Dec 3 Update – Live Briefing at 3

Live at 3: Gov. Sununu holds briefing about state’s COVID-19 response

CONCORD, N.H. —

Gov. Chris Sununu plans to give the latest coronavirus response updates at a briefing Thursday afternoon.

The briefing is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. See it airing live on WMUR-TV and streaming above this article.

https://www.wmur.com/article/new-hampshire-coronavirus-update-december-3-2020/34860671

Veterans Home outbreak claims 13, making it deadliest in Lakes Region

The COVID-19 pandemic has killed 13 residents at the New Hampshire Veterans Home, making it the deadliest outbreak in the Lakes Region since the start of the pandemic.

Commandant Margaret D. LaBrecque updated the facility’s disease statistics on Tuesday. On Nov. 23, she reported that four had died, so the death toll has more than tripled in one week. More at https://www.concordmonitor.com/Veterans-Home-outbreak-claims-13-making-it-deadliest-in-Lakes-Region-37586257

THE VIRUS

Covid-19 patients in a Chicago hospital.Shannon Stapleton/Reuters
After a lull of new cases during the Thanksgiving weekend — probably because of less testing — confirmed infections have begun rising again. Here’s a map of the outbreak in the U.S.Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the C.D.C., said the next few months might be “the most difficult time in the public health history of this nation.”

He predicted that U.S. virus deaths, which are now around 273,000, could approach 450,000 by February.The C.D.C. reduced the recommended minimum quarantine time for people exposed to the virus. The old standard was 14 days; now, those without symptoms may end quarantine after seven days with a negative test, or after 10 days without a negative test.

Why did Britain approve Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine before the U.S. did? Britain has a less rigorous process for approval.Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, who was the president of France in the 1970s, died from Covid-19. He was 94.

The police broke up a 400-person party at a luxury home on Long Island. Among the calls to the cops? The mansion’s owner, who had rented his property on Airbnb and discovered the gathering while watching his security cameras from afar.

New MIT COVID Model Shows How Long People May Really Be Safe Indoors

The general social distancing guideline of six feet apart may not be enough for indoor settings, according to the study

An interactive model created by researchers at MIT aims to create a more complex understanding of how safe people are from coronavirus while indoors that takes into account factors beyond how far apart people are.

The researchers, Kasim Khan, John W. M. Bush and Martin Z. Bazant, say that evidence suggests staying at least six feet apart in social settings may not be completely effective in protecting against airborne transmission of coronavirus, especially as time goes by.

Their model calculates “safe exposure times and occupancy levels for indoor spaces” based on a series of other factors, like time, room size, humidity and the behavior of those inside it. More at https://www.nbcboston.com/news/coronavirus/new-mit-covid-model-shows-how-long-people-may-really-be-safe-indoors/2245381

Vaccine Timeline – NY Times

Who Goes First?

A panel of scientific advisers yesterday released its initial guidelines for who should receive the first coronavirus vaccines — recommendations that will influence states’ policies across the country.

The obvious question on many people’s minds is: When can I expect to be vaccinated? While there is still a lot of uncertainty, it’s possible to lay out a rough expected timeline. I’ve done so below, with help from public health experts and colleagues who are covering the virus.

December: Health care workers and nursing home residents will likely be the first people to receive the vaccine, as the panel recommended.

Up to 40 million doses could be available to Americans before the end of this year, from a combination of Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines. That would be enough to vaccinate the three million people who live in long-term-care facilities, as well as most of the country’s 21 million health care workers.

January: Keep in mind that both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require a second dose a few weeks later to be effective. So an initial batch of 40 million doses would be enough to vaccinate only 20 million people.

By early next year, Pfizer and Moderna are likely to be able to ship about 70 million doses per month, Moncef Slaoui, a top federal vaccine official, told The Washington Post yesterday. People will likely receive the shots at doctor’s offices, hospitals and pharmacies, as well as at specially created clinics in some places, my colleague Katie Thomas says.

February and March: The next priority groups are likely to be people over the age of 65 (and especially those over 75); people with medical conditions that put them at risk of death if infected; and essential workers, like those in education, food, transportation and law enforcement.

One exception to this second wave of vaccine recipients may be people who have already had the virus, making them immune from it for at least some period of time.

If other companies in addition to Pfizer and Moderna receive approval for their vaccines, the total number shipped each month could reach 150 million by March, Slaoui said.

April, May and June: The most likely scenario is that even people who don’t qualify as a priority — like healthy, nonessential workers younger than 65 — will begin receiving the vaccine by the spring. The vast majority of Americans could be vaccinated by early summer.

Once that happens, life will still not immediately return to normal, partly because the vaccines are not 100 percent effective. “There will still be risks to people,” as Caitlin Rivers, a Johns Hopkins epidemiologist, told me.

