COVID-19 Update 29 November 2021
- Salem since last update: 112 new cases
- Total: 4,004 confirmed cases in Salem
- We now have 115 active cases (107 last week)
- Salem’s daily average: 108 active cases this week
- 1 out of every 7 Salem residents has been infected. (1:8 last week)
- Salem’s new cases per 100K for 14 days: 695 (619 last week, 481 the previous week)
- Salem’s Positivity Rate for the past 2 weeks: 10.5%. (10.5% last week; 9.3% the previous week).
- Salem had 1.7% of the new cases this week. (Salem has 2.2% of NH’s population.)
- Fully vaccinated Salem residents: 14,569 (48.7%). (+13 people, 0.0% this week)
- Partially vaccinated Salem residents: 16,061 (53.6%). (+25 people, 0.1% this week)
- New cases of COVID-19 in NH this week by math (Total cases last week compared to total cases today): 6,353. (7,100 last week)
- New cases of COVID-19 in NH this week as reported by DHHS: 6,462. Last week: 7,238.
- 1 out of every 8 NH residents has been infected. (1:9 last week)
- Active COVID-19 cases in NH: 7,078 (7,966 last week). We had 6,994 on December 27). There were 155 active cases on June 28. Peak was 8,048 on Wednesday, Nov. 24.
- Recovered in NH this week: 7,219. (5,387 last week.)
- State Level of Transmission: Substantial in all counties
- New patients hospitalized this week because of COVID-19: 5. Last week: 53.
- Current patients hospitalized because of COVID-19: 377 (343 one week ago)
- New admissions to ICU this week because of COVID-19: 3. (Last week 12. Previous week -2.)
- New deaths attributed to COVID-19 reported in NH this week: 22 (Last week: 42)
- From the Vaccination Dashboard: Total NH individuals fully vaccinated: 772,199 (55.0%). Total NH individuals partially vaccinated 863,053 (61.0%). The issues with vaccination rates as previously reported have not been resolved.
Random thoughts from this week:
- If you are trying to schedule a booster, good luck! The State’s website is confusing You cannot schedule a vaccine through VINI anymore. The correct place to go is https://www.vaccines.gov. Available times are limited. And it’s extremely challenging to make an appointment if you are trying to mix and match brands. So, good luck!
- ‘Booster Blitz!’ Eligible Granite Staters can get booster shots during a one-day “Booster Blitz” on Dec. 11 at 20 popup sites across the state. Appointments will be made through the DHHS website. The Governor announced that the link would be available last week, but I still don’t see it.
“Say Yes to the Test!”
- This is the name of the Governor’s new initiative. 1 million free at-home rapid tests will soon be available via the state Department of Health and Human Services website. They will be delivered by Amazon. The first 50,000 will be offered to schools, where nurses can offer the tests to students if the family requests it. There will also be 100,000 free at-home PCR tests which will be offered to the schools that request them, and other community-based locations.
High Positivity Rate
- Why are these home tests important? When the positivity rate is high, it is likely that cases may be undercounted. On June 28, NH was at 0.8%. The peak before today’s 11.2% was December 22, when NH had a positivity rate of 9.2%. Salem is now 12.4%. Last week we were “only” 10.5. The previous week we were 9.3%, and the week before that we were 6.9%.
- How viruses stay one step ahead of our efforts to kill them. If there’s one thing that makes viruses so tricky to deal with, it’s that they evolve so quickly. This older story explains it.
- Viruses and Evolution. Viruses mutate. It’s a given. “Take, for example, a virus that has a mutation that makes it particularly deadly to its human host and kills the host within a few hours of infection. The virus needs a new, healthy host for its descendants to survive. If it kills its host before the host infects others, that mutation will disappear.” (Quoted from this article).
- Unless you are living under a rock, you have likely heard about the new COVID-19 variant (B.1.1.529 “Omicron” with ‘a large number of mutations.’
- It’s a cause for concern, not panic.
- Are there cases in NH? No, although NH has listed as one of the variants that are being tested.
- Are there cases in US? Maybe. It’s been ID’d in at least 15 countries, including Canada However, it has not (yet) been detected in the US.
- What are the symptoms of Omicron?
- Reported as “extremely mild.”
