A look at coronavirus-related developments in New England on Sunday.
The city of Gloucester banned beach parking for out-of-town visitors this weekend as temperatures were expected to reach into the upper 90s.
The move came after complaints about excessive traffic last weekend. Gloucester officials are limiting the number of non-residents and only allowing beach parking on weekdays to slow the spread of the coronavirus, WBZ-TV reported.
“People left trash all of over the beaches,” said East Gloucester resident Barbara Ouellette about last weekend. “They parked in residential parking areas, the side streets. They parked halfway across people’s driveways. It was just awful.”
The city said it would be monitoring parking lots and nearby streets this weekend and violators could face a $75 fine and be towed.
Massachusetts reported 218 new confirmed cases Sunday, and 12 deaths. That brings the state's total confirmed case count to nearly 107,000, and deaths to 8,213.
Amtrak’s Downeaster is adding more round-trip offerings between Maine and Boston.
The Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority said this past week that the Downeaster would begin operating four daily round-trip trains between Brunswick, Maine, and Boston starting Monday. Trains will be sanitized with enhanced cleaning between trips.
The Downeaster, which suspended service on April 13 amid the coronavirus pandemic, begin a phased-in reopening in mid-June with one round-trip train on weekdays.
Maine reported 45 new confirmed cases on Sunday, for a total confirmed case count of 3,687. The state reports that a total of 117 people have died in the state from the virus. No new deaths were reported Sunday.
New Hampshire's congressional delegation says more than $26 million will go to the state's health care providers dealing with substantial costs of coronavirus caseloads. U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan and U.S. Reps. Annie Kuster and Chris Pappas, all Democrats, announced the federal relief funding on Friday.
“These federal dollars will help them manage the overwhelming health and financial challenges created by this crisis and ensure they can continue their critical role on the frontlines of this pandemic." Shaheen said in a written statement.
New Hampshire reported Sunday that the state has had more than 6,200 confirmed cases of the virus, with 554 known active cases. The state reports that 398 people have died.
The Vermont Department of Health Department said Sunday that 33 of 63 people in the Manchester area who tested positive for the virus after taking a type of test not considered to be as accurate as that used by the department have been retested and only two were confirmed positive cases.
As of Saturday, the Health Department had reached out to all but seven of the 63 people who had positive antigen tests. Most who were interviewed were not symptomatic and have not been linked to other possible cases, the department said.
The Burlington Free Press reports that antigen testing provides rapid results and can be helpful as a screening tool for those who are symptomatic. But they have shown the potential for producing false negatives, according to Health Commissioner Mark Levine, and are considered less reliable than PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests.
“While they’re useful, they may have a higher chance of missing an active infection,” Levine said during the governor’s regular press briefing on the virus on Thursday.
Vermont reported 12 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday for a total of 1,350 cases so far. A total of 82,500 people have been tested for the illness since the pandemic started earlier this year. The number of deaths has remained at 56 for a month.