Sept 30 – Follow your own rules and Thanksgiving prep

Quite a change

Most people are doing what they can to be safer, and it is quite a change from normal life. Most of you have avoided large gatherings that you would normally have hosted or attended. Most of you have prudently canceled unnecessary trips. Because of your efforts, we are in better shape than other places. With kids going back to school and staged business re-openings, we will have better data because the risks are higher. The things you have done to get us here are worth it, and I thank you. ~ Steve

Hospitals seek more aid, legislators ask for more data


CONCORD — Despite receiving more than $300 million in federal aid, New Hampshire’s hospitals warn they could face record losses by year’s end without additional COVID-19 relief from Congress.

New Hampshire Hospital Association President Steven Ahnen said by the end of September, the hospitals’ losses will total $187 million more than all their revenues — after $329 million of COVID-19 assistance.

The hospitals expect to lose nearly another $100 million by the end of December, he said.

“We are going to need help to get us through to the other side,” Ahnen said. More at Union Leader

Maskless meetings, carpooling to blame for faculty and staff COVID numbers at UNH


After seeing the number of COVID-19 cases among students on its three campuses drop dramatically, the University of New Hampshire is now dealing with a sharp rise in cases involving faculty and staff, at least partly because safety policies weren’t followed, officials said.

As of Monday, 34 current COVID-19 cases on the Durham, Manchester and Concord campuses involved faculty and staff members, compared to nine cases among students.

The nine students are in isolation. Throughout the UNH system, 56 students are in quarantine.

Officials blame carpooling and staff meetings where masks haven’t been worn for some of the non-student cases.

“Based on contact tracing, we know that some of these came from not following our own policies, like staff meetings without masks and carpooling,” said UNH spokeswoman Erika Mantz. More at Union Leader


Thanksgiving is a time when many families travel long distances to celebrate together. Travel increases the chance of getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others. If you must travel, be informed of the risks involved.

Lower risk activities

  • Having a small dinner with only people who live in your household
  • Preparing traditional family recipes for family and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and delivering them in a way that doesn’t involve contact with others
  • Having a virtual dinner and sharing recipes with friends and family
  • Shopping online rather than in person on the day after Thanksgiving or the next Monday
  • Watching sports events, parades, and movies from home

Moderate risk activities

  • Having a small outdoor dinner with family and friends who live in your community
  • Lower your risk by following CDC’s recommendations on hosting gatherings or cook-outs.
  • Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced, and people are able to maintain social distancing
  • Attending a small outdoor sports events with safety precautions in place

Higher risk activities

Avoid these higher risk activities to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19:

  • Going shopping in crowded stores just before, on, or after Thanksgiving
  • Participating or being a spectator at a crowded race
  • Attending crowded parades
  • Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgement and increase risky behaviors
  • Attending large indoor gatherings with people from outside of your household

New Hampshire 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Summary Report

(data updated as of September 29, 2020, 9:00 AM)

Number of Persons with COVID-19 1 8,233
Recovered 7,463 (91%)
Deaths Attributed to COVID-19 439 (5%)
Total Current COVID-19 Cases 331
Persons Who Have Been Hospitalized for COVID-19 738 (9%)
Current Hospitalizations 13
Total Persons Tested at Selected Laboratories, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)2 270,204
Total Persons Tested at Selected Laboratories, Antibody Laboratory Tests2 31,078
Persons with Specimens Submitted to NH PHL 46,757
Persons with Test Pending at NH PHL3 993
Persons Being Monitored in NH (approximate point in time) 2,725

1 Includes specimens positive at any laboratory and those confirmed by CDC confirmatory testing.
2 Includes specimens tested at the NH Public Health Laboratories (PHL), LabCorp, Quest, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Mako, certain hospital laboratories, the University of New Hampshire and their contracted laboratory, and those sent to CDC prior to NH PHL testing capacity.
3 Includes specimens received and awaiting testing at NH PHL. Does not include tests pending at commercial laboratories.


About Rep. Steven Smith

Steven Smith is a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, serving his 7th term. Rep. Smith currently represents Charlestown, Newport, and Unity. Rep. Smith is the Deputy Speaker of the NH House.
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