COVID-19 Update May 1

COVID-19 Update May 1

Salem has 154 confirmed cases, an increase of 8, putting us at 53 cases per 10,000 people.

Yesterday was the day with the highest number of new positive cases, but today was almost double that number. A few days ago, we had the most deaths, but, with 9 lives lost, today was the worst to date. All 9 deaths were from long-term care facilities. Three of those nine were in Rockingham County: 1 male and 1 female over 60 years of age, and one adult male younger than 60.

We had a surprisingly small number of returned tests yesterday, but today was an astonishingly large number. The average of yesterday and today is approximately what I would expect: 1,214 test results. The total number of COVID-19 patients who have been hospitalized went up by 8, but the number of those who are currently hospitalized went down by 9.

Did Derry really jump from 140 to 200 cases overnight? If so, they now have the third most cases, and, at 60, the highest number of cases per 10,000 residents.

It’s the weekend! Enjoy! But in the process, please stay safe, and, always, be kind.

Key points covered below in today’s report:

  • Governor Sununu’s “Stay at Home 2.0”
  • Other takeaways from the Governor’s Press Conference
  • Other NH COVID-19 News:
    • Revisiting the lawsuit: NH Legislators vs. Governor Sununu.
    • Evictions
    • Face Mask Laws
    • COVID-19 vaccine being developed in NH
    • Having unemployment issues?
    • Salem Woods
    • Mobile testing sites in Laconia, Sunapee, and Keene
    • Prescott Park

Click on the calendar to enlarge
https://www.bonnie4salem.us/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/may1-calendar.jpg


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

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

Mindi does an excellent report daily. You can sign up to get it here.



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


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 Statistics:

  May 1 April 30Change from yesterday
Total Confirmed Cases2,3102,146+164
Recovered 98042 (was 48%)
9800
Deaths Attributed to COVID-19
814% (was 3%) 72+9
Active Cases1,2491,094+155
Total Hospitalized27012%
262+8
Current Hospitalized103112-9
Tested Negative22,03919,903+2,136
Persons with specimens submitted to NH PHL9,6979,468+229
Persons with test pending at NH PHL159302-143
Being Monitored (Approximate) 2,7502,700+50
Total Tested (Confirmed Cases + Tested Negative)24,34922,049+2,300

 

Salem’s confirmed cases: 

  • 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
  • April 27: 144
  • April 28: 143 (Huh? Less than yesterday? Triple checked!)
  • April 30: 146
  • May 1: 154

 

NH Hot Spots
Seven NH municipalities have more than 50 confirmed cases:

  • Manchester: 481 (+26 from yesterday); 43 per 10K residents (+3)
  • Nashua: 206 (+13 from yesterday); 24 per 10K residents (+1)
  • Salem: 154 (+8); 53 cases per 10K residents (+3)
  • Derry: 200; (+60); 60 cases per 10K residents (+12)
  • Dover: 70 (+1); 22 cases per 10K residents
  • Londonderry: 74 (+7); 28 cases per 10K residents
  • Bedford: 57 (+0); 25 cases per 10K.

All other municipalities have less than 50 cases.  All of the other municipalities with 20-49 cases are geographically south of Concord/Dover, and east of Concord/Milford, except for Franklin with jumped today to 45 (+3).

Counties:

  • Hillsborough (inc. Manchester and Nashua): 1,012 (+48); 24 per 10K residents (+1)
  • Rockingham (inc. Salem & Derry): 779 (+87); 25 per 10K (+3)

These two counties make up about 77% of all confirmed cases in NH. (-1% from yesterday)

Our neighboring towns:

  • Methuen: 603 (+20). 29 deaths (+1). 181 recovered (+13). 153 cases (+5) per 10K residents
  • Lawrence: 1,773 (+66). 77 deaths (+1); 212 cases per 10K residents (unchanged)
  • Haverhill: 600 cases, up 215 from April 23. 101 cases per 10K.

If more people were tested, the numbers would be higher.
Without better testing, we can’t know what our real numbers are.

 

 

Of the confirmed cases in NH, about 13% 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.

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: 90% of NH’s population is white; 81% of the confirmed cases are white. 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.


NH News relating to COVID-19

Stay at Home 2.0

The stay-at-home order is still in place, but is adjusted and augmented with certain business guidances, to allow additional businesses the opportunity to open if they wish to do so. Read all guidances documents here. The new version of the Stay at Home order is in effect through May 31.

