COVID-19 Update April 22

COVID-19 Update April 22

Today was the worst day that NH has seen thus far. Six families lost their loved ones, while 97 more people were diagnosed with COVID-19, and only 4 more are recovered, for a total of 990 active cases — 87 more than yesterday. 100 more are being monitored. There were 7 more hospitalizations, although the number of current hospitalizations went down by 3, to 91. The number of total tests went up by 971, the biggest jump we’ve seen. 26 of the new cases were here in Rockingham County.

This report is getting a bit long. What do you want me to share? Fewer graphs and charts? Fewer statistics? Should I omit the NH COVID-19-related news? How can I make this better? Thanks for your feedback!

Stay safe, and, always, be kind.

Key points covered in today’s report:

  • Lawsuit to determine who has the “power of the purse”
  • Mental Health Town Hall with gubernatorial candidate, Andru Volinsky.
  • Tourism issues
  • Commuters to MA from NH
  • Grants for school districts
  • Impact of immigration laws on NH Farms.
  • I brought back the map by counties, with updated data

Click on the calendar to enlarge
https://www.bonnie4salem.us/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/april22-calendar.jpg

 


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

 

Over 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


Weekly info has been released for Week of April 20
As of April 20th, 471 healthcare workers have been infected (33% of all confirmed cases). Six kids under 9 years have tested positive. 21% of those infected are 50-59 years old, the largest age group. Those who are 30-39, 40-49, and 60-69 are each 15% of the cases. Surprisingly, only 17% of the confirmed cases are 70 or older, however, the rate per 100,000 for those over 70 is skyrocketing, as there are fewer people in that age range. 54% of all NH cases are female, 46% are male.

Race/Ethnicity: Whites make up 90% of NH’s population, but are 81% of the confirmed cases. Hispanic/Latino are 3.9% of the population, but 6.1% of the cases. Blacks/African Americans are 1.4% of the population, and 5.4% of the cases. Asians are 3.0% of the population, and 3.2% of the cases. All other races are 1.8% of the population, and 4.4% of the population.


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 22 April 21Change from yesterday
Total Confirmed Cases1,5881,491+97
Recovered55035% (was 37%)
546+4
Deaths Attributed to COVID-19
483% 42+6
Active Cases990903+87
Total Hospitalized21313% (was 14%)
206+7
Current Hospitalized9194-3
Tested Negative14,42413,550+874
Persons with specimens submitted to NH PHL7,1926,874+318
Persons with test pending at NH PHL265225+40
Being Monitored (Approximate)2,5502,450+100
Total Tested (Confirmed Cases + Tested Negative)16,01215,041+971


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 326 confirmed cases (up +39) from yesterday), Manchester appears to be the municipality in NH with the most confirmed cases. Nashua has 145 (+6) 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 still the only communities in New Hampshire with 20-49 confirmed cases.

Hillsborough County, which includes Manchester and Nashua, has 681 (+55) confirmed cases (42% of all cases). Rockingham County is second, with 519 (+26) confirmed cases (34% of all cases). These two counties make up over 75% of all confirmed cases in NH.

Today, our abutting city, Methuen, has 433 confirmed cases (+37) or 1.1% of its 2019 population of 39,498 people. They have had 20 deaths attributed to COVID-19 in that city. By comparison, 0.3% of Manchester residents and 0.2% of Nashua residents are infected.  For every 10K residents, Methuen has 110 confirmed cases; Manchester has 29 cases and Nashua has 17 cases.

Other nearby cities in Massachusetts: Haverhill: 306 cases. Lawrence: 1,158 cases, 44 deaths.

Deaths from COVID-19 are expected to surpass 2,000 this week in Massachusetts – about 45 times as many as reported in New Hampshire. Massachusetts has about eight times New Hampshire’s population.

It is understandable why these cities have reasons for such high numbers, including public transportation and factories, but the difference is still enormous, and I continue to ask: How can our neighboring town have so many cases, but we don’t? Part of the reason is that Massachusetts has much higher testing rates. Without better testing, and without transparency we can’t know what our real numbers are.

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

Lawsuit

In the lawsuit to determine who controls the funds coming to NH from the federal CARES Act, Superior Court Judge David A. Anderson granted Governor Sununu’s motion to dismiss. The judge failed to find that the “power of the purse” belongs where it has always resided, with the Joint Legislative Fiscal Committee. The decision now allows that money to be spent by the governor without that legislative approval.

Judge Anderson wrote “to stop or even delay the governor from distributing purely federal funds intended for the benefit of the public in the midst of a global pandemic would be contrary to the public interest.” This ruling gives Sununu total control of the $1.25B coming to NH, with input from a new board that the Governor appointed, but without the approval of a key legislative committee. The new committee, the Governor’s Office for Economic Relief and Recovery (GOFERR), is advisory only, and cannot overrule his decisions. Sununu will also be overseeing the audit of how funds are disbursed. Sununu was represented by the NH Attorney General’s office, Solicitor General Dan Will, with help from the NH Department of Justice. Read more. And more.

Mental Health

Tonight, Andru Volinsky, candidate for NH Governor, hosted a “Virtual Town Hall on Mental Health during the Pandemic.” He was joined by Matt Mooshian, a mental health counselor, Larry Welkowitz (Keene State Professor of Psychology), and Mollie Volinsky (Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW).

There will be a lot of after-effects when this ban is lifted, and there aren’t enough therapists for people having issues. Telehealth is not a long-term solution for mental health, but is better than nothing. A few of the things that were discussed: Technology issues for telehealth. Homeless and opioid issues. Living in tents. Teach kids how to meditate.  Working with people with OCD and hand washing. Click to watch it!

Other stories

  • NH’s Lodging and Restaurant Association spoke to GOFERR today. The industry will need significant help to survive.
  • Almost one out of every five workers in New Hampshire commutes daily into eastern Massachusetts, according to an analysis from New Hampshire Employment Security that was based on 2017 Census Bureau data. Keeping that much traffic from carrying cases back into New Hampshire is a major concern for planners.
  • The NH Dept of Education is sending $1M to school districts to offset the costs of remote learning. Grants of $3K-25K will be based on the student population of the district.
  • The former Speaker of the House, Shawn Jasper, in his role as Commissioner of N.H. Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food, said he does not believe the federal plan to suspend immigration will interfere with seasonal agricultural workers from coming to NH. The USDA is working to make sure seasonal workers arrive in time for the growing season, and has relaxed certain rules to prevent workers who are already here from getting stuck outside the U.S. NH farms, primarily the orchards, rely on workers from Jamaica. These workers are unable to get flights out of Jamaica, so that could become an issue.
There was a new survey released this week 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.