COVID-19 Update April 25

COVID-19 Update April 25

Some days are harder than others. Sadly, seven people lost their lives, the most single-day loss that we’ve seen; all were 60 years of age or older. With 14 new hospitalizations, there are now 95 patients in our hospitals with COVID-19, the most patients thus far. 13% of those officially diagnosed with the virus have been hospitalized. We also learned that another 67 people were diagnosed with COVID-19, including two under the age of 18. With 199 more people who have been cleared, the number of current cases has dropped back down to under 1,000.

As requested, I have added the “Total Negative Cases” to my calendar. I’ve also updated or replaced a number of the graphs and tables over the last two days.

Hopefully, you are having a good weekend. Try to be patient, stay safe, and, always, be kind.

Key points covered below in today’s report:

  • More Executive Orders from Governor Sununu
  • Governor’s Reopening Task Force – Retail and Manufacturing
  • Nashua ramps up testing
  • NH Senator Dan Feltes criticizes Sununu’s Unemployment Program
  • Campgrounds and RVs 4 MDs
  • Webinar to learn about health coverage options
  • Mental Health Insurance Guide Released
  • A Medical Panel has been created
  • A grim picture is facing hospitals
  • A rise in unexplained infant deaths in NH
  • Congresswoman Annie Kuster is pushing for more testing
  • The town of Bow NH conducted drive-thru voting today

Click on the calendar to enlarge
https://www.bonnie4salem.us/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/april25-calendar.jpg

 


Q: How much testing is NH doing in comparison to our neighboring states?

A: We aren’t doing enough tests!
WHY???



 

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).

 

Why is this so important?
COVID vs. US Daily Average Cause of Death

By Robert Martin on 15 Apr 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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 25 April 24Change from yesterday
Total Confirmed Cases1,7871,720+67
Recovered 77743% (Was 34%)
578+199
Deaths Attributed to COVID-19
603% 53+7
Current Cases9501,089-139
Total Hospitalized23813%
224+14
Current Hospitalized9589+6
Tested Negative16,96416,007+957
Persons with specimens submitted to NH PHL8,2287,854+374
Persons with test pending at NH PHL550398+152
Being Monitored (Approximate) 2,2502,2500
Total Tested (Confirmed Cases + Tested Negative)18,75117,7271,024


Salem’s confirmed cases: 

  • March 30 (Range 10-19)
  • March 31 (Range 20+)
  • April 3: 25 cases (Range 20+)
  • April 6: 33 cases (+8 in 3 days)
  • April 8: 20+ cases
  • April 9: 20-49
  • April 10: Over 50
  • April 23: 116

 

Salem, Manchester, Nashua, Derry, Dover, and Londonderry remain the only NH municipalities with more than 50 confirmed cases.

With 377 confirmed cases (up +29) from yesterday), Manchester appears to be the municipality in NH with the most confirmed cases. Nashua has 159 (+10) 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, Merrimack, 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 780 (+27) confirmed cases. Rockingham County is second, with 593 (+25) 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 483 confirmed cases (+30) or 1.2% 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. (0.4% of Salem had been diagnosed as of April 23). For every 10K residents, Methuen has 122 confirmed cases; Manchester has 34 cases and Nashua has 19 cases. Salem has 40 cases for every 10,000 residents.

Other nearby cities in Massachusetts: Haverhill: 385 cases, 7 or more deaths. Lawrence: 1,501 cases (+70), 61 deaths (+1). Lawrence has had 286 fewer confirmed cases than the entire State of NH, and more deaths than our state.

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

More executive orders from Governor Sununu

The governor signed the second extension of the State of Emergency for 21 more days. The original order was issued on March 13. It has to be renewed every 3 weeks for the governor to keep the extraordinary powers that come with that order. He also signed other orders pertaining to COVID-19:

  • Emergency Order 34: Further temporary requirements regarding health insurer coverage of health care services related to the coronavirus
  • Emergency Order 35: An order temporarily waiving the 28-day separation period before a retired public employee can return to work on a part-time basis
  • Emergency Order 36: Ensuring Worker’s Compensation coverage of New Hampshire first responders exposed to COVID-19

Governor’s Reopening Task Force — Retail and Manufacturing

Nancy Kyle, of the Retail Merchants Association, spoke to the Governor’s task force on Friday. 90% of retail employees have been laid off or furloughed. Store owners want to reopen as soon as they can do so, but only when it is safe. She requested that stores do not reopen on Memorial Day weekend, and urged for a midweek start. Getting laid-off retail workers back to work could be a problem. She expressed concern about retail stores on the southern tier, because of the proximity to Massachusetts, and advocated for a statewide approach, cautioning against opening specific regions.

