COVID-19 Update April 18
It was a fairly quiet day for news, so no update from the Governor. Stay safe, and, always, be kind.
Key points covered in today’s report:
Today brought 56 new cases, including two males under 18 years of age. The new confirmed cases reported was less than we’ve seen for several days, but, as testing increases, I anticipate that we’ll see bigger spikes in the upcoming days. From yesterday to today, there was a bigger increase (+572) in the number of total cases than we have seen lately, so testing appears to have picked up. We now have 121 more active confirmed cases than we had a week ago.
HHS has brought back the number of current cases to their report. I was relieved that my numbers match theirs.
A few days ago, Dr. Chan announced we had reached a plateau, as there were several days in a row with the number of persons hospitalized remaining at 70. Dr. Chan feels the stabilization of the number of hospitalizations is a significant marker of progress. Sadly, the number of those who are in the hospital over the last few days have been in the mid 80’s.
- The separation-of-powers lawsuit against the Governor has new motions.
- The homeless population is being tested
- Crisis standards are being drafted to help medical providers make choices about who gets treatment if the hospitals are too overwhelmed.
- More than 100 people protested in Concord against the stay-at-home order
- More facemasks arrived today from China for use in NH.
- Homebuyers are still paying Pre-COVID housing prices.
Finally, I’ve added some new visuals.
Click on the calendar to enlarge
Q: How is NH doing in comparison to our neighboring states?
A: We aren’t doing enough tests!
#End of NHPR’s charts.
Additional charts can be found at https://www.nhpr.org/post/updated-tracking-covid-19-cases-and-testing-new-hampshire
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.
Today’s COVID-19 news:
April 18 April 17 Change from yesterday
Total Confirmed Cases 1,342 1,287 +55
Recovered 513 38% (was 36%)
Deaths Attributed to COVID-19
38 3% 37 +1
Active Cases 791 782 +9
Total Hospitalized 192 14% (was 15%)
Current Hospitalized 85 86 +1
Tested Negative 12,082 11,565 517
Persons with specimens submitted to NH PHL 6,209 5,866 +343
Persons with test pending at NH PHL 316 174 +142
Being Monitored (Approximate) 2,200 2,200 0
Total Tested (Confirmed Cases + Tested Negative) 13,424 12,852 572
Salem’s confirmed cases:
- April 3: 25 cases (Range 20-40)
- April 6: 33 cases (+8 in 3 days)
- April 8: 20-40 cases
- April 9: 20-49 cases (between +1 and +9 in 1 day)
- April 10: Over 50 (at least +1 in one day, at least +10 in 2 days; at least +25 in 7 days. Possibly +25 more by 4/16, due to outbreak at The Residence at Salem Woods, although the workers there may not be Salem residents, and thus might not be in our numbers.)
Salem, Manchester, Nashua, and Derry remain as the only NH municipalities with more than 50 confirmed cases. With 241 confirmed cases (up +21 from yesterday), Manchester appears to be the municipality in NH with the most confirmed cases. Nashua has 123 (+6) confirmed cases. We don’t have the numbers for the other two hottest spots, Salem and Derry. Bedford, Concord, Dover, Hudson, Londonderry, Pelham, Portsmouth, Windham and now Seabrook are the only communities in New Hampshire with 20-49 confirmed cases.
Hillsborough County, which includes Manchester and Nashua, has 552 (+27) confirmed cases. Rockingham County is second, with 466 (+17) confirmed cases. These two counties make up over 70% of all confirmed cases.
Today, Methuen has 375 358 cases (+17). I’ll try to recalculate this over the weekend, but 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!
Of the confirmed cases in NH, about 15% have required hospitalization. Over 30% of the confirmed cases are healthcare workers. Most of those with mild symptoms have not been able to get tested.
We need proper testing to fight COVID-19
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.
NH News relating to COVID-19
Attorneys for Gov. Chris Sununu have filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit to determine who has the authority to spend the $1.25B federal coronavirus relief money headed to NH. At issue is whether Sununu needs the approval of state lawmakers to spend the stimulus funds. He would like to be able to determine the expenditures with the advice of a committee he formed, but who could not overrule his ideas. The bipartisan Fiscal Committee, of State Reps and State Senators argue that there is no reason for this emergency to change the established process to determine how expenditures are made. The hearing on this separation-of-powers dispute will be heard on Monday morning. Read more at WMUR.
Following recommendations of health officials to test people in congregate living situations, COVID-19 testing was done on Friday at some of Manchester’s homeless population and the staff at a shelter, including those without any symptoms. About a dozen homeless people in Manchester have already tested positive. Results are expected Monday. (Note: HHS reports numbers received as of 9:00 a.m. These numbers might not be reported for another day.) A State-run shelter that has been set up in Laconia for homeless people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Scheduled to be open by now, this home is now scheduled to be opened on Monday. Those who test positive will be isolated in this shelter.