The new Stay At Home 2.0 is based on decision and guidance plans which come from the nonpartisan task force. 1500-2000 people dialed in to listen to each presentation, and give input. Each part was approved by Dr. Chan and the team at the Department of Public Health.

Stay At Home 2.0 is “data-driven.” It is a gradual, phased-in approach, but “people will be safer if they just stay home.” The goal is to make sure hospitals aren’t overrun. There is flexibility in the hospital system.

No one has to open, but certain industries may now open with specific guidances. There are no changes to the Expanded Unemployment laws. If a worker/employee or a business owner wishes to remain unemployed, they can still collect unemployment.

Key points of Stay At Home 2.0:

Hospitals (Effective Monday)

  • Time-sensitive procedures allowed as early as Monday, including:
    • MRI or CT Scans
    • Knee/hip replacement for chronic pain
    • Biopsies, invasive testing
  • All services based on access to PPE, access to staff, access to testing
  • Based on how COVID-19 is impacting its region.
  • Will scale up or back, depending on circumstances
  • 3 pages of guidance, prepared by the NH Hospital Association
  • [As I recall, the non-emergency health care system, including elective surgery, was shut down to save PPE in addition to hospital beds.]

Campgrounds (Effective immediately)

  • Restricted to NH residents, members of private campgrounds
  • Towns can close public campgrounds
  • Additional physical distancing restrictions
  • 1 person per vehicle for employees
  • Staff must use appropriate PPE
  • Public gathering areas must remain closed (indoor and outdoor)
  • Pools and playgrounds must remain closed.

State Parks (Effective immediately)

  • Seacoast beaches remain closed
  • Interior state parks open
  • Staff must use appropriate PPE
  • 1 person per state vehicle
  • Tools and vehicles to be wiped down after each use
  • Hand-washing stations and sanitizer to be readily available
  • Parks to waive the campground cancellation fee and refund the amount of reservations if a visitor or members of their party cancel due to illness.
  • Playgrounds and boat rentals to be closed
  • Remove picnic tables or parks must develop a process for disinfecting
  • Water bubblers and fountains to be off
  • Additional rules in guidance for Flume Gorge

Manufacturing (Effective immediately)

  • Remains essential
  • Employees to wear cloth face coverings when at work and around where social distancing may be difficult.
  • Companies to adjust manufacturing processes to maintain at least 6 feet between employees.

Golf (effective May 11)

  • Limited to NH Residents, Private Club members
  • No gathering before or after tee-time.
  • Proshop/Clubhouse use prohibited
  • No club rentals or sharing of clubs
  • No handling of golf bags except by player
  • Food & Beverage restrictions
  • No practice putting greens or driving ranges
  • [I’m surprised: No mention of golf carts!]

Barber and Hair Salons (effective May 11)

  • By reservation/appointment only
  • No waiting room use; customers to wait in their car until ready
  • A limited number of open chairs
  • Face coverings for employees and customers
  • Limited services: Cuts and simple coloring only. No blow-drying.
  • By appointment only, no walk-in.

Retail Guidance (effective May 11)

  • Maximum: 50% occupancy
  • Face and cloth coverings are required for all employees, suggested for all customers
  • Stagger shifts, breaks, and meals
  • Staff to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from other staff and customers at all times
  • Prohibit congregating in break rooms or common areas
  • Continue to prohibit the use of reusable bags
  • No sampling of food or personal hygiene

Drive-In Theaters (effective May 11)

  • Allow for proper social distancing; six feet between workers and customers.
  • Employees working where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, and cashiers and customer service representatives must wear cloth face coverings.
  • Food & beverage restrictions
  • No congregating at bathrooms or other communal areas

Restaurants (effective May 18)

  • Takeout only will continue until May 18
  • Outdoor seating will be allowed, with no indoor seating.
  • Tables at least 6 feet apart, 6-person limit per table
  • Face coverings for servers
  • At least 6 feet between employees and customers.
  • Employees to wear cloth face coverings when at work and around others in settings where social distancing may be difficult.
  • Customers should wear cloth face coverings when waiting in line for pick-up or seating).

Universal Guidelines All businesses and employees must follow the Universal Guidelines included in a 5-page report.

Other businesses mentioned in today’s press conference

  • Athletic clubs and churches remain closed.
  • Bowling lanes and hotels remain closed.
  • Private businesses can refuse business to “anyone,” following discrimination laws.
  • Nursing homes: Still no visitations

The system is flexible, and can change at a moments’ notice.