But those risks will be small compared with today’s risks. Treatments continue to improve, reducing the death rate for people who get the virus. And widespread vaccination will sharply reduce the spread, helping protect even people for whom a vaccine is ineffective. Rivers predicted that social gatherings will again be common and largely safe by the summer.

All things considered, the spring isn’t that far away, which is yet another reason for people to make extra efforts to avoid unnecessary risks — like eating inside restaurants and gathering indoors with friends — for the next few months.

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

(data updated as of December 2, 2020 – 9:00 AM)

Number of Persons with COVID-19 122,332
Recovered17,101 (77%)
Deaths Attributed to COVID-19537 (2%)
Total Current COVID-19 Cases4,694
Persons Who Have Been Hospitalized for COVID-19842 (4%)
Current Hospitalizations162
Total Persons Tested at Selected Laboratories, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)2427,816
Total Persons Tested at Selected Laboratories, Antibody Laboratory Tests233,348
Persons with Specimens Submitted to NH PHL57,597
Persons with Test Pending at NH PHL31,738
Persons Being Monitored in NH (approximate point in time)8,325

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.

NH DHHS COVID-19 Update – December 2, 2020

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has issued the following update on the new coronavirus, COVID-19.

On Wednesday, December 2, 2020, DHHS announced 566 new positive test results for COVID-19, for a daily PCR test positivity rate of 6.1%. Today’s results include 472 people who tested positive by PCR test and 94 who tested positive by antigen test. There are now 4,694 current COVID-19 cases diagnosed in New Hampshire. Test results received Tuesday are still being processed and the total number of new positives for that day is not yet complete. Updated case counts for prior days will be reflected on the COVID-19 interactive dashboard.

Several cases are still under investigation. Additional information from ongoing investigations will be incorporated into future COVID-19 updates. Of those with complete information, there are sixty-six individuals under the age of 18 and the rest are adults with 51% being female and 49% being male. The new cases reside in Rockingham (139), Merrimack (82), Hillsborough County other than Manchester and Nashua (64), Belknap (40), Grafton (36), Strafford (33), Carroll (22), Cheshire (10), Sullivan (3), and Coos (2) counties, and in the cities of Manchester (64) and Nashua (33). The county of residence is being determined for thirty-eight new cases.

Community-based transmission continues to occur in the State and has been identified in all counties. Of those with complete risk information, most of the cases have either had close contact with a person with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis or are associated with an outbreak setting.

DHHS has also announced nine additional deaths related to COVID-19. We offer our sympathies to the family and friends.

  • 1 female resident of Belknap County, 60 years of age and older
  • 1 male resident of Belknap County, 60 years of age and older
  • 3 female residents of Hillsborough County, 60 years of age and older
  • 3 male residents of Hillsborough County, 60 years of age and older
  • 1 female resident of Rockingham County, 60 years of age and older

There are currently 162 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19. In New Hampshire since the start of the pandemic, there have been a total of 22,332 cases of COVID-19 diagnosed with 842 (4%) of those having been hospitalized.

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Nov 30 Update

NH students eligible for free national forest Christmas trees

All fourth and fifth grade students in New Hampshire are eligible for a free Christmas tree this year — if they’re willing to work for it.

The National Forest Service is providing Christmas tree vouchers that can be exchanged for permits to cut a tree from the White Mountain National Forest. For others, the permits cost $5.Advertisement

The student vouchers are part of the national Every Kid Outdoors initiative and can be obtained online at https://everykidoutdoors.gov.

Permits can be purchased at White Mountain National Forest district offices or online with an additional $2.50 fee. Restrictions apply to how and where trees can be cut.

New Massachusetts COVID Hot Spots, Travel Order

What to Know

Massachusetts released the latest community-level COVID-19 data over the holiday weekend, which showed that 81 cities and towns are now at high risk for the virus, up from 63 in the previous week.

The state also removed Vermont from the list of low-risk states, leaving Hawaii as the only state where visitors won’t be required to quarantine for 14 days or else test out of the quarantine restrictions.

Massachusetts also reported almost 10,000 new coronavirus cases over the 4-day weekend as the state continues to weather the second surge.

Here’s everything you need to know about the latest COVID-19 developments in Massachusetts – https://www.nbcboston.com/news/local/new-massachusetts-covid-hot-spots-travel-order-what-to-know/2244031

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

(data updated as of November 30, 2020 – 9:00 AM)

Number of Persons with COVID-19 120,994
Recovered15,323 (73%)
Deaths Attributed to COVID-19526 (3%)
Total Current COVID-19 Cases5,145
Persons Who Have Been Hospitalized for COVID-19839 (4%)
Current Hospitalizations160
Total Persons Tested at Selected Laboratories, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)2421,261
Total Persons Tested at Selected Laboratories, Antibody Laboratory Tests233,161
Persons with Specimens Submitted to NH PHL57,382
Persons with Test Pending at NH PHL31,475
Persons Being Monitored in NH (approximate point in time)7,700

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.

