Oct 10 Update – Be Careful out there

I know that not everyone is doing literally all that they should to be safe. Most people are doing some things though, and that has worked pretty well. As we go into the holiday season, it is going to be harder. I did not enjoy the early stages. I spent a lot of time helping people with their unemployment claims, navigating travel rules, and figuring out how to apply for the available grants. We don’t ever want to return to life as it was in March, so please don’t relax yet. Continue to wash your hands more than used to, please continue to wear a mask most of the time and always where required, and do what you can. ~ Steve

COVID tracker: Cases are rising faster

By DAVID BROOKSMonitor staffPublished: 10/9/2020 3:11:35 PM

The long-feared autumn rise in New Hampshire COVID-19 has started to arrive, as reflected in a deterioration of the Monitor’s weekly tracking – for the first time in months we are missing two of our goals – as well as the state’s concern that community-wide transmission is happening in more areas.

Part of the issue is New Hampshire’s decision to include rapid antigen testing in daily results, rather than just PCR tests.

Both types of tests are conducted on nasal swabs. PCR tests detect the genetic material of the virus itself. They are more reliable but take several days to be performed by a laboratory.

Antigen tests detect proteins on the outside of the SARS-CoV2 virus and depend on chemical reactions that can be read on site in as little as 15 minutes.

The state said earlier this month antigen tests that have proved reliable enough are now so widely available that they can be included in the daily counts, rather than waiting for their results to be confirmed by PCR tests.

The number of antigen tests is still relatively small compared to PCR tests but should increase. The federal government is expected to provide the state with as many as 400,000 Abbott BinaxNOW antigen tests by the end of the year.

In recent days about one-third of new cases have been detected through antigen tests: on Thursday, for example, there were 55 PCR positives and 24 antigen positives, while Wednesday saw 43 new cases from PCR and 28 from antigen tests. More at https://www.concordmonitor.com/covid-coronavirus-nh-new-hampshire-36674635

PPP loan forgiveness process now simplified, SBA says

By  BOB SANDERSNH Business ReviewPublished: 10/9/2020 4:47:50 PM

Businesses that received less than $50,000 in Paycheck Protection Program funds now have a simplified form to submit to their bank to get forgiveness on that loan, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced Thursday night.

The one-page form asks for such basic information as the number of employees, the amount of the loan and the amount to be forgiven. That’s it. More at https://www.concordmonitor.com/PPP-loan-forgiveness-process-now-simplified-SBA-says-36721292

The Safety Pledge – Keep Kids Safer Online

On September 29, a new campaign led by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and the White House was launched to keep kids safe online – Safety Pledge. This campaign aims to provide free resources from the NCMEC to help parents, educators, and other caregivers learn more about the risks that children face online and empower the children in their lives to respond to those risks safely. 

Throughout COVID-19, NCMEC has witnessed dramatic increases in reports of child sexual exploitation to the CyberTipline and increased vulnerability of children. With many children being educated remotely this fall and using virtual devices for school lessons and social interactions, it is essential that we work together to help keep children safe online. 

The website – www.safetypledge.org – contains practical toolkits about internet safety. It also contains a Safety Pledge, which individuals can digitally sign and make their formal commitment to safeguarding children online.

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

(data updated as of October 9, 2020 – 9:00 AM)

Number of Persons with COVID-19 18,970
Recovered7,935 (88%)
Deaths Attributed to COVID-19450 (5%)
Total Current COVID-19 Cases585
Persons Who Have Been Hospitalized for COVID-19748 (8%)
Current Hospitalizations13
Total Persons Tested at Selected Laboratories, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)2290,038
Total Persons Tested at Selected Laboratories, Antibody Laboratory Tests231,441
Persons with Specimens Submitted to NH PHL48,452
Persons with Test Pending at NH PHL3972
Persons Being Monitored in NH (approximate point in time)3,050

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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