BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — New Hampshire and Vermont have joined 37 other U.S. states in declaring a state of emergency over the spread of COVID-19.
Governors from both states announced the move on Friday, following Massachusetts which declared a state of emergency on Tuesday.
"We just want to make sure we are nimble and we can act quickly as the situation may evolve rapidly," said New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu. "We’ve seen that happen in other states, and we want to be prepared."
Governor Sununu emphasized the risk to New Hampshire residents of contracting coronavirus remains low at this time.
Vermont Governor Phil Scott also declared a state of emergency Friday afternoon, although he is not closing schools at this time.
"This is more about protecting the vulnerable," Scott said. "While Vermont only has two known cases at this time, we know it's only a matter of time before there are many more."
Both states are restricting large gatherings to 250 people, suspending out-of-state travel, and restricting access to elderly care facilities.
As of Friday night, New Hampshire has six confirmed cases and Vermont has two. On Saturday morning, Vermont had three new presumptive positive cases as well.
Maine and Rhode Island are the last remaining states in New England to not have declared a state of emergency yet, but a state of emergency has been declared in several of those states' large towns and cities.