COVID-19 Update April 21

COVID-19 Update April 21

New cases continue to outweigh the recovered cases, but new cases are slightly less than the past few days. It’s not time to celebrate yet; I expect that we will get another dump of data from Massachusetts very soon; that seems to be the pattern. Happily, NH had no deaths reported in the 24-hour period covered by Health and Human Services’ reports. (Data is as of 9:00 a.m., we don’t get it until late afternoon.)

There are a few items in today’s news that seem to contradict each other.

There also appears to be an error in HHS’s report. Yesterday we had 201 total hospitalizations; now it’s 206, an increase of 5. Yesterday we had 78 current hospitalizations; today they are reporting 94, an increase of 16. I’m struggling to accept that math.

Stay safe, and, always, be kind.

Key points covered in today’s report:

  • Advertising revenues are down for the media.
  • Methuen officials are considering raising littering fines
  • Catholic Medical Center making staff cuts
  • My interpretation of Governor Sununu’s press conference, including the first step to lead to reopening the state.
  • I added a few more visuals. I hope they help. What else do you want to know? (Sorry, I can’t get the count for Salem!)

Click on the calendar to enlarge
https://www.bonnie4salem.us/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/april20-calendar.jpg

 


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

 

Over last four days, NY’s test per 100,000 residents increased by 42.1%; MA saw a 97.6% increase in test per 100K, and Vermont saw a 32.7% increase. Why was NH’s increase only 1.4%???

Could this be the answer?

On April 19, this was posted on Facebook:

Today, April 21, the Governor said we don’t have supplies (test availability).

 


The following charts are from NHPR

#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.
https://covid.joinzoe.com/us?fbclid=IwAR2IsoxZ9RBKC4uPQscKiuUUTJCA3cCt3dUr9tjNSsFqOU1rv10jmysmt4Y


Today’s COVID-19 news:

  April 21 April 20Change from yesterday
Total Confirmed Cases1,4911,447+44
Recovered54637% (was 36%)
521+25
Deaths Attributed to COVID-19
423% 420
Active Cases903884+19
Total Hospitalized20614%
201+5
Current Hospitalized9478+16
Tested Negative13,55012,848+702
Persons with specimens submitted to NH PHL6,8746,671+203
Persons with test pending at NH PHL225244-19
Being Monitored (Approximate)2,4502,400+50
Total Tested (Confirmed Cases + Tested Negative)15,04114,295+746

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, and this is before the 4/16 outbreak at The Residence at Salem Woods.

Salem, Manchester, Nashua, Derry and Dover are the only NH municipalities with more than 50 confirmed cases.  With 287 confirmed cases (up +15) from yesterday), Manchester appears to be the municipality in NH with the most confirmed cases. Nashua has 139 (+4) confirmed cases. We don’t have the numbers for the other three hottest spots, Salem Derry or Dover. Bedford, Concord, Hudson, Londonderry, Pelham, Portsmouth, Seabrook and Windham are the only communities in New Hampshire with 20-49 confirmed cases.

Hillsborough County, which includes Manchester and Nashua, has 626 (+22) confirmed cases. Rockingham County is second, with 493 (+4) confirmed cases. These two counties make up over 70% of all confirmed cases.

Today, our abutting city, Methuen, has 396 confirmed cases (+6) or 1.0% of its 2019 population of 39,498 people. By comparison, 0.3% of Manchester residents and 0.2% of Nashua residents are infected.  According to test results. It doesn’t make sense.

How can our neighboring town have so many cases, but we don’t? Massachusetts has much higher testing rates.

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

Advertising revenues are down for publishing companies. The Eagle Tribune is now printing every day except Tuesdays and Saturdays; on those two days, the paper will only be available online. This is logical, and hopefully will help keep its staff employed.  I was the Administrative Manager for a small publishing company in 2009, and lost my job because ad revenue dropped after the stock market crashed. If you can, support your local papers, so their employees don’t have to go what I went through.

Methuen officials are discouraged about the amount of protective gear, primarily gloves, being left in parking lots. They are considering raising litter fines to as much as $500. Maybe Salem should consider doing the same thing?

