NASHUA, N.H. (AP) - Students in two New Hampshire school districts were subjected to pornography and other inappropriate behavior during remote classes this week, authorities said.
A teacher in Nashua reported a pornographic image being shown to the entire class during a remote lesson, Gregory Rodriguez, Nashua’s director of technology told WMUR-TV.
The teacher closed down the class right away, he said.
“We’re working with the Nashua Police Department, trying to figure out ways to investigate this,” Rodriguez said.
In Concord, there have been several reports of inappropriate behavior during remote high school lessons.
Two were pornographic, one was racial, and one involved a toy gun in the background behind a student, said Pam McLeod, the district’s IT director.
The Concord police computer crimes unit is investigating.
A spike of COVID-19 cases on Nantucket is being driven by tradespeople working in construction, landscaping, and other trades who are sharing transportation to job sites, according to officials from the town and Nantucket Cottage Hospital.
Fourteen new confirmed cases were reported Wednesday and Thursday, for a total of 77 cases in the town, Select Board Chair Dawn Hill Holdgate said in a statement Friday.
Of the new cases, a dozen were among Nantucket residents, and most of those residents worked in the trades, Roberto Santamaria, the town’s health and human services director, and Gary Shaw, the hospital’s president, said in a statement.
The Select Board and Board of Health has scheduled an emergency meeting Monday to consider placing restrictions on some trades, Holdgate said.
Massachusetts public health officials reported 435 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 216 additonal virus-related deaths on Saturday, but a key measure of how successful the state is in fighting the disease - the average positive test rate - remains low.
The new cases were out of more than 18,200 tests administered.
The 7-day rolling average of the positivity rate in Massachusetts has fallen over the past two weeks, going from 0.99% on Aug. 28 to 0.73% on Friday, according to the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering.
The number of confirmed cases in the state is now nearing 123,000, while the death toll is now at 8,987.
The number of patients in the hospital remained virtually unchanged at 331, while 64 people were in intensive care.
A state judge has denied an effort by teachers in a Rhode Island school district to block in-person lessons from starting next week.
An attorney for the Bristol-Warren teachers union argued that school buildings were not safe enough to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Judge Melissa Long in denying the union’s request for a temporary restraining order Friday said a vast majority of parents and students want to return to school, and the district’s administration has complied with the state’s school reopening health and safety guidelines.
School is scheduled to start Monday. One elementary school in the district will not open because a staffer recently tested positive for COVID-19, while the district’s high school, Mount Hope, will be open at limited capacity.
The pandemic has a claimed a Rhode Island Halloween tradition.
The annual Field of Screams at Big John Leyden’s Tree Farm in West Greenwich has been canceled this year.
“The safety of our actors as well as the visitors is paramount,” event manager Timothy Leyden said in a news release. “We came to the conclusion, it was more important to take a year off and reopen in 2021 with an all new experience.”
Leyden started Field of Screams in 1996, at a time when many family farms faced uncertain economic futures, to help keep the farm going.
It has featured a haunted maze, a haunted hayride, and zombie paintball.
Vermonters can still enjoy Halloween this year during the coronavirus pandemic but it will be different, Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine said.
“Within the usual guidance we give about everything there should be room for Halloween and people can still enjoy the holiday to a degree,” he said Friday, during the governor’s virus briefing.
No large gatherings or parties, he said. Children shouldn’t congregate on a doorstep or porch, and some homeowners may not be comfortable being in close contact with kids by handing them candy, he said.
“We have to abide by the 6-foot rule, we have to abide by the masking rule but there creative ways to do this,” he said, whether it be setting the candy out on a table or parents making sure their kids are not in large groups.
The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday reported 42 cases of the novel coronavirus, and the state’s first death from the disease in a week.
The state has now had more than 4,800 confirmed cases of the disease, and nearly 500 probably cases. The state’s death toll is now 135.
The agency also reported that the total number of COVID-19 cases associated with a Sanford area funeral and reception on Aug. 31 has increased to 10.
The funeral took place outdoors at the Southern Maine Veterans Cemetery in Springvale, and the reception occurred indoors and outdoors at Sanford American Legion Post.
Maine began issuing a new federal unemployment benefit of $300 a week to many jobless workers Friday, according to the Maine Department of Labor.
The benefits, retroactive to the week ending Aug. 1, will cover benefits through the third week of August, a payment of up to $900.
The Lost Wages Assistance Program, authorized by a presidential order in early August, will provide states with enough money to cover payments for six weeks before expiring, the department said. Maine received $134.8 million.
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