COVID-19 Update May 4

COVID-19 Update May 4

Salem: 175 confirmed cases

Today the state reported that Salem has 2 more cases, for a total of 175. For every 10,000 residents, 60 of us have been infected with the coronavirus. 72 people in NH were diagnosed with COVID-19, including four individuals under the age of 18. Seventeen of the cases were in Rockingham County.

It appears that there were no new deaths today. Four more people were hospitalized; there are currently 111 COVID patients in NH hospitals.

My numbers are based on the numbers that are provided by the Department of Health and Human Services. In today’s press conference, Dr. Chan mentioned that there were some problems with the numbers over the weekend. I’ve been mentioning that some of the numbers lately seemed astronomically high. I wrote to them this evening to ask for clarification on several of their numbers. The ones that I’m questioning are in grey on the calendar.

Based on today’s numbers from the State, it looks like the number of negative tests are a lot lower than originally reported, which means my calculation for the number of total tests is way off, too. There was a question about the number of recovered cases and the number of current cases. Yesterday the current hospitalization rate was reported as 103, but was amended to 110.

In my old career, we said, “Garbage in, garbage out.” My numbers can only be as accurate as what is reported. And what is reported can only be as accurate as what is tested.

I hope this finds you well. Stay safe, and, always, be kind.

Key points covered below in today’s report:

  • Report from Salem’s Emergency Operations Center
  • RVs for MDs
  • PPE woes
  • Governor Sununu’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!



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

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:

[table “5-4” not found /]

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: 175

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

  • Manchester: 553 (+24 from yesterday); 49 per 10K residents
  • Nashua: 239 (+10 from yesterday); 28 per 10K residents
  • Derry: 229; (+3); 68 cases per 10K residents
  • Salem: 175 (+2); 60 cases per 10K residents
  • Londonderry: 84 (+2); 32 cases per 10K residents
  • Dover: 73 (0); 23 cases per 10K residents
  • Bedford: 64 (+6); 29 cases per 10K.
  • Concord: 55 (+2); 28 cases pr 10K
  • Hudson: 55 (+1); 75 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, which has 48 cases (57 cases per 10K).


  • Hillsborough (inc. Manchester and Nashua): 1,157 (+48); 28 per 10K residents
  • Rockingham (inc. Salem & Derry): 878 (+16); 28 per 10K

These two counties make up about 77% of all confirmed cases in NH.

Our neighboring towns:

  • Methuen: 622 (+4); 30 deaths (+1); 234 recovered (+3). 157 cases per 10K residents
  • Lawrence*: 1,879 (+47). 82 deaths (+2); 234 cases per 10K residents (*changes for 2 days)
  • Haverhill: 600 cases (April 29), 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

Report from Salem’s Emergency Operation Center  (EOC)

Fire Chief Larry Best, director of the EOC made the 11th report from the EOC since March 16.

  • He explained the highlights of Stay at Home 2.0, (Emergency Order #40) Details are on the State Website and the Town Website.
  • Rockingham County has 240 more cases of COVID-19 than last week. Essex and Middlesex Counties each have 2500-3000 more than last week.
  • Lawrence, Methuen, Haverhill and Lowell have each had 250-300 more cases in the last week.
  • American Legion Honor Guard has canceled Memorial Day Ceremony because of the pandemic.
  • Calls for medical emergencies are down, but they are just as busy, because they clean the ambulances carefully after each run. The hospitals are sterilizing everything.  It is safe to be transported to the hospital and it is safe at the hospital.

Deputy Police Chief Joel Dolan

  • All of the police have PPE, including face shields.
  • There are reoccurring issues at Hedgehog Park.
  • There is a 15% increase in domestic calls.
  • There are fewer road accidents, but there is a huge increase in the severity of the accidents.
  • One police officer was in quarantine from exposure to COVID-19.
  • May 15 is normally the beginning of Police Week. The local memorial and annual award ceremony are canceled. They will honor fallen members via Facebook live.
  • Those who wear a mask when creating a crime will elevate the crime.

Brian Lockard, Salem’s Health Officer

  • Summarization of guidance from Stay at Home 2.0
  • Stay home if you are sick

Dr. Delahanty, Superintendant of Schools

  • May 22 is a professional day. No school.
  • He will make an announcement about soon about transitions for grades 5 and 8. They are working on a process to recognize high school seniors. No large groups may gather on school grounds.
  • They delivered 1200 meals today, and will deliver 1200 meals on Wednesday.
  • This week is Teacher Appreciation Week.

Alternative shelters for the Medical Community.
WMUR has an article about a doctor in Mississippi living in a tent, and another article about a doc in Texas who is living in his kid’s treehouse, to protect their families. It’s not just there. I’m in contact with a local family that is doing something similar. Have an RV that you aren’t using? Put it to good use! RVs4MDs RVShare Read more. And more.

PPE woes
Government and health care officials across the nation are struggling to purchase personal protective equipment from overseas, as many are requiring buyers to pay upfront in cash for masks, gowns, and gloves. The state of New Hampshire has spent millions of dollars on COVID-19, but how much exactly has been spent, or on what, has not yet been shared publicly. Most of NH’s PPE has come with the help of NH inventor, Dean Kamen. Kamen put up the money for the equipment because the state couldn’t “pre-buy” it without inspecting the equipment first. Read more.

