COVID-19 Update May 11

COVID-19 Update May 11

Salem: 193 confirmed cases, 101 cases are still active.

Today two more Salem residents were added to the list of those who have been told that they have COVID-19.  65 people out of every 10,000 Salem residents have been diagnosed. At least 93 of the Salem cases have been told that they have recovered, but more than half of those here in town that have been infected are still waiting to recover.

NH announced that there were 89 new positive test results for COVID-19, including four children under the age of 18. Sixteen of the new cases were in Rockingham County. NH DHHS says that community-based transmission continues to occur in the State.

There were two new hospitalized cases in NH today, bringing the total of those hospitalized to 315 (10% of all confirmed cases); about 1/3 of them (113) are still in the hospital.

Happily, no deaths were reported for the period of time covered by this report.

The US has 1.3M confirmed cases. NH has 1.3M residents. That’s a lot of confirmed cases! And doesn’t include those who haven’t been tested, or had one of the 30-40% of false negatives.

Stay safe, and always, be kind.

Key points covered below in today’s report:

  • Emergency Operations Center Report
  • Meeting of the Board of Selectmen
  • Ongoing issues with the State about the: accuracy of their reports
  • How can I get tested for COVID-19?
  • Governor’s Press Conference

Click on the calendar to enlarge
https://www.bonnie4salem.us/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/may11-calendar.jpg


 

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

On April 19, this was posted on Facebook:

 

NHPR has charts. Lots of charts!
If you want more than what I’m providing, they can be found at NHPR’s website.


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 11 May 10Change from yesterday to today
Total Confirmed Cases3,1603,07189
Recovered 1,23139% (was 40% yesterday, 41% day before)1,2292
Deaths Attributed to COVID-19
1334% 1330
Active Cases1,7961,70987
Total Hospitalized31810%3153
Current Hospitalized1171134
Tested Negative32,40131,723678
Persons with specimens submitted to NH PHL12,72812,68840
Persons with test pending at NH PHL54261-207
Being Monitored (Approximate) 3,0253,150-125
Total Tested (Confirmed Cases + Tested Negative)35,561
34,794767

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
  • April 27: 144
  • April 28: 143 (Huh? Less than yesterday? Triple checked!)
  • April 30: 146
  • May 1: 154
  • May 2: 162
  • May 3: 173
  • May 4-5: 175
  • May 6: 178; 94 active
  • May 7: 186; 101 active
  • May 8: 189; 103 active
  • May 9: 191; 101 active
  • May 10: 191; 100 active

NH Hot Spots
NH has 11 NH municipalities have more than 50 confirmed cases:

  • Manchester: 684 (+14 from yesterday); 61 per 10K residents
  • Nashua: 289 (+6); 32 per 10K residents
  • Derry: 244; (+3); 73 cases per 10K residents
  • Salem: 191 (0); 65 cases per 10K residents
  • Londonderry: 91 (+1); 35 cases per 10K
  • Bedford: 101 (+4); 45 cases per 10K
  • Dover: 82 (+1); 26 cases per 10K
  • Milford: 70 (-1); 44 cases per 10K
  • Hudson: 65 (+3); 25 cases per 10K
  • Concord: 63 (0); 15 cases per 10K
  • Franklin: 58 (+1); 67 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/Rochester, and east of Concord/Milford, except for Franklin.

Counties:

  • Hillsborough (inc. Manchester and Nashua): 1,438 (+45); 34 per 10K residents
  • Rockingham (inc. Salem & Derry): 978 (+14); 32 per 10K

About 79% of all of those in NH who have tested positive to COVID-19 live in these two counties.

Our neighboring towns:

  • Methuen on May 9: 685; 135 confirmed cases per 10K residents. 275 recovered (+1). 32 deaths (+0)
  • Lawrence: 2,274 (+10). 283 cases per 10K residents. 95 deaths (+2)
  • Haverhill: 833 cases (May 6), up 233 from April 29. 130 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.

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 are provided in the daily reports from the Department of Health & Human Services. Today, May 7 the NH DHHS has issued its “weekly” report for the week ending May 4. [This is the first weekly report since the week ending April 27, which was issued the same day.].

