COVID-19 Update April 24
Today another 2 people lost their lives in NH from COVID-19. This makes a total of 53 deaths so far. Another 53 positive cases were announced, with 15 coming from Rockingham County. Six more patients were hospitalized, bringing the total to 224 (13% of those confirmed with a COVID-19 diagnosis.)
Governor Sununu issued an extension of the “State of Emergency.” The NH Constitution requires that a State of Emergency be renewed every three weeks for the Governor to have the broad power that is allowed under these circumstances — power that allows him to control the $1.25B coming to NH from the federal CARES Act, without legislative input. It also gives him the power to issue and uphold the Stay-at-Home Order, which is currently scheduled to expire May 4. The State of Emergency does not change that May 4 deadline. The Governor is expected to speak next week about the fate of the Stay-at-Home Order.
These are trying times. Try to be patient, stay safe, and, always, be kind.
Key points covered in today’s report:
- Governor’s Reopening Task Force
- Unemployment Concerns
- Issues with the Department of Veterans Affairs
- Mental Health issues with Kids
- Southern NH University changes its fee structure
- Trout pond fishing starts Saturday
- NH fairs are being canceled
- White Mountain National Forest trailheads are shutdown
Click on the calendar to enlarge
Q: How much testing is NH doing in comparison to our neighboring states?
A: We aren’t doing enough tests!
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:
The Governor maintains that we don’t have enough supplies (test availability).
#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.
Today’s COVID-19 news:
April 24 April 23 Change from yesterday
Total Confirmed Cases 1,720 1,670 +50
Recovered 578 34%
Deaths Attributed to COVID-19
53 3% 51 +2
Current Cases 1,089 1,068
Total Hospitalized 224 13%
Current Hospitalized 89 92 -3
Tested Negative 16,007 15,139 +868
Persons with specimens submitted to NH PHL 7,854 7,532 +322
Persons with test pending at NH PHL 398 424 -26
Being Monitored (Approximate) 2,250 2,450 -200
Total Tested (Confirmed Cases + Tested Negative) 17,727 16,809 +918
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
- April 23: 116
Salem, Manchester, Nashua, Derry, and Dover are now joined by Londonderry to be the only NH municipalities with more than 50 confirmed cases.
With 348 confirmed cases (up +20) from yesterday), Manchester appears to be the municipality in NH with the most confirmed cases. Nashua has 149 (+4) confirmed cases. On April 23, Salem had 116 cases. Numbers for the other hottest spots are not available. Auburn, Bedford, Concord, Hampton, Hooksett, Hudson, Londonderry, Pelham, Portsmouth, Seabrook, Windham, and now Merrimack are the only communities in New Hampshire with 20-49 confirmed cases.
Hillsborough County, which includes Manchester and Nashua, has 753 (+32) confirmed cases. Rockingham County is second, with 568 551 (+17) confirmed cases. These two counties make up over 75% of all confirmed cases in NH. All but two communities with more than 10 confirmed cases, Hanover and Lebanon, are in the southwestern part of the state, south, and west from Concord.
Today, our abutting city, Methuen, has 453 confirmed cases (+20) 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 31 cases and Nashua has 18 cases.
Other nearby cities in Massachusetts: Haverhill: 385 (+79) cases, 7 or more deaths. Lawrence: 1,431 cases (+226), 60 deaths (+9).
Deaths from COVID-19 surpassed 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.
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
Governor’s Reopening Task Force — Wednesday’s news
The task force charged with reopening the State ran into difficulties at its first meeting. 19 members of the committee and 500 additional people (or, more likely, a total of 500 people) called in for the meeting that was convened by Salem’s DJ Bettencourt, the governor’s policy director. Because the meeting met the maximum number of people who could call-in, others wishing to participate were unable to connect.
On Friday, the task force will hear from retail, manufacturing, recreation, and the arts communities. Next Monday, the health care and social assistance communities will address the task force. Next Tuesday, the construction and trades will speak, and next Wednesday the hair and cosmetology industry will be consulted, and other industries will also be added as the days go on. Read more, including a list of the members of the task force.
Dial-in information should be available on the Governor’s website.
Governor’s Reopening Task Force — Thursday’s news
The task force is meeting daily at 3:00 to discuss reopening various industries. The public can listen in. There will be two meetings for public comment (April 30 from 1-3 p.m., and May 1 from 9-11 a.m.)