- Fatigue, body aches and pains, headache, scratchy throat (not sore).
- No loss of smell or taste
- Is it more easily transmitted? We don’t know. Possibly. Probably. The number of people testing positive has risen in areas of South Africa affected by this variant, but epidemiologic studies are underway to understand if it is because of Omicron or other factors. It was detected two weeks ago. Now it’s in 15+ countries.
- How severe is Omicron? It is not yet clear whether infection with Omicron causes more severe disease compared to infections with other variants, including Delta. Note, however, that symptoms reported are “extremely mild.”
- How does it affect hospitalizations? It’s not yet known. Preliminary data suggests that there are increasing rates of hospitalization in South Africa, but this may be due to increasing overall numbers of people becoming infected, rather than a result of specific infection with Omicron.
- Will vaccines help? It’s too early to tell. Phizer’s CEO says it might help, but it might be less protection than other variants. Moderna says this could elude vaccines. WHO is urging vaccines.
- How does WHO think we can reduce the spread? Keep a physical distance of at least 1 metre (3.28 feet) from others; wear a well-fitting mask; open windows to improve ventilation; avoid poorly ventilated or crowded spaces; keep hands clean; cough or sneeze into a bent elbow or tissue; and get vaccinated.
- Why is there such a fuss?
- Omicron has shown to have an increased risk of reinfection compared to other highly transmissible variants, indicating that people who contracted COVID and recovered could be more subject to catching it again with this variant.
- “It also has a bunch of mutations that would suggest it could evade the protection, for example, of monoclonal antibodies and perhaps even convalescent plasma for people who have been infected and recovered, and possibly vaccine. These are all maybes, but the suggestion is enough.” Dr. Fauci.
- The quick spread of the variant is also concerning
- What else should we know? This variant was first found about 2 weeks ago. We are learning more every day. “It’s a cause for concern, not panic.”
From CDC: “Your Guide to Masks”
- Everyone 2 years of age or older who is not fully vaccinated should wear a mask in indoor public places.
- If you are fully vaccinated, to maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission. The entire State of New Hampshire is at a high level of community transmission.
My next update is scheduled for next Monday. In the meantime, stay safe, and always, be kind.
On Tuesday, November 23, 2021, DHHS announced 561 new positive test results for COVID-19 for Monday, November 22. Today’s results include 424 people who tested positive by PCR test and 137 who tested positive by antigen test. DHHS also announced an additional 7 new cases from Tuesday, November 16 (4 by PCR and 3 by antigen test) for a new total of 1,101; an additional 45 new cases from Wednesday, November 17 (5 by PCR and 40 by antigen test) for a new total of 1,150; an additional 30 new cases from Thursday, November 18 (6 by PCR and 24 by antigen test) for a new total of 982; and an additional 1 new case from Saturday, November 20 (0 by PCR and 1 by antigen test) for a new total of 1,193. There are now 7,627 current COVID-19 cases diagnosed in New Hampshire.
On Wednesday, November 24, 2021, DHHS announced 1,011 new positive test results for COVID-19 for Wednesday, November 23. Today’s results include 552 people who tested positive by PCR test and 459 who tested positive by antigen test. DHHS also announced an additional 25 new cases from Thursday, November 18 (10 by PCR and 15 by antigen test) for a new total of 1,007; an additional 124 new cases from Friday, November 19 (63 by PCR and 61 by antigen test) for a new total of 1,216; an additional 3 new cases from Saturday, November 20 (0 by PCR and 3 by antigen test) for a new total of 1,196; and an additional 1 new case from Monday, November 22 (1 by PCR and 0 by antigen test) for a new total of 562. There are now 8,048 current COVID-19 cases diagnosed in New Hampshire.
There were no reports on Thursday (Thanksgiving) or on Friday. DHHS stopped weekend updates on June 5.
