COVID-19 Update April 16

COVID-19 Update April 16

Another day with a lot of news, mostly from the Governor’s press conference. Please forgive any typos; my system is continuing to crash; GoDaddy has no idea why. This is getting old; I’m tired and frustrated!

Key points covered in today’s report:

Today there were another 71 new cases. Derry now has more than 50 cases; Rockingham County has 34 more confirmed cases. 25 cases were announced at a luxury senior living center here in Salem.

Today 2 more lives were lost, including a man from Rockingham County.

Governor Sununu had a long press conference this afternoon. Here’s a quick summary, with more details below.

  • NH schools to remain closed through the end of the year.
  • No decision regarding the Stay-at-Home order, which remains in effect until May 4.
  • There were three more long-term care facilities with outbreaks, including one in Salem
  • Major budget cuts will need to be made in the state budget.
  • NH has the 6th highest unemployment rate.
  • National Guard will begin limited mobile testing
  • Senator Hassan is working on the SBA’s issues to help NH small businesses.
  • The Governor says NH’s Congressional delegation has been doing a very good job.

There is a delay in the suit to determine which branch of government has the authority to spend the federal stimulus money.

New report: New Hampshire’s low-income earners have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

 

Click on the calendar to enlarge
https://www.bonnie4salem.us/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/april16-calendar.jpg

The “Tracking COVID-19 in N.H.” charts are from NHPR

 

The NH Division of Public Health Services, Bureau of Infectious Disease Control, has announced a Weekly Summary Report, with more details than I see in the daily reports from the Department of Health & Human Services. See the report or my summary of the key points in my report on April 13.

 

Q: How is NH doing in comparison to our neighboring states?
A: We aren’t doing enough tests!
WHY???

 


COVID Symptom Tracker: This is a project of Mass General Hospital. In the absence of proper testing, this may be the best way of tracking how we are doing. I’m keeping it near the top, so I’ll remember to log in each day.
https://covid.joinzoe.com/us?fbclid=IwAR2IsoxZ9RBKC4uPQscKiuUUTJCA3cCt3dUr9tjNSsFqOU1rv10jmysmt4Y


Today’s COVID-19 news:

Salem’s confirmed cases: No changes. Again.

  • April 3: 25 cases
  • April 6: 33 cases
  • April 8: 20-40 cases
  • April 9: 20-49 cases
  • April 10: Over 50

Salem, Manchester, Nashua and now Derry are the only NH municipalities with more than 50 confirmed cases. With 183 (up +7 from yesterday), Manchester appears to be the city in NH with the most confirmed cases. Nashua has 111 (+11) confirmed cases. Since we don’t have real numbers, I presume Salem has the third most cases, and Derry is fourth. Londonderry, Pelham, Windham, Hudson, Portsmouth, Dover, Bedford, and Concord and are the only communities with 20-49 confirmed cases.

Hillsborough County, which includes Manchester and Nashua, has 483 458 (+25) confirmed cases. Rockingham County is second, with 433 (+34) confirmed cases.

Today, Methuen has 340 cases (+28). As of April 15, Methuen MA has 312 (+35) confirmed cases or 0.8% of its 2019 population of 39,498 people. Salem’s population in 2019 was 29,133. If 0.8% of Salem’s population had COVID-19, we would have 230 cases. How can our neighboring town have so many cases, but we don’t? Massachusetts has much higher testing rates.

On April 15, I also looked at Manchester NH in comparison to Methuen. Thirty miles away from Methuen, Manchester’s population in 2018 was 112,525. With 176 confirmed cases, 0.2% of their population has been diagnosed. If Manchester had the same infection rate as Methuen, they would have 900 cases! New Hampshire NEEDS more testing!

Per FD Chief Larry Best, the predictive models show the surge in NH will occur sometime in the next 1-3 weeks.

On April 14, Dr. Ben Chan, the state epidemiologist, is optimistic that the number of COVID-19 patients who are hospitalized has plateaued. Of the confirmed cases in NH, about 15% have required hospitalization.