The State website crashed during the Governor’s presentation. Details can (hopefully!) be found at NH.gov; guidance documents are here.

 

Other takeaways from the Governor’s Press Conference

Dr. Benjamin Chan, the state epidemiologist, says:

  • Stay at home as much as possible. Social distancing is having a positive effect. When going to public places, wear a cloth face covering
  • Dr. Chan can see a plateau or leveling off when cases are graphed.
  • Hospitalization numbers are stable. The demand on healthcare facilities is stable. The daily number of new hospitalizations is slowing
  •  I’m struggling to accept these statements. Look at the calendar and graphs in my report.]
  • The number of people needing hospitalizations is 12%, which is lower. The doubling time is slowing up to about 30 days, based on the number of hospitalizations
  • The death rate is low, although there were 30 deaths last week. All but one NH death was from within congregate living facilities
  • He is seeing early signs of decreasing community spread
  • There is no way to know exactly how these Stay At Home 2.0 measures will impact the viral community spread, but we should know in 2-3 weeks if it is increasing or to see new trends.

Governor Sununu

  • Stay at home as much as you can
  • We have had an increase in testing, with over1200 over the last few days
    • [My observation: This is too early for results to come in, and today’s report concerns me.]
  • The DMV will be used as a source for businesses to obtain PPE, which are required for businesses like hair salons. There are 14 locations across the state.
  • Long-term care facilities: NH is focusing resources on testing staff. They are not testing in long-term care facilities that have no one with symptoms. They will begin testing long-term care facilities in Strafford & Merrimack testing next week.
  • Nursing students are being certified as LNA’s, to help out, especially in nursing homes.
  • Q: When will NH return to “normal?” A: “A long time.” “This is a marathon with an unknown end.”
  • Q: Prison system testing. A: Very low rate. Jails and prisons are naturally set up to be very segregated, with physical barriers already in place. We could react quickly if needed.
  • NH is doing the best contact tracing compared to any other state. NH is expanding contact testing.

Other NH COVID-19 News:

Revisiting the lawsuit: NH Legislators vs. Governor Sununu. NH Legislators, all eight Democratic members of the Joint Legislative Fiscal Committee are asking the judge to reconsider his decision over who can release the federal money. Legislators point out that state law requires that the Fiscal Committee approves the spending of all funds, including the emergency stimulus funds.  Read more.

Evictions. Landlords cannot evict tenants, but tenants can’t get welfare assistance without an eviction notice, which is often required to prove that someone needs welfare assistance.  Now some towns are not requiring an eviction notice to give assistance.

Tenants must give landlords available resources, but some tenants, who were already about to be evicted, are refusing to pay at all.

Face Mask Laws. Maine started a law requiring everyone to wear a face mask, effective today. Massachusetts is requiring facial coverings for anyone out in public, effective on Wednesday. NH’s Stay At Home 2.0 requires masks be worn by most employees at most businesses, and suggests, but does not require, that most non-employees wear masks, except in hair salons/barbershops.

COVID-19 vaccine being developed in NH. Lonza, a Portsmouth company is working on a vaccine that could treat COVID-19, by modifying RNA to create proteins to be used to fight diseases and viruses. Phase 1 trials began in March.  Read more.

Having unemployment issues? I’ve heard that some people are getting answers at this Facebook page: N.H. Unemployment during COVID-19

Salem Woods. One of today’s deaths came from Salem Woods. In April, nine people passed from COVID-19 in that facility, although 5 were in hospice care. In mid-April, 21 residents and four staff members in the memory care wing tested positive. Residents are being kept apart; they are not allowed to eat meals together. Staff says they are wearing what protective gear they can find, and testing when possible. Read more.

Mobile testing sites in Laconia, Sunapee, and Keene. In addition to the five fixed drive-through locations announced earlier this week, the state is launching three temporary mobile COVID-19 testing sites this weekend. They were in Laconia today. They are scheduled to be in Sunapee on Saturday, and Keene on Sunday. If you have symptoms, call your health care provider to discuss testing. If you don’t have a regular primary care, call the state’s hotline at 2-1-1. (From NHPR)

Prescott Park. The Prescott Park Arts Festival in Portsmouth has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.

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:

Have Questions?

NH residents can dial the state’s COVID-19 hotline at 2-1-1 or 603-271-4496 for answers to questions related to the outbreak and to be directed to available resources for help.

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.