COVID-19 Update May 20

COVID-19 Update May 20

Salem: 218 confirmed cases, 116 active cases.

Five more Salem residents were diagnosed with COVID-19, bringing the total up to 218. 74 people out of every 10,000 Salem residents have been diagnosed with this virus. More than half of the Salem residents that have been infected are still waiting to recover. The number of active cases has decreased in Salem. There are only two ways that our numbers could go down.

DHHS announced that there were 149 new positive test results for COVID-19, including three children under the age of 18, for a total of 3,868 cases. (When comparing the number of cases announced yesterday and today, I come up with 147 new cases). 21 of the new cases were in Rockingham County. DHHS says that community-based transmission continues to occur in the State. 80% of the cases in NH reside in either Hillsborough County or Rockingham County.

51 of today’s new cases were at VillaCrest in Manchester. Two of the people with infections had mild symptoms; the rest had no symptoms.

There were another 2 new hospitalized cases in NH today, but the number of current hospitalized cases went down, bringing the total of those hospitalized to 385 (10% of all confirmed cases); nearly one-third of all those who have been hospitalized (103) are still in the hospital.

Sadly, today NH DHHS announced that eight more NH residents have died from COVID-19. All have been over 60 years of age, including one male and one female from Rockingham County. Six of the deaths were at long-term care facilities. The loss of these people brings NH’s total fatalities to 190 people. 5% of those NH residents who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 have died.

The Massachusetts numbers for all towns are released weekly on Wednesdays. Nearby Haverhill has passed the thousand-case count, with 1,066 cases. Per capita, they come in 25th of almost 700 communities. Methuen, with 827 cases is 34th.

This is National EMS Appreciation Week. To our first responders, thank you. To them, and all of you, please stay safe, and always, be kind.

Key points covered below in today’s report:

  • Two men under 50. Their stories.
  • Unemployment Discussion
  • Governor’s Press Conference


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!







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.

Today’s COVID-19 Statistics:

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
  • May 11: 193; 102 active
  • May 12: 195; 103 active
  • May 13: 197; 104 active
  • May 14: 201; 108 active
  • May 15: 206; 112 active
  • May 16: 211; 117 active
  • May 17: 211; 116 active
  • May 18: 212; 117 active
  • May 19: 213; 118 active
  • May 20: 218; 116 active

NH Hot Spots (As of Saturday, May 16. The increase is from last Saturday, May 9.)
NH has 13 NH municipalities that have more than 50 confirmed cases.

  1. Manchester: 819 (+149); 73 per 10K residents; 528 current
  2. Nashua: 323 (+40); 36 per 10K residents; 188 current
  3. Derry: 267; (+26); 80 cases per 10K residents; 184 current
  4. Salem: 211 (+20); 71 cases per 10K residents; 117 current
  • Bedford: 130 (+33); 57 cases per 10K; 94 current
  • Concord: 78 (+15); 18 cases per 10K; 48 current
  • Dover: 89 (+8); 28 cases per 10K; 51 current
  • Franklin: 58 (+1); 67 cases per 10K; 50 current
  • Goffstown: 67 (+44); 37 cases per 10K; 48 current
  • Hudson: 70 (+8); 27 cases per 10K; 46 current
  • Londonderry: 104 (+14); 40 cases per 10K; 66 current
  • Milford: 76 (+5); 47 cases per 10K; 62 current
  • Portsmouth: 57 (+9); 26 cases per 10K; 34 current

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 (As of Sat., May 16. Increases from last Saturday, May 9.)

  • Hillsborough (inc. Manchester and Nashua): 1,723 (+330); 41 per 10K residents
  • Rockingham (inc. Salem & Derry): 1,095 (+131); 35 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 16: 777 (+92); 153 confirmed cases per 10K residents. 376 recovered (+101). 37 deaths (+5)
  • Lawrence on May 15: 2,264 (+207). 307 cases per 10K residents. 99 deaths (+4)
  • Haverhill on May 13: 950 cases up 117 from May 6. 148 cases per 10K; was 130 a week ago.

