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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Nov 21 Update – Knowing isn’t Doing

Knowing isn’t doing

By David Leonhard

Students in Phoenix.Cheney Orr/Reuters

The ebb and flow of coronavirus cases over the last year has obscured a basic truth: We know a lot about how to control the virus’s spread

Mask-wearing makes a big difference. So does limiting indoor gatherings. In particular, closing indoor restaurants, bars and gyms has reduced the virus’s spread in many places.

Arizona is an excellent example. Its governor, Doug Ducey, resisted taking aggressive action for weeks. But in late June, he closed bars, movie theaters and gyms and banned gatherings of 50 people or more. The rules began to lift in August.

Look at what happened to the virus in Arizona while the restrictions were in place — and what happened afterward:

By The New York Times | Sources: State and local health agencies and hospitals

Other states had similar success over the summer, and it’s worth emphasizing that their actions often fell well short of a full lockdown. “Unfortunately, the debate has sometimes devolved into these two camps — you’re either pro-lockdown or ‘let ’er rip,’” Jennifer Nuzzo, a Johns Hopkins University epidemiologist, told me. “There is a lot of real estate between those two positions.”

Over the past week, with the number of U.S. infections setting records every day, many states have begun announcing new restrictions. But they often fall short of what experts say is needed. Two examples are Ohio and New Jersey, which are allowing bars to serve indoors until 10 p.m. Another example is Arizona, where restaurants and many bars remain open even as cases have surged again.

(A new Times analysis finds that the surge is worst in states where leaders failed to maintain strong containment efforts.)

The most common recommendations I’ve heard from epidemiologists are: Political leaders should deliver clear, repeated messages about the effectiveness of masks. Some indoor activities can continue so long as people are masked. But the spread is now rapid enough in many states that bars, restaurants and other cramped indoor spaces should close temporarily.

Experts also say that political leaders should discourage people from participating in big Thanksgiving gatherings. Otherwise, says Donald G. McNeil Jr., a Times science reporter, “we will be doing as a nation what the South did on Memorial Day weekend: opening ourselves up to holiday travel at a time when cases are rising.”

My colleague Jonathan Wolfe interviewed Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease specialist, yesterday, and he predicted that the coming months would be brutal. “December, January and early February are going to be terribly painful months,” Fauci said.

Jonathan replied that Fauci seemed not to have much faith that Americans were going to change their behavior in the next few months. “I don’t think they are,” Fauci said. “I don’t think they are.”

A vaccine trialPfizer, via Reuters

Pfizer released new data on its vaccine trial that was even more encouraging than the initial data: The shots were 95 percent effective and had no serious side effects.

Pfizer and Moderna, which has also reported promising results for its vaccine, have estimated they will have enough doses to vaccinate 22.5 million Americans by January.

New York City will close public schools again. About one-third of the city’s 1.1 million students had been attending some in-person classes for the last eight weeks.

Scientists say there’s little to no evidence that deep cleaning mitigates the threat of the virus indoors, because it primarily spreads through inhaled droplets.

Photos of Gov. Gavin Newsom of California attending an indoor dinner have sparked outrage. Other leaders in the state have also flouted orders and guidelines, even as they have repeatedly admonished residents to be extra vigilant.

Facing a Strange Holiday, People In N.H. Still Look For Ways To See Those They Love

Shortly after Emily Michalik got together with family last Easter, she started feeling off – she was fatigued, developed shortness of breath and had eye pain. When she tested positive for COVID-19, she feared she may have spread it to her parents and her sister.

“That means on Sunday I had already been exposed and was already potentially able to contribute the germs… so unbelievably deeply thankful that we chose not to take any extra risks because my family was totally fine,” Michalik said.

Michalik says her family took precautions. They got together in her garage with good ventilation, and they all stayed six feet apart from one another.

These days, she still has some lingering symptoms: fatigue, and a weak sense of smell.

But she does plan to spend Thanksgiving with her family this year. Her parents will bring their camper and park it at the end of the driveway, and everyone will bring their own dishes. She knows it won’t be a normal holiday. More at https://www.nhpr.org/post/facing-strange-holiday-people-nh-still-look-ways-see-those-they-love-0

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

(data updated as of November 21, 2020 – 9:00 AM)

Number of Persons with COVID-19 117,281
Recovered12,599 (73%)
Deaths Attributed to COVID-19508 (3%)
Total Current COVID-19 Cases4,174
Persons Who Have Been Hospitalized for COVID-19829 (5%)
Current Hospitalizations116
Total Persons Tested at Selected Laboratories, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)2400,533
Total Persons Tested at Selected Laboratories, Antibody Laboratory Tests232,858
Persons with Specimens Submitted to NH PHLN/A
Persons with Test Pending at NH PHL31,890
Persons Being Monitored in NH (approximate point in time)6,575

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 21, 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 Saturday, November 21, 2020, DHHS announced 493 new positive test results for COVID-19, for a daily PCR test positivity rate of 2.2%. Today’s results include 339 people who tested positive by PCR test and 154 who tested positive by antigen test. There are now 4,174 current COVID-19 cases diagnosed in New Hampshire.

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-two individuals under the age of 18 and the rest are adults with 57% being female and 43% being male. The new cases reside in Rockingham (105), Hillsborough County other than Manchester and Nashua (82), Merrimack (37), Strafford (27), Belknap (22), Cheshire (16), Grafton (11), Carroll (6), Sullivan (6), and Coos (3) counties, and in the cities of Manchester (120) and Nashua (43). The county of residence is being determined for fifteen 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 are either associated with an outbreak setting or have had close contact with a person with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis.

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

  • 1 male resident of Hillsborough County, 60 years of age and older

There are currently 116 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19. In New Hampshire since the start of the pandemic, there have been a total of 17,281 cases of COVID-19 diagnosed with 829 (5%) of those having been hospitalized.

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