NH DHHS COVID-19 Update – November 30, 2020

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has issued the following update on the new coronavirus, COVID-19.

On Monday, November 30, 2020, DHHS announced 514 new positive test results for COVID-19, for a daily PCR test positivity rate of 5.5%. Today’s results include 287 people who tested positive by PCR test and 227 who tested positive by antigen test. There are now 5,145 current COVID-19 cases diagnosed in New Hampshire. Of the results reported today, 265 new positive test results are from Saturday, 11/27 and 249 new positive test results are from Sunday, 11/28. Test results received Sunday are still being processed and the total number of new positives for that day is not yet complete. Updated case counts for prior days will be reflected on the COVID-19 interactive dashboard.

Several cases are still under investigation. Additional information from ongoing investigations will be incorporated into future COVID-19 updates. Of those with complete information, there are fifty individuals under the age of 18 and the rest are adults with 51% being female and 49% being male. The new cases reside in Rockingham (119), Hillsborough County other than Manchester and Nashua (81), Merrimack (52), Strafford (26), Cheshire (20), Belknap (19), Coos (11), Carroll (10), Grafton (9), and Sullivan (2) counties, and in the cities of Manchester (108) and Nashua (43). The county of residence is being determined for fourteen new cases.

Community-based transmission continues to occur in the State and has been identified in all counties. Of those with complete risk information, most of the cases have either had close contact with a person with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis or are associated with an outbreak setting.

There are currently 160 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19. In New Hampshire since the start of the pandemic, there have been a total of 20,994 cases of COVID-19 diagnosed with 839 (4%) of those having been hospitalized.

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Nov 27 Update

Today’s coronavirus update

State health officials announced three additional COVID-19 deaths and 547 new infections on Friday, Nov. 27.

The three fatalities were residents of Belknap, Merrimack and Rockingham counties. Since the pandemic began, the state has recorded 517 deaths from coronavirus and confirmed 19,313 positive test results.

The 547 new cases reported Friday — which is the highest single-day case count to date in New Hampshire — is data for cases and test results received through Wednesday, Nov. 25, due to the Thanksgiving holiday. The state says it will report the Nov. 26-27 results in its Saturday update. 

The latest report says there are 4,570 current cases statewide and 131 residents in the hospital due to the virus.

Portsmouth Company Seeking More Participants in COVID-19 Vaccine Trial

Trials for a COVID-19 vaccine candidate are currently being held in Portsmouth.

ActivMed Research in Portsmouth currently has 500 volunteers who will get the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is being developed at Oxford University and was recently found to be 90 percent effective in late-stage trials. READ MORE

COVID and Mass. Travel Restrictions Are Not Stopping Holiday Shoppers

While many retailers are doing Black Friday a little differently this year, that didn’t stop many from doing their holiday shopping in person.

At the Pheasant Lane Mall in Nashua, it looked like almost any other Black Friday, with some parking lots nearly filled, and plenty of out-of-state license plates. READ MORE

How a Daily Zoom Call Became a Lifeline for COVID Response in the North Country

The coronavirus pandemic has isolated a lot of us, but it’s also brought community institutions together in a new way. In New Hampshire’s North Country, a daily zoom call has become essential for leaders managing the fallout of the pandemic.

When the coronavirus shut down just about everything in March, including schools, Gorham Superintendent David Backler got on a call with his counterpart in Berlin, and staff from the hospital and local health centers.

“We realized that we had so many different stakeholders and different perspectives in our community, and we needed to find a way to get everybody together to be on the same page,” Backler said. “At first, it was a symbiotic relationship where we were just looking for resources.”

READ MORE

A COVID Vaccine for Children May Still Be Many Months Away

It may only be weeks until a COVID-19 vaccine is approved for use in the U.S. Pfizer and its partner BioNTech asked the Food and Drug Administration to grant an emergency use authorization for their vaccine a week ago, and Moderna is expected to follow suit in coming days.

But even when those vaccines hit the market, they will not be available to children. That’s because very few children have been part of the clinical trials to date. Pfizer only recently began enrolling children as young as 12.

Earlier this month, the American Academy of Pediatrics called on researchers to broaden their trials to include more children, warning of a significant delay in access to a vaccine should they not act quickly. READ this NPR story

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

(data updated as of November 27, 2020 – 9:00 AM)

Number of Persons with COVID-19 119,313
Recovered14,226 (74%)
Deaths Attributed to COVID-19517 (3%)
Total Current COVID-19 Cases4,570
Persons Who Have Been Hospitalized for COVID-19836 (4%)
Current Hospitalizations131
Total Persons Tested at Selected Laboratories, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)2413,290
Total Persons Tested at Selected Laboratories, Antibody Laboratory Tests233,089
Persons with Specimens Submitted to NH PHL56,991
Persons with Test Pending at NH PHL32,216
Persons Being Monitored in NH (approximate point in time)7,025

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.

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