We need proper testing to fight COVID-19
“The COVID-19 outbreak isn’t almost over now. Nor will it be in two weeks. We haven’t “almost beaten this” because we haven’t even started properly measuring it yet. We want to measure success in lives saved, not by celebrating an ongoing low death rate.” https://www.unionleader.com/opinion/op-eds/we-need-proper-testing-to-fight-covid-19/article_acd86517-86cd-5b87-9ce5-e314ffbe5019.html

  April 16 April 15Change from yesterday
Total Confirmed Cases1,2111,139+71
Recovered45538% (was 32%)
365+90
Deaths Attributed to COVID-19
343% 32+2
Active Cases722742-22
Total Hospitalized18715% (was 16%)
178+9
Current Hospitalized7470+4
Tested Negative11,42111,027+394
Persons with specimens submitted to NH PHL5.5825,418+164
Persons with test pending at NH PHL66121-55
Being Monitored (Approximate)2,2252,300-75
Total Tested (Confirmed Cases + Tested Negative)12,63212,166+466

[The state did not provide the active case details today. I’m hoping this is not a trend.
I came up with current cases by taking yesterday’s current case, added the new cases, and subtracted the increase in recovered and subtracted the two people who died today.]

NH News relating to COVID-19

Governor Sununu had a long press conference this afternoon. Topics include:

  • NH schools to remain closed through the end of the year. No decision made yet regarding summer learning programs or September classes.
  • Gov. Sununu has not yet made a decision regarding the Stay-at-Home order, which remains in effect until May 4. It will be reviewed in the next week or so. “Our hope is to return to a normal model in September.” It will likely be a phased approach and/or a regional move, with Vermont, Maine, and NH working together. Massachusetts is tougher because they are such a hot spot. It will be announced with enough time to prepare, probably in the next week. It could be a hybrid model such as regionally, (opening the north, where there are fewer cases), and/or by putting restrictions for certain demographics (such as the vulnerable population).
  • HHS hired additional personnel several weeks ago to help in tracing the chain of transmission in every positive case. (How did they get infected; who might they have infected.)
  • HHS Commissioner Lori Shibinette says all untimely deaths are reviewed.
  • There were three more long-term care facilities with outbreaks, including The Residence at Salem Woods in Salem, the Institute of Professional Practice in Concord, and Bellamy Fields in Dover. At The Residence at Salem Woods, 21 residents and four staff members tested positive.
  • Workers at Elliot Hospital in Manchester and Southern New Hampshire have been laid off, or have had paycuts or hour cuts. NH hospitals have already lost an estimated $200M since the virus has caused shutdowns, as cuts in elective/non-emergency procedures are delayed.  [The State has provided emergency funding to three hospitals in the north country]
  • Budget cuts will need to be made in the state budget. It is the governor’s responsibility that the budget is balanced, and he will do that. By his executive order, state money has been taken away from budgets for programs not put into place. This will amount to several hundred million dollars between now and the end of June, and $250-500M in the next fiscal year. Some of those projects could come back if additional federal funds come in. Deep cuts will have to be made. “It will be pretty drastic.” The legislature will be involved in the budget cuts.
  • Governor says the asymptomatic spread of coronavirus is very prevalent.
  • HHS maintains one to two weeks of inventory of emergency supplies. The inventory of PPE was depleted in the first week of the virus.
  • Campgrounds are still open, and he hopes to continue to do so. Concern re: keeping them available for out-of-staters. We don’t want tourism right now. He might limit the number of campers and the number of sites. It has to be safe.
  • Gov. Sununu has regular phone conferences with the president, VP, and other governors; daily with governors of nearby states.
  • NH has the 6th highest unemployment rate. Governor says it looks that way because unemployment was expanded in NH before others did.
  • “Stay home” message, to NH residents and to tourists. (Don’t come to NH)
  • HHS is keeping an ongoing inventory of how many ventilators are in use, and how many are available at each facility.
  • The State has received 15 rapid testing machines. They have now received enough cartridges to use one of those machines. The National Guard will begin mobile, 5-minute testing, starting in Nashua on Monday. They will continue to expand testing in the community, as long as testing supplies keep coming in.
  • The second SBA program, Paycheck Protection Program, has run out of funds. It has been operated on a first-come-first-served basis. Lawyers for large national firms were able to grab most of the money. NH small businesses were left out of the mix.
  • The Governor is working with Senator Hassan to try to get another round for other funds to help small businesses. The first pieces of the Cares Act will be used for relief funding for small businesses, private nonprofits, hospitals, healthcare facilities.
  • As soon as federal guidance is issued, the money will start flowing.
  • The governor is exploring options for the homeless who are infected, or need to be quarantined.
  • People are not seeking out mental health assistance as much as before this crisis.
  • The Governor says NH’s Congressional delegation has been doing a very good job.
  • He expects to make another report tomorrow.