Yesterday the task force talked with the head of the New Hampshire Lodging and Restaurants Association, Mike Somers. Mr. Somers said that NH’s hospitality industry has lost $800M; roughly half of the industry’s 70,000 employees have been laid off or furloughed.
Somers, a member of the task force, presented a four-phase reopening plan.
- Phase 1. Outdoor dining, with tables at least six feet apart.
- Phase 2. Indoor seating with tables at least six feet apart, no buffets, and no more than 10 people at a table. Hotels would reopen with extra sanitizing measures; exercise areas would remain closed and so would other gathering areas.
- Phase 3. Expand the number of people allowed at each table. Hotels could reopen exercise facilities.
- Phase 4. Near-normal, with upgraded cleaning and sanitizing measures.
There is no timeline established, but Mr. Somers is hoping that phase 1 will begin May 5. In each phase, staff will get their temperatures taken when they arrive for their shift. Frequent hand-washing would be required, and personal protective equipment would be available to them. Full story at WMUR
As I understand it, this still has to be approved by the task force, then the NH Department of Public Health, and finally by the Governor before the plan can be implemented.
Unemployment issues continue, as about half of NH households have experienced a reduction in hours, or lost a job. On Tuesday, the governor said they have processed 184,000 claims, totaling $88 million in payments. It can be a challenge to get one of over 200 people in the call centers to speak with, and some callers are finding some of those persons at the call center are very inexperienced. Read more.
Issues with the VA
New Hampshire’s congressional delegation has expressed concern about a decision from the Department of Veterans Affairs. “A proposed rule change would limit the types of individuals who can access case files, hindering veterans’ ability to get effective assistance with the process. Even more concerning is the announcement that the VA is discontinuing the 48-hour review period prior to finalizing a claim determination, a process that helped ensure veterans weren’t denied benefits because of small and technical mistakes in documents.
“We are deeply concerned that the VA is phasing out this quality review mechanism in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Staff assisting veterans are working at remote locations with fewer resources during an ever-evolving situation. Our country is facing an unprecedented emergency, and confusion during this crisis only leads to further frustration.”
Mental Health issues with Kids
With many major milestones being canceled and major changes in family dynamics, experts are finding many NH teenagers are in a state of grief. From graduations to proms, spring sports, and school plays, as well as a disruption of daily life, loss of jobs for themselves and their parents, and missing their friends, middle school and high school students are struggling. NPR takes a look. So does gubernatorial candidate, Andru Volinsky, in his Mental Health Town Hall.
Southern NH University changes its fee structure
SNHU is remodeling its structure, which is good news for incoming freshmen. SNHU is offering a one-time “Innovation Scholarship” to all incoming campus freshmen which will cover 100 percent of the first-year tuition. Students will live on campus and participating in all campus clubs, activities, athletics, and other experiences, while taking their courses online. In 2021, these students will continue in this new model, paying $10,000 per year tuition rate, which is a 61 percent reduction from its current rate. Full story here.
Trout pond fishing starts Saturday
New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is making changes because of the pandemic. They recommend that fishermen/women keep at least the length of one rod between fishermen/fisherwomen. There will not be toilet facilities at boat ramps. Docks are not being installed. Weekly fish-stocking reports will not be posted online. You can still get a license at the Fish and Game website or at the department’s headquarters in Concord. Full story.
NH fairs are being canceled
The Stratham, Cheshire, and Lancaster fairs have all been canceled. WMUR also reports that the Sandwich Fair is canceled, although it does not yet appear on the nhfairs.com website. The Rochester Fair date is “TBD.”
White Mountain National Forest trailheads are shutdown
Due to an ‘unseasonably high’ number of visitors, the US Forest Service has shut down several trailheads, day-use areas, and recreational facilities in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Parking at the trailheads and on most roads is prohibited. Here’s the map of closures.
This news section of the report takes a lot of time to research and write. Is it worth my time? I’m not sure that anyone is reading it! A PM to let me know would be appreciated.
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.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Mask materials: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/best-coronavirus-face-mask-materials-new-study_l_5e99b576c5b6a92100e63129
- 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
Tuft’s University: COVID-19 Convalescent (Recovered) Patient Registry
- 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:
- 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
- Resource for Nonprofit businesses: https://www.nhnonprofits.org/page/coronavirus-covid-19-resources-nonprofits
Sources for data included in these reports:
Please report any errors or omissions to email@example.com. Thank you.