“COVID Fatigue.” We all have it.
COVID was first found in the United States on January 20, 2020, and NH had their first reported case on March 2.
Early on, we knew that there were three communities that had 25 or more residents diagnosed with COVID-19: Manchester, Nashua and Salem. What we didn’t know was how many cases we did have here in Salem. There were a lot of people guessing what was going on, and even more asking. Since our town officials were not providing information, I took it upon myself to start collecting as much accurate information as was available.
My first daily update was April 4. I thought it would be for a month or two. I had no intention of it lasting anywhere near this long. However, I provided daily updates for the next 440 days, until June 21, 2021, when I switched to weekly updates. Now, many, many hours later, this is update #477.
“COVID Fatigue.” We all have it. I recognize we are still in a global pandemic, but I have it, too. Numbers are going down, but, with recent changes to the collection and reporting from the State, I don’t think there is a valid reason for continuing with regular updates.
- With Omicron causing such minor symptoms, many people don’t know that they have been infected, and aren’t getting tested.
- With rapid tests easily available for at home testing, many new diagnoses are not being reported to the State. (Now the State has said that they do not want that information.)
- With the CDC lifting isolation requirements after 5 days from diagnosis/symptoms, infected people can be considered as “recovered” far faster, and are lifted from the Active Case list sooner than they were until recently.
- With less testing, less reporting of positive cases, and quicker removal from the active case lists, I fear that the comparisons that I’ve been providing over time are becoming more inaccurate through no fault of my own.
I am no longer being comfortable that the data is accurate. In addition, the State has made changes to their website, and now it’s agonizingly slow. I just spent *over* one minute going through the steps to allow me to see the data for Cumulative Cases by Town. That’s one whole minute just to find out how many total cases have been reported from Salem residents. Since NH DHHS stopped weekend updates in early June, 2021, Monday’s data is important. But, for two weeks in a row, the State has not provided any data on Mondays.
For those who still look for these reports, I’m sorry, but this is the last update. For those who have regularly told me how much they appreciate these updates, I thank you for your support. For those who didn’t like seeing these updates, I’m sorry that you were offended. Just know that, while my updates are ending, the pandemic has not ending. #Staysafe and, always, #bekind.
COVID-19 Update 21 February 2022
NH DHHS did not update data today, so the most recent info is as of last Friday.
- Salem since last update: 73 new cases from Friday, Feb 11 to Friday Feb 18.
- Total: 6,832 confirmed cases in Salem as of Friday.
- Active cases: 34 as of Friday.
- 1 out of every 4 Salem residents have had confirmed infections.
- Salem’s new cases per 100K for 14 days: 264.
- Salem’s Positivity Rate for the past 7 days: 6.1%
- Fully vaccinated Salem residents: 50.1%
- New cases of COVID-19 in NH this week as reported by DHHS: 5,506 as of Friday.
- 1 out of every 5 NH residents has been infected as of last Monday.
- Active COVID-19 cases in NH: 3,073 as of Friday.
- There were 155 active cases on June 28. Before the recent surge, we peaked one year ago, last December 27, at 6,994. Starting November 18, we have broken that record multiple times, peaking Thursday at 22,750
- Recovered in NH this week: 7,737 as of Friday.
- State Level of Transmission: Hasn’t been reported that I can find for several weeks.
- New patients hospitalized this week because of COVID-19: 111 as of Friday.
- New admissions to ICU this week because of COVID-19: 29 as of Friday.
- New deaths attributed to COVID-19 reported in NH this week: 39 as of Friday.
- Fully vaccinated NH Residents: 56.8%
Random thoughts from this week:
- Long COVID exhausts the body. Here’s how.
- New study: Covid-19 infection could damage testicles, harm sex drive in men. Story here.
- Study: About 1-in-3 COVID-19 patients develop a new symptom months after they have “recovered.” Some of the developed symptoms include changes to their organs and systems, including heart, kidneys, lungs and liver. The infection also impacted mental health conditions, according to the study. COVID-19 patients were more likely to develop respiratory failure, fatigue, high blood pressure and mental health diagnoses.