As of May 4, 713 healthcare workers have been infected (27.6% of all confirmed cases). 24 of the medical care workers were hospitalized; one died.

  • More women have tested positive than men by about 11%. However, approximately 60% of the hospitalizations and 60% of the deaths are men.
  • 18 kids under 9 years have tested positive. 19% of those infected are 50-59 years old, the largest age group. Those who are 30-39, 40-49, and 60-69 are each 13-14% of the cases. 20% of the confirmed cases are 70 or older, however, these age groups make up almost 40% of the cases, and 85% of the deaths.
  • Race/Ethnicity: Although 90% of NH’s population is white; they only account for 76.4% of the confirmed infections, 82% of the hospitalizations, and 91.5% of the deaths. Hispanic/Latino make up 3.9% of the population, but 7.4% of the infections, 7.8% of the hospitalizations, and 6.8% of the deaths. Blacks/African Americans are 1.4% of the population, and 5.4% of the infections, 3.7% of hospitalizations, and 1.7% of the deaths.  Asians are 3.0% of the population, and 4.1% of the cases; no Asians from NH have died. All other races are 1.8% of the population, and 7.7% of the population, 2.4% of hospitalizations, and 1.7% of deaths.
  • Persons in Hillsborough County, including Manchester and Nashua, make up 44.7% of all infections, 46.5% of hospitalizations, and 46.5% of the deaths. Persons in Rockingham County (Salem and Derry) make up 33.9% of the total infections, 31.1% of the hospitalizations, and 32.6% of all deaths.  The third most impacted county is Merrimack (Concord), which only has 7.7% of all infections.

NH News relating to COVID-19

Emergency Operations Center Report

  • Chief Larry Best, director of the Emergency Operations Center, gave the 12th briefing since March 16.
  • Explanation of the contact tracing system. The patient’s privacy is protected. The person exposed is encouraged to stay home for 14 days.
  • Explanation of the businesses that are allowed to reopen. Town representatives have had meetings to review the processes. See the town’s website for details.
  • Today Rockingham Mall opened. Deputy Police Chief Joel Dolan reported that there was a line to get into the mall, but everyone was well behaved. 99% were voluntarily wearing masks. Police also monitored golf courses which opened today, and there was no problem. There is an uptick of burglaries.
  • Brian Lockhard, the Health Officer for Salem, has been focusing on restaurants, which open next week. Mask use is required by all employees at restaurants unless they can social distance from customers and other employees. He encouraged social distancing. NH has a low hospitalization and low death rate. Testing is now available.
  • Town Manager Chris Dillon says town is putting up protective barriers to help residents and staff, and will explore options for safer entrance/exits. There is discussion about how to do various transactions.

Meeting of the Board of Selectmen

  • Tonight the Selectboard met to discuss an order proposed by Selectman Jim Keller to require the wearing of cloth face coverings. The final version of the order, which had been reviewed by the town attorney, and only covered indoor locations, was presented to the Board shortly before the meeting. The original version of the order included all outdoor locations as well as indoor.
  • A number of Salem residents called in. It appeared to me that the number of those supporting the order and those opposing the order were pretty close, although I did not count the calls. Most callers were not aware that the proposed order had been changed. Most callers were not aware of the lag between live TV and live phone; the board and audience could hear the TV’s in the background, with a delay. If you are calling a TV show or a radio show, please turn your TV/radio off.
  • Selectman Bob Bryant suggested a break in the calls, and stated that he opposed the order. The phone calls stopped after Selectmen Lisa Withrow and Cathy Stacey quickly agreed. We did not hear how Selectman Mike Lyons and Selectman Jim Keller felt after hearing from the public. Without taking a formal vote, the meeting ended. Salem will abide by the rules set by the Governor, as outlined in his Stay-at-Home Order 2.0. Additional info is on the town website.
  • If you missed the meeting, it will be aired on Channel 23. You can find it on SGTV’s website or on their Facebook page..

Ongoing issues with the State about the accuracy of their reports

I have still not had a satisfactory response from the New Hampshire Joint Information Center addressing my concerns about the numbers supplied by the NH Department of Human Services. When you look at these as closely as I do, there are some obvious errors in their data. I recognize that they are busy, but I’ve been waiting a week for clarification. I’m not requesting privileged info, I am simply asking them to correct errors, and provide the correct information. Why can this not be remedied?