Catholic Medical Center in Manchester, which is one of the state’s largest hospitals, is furloughing or cutting pay for more than 40% of its staff as a result of the pandemic.

From Governor Sununu’s press conference today:

  • Dr. Chan: There is a plateau in new cases, and a plateau in hospitalizations, but no decline in the spread. He claims that most days there are 70-75 hospitalizations. [I find that puzzling, when I look at the calendar that I’m keeping, with figures that come from NH Health and Human Services.]
  • NH is increasing testing. Later in the conversation: NH is “ramping up, testing as fast as we can.” It’s difficult to get supplies. We are proving we can act quickly, so we are getting preference from private companies. We are doing well mitigating/social distancing, so we get less preference for materials [from FEMA].
  • Donations are up: Food banks are struggling, but they just received $1M in donations. Charitable Foundation and Granite United Way just gave $4M to about 400 organizations
  • Yesterday NH issued $50M in unemployment, including the Federal $600 payment. The governor says most claims are caught up.
  • $2B was released to small businesses in NH from the Paycheck Protection Program.
  • Cloth mask use /cloth face coverings are encouraged and recommended when out in public where social distancing could be a difficulty. It is not necessary when going out for a walk with other household members.
  • More details about the impact of race and ethnicity will be coming as early as today. They will be in the more extensive weekly update.
  • NH has always done contact tracing. Not all states have done as well, because of their rapid increase in cases. [In an article on NHPR, Ben Chan said the state is increasing contact-tracing staff by between 50 and 70 percent.]
  • The Governor said all meetings, including GOFERR, are public and have 24-hour notice
  • PPE: No one has run out of masks. We are meeting the need; no one is going without. State employees can get PPE to protect themselves if they wish. More PPE is coming next week, and over the next few months. NH has been able to send PPE to other states.

When do we reopen?

  • The Governor’s Economic Reopening Task Force was announced today. This team will create guidance outlines for businesses. [Salem’s DJ Bettencourt announced that he has been appointed to lead that task force. In an article on NHPR, they report that the task force includes state economic and tourism officials, chamber of commerce members, a chief of police, and leaders of industry groups representing retail merchants, restaurants, and hospitals, as well as several lawmakers.]
  • NH is not ready to reopen yet. Re-opening will be in phases, which are still being determined. Most likely it will be done on a regional basis.
  • The Governor recognizes that Mass positive test rates are skyrocketing, and the Governor recognized Hillsborough and Rockingham counties as suburbs of Boston.
  • Elective surgeries will be one of the first things to reopen.
  • Campgrounds: They are trying to keep them open; may have to close them. Gov. said they don’t want people coming from Boston.
  • Concern was expressed regarding opening up restaurants in Salem and other nearby towns too soon, as they will likely be deluged with an influx of Massachusetts folks.
  • [Sounds as though he is inclined to open the northern part of the state before he opens Hillsborough and Rockingham counties?]
  • NH Legislators are giving input on reopening, and he is consulting regularly with other governors, especially those in Maine and in Vermont.
There was a new survey released yesterday from UNH and Dartmouth College. As reported by NHPR:
  • 1/3 of working New Hampshire residents have either lost their jobs or had their hours cut
    • Younger workers and those with less education have been the hardest hit.
    • Workers without college degrees have been the hardest hit.
  • Of those with a high school diploma or less:
    • 17% of workers have lost their job,
    • 25% said their hours were cut.
    • More than double the rates of people with postgraduate degrees.
  • 2/3 of all respondents said that maintaining social distancing was more important than restarting the economy.
    • People over the age of 60 are significantly more likely to prioritize social distancing than people between 18-29 years old.
    • Only 41% of registered Republicans prioritized maintaining social distancing over restarting the economy compared to 91% of registered Democrats.
    • 72% of respondents who lost their job said social distancing is more important than restarting the economy.

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:

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.

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:

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

Tuft’s University: COVID-19 Convalescent (Recovered) Patient Registry

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.