If more people were tested, the numbers would be higher.
Without better testing and reporting, 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

Two men under 50. Their COVID-19 stories.

Within 12 hours, I had two conversations that moved me. We don’t see a lot about the people under 60 who have been diagnosed with COVID-19. But healthy people, especially men, are getting seriously sick, and they are dying or having life-altering events tied to their infection.

The first conversation was from a widow. Her husband was a veteran, who served 20 years in our military; he received recognition for exemplary performance. He was a dedicated and loving father and husband. He was an outdoorsy kind of guy. He was 49 when he died from COVID-19. I don’t know the family, but my heart goes out to them.

The second was a phone call from a friend of a friend. Another man who keeps active, and is normally in “fairly good health.” He felt fine on a Sunday. On Monday, he started to feel off. On Tuesday, he was having problems breathing, and went to Holy Family, where he was diagnosed with COVID-19. That day or the next, he was sedated and put into a medically-induced coma, so he could be put on a ventilator. He was on the ventilator for 16 days, and then stayed in the hospital for about a week longer. After he passed two negative diagnostic tests, clearing him of the virus, he was allowed to go home. A few days later, he was seen by a doctor for a bedsore, which he had developed while he was intubated. That infection was so bad that he was hospitalized at Elliot, where he has been for over a week. He hopes to be released tomorrow. He has weakness from the COVID-19 infection, but could go back to work because of that. However, the side effect of the virus — the bedsore — will keep him out of work for another three months. He’s in the construction industry, and expects to be cleared to work at the end of his normal busy season. He has insurance, which will cover 80% of his medical bills. How will he pay child support and the balance of his medical bills including a month of hospitalization, if he can’t work? He is 47.

Unemployment Discussion

Deputy New Hampshire Employment Security Commissioner Richard Lavers answered questions about unemployment. Sadly, he didn’t answer the question I hear the most often: Where is my check? Here’s a quick summary of what was said:

  • People are waiting for weeks after being approved. $500M has been given out in the last two months, more than the total over the last 7 years. If you haven’t received your check, be patient. Trying to expedite.
  • For those who didn’t file, some claims can be backdated, not all.
  • For those who have caregiving responsibilities for school-age children, and their regular childcare options are not available, benefits are still available.
  • If hours were cut, one might be eligible, but it depends on the number of hours worked and the amount of pay. [No answer to the question regarding a reduction in hourly rate.]
  • Stop filing when you begin full-time work, not when you get paid.
  • For teachers whose summer jobs are canceled, file anyway, although benefits are unlikely at this time.
  • For more help, call 271-7700 or refer to guidance for unemployment:

You should be able to watch the presentation on WMUR.


Governor’s Press Conference

  • Executive Council moved today to authorize the June warrant, allowing the transfer of necessary funds for the State’s financial commitments for June.
  • On Friday, more businesses will be announced.
  • There are two more fixed locations, in Londonderry and Keene, that will be testing, bringing the total to nine locations. They will go live on Sunday.
  • New criteria for testing: Beginning Tuesday, household members of someone who meets the criteria can be tested. (COVID-19 symptoms, healthcare worker, 60-years old, certain health conditions.) Also on Tuesday, people with even one symptom can be tested. And, the staff at childcare centers can be tested starting on Tuesday. You need an appointment. The appointment registration form lists all of the medical conditions allowed.
  • Testing: NH is averaging 2000 PCR diagnostic tests per day, and 680 antibody tests per day.
  • Two more outbreaks:
    • Community Bridges, Belmont (for those with disabilities). 2 residents, 4 staff, 2 staff
    • Greenbriar HealthCare, Nashua. 10 residents, 0 staff
  • 1% of NH’s long-term licensed bed capacity has died.
    • By comparison: RI: 5.7%; NY: 3.2%; ME: 0.4%; MA: 5.6%; CT: 4%
  • 28% of all nursing homes in NH have had at least one COVID-positive cases.
    • By comparison: RI: 34%; NY: 32%; MA: 50%
  • Main Street Relief Fund: Deadline May 29. Over 5K small businesses have applied.
  • Beaches? State beaches are closed. Small state beaches within parks are open but not for hanging out. Town beaches are town level decisions. Use discipline.
  • Childcare guidance may be problematic in some sections. They will review and probably make adjustments to the info that is conflicting and confusing.
  • N95 masks are still difficult to get. NH places multiple orders because 50% of orders are canceled.
  • House of worship? Includes funerals and weddings—and wedding ceremonies have different concerns than wedding receptions. One person can infect hundreds in a very short time. Working on it.
  • Contact tracing? Segregates individuals. This is why NH rates have stayed so low. If there is a restaurant issue, they will try to find out who was at a sitting near the infected person (considered close contact.