I am nitpicking, but there were two more sloppy things I caught today:

  • Commissioner Shibinette reported that the County Nursing Home in Goffsown had an outbreak that affected “12 residents plus 2 staff, totaling 15.”
  • The report from DHHS includes low res maps. One can click on them to get a higher resolution version. The map with active cases has a low-resolution map that says “May 11,” but the higher resolution map goes to the map for May 10.

How can I get tested for COVID-19?

I am frequently asked this question, so I created a separate post on this topic. You can view it here.

Governor’s Press Conference

This is what I heard at today’s conference.

Governor Sununu:

  • A number of businesses may choose to open today. They don’t have to.
  • The Governor and his team are exploring other areas that may be able to open in the coming weeks.
  • The State is drastically improving testing rates

Dr. Chan:

  • Over 34K+have been tested; the average is 1200 per day over the last week
  • Some earlier deaths are being investigated; NH’s death rate may go up.
  • The virus is likely to continue for weeks if not months
  • NH has limited the spread due to mitigation
  • Businesses must comply with guidance
  • Even though you can go out, stay at home!
  • He encourages and recommends using cloth face coverings.

Q: Dr. Chan, what are your expectation for NH?

  • A: Impossible to predict. New virus. New clinical syndromes. The expectation is that there is potential for reintroducing the virus if we let down social distancing too rapidly. Numbers and data are important. It can take 2-3 weeks before we see any change, whether it’s opening things back up, or closing things down. We will follow the numbers. Watching not just the number of confirmed cases, but also the percentage of positive tests as they decrease, and the percentage of hospitalizations decrease (which we have).  The southern part of the state is a challenge.

Q: Do you have an expectation that cases will go up in the fall?

  • A: A vaccine won’t be ready by fall, so fall remains uncertain. The number of positive tests will increase, but those people can be put in isolation. The number of hospitalizations and outbreaks will hopefully decrease but this will be with us for weeks, if not months. The goal is a decrease in transmission. Fall is flu season. By then we will be able to rapidly test, and do public health contact tracing. We will keep testing to keep numbers down.

HHS Commissioner Shibinette:

  • Between Thurs-Sunday 2200 people were tested
  • There is a new testing site in Milford; another is coming shortly in Concord for combined tests (active virus and antibodies)
  • New outbreaks in Longterm Care Facility
    • Hillsborough County Nursing Home, Goffsown: “12 residents plus 2 staff, totaling 15” (Huh? That’s not the math I learned!)
    • Community Resources for Justice, Manchester 11 residents, 3 staff
  • 21% of NH’s longterm care facilities have had at least 1 case of COVID-19. While it seems like we have had a large number of deaths in longterm care facilities, NH has only lost 0.7% of the total licensed beds. By comparison:
    • MA: 49% of all facilities have been impacted; 4.6% of the nursing home population has died.
    • RI: 33% affected; 5% died
    • ME 43% affected. (death % not provided)
    • CT: % of facilities not provided. 3.2% died.
    • NY: % of facilities not provide. 3% died

Governor Sununu:

Q: No deaths for anyone under 60. Why keep the economy shut down?

  • A: We need more data points to understand. Working with other states. Some of what NH has done has to be done on a regional basis.

Q: How much money have we spent in the long-term stabilization fund for medical frontline workers

  • A: $75M allocated. Estimated $30M per month; they have estimated that 20-25K workers would qualify. Facilities have to apply. Doesn’t have number given out available today.

Q: Do you have a message to those out-of-staters coming across the line.?

  • A: Stay at home in your own state. NH residents should stay here. We can’t prevent them from coming. A 2-week quarantine is recommended (NOT an order) for anyone staying for the long-term. Recommend face covering if coming to our state.

Q: Can a store refuse service for not wearing face covering?

  • A: Yes

Q: Why can’t golf clubs allow out-of-staters, but stores can?

  • A: Golf clubs and campgrounds have a contract with their members.

Q: What about malls?