- The CDC isn’t publishing large portions of the COVID data it collects. Read here.
- The Last Pandemic Aid Anybody Wants to Need. Details about the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s funeral expense reimbursement can be found here.
- The FDA has cleared a COVID drug from Eli Lilly that shows promise against Omicron. It is authorized for people who are vulnerable to becoming seriously ill because they are older or have a medical condition like obesity or diabetes. Details here.
- Access to the COVID-19 pill is at risk as pharmacies push for more money. Read here.
- The next round of boosters: Nasal Vaccines? Story here.
- The Omicron BA.2 variant, the sister of the original Omicron variant, is becoming the dominant worldwide. BA.2 is more transmissible than BA.1 so we expect to see BA.2 increasing in detection around the world,” said Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s COVID-19 technical lead. WHO is watching to see if BA.2 causes a new round of infections in countries that already saw a rise in omicron variant cases. “If you’re with someone in a room who has the virus, you will get it. The moment you take your mask off to drink and eat — you never know when you’ll get it.” Story here.
- As the BA.2 subvariant of Omicron rises, lab studies point to signs of severity. New info here.
More Useful links:
- Free N95 masks! Details here.
- You can reuse these masks! Here’s how.
- Free Rapid test kits! Sign up to get yours here. Orders are being fulfilled as tests come in.
- Here’s what you should do, if you test positive at home.
- There is a fixed site in Salem for walk-in COVID-19 vaccinations. These fixed sites will likely be open through March. The state’s website is still not loading the list of fixed vaccination sites, for 3 (or is it 4?) weeks in a row. WMUR lists Salem’s location as 315 S. Broadway, 315 S. Broadway) – Open daily from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- If you need a COVID-19 test, this link might help.
I expect our numbers will continue to go down, although I won’t be surprised if they go up again at some point. I’m still concerned about the number of hospitalizations and ICU admissions. Long-term health issues are still being identified. I’m also surprised at the number of Delta variants that were reported compared to Omicron since my last update. We are still in a pandemic, and we are likely to have additional variants. I’ll likely be wearing a mask in public for some time to come. It still makes sense to me, and puzzles me why so many others have stopped. But so many attitudes about this pandemic have puzzled me …
So, Salem, this is my final scheduled update, and likely my last update. As always, be smart, stay safe, and always, be kind.
The following section is a summary of the DHHS updates/press releases. I have not seen an explanation as to why there are numbers from up to 18 days included in some day’s updates
On Tuesday, February 15, 2022, DHHS announced 750 new positive test results for COVID-19 for Monday, February 14. Today’s results include 555 people who tested positive by PCR test and 195 who tested positive by antigen test. DHHS also announced 611 cases from Friday, February 11 (470 by PCR and 141 by antigen test); 65 cases from Saturday, February 12 (52 by PCR and 13 by antigen test); and 3 cases from Sunday, February 13 (0 by PCR and 3 by antigen test). Additionally, DHHS announced an additional 50 new cases from Monday, January 24 (1 by PCR and 49 by antigen test) for a new total of 1,484; an additional 232 new cases from Tuesday, January 25 (13 by PCR and 219 by antigen test) for a new total of 1,600; an additional 317 new cases from Wednesday, January 26 (48 by PCR and 269 by antigen test) for a new total of 2,401; an additional 364 new cases from Thursday, January 27 (81 by PCR and 283 by antigen test) for a new total of 2,438; an additional 54 new cases from Friday, January 28 (22 by PCR and 32 by antigen test) for a new total of 1,705; an additional 18 new cases from Saturday, January 29 (12 by PCR and 6 by antigen test) for a new total of 1,203; an additional 7 new cases from Monday, January 31 (0 by PCR and 7 by antigen test) for a new total of 509; an additional 13 new cases from Tuesday, February 1 (1 by PCR and 12 by antigen test) for a new total of 1,078; an additional 1 new case from Wednesday, February 2 (0 by PCR and 1 by antigen test) for a new total of 874; an additional 1 new case from Friday, February 4 (0 by PCR and 1 by antigen test) for a new total of 1,146; an additional 2 new cases from Monday, February 7 (0 by PCR and 2 by antigen test) for a new total of 319; an additional 2 new cases from Tuesday, February 8 (0 by PCR and 2 by antigen test) for a new total of 793; an additional 5 new cases from Wednesday, February 9 (0 by PCR and 5 by antigen test) for a new total of 763; and an additional 20 new cases from Thursday, February 10 (15 by PCR and 5 by antigen test) for a new total of 551. There are now 3,452 current COVID-19 cases diagnosed in New Hampshire.
