to a 25% capacity limit.
The new restrictions apply to restaurants, casinos, office spaces, houses of worship, retail businesses, libraries, and many other kinds of businesses and public spaces. Indoor gatherings are also now limited to 10 people at private homes, public places and events.
The administration of Republican Gov. Charlie Baker also said all hospitals are directed to postpone or cancel all nonessential inpatient elective invasive procedures. That restriction is intended to increase capacity at the hospitals.
Unemployment in New Hampshire continued to trend down in November, according to statistics from the state Economic and Labor Market Information Bureau.
The state unemployment rate was 3.5% in November, down from 3.8% in October, the bureau reported. The unemployment rate has declined every month since April, when it ballooned to 17.2% because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Unemployment was distributed evenly around the state. None of the state's counties had an unemployment rate above 4.4%.
Associated Press writer Wilson Ring contributed to this story from Montpelier, Vermont.