  • A: Praised malls for guidelines. Food courts will be quiet. Not allowing seating in food court. Not all stores are open, probably less than 50%

Q: What younger facilities have been affected?

  • A: Commissioner: Easter Seals, Justice Involved, Institute for Professional Practice, Crotched Mountain

Q: What % of those who work in long-term facilities are traveling nurses?

  • A: Commissioner: Not sure, but based on own experience, <10 percent

Q: No staff deaths in nursing homes?

  • A: Unique risk for those who work there. There are a lot of asymptomatic cases among workers. (I didn’t feel this was answered)

Q: Is it true that nursing home cannot accept new patients who are infected?

  • A: Patients must be tested before being admitted. If they are diagnosed, and removed to the hospital, they have to test negative twice to be readmitted.

Q: What’s being done to protect long-term care faciities?

  • A: Limit patient contact. Limit workers from working at multiple locations facilities

Q: What is the future of Telehealth? Is the Infrastructure in place?

  • A: Telehealth was on its way before COVID. It’s working very well, but a lot of medicine still needs to be done in person. It won’t go away.

Q: Pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome?

  • A: Dr. Chan: COVID generally affects those who are older, with chronic medical problems. Starting to see clotting disorders in younger individuals; some are dying across the country.  None identified in NH, but they are still actively learning about it

Q: How will mall rules be enforced?  State? Mall personnel?

  • A: They are private malls. They have enough staff; can handle it themselves. They are limiting capacity. Not opening food courts, no seating

Q: Re-opening other industries?

  • A: Reopening task group is talking with many kinds of industries Tattoo, massage parlors being considered They will make determinations and more announcements should come soon.

Q: Nationwide, they say we need 100,000 national contact tracers. NH has 70.  Will we have enough? (I thought they said 30, but were working on doubling or tripling it a few conferences ago.)

  • A: We don’t know what our need will be. Our contact tracing is why we have kept our rates low when compared to MA

Q: How close will you follow Legislative Advisory Board recommendations?

  • A: This is part of GOFERR (Governor’s Office for Emergency Recovery and Relief) I am not beholden to them, but will take their recommendations into consideration. No doubt that there will be some common ground.

Q: Any advice for Salem Selectboard re: mask ordinance?

  • A: No. That is their choice. I’m leaving it there.

Q: What’s the status of the hospital relief fund?

  • A: NH was the 1st state to do this. We set aside $50M for the hospital relief fund. We can give them more, but hospitals and health care organizations have already received 300M from federal government outside of the 1.25B that has come to NH. W

Summary

A lot of today’s questions were about surges. Sununu said,  “It would be disappointing, but not necessarily shocking. We could see trends go up again. The real purpose of what we are trying to do is make sure that we are prepared; that our health system has the capacity, that our testing is where it should be, that our PPE is available to mitigate any spread, that our contact tracers are available if numbers were to increase, and have that data, whether it is the elderly population and what is happening in the long-term care facilities or the general population in our communities and neighborhoods – having all this data at our fingertips which didn’t even exist two months ago but now we have all these tools in the toolbox so we hope that there is not another surge, we hope that there is not another trend up, but we know it could come. The whole point is that we know the government is going to be prepared and we are going to be able to manage through it in a much more effective and productive way … If they [surges] do get very severe, we can take steps backward, too. We maintain a lot of flexibility.”


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.

Resource Compilations:

From Congresswoman Annie Kuster: A list of many resources, including Keeping Safe from COVID-19; New Hampshire Specific COVID-19 Information; Direct Payment to Granite Staters (Economic Impact Payments); Support for Small Businesses; Unemployment Assistance; Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Survivors; Student Loans; Taxes; Traveling Internationally; Veterans. https://kuster.house.gov/covid-19

Mental Health Resources, compiled by Jan Schmidt, Alderman and State Rep in Nashua. http://janschmidt4ward1.com/uncategorized/free-online-meetings-and-virtual-platforms/

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

COVID-19: The CIDRAP Viewpoint.  https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/sites/default/files/public/downloads/cidrap-covid19-viewpoint-part1_0.pdfhttps://www.cidrap.umn.edu/sites/default/files/public/downloads/cidrap-covid19-viewpoint-part1_0.pdf

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.