On Tuesday, DHHS also reported four deaths that occurred more than two weeks ago. One was from the week of October 4, one from the week of January 3, and two from the week of January 17. One was in their 40’s. One was in their 50’s. The other two were 60+. None were from Rockingham County.
On Wednesday, February 16, 2022, DHHS announced 224 new positive test results for COVID-19 for Tuesday, February 15. Today’s results include 133 people who tested positive by PCR test and 91 who tested positive by antigen test. DHHS also announced an additional 21 new cases from Thursday, January 27 (11 by PCR and 10 by antigen test) for a new total of 2,459; an additional 89 new cases from Friday, January 28 (12 by PCR and 77 by antigen test) for a new total of 1,794; an additional 8 new cases from Saturday, January 29 (3 by PCR and 5 by antigen test) for a new total of 1,211; an additional 10 new cases from Sunday, January 30 (10 by PCR and 0 by antigen test) for a new total of 497; an additional 10 new cases from Monday, January 31 (8 by PCR and 2 by antigen test) for a new total of 519; an additional 5 new cases from Tuesday, February 1 (0 by PCR and 5 by antigen test) for a new total of 1,083; an additional 2 new cases from Wednesday, February 2 (0 by PCR and 2 by antigen test) for a new total of 876; an additional 3 new cases from Wednesday, February 9 (0 by PCR and 3 by antigen test) for a new total of 766; and an additional 5 new cases from Monday, February 14 (2 by PCR and 3 by antigen test) for a new total of 755. There are now 3,273 current COVID-19 cases diagnosed in New Hampshire.
On Thursday, February 17, 2022, DHHS announced 86 new positive test results for COVID-19 for Wednesday, February 16. Today’s results include 31 people who tested positive by PCR test and 55 who tested positive by antigen test. DHHS also announced an additional 24 new cases from Thursday, January 27 (21 by PCR and 3 by antigen test) for a new total of 2,483; an additional 78 new cases from Friday, January 28 (25 by PCR and 53 by antigen test) for a new total of 1,872; an additional 74 new cases from Saturday, January 29 (4 by PCR and 70 by antigen test) for a new total of 1,285; an additional 87 new cases from Sunday, January 30 (29 by PCR and 58 by antigen test) for a new total of 584; an additional 138 new cases from Monday, January 31 (54 by PCR and 84 by antigen test) for a new total of 657; an additional 11 new cases from Tuesday, February 1 (5 by PCR and 6 by antigen test) for a new total of 1,094; an additional 8 new cases from Wednesday, February 2 (7 by PCR and 1 by antigen test) for a new total of 884; an additional 2 new cases from Monday, February 7 (0 by PCR and 2 by antigen test) for a new total of 321; an additional 1 new case from Saturday, February 12 (1 by PCR and 0 by antigen test) for a new total of 66; and an additional 4 new cases from Tuesday, February 15 (0 by PCR and 4 by antigen test) for a new total of 228. There are now 3,015 current COVID-19 cases diagnosed in New Hampshire.