On Monday, November 29, 2021, DHHS announced 680 new positive test results for COVID-19 for Sunday, November 28. Today’s results include 544 people who tested positive by PCR test and 136 who tested positive by antigen test. DHHS also announced 1,049 cases from Wednesday, November 24 (778 by PCR and 271 by antigen test); 1,011 cases from Thursday, November 25 (716 by PCR and 295 by antigen test); 822 cases from Friday, November 26 (625 by PCR and 197 by antigen test); and 585 cases from Saturday, November 27 (447 by PCR and 138 by antigen test). Additionally, DHHS announced an additional 69 new cases from Friday, November 19 (55 by PCR and 14 by antigen test) for a new total of 1,285; an additional 53 new cases from Saturday, November 20 (33 by PCR and 20 by antigen test) for a new total of 1,249; an additional 31 new cases from Sunday, November 21 (23 by PCR and 8 by antigen test) for a new total of 634; an additional 195 new cases from Monday, November 22 (157 by PCR and 38 by antigen test) for a new total of 757; and an additional 159 new cases from Tuesday, November 23 (91 by PCR and 68 by antigen test) for a new total of 1,170. There are now 7,078 current COVID-19 cases diagnosed in New Hampshire.
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. Additionalinformation from ongoing investigations will be incorporated into future COVID-19 updates.”
• • • • • • DIAGNOSTIC TESTS IN NH • • • • • •
- Total people who have tested positive: 160,287 (153,934) last week)
- New positive cases reported this week by math (Comparison of total number of cases last week to now): 6,353 (7,100 last week)
- New positive cases per DHHS: 6,462 (7,238 last week)
• • • • • ACTIVE CASES • • • • • •
- NH has 7,078 active cases. Last week we had 7,976. There were 155 active cases on June 28. Peak was 8,048 on Wednesday, Nov. 24. Until that week, the previous peak was 6,994 on December 27.
- 11 communities have more active cases than Salem: Manchester, Nashua, Concord, Rochester, Derry, Claremont, Merrimack, Hudson, Dover, Londonderry and Bedford.
• • • • • CUMULATIVE CASES • • • • • •
- 1 out of every 7 Salem residents has been infected (1:8 last week)
- 1 out of every 9 residents of Rockingham County
- 1 out of every 8 residents of NH have been infected. (1:9 last week)
- 4 communities — Manchester, Nashua, Concord and Derry — have more total cases than Salem. All 5 have more than 4,000 confirmed case. None of the other communities have had 4,000 cases.
• • • • • • RECOVERED • • • • • •
- Total recovered: 151,515 (144,296 last week)
- Recovered this week: 7,219 (5,387 last week)
- Percentage of diagnosed cases that have recovered: 94.7% (98.3% in late July.)
• • • • • COMMUNITY TRANSMISSION • • • • • •
- Every county in NH, as well as Manchester and Nashua, are at Substantial risk for community transmission.
- Cases per 100K NH residents: 932 (744 last week. 584 the previous week.)
- Positivity Rate for NH: 11.2% (9.5% last week. 8.8% the previous week. 7.2% the week before.)
- On June 28, NH’s positivity was at 0.8%. The peak before today’s 11.2% and the recent surge, was December 22, when NH had a positivity rate of 9.2%.
- Salem is now 12.4%. Last week we were “only” 10.5. The previous week we were 9.3%, and the week before that we were 6.9%.
- When the positivity rate is high, it is likely that cases may be undercounted.
• • • • • • HOSPITALIZATIONS IN NH • • • • • •
- Currently hospitalized: 377 (Last week: 343). NH’s previous peak before the recent surge was reached on January 2, with 335 COVID hospitalizations. Today is a new peak.
- Staffed hospital beds available: 12.2% (12.1% last week)
- Total hospitalized patients: 2,073 (2,068 last week)
- New patients hospitalized this week because of COVID-19: 5?. (53 last week)
- Percentage of those who have been infected that have been hospitalized: 1.3%
- Total ICU patients: 591. (588 last week)
- New admissions to ICU this week because of COVID-19: 3 (12 last week)
- Staffed adult ICU beds available: 6.3%. (Last week: 10.3%)
- Ventilators available: 70.6% (72.2% last week)
- Today’s hospitalization numbers seem unusually low. Is it possible that NH DHHS has not caught up with hospitalizations from the long weekend?
