President Trump approves Massachusetts disaster declaration

President Donald Trump has approved a disaster declaration for the Commonweath of Massachusetts and ordered federal assistance to help with recovery in areas impacted by COVID-19. The declaration approved on Friday makes federal funding available for crisis counseling for people and for commonwealth, tribal, and eligible local governments and some private nonprofit organizations for emergency protective measures, the White House said.

 

A look at developments related to the new coronavirus around New England.

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RHODE ISLAND

The Rhode Island National Guard is expected to be going door to door in coastal communities starting Saturday to ask people if they are visiting from New York and telling them about the mandatory 14-day quarantine for people from that state. The measure is needed to help control the spread of the new coronavirus because the New York City area is the epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S., Gov. Gina Raimondo said Friday. State Police on Friday started pulling over vehicles with New York license plates to tell them of the quarantine order and get contact information from drivers and passengers.

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MAINE

A Maine funeral home operator announced it’s providing an option for virtual funerals during the coronavirus. Hobbs Funeral Home, which has locations in Scarborough and South Portland, will provide an option for video chats so people can say goodbye and grieve from the safety of their homes. Absent will be physical gatherings and hugs. Hobbs Funeral Home Director Jeffrey Inman says that’s just not possible for now.

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For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. 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.

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