Colleges move online, child advocate raises virus concerns
Developments on the coronavirus pandemic in New England:
The state announced more than 150 new confirmed cases Sunday. Two additional deaths were announced, bringing the total to 165.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Maine has risen over the past two weeks from 75 new cases per day on Oct. 31 to nearly 170 new cases per day on Nov. 14.
Fitchburg State University students are scrambling to make plans as dorms close and classes move online due to a spike in coronavirus cases in the city.
The university said Friday it will shift most classes to remote learning by Nov. 21, and dorms will close for the semester the next day. The spring semester will start Jan. 25, a week later than originally planned.
Babson College in Wellesley also moved classes online effective Friday, after a spike in cases there.
“I kind of saw it coming,” student Cooper Howell told WBZ-TV. “I didn’t want to accept it, but I saw it coming. Because all the other schools are doing it.”
The state announced 2,076 new confirmed cases Sunday. Thirty-three deaths were announced, bringing the total since the pandemic started to 10,098. The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Massachusetts has risen over the past two weeks from nearly 1,300 new cases per day on Oct. 31 to more than 2,365 new cases per day on Nov. 14.
The coronavirus pandemic has underscored the importance of building a system of care that strengthens families and prevents child abuse, neglect and delinquency, according to the head of a watchdog office for New Hampshire’s child welfare system.
Moira O’Neill, director of the Office of the Child Advocate, sees parallels between the experience of living through a pandemic and living as a child in out-of-home care.
“The stress and uncertainty we all feel under pandemic restrictions teaches us what children feel when placed away from home,” she wrote in an annual report released Friday. “They never really know when they will go home, if they will go home, or who will be there for them. This may be the greatest lesson of the pandemic.”
O’Neill said the Division for Children, Youth and Families has forged partnerships to create new paths to supports and services during the pandemic, many of which are better than previous options. But she said there is an urgent need to implement the expansion of the entire system of care that was authorized in legislation a year and a half ago.
Health officials announced 361 new confirmed coronavirus cases Sunday. The number of deaths stood at 499. The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in New Hampshire has risen over the past two weeks from more than 120 new cases per day on Oct. 31 to nearly 300 new cases per day on Nov. 14.
The University of Vermont Medical Center is the latest hospital to prohibit visitors due to the increase in COVID-19 cases.
The Burlington hospital, along with the other hospitals and clinics in its network, has begun prohibiting visitors, with limited exceptions for labor and delivery, procedures requiring sedation and end-of-life care. One parent or guardian may accompany pediatric patients.
The state reported 45 new cases Sunday, while the number of deaths remained at 59. The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Vermont has risen over the past two weeks from 19 new cases per day on Oct. 31 to 70 new cases per day on Nov. 14.