Salem Government

The Town of Salem’s Emergency Operations Center Team (EOC) will be making weekly reports most Monday evening at 7:00. Their reports can be seen at

Find other Salem Government board meetings:

To watch past or live viewings:

Comcast TV Channel 23

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:

Our Senator, Chuck Morse, can be contacted at His Concord office phone is 603.271.3207.


NH scientist and politician, Mindi Messmer, PG, CG wrote on her Facebook page: “… The testing penetration is so low in NH … I don’t want to give the false impression that we know what’s going on in NH.”

I’ll add to that by sharing that my numbers are computed based on reports from NH Department of Human Services, and, on way too many occasions, their numbers simply don’t make sense. , but have had no response. They have been told that there are several times that they have had obvious errors, and I’ve asked for clarification, but I’ve had no response. I do not know how much we can trust these numbers, and how much we can rely on decisions based on statistics riddled with errors.

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

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.

Mental Health Resources, compiled by Jan Schmidt, Alderman and State Rep in Nashua.

How You Can Help Others:

Stay home, wash hands, wear cloth masks in public, check on neighbors

Donate food: NH Food Bank: or call 669-9725

United Way:

Donate blood: or call 1-800-RED-Cross

COVID-19 Response in New Hampshire:

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 In an immediate emergency, dial 911. DHHS has offered a sheet, “Supporting Child and Family Wellbeing during the COVID-19 Emergency:”


There is no excuse for not having a mask!!!

How to make and how to wear:

Directions for a no-sew mask (perhaps using the coffee filter, as suggested by the CDC?)

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:

A tip on how to make any mask (except N95) more efficient.

I found another good mask video, although I believe that coffee filters are not being recommended any more; they make breathing too hard. It is now in the resource section at the bottom of every report.,935446,886827,037719,116849,460519,061449,.mp4.csmil/master.m3u8


Free meals for Salem kids under 18:

Town of Salem COVID-29 Info:

COVID-19 Salem Community Hotline & Email:

Salem Police: Dial 911 for emergencies or (603) 893-1911 for non-emergency issues.

New Hampshire:

New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services:

Office of the Governor:

List of NH “essential” services:

Mindi Messmer: A scientist who is reporting frequently on COVID-19, Mindi is also a candidate for Executive Council, District 3 (including Salem). Sign up for her “Daily or So COVID-19 Updates”

More info about COVID-19

COVID-19: The CIDRAP Viewpoint.

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.

Tuft’s University: COVID-19 Convalescent (Recovered) Patient Registry

Trackers (Cases)

COVI-19 Tracker:

Live statistics:

US Coronavirus Tracking

The COVID Tracking Project

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.

Housing and Urban Development:

NH Housing:


If you were working in NH:

If you worked in MA:

Financial Assistance

Coronavirus Tax Relief:

SNAP: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Formerly Food Stamps)

About SNAP:


Link to other  NH benefits:

Businesses and Employers: Guidance for Small Businesses 

New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs (BEA): (resources):





CDC: Cleaning:


Greater Salem Chamber of Commerce:

McLane Middleton: An extensive list of resources for businesses:

The CARES Act:


Resource for Nonprofit businesses:

Sources for data included in these reports:

Please report any errors or omissions to Thank you.