Governor Sununu Press Conference

Dr. Chan

  • There were corrections to data entry errors over the weekend.
  • Averaging over 1,000 tests per day.
  • He continues to recommend, and strongly encourages, the wearing of cloth masks.
  • There are no documented transmissions from pets to people

Gov. Sununu

  • Masks
    • Any business that is allowed to be open can get masks for employees and customers.
    • The mask portal for businesses to get masks is open; over the weekend 2,100 businesses asked for masks.
    • The portal can be found at
    • Q: Does he envision requiring masks? “I hope not. … We are on a positive trend.”
  • Assistance for Municipalities
    • $40M from the CARES Act will go to cities, towns, municipalities to recoup COVID-19 related-expenses.
    • Every municipality will get something.
    • Funds cannot be used to fill/backfill revenue shortfalls.
    • Funds can be used for municipal building cleaning and modifications necessary because of COVID-19, social services (shelter, food, utilities related to the COVID-19 crisis), telework costs for remote municipal operations, childcare costs for first responders.
  • Hazard Pay
    • $25M from Federal Cares Act Funding will be used as stipends for 1st responders. For the eight weeks from now through June 30, all full-time police, fire, EMS workers, correction officers, and state troopers will get an additional $300 per week; part-timers will get $150 per week
  • Q: What would it take to reconsider Stay At Home 2.0?
    • A: Hospital beds are currently at 5% or 6% capacity. They are watching the percentage of positive cases as we increase testing, and, more importantly, watching trends; watching for a negative impact on the healthcare system.
  • Q: What about Massachusetts?
    • A: Mass has good hopeful news, but not time to invite them to come to NH. Their numbers and ours will continue to get better.
  • Q: Is there concern about Stay at Home fatigue?
    • A: Of course. The biggest concerns is MA cars coming to NH. That’s the biggest concern. They need to abide by their own Stay at Home Order, just like we do.
    • An increase in tourism, more people at Hampton beaches, would make things much worse.
  • Q: How is the testing going?
    • A: One more week is needed to complete testing of the long-term care facilities in the southern region
  • Q: Request for number of tests given on a daily basis
    • A: Answer results are no available until late in the day.
      • (This wasn’t the answer to the question.)
  • Q: What is the number of tests done in the 5 new locations in the northern part of the state?
    • A: That number is not available today
  • Q: Can we test those who are asymptomatic? (Concern from a reporter about overstressing lab capacity.)
    • A: from Dr. Chan: We are ramping up testing capacity for people with symptoms, any symptom. The goal is to be able to test any person who is asymptomatic, but for now, they are concentrating on those with symptoms and those in high-risk situations, like long-term care facilities.
  • Q: Concern about an increase in cases in the Fall? Dartmouth Hitchock expects Peak in summer or fall?
    • A: We will have to discern between seasonal influenza vs. COVID. We need to build the capacity to be able to test. We can’t loosen too fast, or we will get too many tourists.
  • Q: How are you getting word to businesses re: Stay At Home 2.0?
    • A: The industry associations created the guidance for their industries. They are reaching out to their membership. The BEA website. (That’s New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs. website.  Word of mouth amongst those in the industry.
  • Q: Guidelines for businesses; enforcement?
    • A: These are mandatory guidelines, created by the industries. Stay at Home 2.0 allows some businesses to open, but they don’t have to open if they don’t want to. The guidance is set up to give them time to gear up and get prepared to open. Guidelines are to be reasonably enforced, but not arresting. The citizens of NH understand that they need to follow the guideline to get better results, and we need better results to take additional steps.
  • Q: If there are problems, are they willing to take action? Would they suspend a liquor license if the company isn’t complying?
    • A: They have not defined penalties. It would be done on a case-by-case basis.
  • Q: What was discussed during the call earlier today with the Vice President and other governors?
    • A: They are pushing the testing capacity, increasing the devices and supplies to be able to run tests. FEMA is sending PPE directly to some long-term care facilities. Discussion about how optional medical procedures are moving forward
  • Q: What about dental work vs. medical procedures?
    • A: Dentists can do emergency services.  They are working with dentists, hygienists and oral surgeons to create guidance. PPE is a big concern; some gave their PPE to hospitals and medical personnel. Getting them open again is a priority.
  • Q: Vermont is doing outpatient procedures, testing all personnel, from docs to volunteers. Can we do the same?
    • A: We have the ability to test the staff daily, if warranted, but it is not necessary. Patients are being tested prior to admittance.
  • Q: Request for Map of ACTIVE cases!
    • A: No response.
  • Q: Those over 80 make up 4% of the population, but account for 60% of the fatalities. How does that impact Stay at Home 2.0?
    • A: Dr. Chan:  There is data coming in. Older adults are at increased risk. We need to protect the elderly. Look at it on an individual perspective
  • Q: There have been 4 deaths for those under age 60. The state is in lockdown to protect those with underlying healthcare issues. Can we expand more rapidly?
    • A: We have to look at demographic differences to see how we can adjust Stay at Home 2.0 to account for this.  Geographically would be more trouble than is warranted. If we did it demographically, how would we enforce it? There are indirect consequences.
  • Q: You have said that you want to save money for further emergencies. How much?
    • A: The Governors Office For Emergency Relief and Recovery (GOFERR) and the legislative advisory board have been meeting. He expects their individual recommendations this week or next. Both groups highlighted municipalities, which is why he committed to the $40M for municipalities to use for COVID-19 recovery costs, and $25M for first responders. Every city and town will receive funds from this. Anyone can dial in to listen to these meetings.
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

Find other Salem Government board meetings:

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:

Our Senator, Chuck Morse, can be contacted at 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.”

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:


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


New Hampshire:

New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services:

Office of the Governor:

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)

The World Health Organization:

Media with NH COVID-19 news:



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 Thank you.