Kyle proposes three phases to get back to normal:

  • Phase 1: Already underway, Phase 1 allows for curbside pickup and delivery.
  • Phase 2: Retailers could open, possibly by appointment or reservation, with social distancing, limiting customers and workers, and frequently cleaning establishments.
  • Phase 3: Lift all restrictions.

Jim Roche, president of the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire, on behalf of NH manufacturers, expressed concerns about workplace health guidelines, liability, and access to PPE and testing. Most manufacturing employees are working.

The task force will meet again Monday to focus on several industries, including arts, health care, and recreation. Read full story.

Nashua ramps up testing

The city of Nashua is ramping up coronavirus testing and outreach. The city is adding four staff to the city’s health department to handle emergency and health services related to the pandemic.

A grant from the CDC Foundation will allow Nashua to pay for the new hires. They are also starting weekly pop-up testing sites at a soup kitchen or community hub.

NH Senator Dan Feltes criticizes Gov. Sununu’s failure on unemployment insurance

Senator Feltes, a candidate for NH Governor, found fault with Governor Sununu for failing NH workers. On Thursday, during a call with business interests, Gov. Sununu said he would advocate for cutting unemployment benefits. “Governor, you should be focused on fixing the system failures and getting Granite Staters the benefits they are entitled to, not cutting the benefits of the people who have been left without anything for weeks.” Read the story.

Campgrounds

Most campgrounds in NH are still closed for the winter. Some communities are asking Gov. Sununu to keep them closed, from fear that tourists will come, bringing the virus with them. Some campgrounds are open year-round, with the main visitors being essential workers: powerline workers and traveling nurses. Read the story.

Do you have an RV not being used? Workers in the medical field are having to isolate themselves from their families. There is a program that is connecting these essential workers with people who are willing to donate their campers, to allow them to protect their families. They can be set up in campgrounds, or in the workers’ yard, where they can see their family from a distance. For a “feel good” story, or if you are a medical person needing assistance or if you can lend your RV, please go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/rvs4mds/

Webinar to learn about health coverage options

Granite State Progress Education Fund has hosted several webinars to help with health insurance questions. The next/final one is tomorrow, Sunday, April 26 at 7:00.

If you are experiencing loss of employment and potentially employer-based health insurance, or are generally concerned about health coverage amid the coronavirus public health crisis, join us for this webinar to learn about health coverage options available in the Granite State. We will also cover what options are available for COVID-19 testing and treatment for those who do not qualify for ACA marketplace enrollment, COBRA, or Medicaid. Participants may join by computer or phone. RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/events/2566391183642632/

Mental Health Insurance Guide Released

There’s been a substantial increase in the number of those seeking treatment for mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. At the same time, thousands of people have lost their health coverage after being laid off, leaving many people unsure about where to turn for help.

New Futures and UNH Law collaborated to create a guide to help. “2020 Consumer Resource Guide: How to Access Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Benefits” is now available to help those people, and others, connect with the insurance benefits to which they are entitled. Read more here. Find the guide here.

A Medical Panel has been created

30+ health professionals have been appointed by the Governor to serve on a new advisory committee consisting of doctors, public health officials, ethicists, lawmakers, and long-term care facility leaders. They will establish recommendations for the triage of critical resources should a patient surge exceed the resources available at a hospital. The panel has not yet met.

A grim picture is facing hospitals

While there is a need to conserve PPE for healthcare facilities across the state, the anticipated surge in coronavirus patients hasn’t yet materialized. From a public health standpoint, that’s a laudable success, but the cancellation of elective procedures has been brutal on most hospital’s finances. Read the story.

A rise in unexplained infant deaths in NH

The state Office of Child Advocate is urging parents to practice safe sleeping practices, after a rise in unexplained infant deaths in New Hampshire and other New England states.

“It’s possible that if people change their routines and they’re napping during the day or they’re drinking alcohol when they’re taking care of their kids, they may be more likely to fall asleep with their infants in the same sleep environment, like their bed or a sofa. And that really enhances the opportunity for the death of an infant.”

Congresswoman Annie Kuster pushing for more testing

In an OpEd in the Concord Monitor, Rep. Kuster wrote “We need a coordinated national testing strategy to responsibly reopen our economy. … As we balance both the health and economic consequences of this crisis, one theme appears again and again: the need for more testing.”

Bow conducted drive-thru voting today

Drivers lined up in line and remained in their vehicles while they voted. Ballot clerks stood behind a table with a wooden box for ballots, which was slid forward for voters to reach as drivers drove up. Ballot clerks wore masks and gloves. Looking at photos on NHPR, it appears that several car lengths back there was another table where voters would sign in and receive their ballots.

News Section?
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 you saw this would be appreciated. 2nd request.

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.