• • • • • • DEATHS IN NH • • • • • •
- Total fatalities in NH associated with COVID-19: 1,694
- New deaths attributed to COVID-19 reported in NH this week: 22 (Last week: 42)
- NH Residents diagnosed with COVID-19 that died: 1.06%
• • • • • • TOTALS BY AGES • • • • • •
(Showing changes since last week)
- 0-9: Infections: 13113 (+878); Hospitalizations: 24 (+0); Deaths: 0 (+0)
- 10-19: Infections: 22036 (+864); Hospitalizations: 17 (+0); Deaths: 0 (+0)
- 20-29: Infections: 28788 (+804); Hospitalizations: 48 (+0); Deaths: 2 (+0)
- 30-39: Infections: 23873 (+985); Hospitalizations: 93 (+0); Deaths: 12 (+0)
- 40-49: Infections: 20803 (+880); Hospitalizations: 160 (+0); Deaths: 27 (+0)
- 50-59: Infections: 22868 (+858); Hospitalizations: 293 (+1); Deaths: 64 (+3)
- 60-69: Infections: 15481 (+589); Hospitalizations: 475 (+2); Deaths: 195 (+8)
- 70-79: Infections: 7585 (+325); Hospitalizations: 496 (+2); Deaths: 408 (+6)
- 80+: Infections: 5523 (+164); Hospitalizations: 467 (+0); Deaths: 986 (+5)
- Unknown: Infections: 212 (+1); Hospitalizations: 0 (+0); Deaths: 0 (+0)
- Total: Infections: 160282 (+6348); Hospitalizations: 2073 (+5); Deaths: 1694 (+22)
New Infections in the Past 4 Weeks vs. All NH Cases
- 0-9: 13.7% vs. 8.2% (+5.5%)
- 10-19: 15.7% vs. 13.7% (+2%)
- 20-29: 13.2% vs. 18% (-4.8%)
- 30-39: 14.9% vs. 14.9% (0%)
- 40-49: 13.1% vs. 13% (+0.1%)
- 50-59: 12.7% vs. 14.3% (-1.6%)
- 60-69: 9.6% vs. 9.7% (-0.1%)
- 70-79: 4.3% vs. 4.7% (-0.4%)
- 80+: 2.4% vs. 3.4% (-1%)
- Unknown: 0.4% vs. 0.1% (+0.3%)
Additional Age Stats
- 1,629 children under 18 are included in this week’s new cases. (1,948 last week)
- 25.2% of new cases announced by DHHS this week are kids under 18 years old.
- Under 60, this week: 5,269 new cases; 1 hospitalizations; 3 deaths
- 60+, this week: 1,078 new cases; 4 hospitalizations; 19 deaths
• • • • • • Institutional Outbreaks in NH • • • • • •
- NH DHHS reported 26 institutional outbreaks as of Thursday, Nov. 23.
- Details about these active outbreaks, and all closed outbreaks, can be seen here.
- This week: 146 people from long-term care facilities were diagnosed, 0 were hospitalized, 2 died. (Total: 8,104 cases; 353 hospitalizations; 1003 deaths.)
- This week: 132 healthcare workers were diagnosed, 0 were hospitalized, 0 died. (Total: 6,554 cases; 94 hospitalizations, 11 deaths.)
• • • • • • VARIANTS IN NH • • • • • •
Per WMUR, NH has had:
- Number of B.1.1.7 variant (Alpha; UK) cases: 1,259 No change)
- Number of B.1.351 variant (Beta; South Africa) cases: 2 (No change)
- Number of P.1 variant (Gamma; Brazil) cases: 203 (No change)
- Number of B.1.617.2 variant (Delta; India) cases: 2,144 (2,090 last week)
- Number of B.1.1.529 variant (Omicron; Southern Africa): 0
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 chart above was published in the September issue of the AARP Bulletin. It is based on information from the article, “Vital Statistics: Provisional Life Expectancy Estimates for 2020,” which was published by the CDC.
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.
Breakthrough COVID-19 symptoms:
- While some vaccinated people are getting COVID, it is still rare, and 99.9% of all recent hospitalizations and deaths associated with COVID-19 are people who are not vaccinated.
- CDC reports that 79% of those who are found to have breakthrough infections have a cough, headache, sore throat, myalgia and fever.
- NBC says approximately 1 in 900 vaccinated people have had breakthrough infections. The vast majority of those had mild or no symptoms.
A new study shows that unvaccinated people are 17x more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than people who are fully vaccinated.
- 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: