Maine eyes permanent telehealth, New Hampshire court reopens
Coronavirus developments around New England:
Maine might extend the ability of its residents to use telehealth services beyond the coronavirus pandemic.
Many people in Maine and around the country have transitioned to telehealth during the pandemic, in part to avoid crowded doctors’ offices. Democratic Sen. Heather Sanborn of Portland has proposed a bill to guarantee Maine health care providers have a right to provide telehealth services in the future.
Sanborn’s proposal would also allow health care licensing boards to create rules and practices for health care workers. She said it’s time for the state to “make it clear that telehealth is a proper form of health care delivery, and ensure that people across our state can continue accessing these critical services no matter where they live or what the circumstances are.”
The proposal would add language to health care licensing board statutes to guarantee providers have a right to provide it, Sanborn said.
The proposal is expected to be considered in committee.
More than 656,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Massachusetts, including nearly 660 cases announced Saturday. Five new deaths were announced, bringing the totalsince the pandemic began to 17,389.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Massachusetts has decreased over the past two weeks, going from 1,244 new cases per day on April 30 to 707 new cases per day on May 14.
New Hampshire’s courts are continuing to ease restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic.
As of Tuesday, the Supreme Court building will be open to the public during normal business hours permitting full access to the clerk’s office and public kiosk. The law library also will be open.
All superior and circuit court courthouses and clerks’ offices also will be open to the public during normal business hours, but public kiosks will not be available. In the superior court, grand jury and jury trials will continue to be conducted on an in-person basis and will be expanded to include more than one trial at a time in the same courthouse.
The superior and circuit courts will be issuing administrative orders that make telephonic and video hearings a normal feature of their ongoing operations.
The amount of quahogs harvested in Rhode Island dropped by about 35% last year because of the pandemic, but officials expect landings to bounce back this year, aided by the opening of new shellfishing waters in the lower Providence River.
Quahogs are the state’s fifth most valuable marine fishery, behind squid, scallops, lobster and summer flounder.
The local clams will be celebrated May 17-23 during the 5th annual Rhode Island Quahog Week.
More than 23,000 people have tested positive for the virus in Vermont, including 28 new cases announced Sunday. Deaths stood at 252.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Vermont has decreased over the past two weeks, going from 79 new cases per day on April 30 to 57 new cases per day on May 14.