Gov. Chris Sununu has requested, and was granted, a delay for the hearing to decide which branch of government has the authority to spend the $1.25 billion in federal stimulus money. The case was pushed back from tomorrow (Friday) and will be heard on Monday at 8:00 a.m. instead.

Following campus closures last month, the University of New Hampshire, Keene State College, and Plymouth State University have lost a major source of revenue, after reimbursing students for room and board costs and other fees.

New Hampshire’s low-income earners have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 says the New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute. According to its new report, New Hampshire’s three largest employment sectors are health care, retail, and food services, all of which have been severely impacted as a result of COVID-19. Many still haven’t fully recovered from the 2008 economic recession.

The IRS has released its new app to track stimulus payments, Get My Payment.” which had been scheduled to be released on April 17. Expect to wait. (And possibly, like me, be disappointed.) If your info isn’t available today, try again tomorrow, as info is going to be updated every night.

Salem Government

The Town of Salem’s Emergency Operations Center Team (EOC) will be making weekly reports every Monday evening at 7:00. Their reports can be seen at http://sctv-17.com/CablecastPublicSite/?channel=1

Find other Salem Government board meetings: https://www.townofsalemnh.org/boards

To watch past or live viewings:

State Representation:
Salem has nine State Representatives. If you are having issues connected to COVID-19, they have access to the people who can get you the help you need. You can find contact info for our reps here: http://gencourt.state.nh.us/house/members/default.aspx

Our Senator, Chuck Morse, can be contacted at Chuck.Morse@leg.state.nh.us His Concord office phone is 603.271.3207.

Disclaimer:

On April 7, NH scientist and politician, Mindi Messmer, PG, CG wrote on her Facebook page: “… testing has pretty much stopped at the NH PHL. The testing penetration is so low in NH, only 1/2% of the 1.3M people, meaning 99.5% of the 1.3M have not been tested, that I am not putting up projections or tests for NH because the graphs would be meaningless and I don’t want to give the false impression that we know what’s going on in NH.”

On April 8, the National Academy of Sciences reported that 16 out of 51 tests were inaccurate. (false negatives). Others also have concerns about both false negatives and false positives.

Please keep these ideas in mind as you review the information on this page or any other page.


Resources to help in these challenging times:

 

ADDED TODAY:

NH Business Resources:
https://businesshelp.nheconomy.com/hc/en-us

Do YOU think you have COVID-19?

To report suspected cases, contact the Bureau of Infectious Disease Control at  603-271-4496, (603-271-5300 for after hours), or nhbidc@dhhs.nhs.gov.

How You Can Help Others:

Masks:

There is no excuse for not having a mask!!!

Salem:

New Hampshire:

New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services:

Office of the Governor: https://www.governor.nh.gov

Mindi Messmer: A scientist who is reporting frequently on COVID-19, Mindi is also a candidate for Executive Council, District 3 (including Salem). https://www.facebook.com/Mindi4NH/ Sign up for her “Daily or So COVID-19 Updates” https://actionnetwork.org/forms/daily-or-so-covid-19-updates

More info about COVID-19

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:


COVID Symptom Tracker:
This is a project of Mass General Hospital. In the absence of proper testing, let’s let them know how we are doing. https://covid.joinzoe.com/us?fbclid=IwAR2IsoxZ9RBKC4uPQscKiuUUTJCA3cCt3dUr9tjNSsFqOU1rv10jmysmt4Y

Trackers (Cases)

The World Health Organization:
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

Media with NH COVID-19 news:

Housing

Unemployment

Financial Assistance

Link to other  NH benefits:

Businesses and Employers: Guidance for Small Businesses 

 


Sources for data included in these reports:

Please report any errors or omissions to bonnie@bonnie4salem.us. Thank you.