On Friday, February 18, 2022, DHHS announced 846 new positive test results for COVID-19 for Wednesday, February 16. Today’s results include 558 people who tested positive by PCR test and 288 who tested positive by antigen test. DHHS also announced an additional 35 new cases from Sunday, January 30 (2 by PCR and 33 by antigen test) for a new total of 617; an additional 246 new cases from Monday, January 31 (20 by PCR and 226 by antigen test) for a new total of 902; an additional 110 new cases from Tuesday, February 1 (28 by PCR and 82 by antigen test) for a new total of 1,203; an additional 48 new cases from Wednesday, February 2 (24 by PCR and 24 by antigen test) for a new total of 927; an additional 11 new cases from Thursday, February 3 (10 by PCR and 1 by antigen test) for a new total of 1,191; an additional 1 new case from Tuesday, February 8 (0 by PCR and 1 by antigen test) for a new total of 792; an additional 2 new cases from Wednesday, February 9 (0 by PCR and 2 by antigen test) for a new total of 766; an additional 1 new case from Monday, February 14 (0 by PCR and 1 by antigen test) for a new total of 756; an additional 3 new cases from Tuesday, February 15 (3 by PCR and 0 by antigen test) for a new total of 231; and an additional 1 new case from Wednesday, February 16 (1 by PCR and 0 by antigen test) for a new total of 87. There are now 3,073 current COVID-19 cases diagnosed in New Hampshire.
There were no updates for Monday.
Each day, DHHS says that “Test results for previous days are still being processed and updated case counts for prior days will be reflected on the COVID-19 interactive dashboard.” And, “Several cases are still under investigation. Additional information from ongoing investigations will be incorporated into future COVID-19 updates.”
• • • • • • POTENTIAL FLAWS IN COUNTS • • • • • •
- These numbers do not allow for those who self-diagnosed, or who have taken at-home tests.
- These numbers are comparing this Friday against last Friday.
• • • • • • DIAGNOSTIC TESTS IN NH — CUMULATIVE CASES • • • • • •
- Total people who have tested positive: 293,697. (Last update: 284,180)
- New positive cases reported this week by math (Comparison of total number of cases last week to now): 5,506. (Last week: 11,688)
- 4 communities — Manchester, Nashua, Concord, and Derry — are still the only communities with more total cases than Salem.
- 1 out of every 4 Salem residents has been infected.
- 1 out of every 5 residents of Rockingham County.
- 1 out of every 5 residents of NH has been infected.
• • • • • ACTIVE CASES • • • • • •
- 3,073 (Last week: 6,277)
- This number probably reflects:
- At home testing not being reported
- Omicron’s mild cases not recognized as COVID-19.
- Faster “recovery” times based on new CDC guidelines.
- AND an actual decrease in new cases
- 16 communities — Manchester, Durham, Nashua, Keene, Concord, Hanover, Rochester, Claremont, Dover, Conway, Bedford, Hudson, Londonderry, Plymouth, Derry and Milford — are reporting more active cases than Salem. Two others, Goffstown and Portsmouth — have the same number of active cases as Salem. Last week, 22 communities had more than Salem.
- In 2020, we peaked at 6,994 active cases on December 27,
- In 2021, we were down to 155 active cases on June 28, 2021.
- Starting November 18, 2021, we broken the record from 2020 multiple times, peaking on December 9 at 10,648 cases, a 52.2% increase from December 2020.
- In 2022, we broke the 2021 record every day from Wednesday, January 5 to Thursday, January 13, peaking at 22,750, a 114% increase from the 2021 peak, and a 225% increase from the 2020 peak.
• • • • • • RECOVERED • • • • • •
- Total recovered: 288,291 (275,643 last week)
- Recovered this week: 11,432 (11,432 last week)
- “Recovered” is considered no longer contagious, but 1/3-1/2 have or will develop long-term side effects, some quite serious.
• • • • • COMMUNITY TRANSMISSION • • • • • •
- DHHS had been publishing Cases per 100K and positivity rate on the school dashboard. They have been revamping that dashboard, so we don’t haven’t had the state totals for several weeks.
- Positivity rates do not allow for those who self-diagnosed, or who have taken at-home tests.
- Of the 62 communities with numbers reported, 61 have a higher number of cumulative cases per 100K residents than Salem.
- Salem ranks 98 out of the 122 communities with numbers reported for positivity rates.
- When the positivity rate is high, it is likely that cases are undercounted.
• • • • • • HOSPITALIZATIONS IN NH • • • • • •
- Currently hospitalized: 108 (Last week: 206).
- NH’s previous peak before the recent surge was reached on January 2, 2021, with 335 COVID hospitalizations. We have broken that record a number of times lately. December 10, 2021 was the most recent peak at 466. We were down to 12 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 on July 14, 2021.
- Total patients who have been hospitalized with COVID-19: 3,467 (3,356 last week)
- New patients hospitalized this week because of COVID-19: 29 (87 last week)
- Percentage of those who have been infected that have been hospitalized: 1.2%
- Total ICU patients: 951 (922 last week)
- New admissions to ICU this week because of COVID-19: 29. (Last week: 16)
- NY Times reports that of 12 hospitals surrounding Salem, there is an average of 11 COVID-19 patients, an average of 1 ICU bed available, and an average of 89% ICU occupancy. By comparison, last week it was 8 hospitals, an average of 20 COVID-19 patients, an average of 3 ICU bed available, and an average of 78% ICU occupancy.
- DHHS says hospital capacity info is, “For Informational Purposes Only. If you need care, seek care. Hospitals are available to meet your medical needs.
- Per WMUR: 34% of NH’s current patients hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated, 29.2% are fully up-to-date; 21.7% are partially up-to-date, and 15.1% are of unknown vaccine status.
• • • • • • DEATHS IN NH • • • • • •
- Total fatalities in NH associated with COVID-19: 2,333 (2,294 last week)
- New deaths attributed to COVID-19 reported in NH since my last update: 39 (Last week: 34)
• • • • • • TOTALS BY AGES • • • • • •
- 0-9: Infections: 30,445; Hospitalizations: 31; Deaths: 1
- 10-19: Infections: 47,220; Hospitalizations: 19; Deaths: 0
- 20-29: Infections: 51,408; Hospitalizations: 77; Deaths: 4
- 30-39: Infections: 44,019; Hospitalizations: 176; Deaths: 24
- 40-49: Infections: 36,229; Hospitalizations: 284; Deaths: 50
- 50-59: Infections: 38,411; Hospitalizations: 554; Deaths: 129
- 60-69: Infections: 25,455; Hospitalizations: 757; Deaths: 342
- 70-79: Infections: 11,993; Hospitalizations: 785; Deaths: 574
- 80+: Infections: 8,049; Hospitalizations: 781; Deaths: 1,209
- Unknown: Infections: 468; Hospitalizations: 3; Deaths: 0
- Total: Infections: 293,697; Hospitalizations: 3,467; Deaths: 2,333
• • • • • • AGES • • • • • •
- 2,013 children under 18 were reported from Tuesday through Friday.
- Under 60, this week: 4,870 new cases. 54 hospitalizations; 5 deaths
- 60+, this week: 636 new cases; 57 hospitalizations; 34 deaths
- Schools: NH DHHS says “As with many states, New Hampshire is transitioning to a more sustainable surveillance approach for schools to report COVID-19 cases. K-12 schools, colleges and universities will begin reporting the aggregate number of COVID-19 infections in students and staff on a weekly basis. Please refer back to this page the week of February 14 for weekly aggregate reporting of COVID-19 cases associated with school settings.” It’s February 21, and this page still isn’t updated.
• • • • • • Institutional Outbreaks in NH • • • • • •
- NH DHHS reported 49 institutional outbreaks as of Wednesday. Last week there were 60.
- In Salem, Salem Haven is still reported as having 32 residents and 33 staff who have been infected. The number of deaths is still at six.
- Details about these active outbreaks, and all closed outbreaks, can be seen here.
- Since Tuesday: 156 people from long-term care facilities were diagnosed bringing the total to 12,234. 0 were hospitalized (450 total), 5 died (1,090 total).
- Since Tuesday: 158 healthcare workers were diagnosed, bringing the total to 10,571. 0 were hospitalized (117total). 0 died (20 total).
• • • • • • VARIANTS IN NH • • • • • •
A percentage of NH’s positive test results are sequenced for the variants. From the reports on WMUR, for the past week, NH sampled 2 Delta and 190 Omicron cases.
Per WMUR, of the positive cases that were sequenced, NH has had:
- Number of B.1.1.7 variant (Alpha) cases: 1,262 (No change)
- Number of B.1.351 variant (Beta) cases: 2 (No change)
- Number of P.1 variant (Gamma) cases: 203 (No change)
- Number of B.1.617.2 variant (Delta) cases: 4,990; +48) (Last week: 4,942; +2)
- Number of B.1.1.529 variant (Omicron): 1,144; +76) (Last week: 1,068; +190)
- Friday, 2/4: 205 new variants. 92.7% were Omicron.
- Monday, 2/14: 192 new variants. 99.0% were Omicron.
- Monday, 2/21: 124 new variants. 61.3% were Omicron. (Why is Delta so high?)
These are not simply numbers. We must not forget that these are all someone’s husband or wife, mother or father, sister or brother, son or daughter, friend or neighbor.
These are not simply numbers. We must not forget that these are all someone’s husband or wife, mother or father, sister or brother, son or daughter, friend or neighbor.
Which Booster should I get?
The State lists information on where to get vaccinated, where to get tested, and what to do if you test positive or were exposed to COVID on their website.
COVID-19 SYMPTOMS – Updated early September 2021
Concerns continue to grow for the Delta variant of COVID-19, which now accounts for 93% of all new COVID-19 infections. Descriptions of symptoms have been updated:
Ranking of Symptoms for Covid-19 Infection in the Unvaccinated
- Sore Throat
- Runny Nose
- Persistent cough
Loss of smell now comes in at number 9, and shortness of breath is way down the list at number 30.
Ranking of Symptoms for Covid-19 Infection in the Partially Vaccinated
- Runny Nose
- Sore throat
- Persistent Cough
Sneezing, which was never thought to be a symptom in the original Covid strain, is now ranked more common than a cough, for a reported symptom in those with only one dose of the vaccine.
Ranking of Symptoms for Covid-19 Infection in the Fully Vaccinated
- Runny Nose
- Sore throat
- Loss of smell
A cough ranks 8 on the list for fully vaccinated people, and a fever ranks 12. Shortness of breath is way down the list at number 29.
- Salem Resource Center of Southern NH Services: Housing relief and fuel assistance. 603-893-9172. https://www.snhs.org
- Legal issues because of COVID: https://nhlegalaid.org/legal-issues-during-covid-19-crisis
- Food pantries: https://www.foodpantries.org/ci/nh-salem and http://www.wecarecharity.org/projects
- Unemployment resources: https://www.bonnie4salem.us/unemployed/
- COVID-19 testing: https://business.nh.gov/DOS_COVID19Testing/
- COVID-19 tests: https://www.bonnie4salem.us/covid-19-testing/ (Hasn’t been updated lately)
- Complications of COVID-19: https://www.bonnie4salem.us/covid-19-consequences/
- COVID-19 is not the flu. Here are the numbers: https://www.bonnie4salem.us/covid-pneumonia-flu/
- The Science Behind Masks: https://www.bonnie4salem.us/science-behind-masks/
- Resources for Salem residents: https://www.bonnie4salem.us/covid-19-cases-in-salem/
- Safer at Home guidance documents on the State’s website.
- Other COVID resources from NH DHHS on the State’s website.
- Other COVID resources: https://www.bonnie4salem.us/covid-19-resources/
- Mental health resources
- NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Health. 24-hour hotline: 1-800-950-6264. https://www.nami.org/Home
- Center for Life Management (603) 434-1577, Option 1. https://www.centerforlifemanagement.org/
- #SuicideAwareness: 1-800-273-8255.
- Vaccines: https://www.vaccines.nh.gov/?vaccinated
Sources used to create these reports: