standing Rhode Island State House

PROVIDENCE — High school football players are asking the state to allow football to be played this fall.

About 150 players, their parents and coaches rallied at the State House on Saturday to make their case.

The state previously announced that most high school sports would be allowed to go on this fall, but football and volleyball would not — football because it’s a close contact sport, and volleyball because it’s played indoors with a ball that all players touch.

Football players say the decision doesn’t make sense.

“I don’t really think it’s fair, I mean other states have been playing, I think 22 other states. Everything is good, so why can’t we do it?” Nick Carpinello, a Coventry High School football player, told WJAR-TV.

Kris McCall, head football coach for Classical High School in Providence, told WLNE-TV the state has a low transmission rate and pointed out that teams have been working out during the pandemic without reports of the virus spreading.

Here’s a look at other coronavirus developments across New England:

Massachusetts

A Massachusetts high school scheduled to reopen this week with a hybrid learning model will now switch to remote-only learning after dozens of students attended a party without taking proper coronavirus-prevention measures, the principal said.

The party held Friday night involved alcohol and a “complete lack of safety precautions to protect against the spread of COVID,” Lincoln-Sudbury Principal Bella Wong said in a letter to the school community.

Police who broke up the gathering said about 15 students ran into the woods, and 13 gave fake names to officers, she said.

Because it’s not clear exactly who attended the party, the Sudbury Board of Health is mandating that all high school students must undergo full remote learning for 14 days.

“After the intensity of hard work and planning that has been done to be able to start school with students in-person, we are profoundly disappointed at this sudden change of plans,” she wrote.

Vermont

The Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles has started a new online system for temporary registrations and license plates for private vehicles sales amid the pandemic.

The system issues a temporary plate and registration for all types of vehicles sold, transported or registered in Vermont after the user enters owner and vehicle information and pays a $6 fee, the department said.

Temporary plates and registrations are valid for 60 days, the department said. They can be used for state inspections.

“We understand that Vermonters want and need to register vehicles in a timely manner after purchasing them, and this new system expands the menu of online services now available to our customers,” DMV Commissioner Wanda Minoli said in a written statement. The DMV also has online license renewals and learner’s permit tests.

New Hampshire

The 26th annual Portsmouth Halloween Parade, which draws as many as 25,000 spectators, has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, organizers say.

“We have exhausted every possible option, including a reverse parade, alternate locations, a rolling parade, and route changes, and we determined there is simply no way to keep the spirit of the parade and keep the spectators and participants safe during the pandemic,” parade Marshal Monte Bohanan told Seacoastonline.com.

Organizers were hoping for a large crowd this year because Halloween falls on a Saturday.

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services announced Sunday that the state has 44 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus and one additional death.

The latest patient to die of the disease was a woman from Carroll County who was over the age of 60.

There have now been nearly 7,700 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 436 deaths in the state.

Maine

A small liberal arts college in Maine is implementing a “study-in-place” program after detecting nine cases of COVID-19 on campus, the college president says.

Saint Joseph’s College of Maine in Standish will deliver all classes remotely and students will be required to stay in their rooms as much as possible for two weeks, President Jim Dlugos said in a statement Saturday.

Contract tracing had linked most of the cases to one residence hall, he said. All students who tested positive are in quarantine.

The school has about 2,000 students.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday reported 29 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus and one additional death.

Maine has now had nearly 4,400 confirmed cases and 136 fatalities. The latest death was a woman in her 80s from Somerset County, the agency said.

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