Should medical providers become overwhelmed with patients and have to make difficult choices about who gets treatment, there will soon be guidelines to assist them. A panel of experts, including doctors, lawyers, ethicists, and others will be appointed by New Hampshire Health Commissioner Lori Shibinette sometime next week. These experts will write these crisis standards, based on principles of fairness and survivability, and will not discriminate against anyone based on race, religion, or ethnicity.
There were more than 100 people that gathered at the State House today to protest Governor Sununu’s stay-at-home order, in violation of the order limiting gatherings to no more than 10 people. The former State Rep/Attorney who filed a lawsuit to stop Sununu’s executive orders on the pandemic, was among those who attended.
Today, US Senator Jeanne Shaheen, and US Congressman Chris Pappas, joined Governor Sununu at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport to accept delivery of more than 500,000 facemasks. Also joining them was Dean Kamen, the NH inventor of the Segway, and Dave Calhoun, President of Boeing. Kamen arranged for the previous delivery of 91K pounds of PPE for NH; today’s shipment was part of that order. Boeing is paying the transportation costs of the equipment. Sununu says the supplies will be distributed to areas of greatest need in New Hampshire at no cost to the recipients. Shaheen has been credited with getting funds to help at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.
NH still does not have enough houses for sale, so buyers are still paying Pre-COVID housing prices.
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:
- Comcast TV Channel 23
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.
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:
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 email@example.com.
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.
How You Can Help Others:
- Stay home, wash hands, wear cloth masks in public, check on neighbors
- Donate food: NH Food Bank: https://www.nhfoodbank.org or call 669-9725
- United Way: http://uwnh.org
- Donate blood: https://www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-Cross
- COVID-19 Response in New Hampshire: https://volunteernh.org/covid-19-response/
- Watch out for the kids. Child abuse reports are down, because they aren’t out where they can be observed. If you suspect child abuse call Salem Police Department (603) 893-1911 or the NH child abuse hotline at DCYF (800) 894-5533. You could also go to https://knowandtell.org. In an immediate emergency, dial 911.
There is no excuse for not having a mask!!!
- How to make and how to wear: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html
- Directions for a no-sew mask (perhaps using the coffee filter, as suggested by the CDC?) http://blog.japanesecreations.com/no-sew-face-mask-with-handkerchief-and-hair-tie
- I found another option for a new pattern for a no-sew mask, using a t-shirt, and this one with several options.
- Free meals for Salem kids under 18: https://sau57.org/covid19/meals
- Town of Salem COVID-29 Info: https://www.townofsalemnh.org/home/covid-19-information
- COVID-19 Salem Community Hotline & Email: https://www.townofsalemnh.org/home/news/covid-19-community-hotline-and-email
- Salem Police: Dial 911 for emergencies or (603) 893-1911 for non-emergency issues.
New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services:
Office of the Governor: https://www.governor.nh.gov
- List of NH “essential” services: https://www.governor.nh.gov/news-media/emergency-orders/documents/emergency-order-17-ex-a.pdf
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
- COVI-19 Tracker: https://bing.com/covid/local/newhampshire_unitedstates
- Live statistics: https://ncov2019.live/data
- US Coronavirus Tracking https://infection2020.com
- The COVID Tracking Project https://covidtracking.com/data/state/new-hampshire#historical
The World Health Organization:
Media with NH COVID-19 news:
- WMUR: https://www.wmur.com
- NHPR: https://www.nhpr.org
- NH landlords cannot start eviction proceedings for any tenant unable to pay due to the impact of the coronavirus. Foreclosures are also frozen. https://www.governor.nh.gov/news-media/emergency-orders/documents/emergency-order-4.pdf
- Housing and Urban Development: https://www.hud.gov/states/new_hampshire
- NH Housing: https://www.nhhfa.org
- If you were working in NH: https://www.nhes.nh.gov
- If you worked in MA: https://www.mass.gov/orgs/department-of-unemployment-assistance
- Coronavirus Tax Relief: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus-tax-relief-and-economic-impact-payments
- SNAP: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Formerly Food Stamps)
Link to other NH benefits:
Businesses and Employers: Guidance for Small Businesses
- New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs (BEA): (resources): https://businesshelp.nheconomy.com/hc/en-us
- NH DHHS: https://www.nh.gov/covid19/resources-guidance/businesses.htm
- SBA: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USSBA/bulletins/281d439
- SBA: https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources
- CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html
- CDC: Cleaning: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/cleaning-disinfection.html
- OSHA: https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf
- Greater Salem Chamber of Commerce: http://www.gschamber.com
- McLane Middleton: An extensive list of resources for businesses: https://www.mclane.com/Coronavirus-Resource-Center
- The CARES Act: https://www.mclane.com/The-CARES-Act-QA-Webinar-Replay-4/2/2020
- Unemployment: https://www.mclane.com/Coronavirus-Employment-Webinar-3-26-2020
Sources for data included in these reports:
Please report any errors or omissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.