COVID-19 Update May 6

COVID-19 Update May 6

Salem: 178 confirmed cases, 94 cases are still active.

Salem only saw a small increase today, with 3 more people finding out that they have COVID-19. 60 people out of every 10,000 Salem residents have been diagnosed. 84 of the Salem cases have been told that they have recovered.

Today we learned that 19 more NH residents, including 6 females and 6 males from Rockingham County, have died from COVID-19, making it the worst day since we lost our first victim. All 19 were over 60, and were residents of long-term care facilities. 84 of the 111 deaths to date were residents of long-term care facilities, including 10 from the Residence at Salem Woods and 3 from Salemhaven.

12 more people have been hospitalized today, although the total number of current hospitalizations is now slightly lower than yesterday’s all-time high. 11% of all cases in NH have been hospitalized; 37% of those people who have been hospitalized are still in the hospital.

41% of those who have been diagnosed in NH have recovered; 55% are still fighting this disease.

It was nice to see that the state is now providing information about the number of total cases AND active cases by town.

It’s a sad day for the families of those 19 patients that lost their life today. Hug your loved one. Then hug them again. Stay safe, and, always, be kind.

Key points covered below in today’s report:

  • Issues with some of the data from the State Joint Information Center.
  • Issues with some of my data
  • Some N.H. emergency child care centers are closing due to a lack of demand.
  • Kids are falling ill with a baffling ailment which might be related to COVID-19.
  • AMC huts
  • Economic Reopening Task Force
  • My take on the Governor’s Press Conference (which I finished watching at 1:30 a.m.!)

Click on the calendar to enlarge
https://www.bonnie4salem.us/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/may6-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 6 May 5Change from yesterday
Total Confirmed Cases2,7402,636+104
Recovered 1,11041% (was 42%)
1,195+5
Deaths Attributed to COVID-19
1114% 92+19
Active Cases1,5191,439+80
Total Hospitalized30711%295+12
Current Hospitalized113115-2
Tested Negative26,06625,097+969
Persons with specimens submitted to NH PHL11,17410,619+555
Persons with test pending at NH PHL34579+266
Being Monitored (Approximate) 2,9002,875+25
Total Tested (Confirmed Cases + Tested Negative)28,80627,733+1,073

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

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

  • Manchester: 603 (+35 from yesterday); 54 per 10K residents
  • Nashua: 252 (+10 from yesterday); 28* per 10K residents
  • Derry: 236; (+5); 79 cases per 10K residents
  • Salem: 178 (+3); 60 cases per 10K residents
  • Londonderry: 85 (-1???); 32 cases per 10K residents
  • Dover: 77 (+3); 24 cases per 10K residents
  • Bedford: 82 (18); 36 cases per 10K.
  • Concord: 57 (+1); 13* cases pr 10K
  • Hudson: 58 (+2); 23* cases per 10K
  • Franklin: 52 (+3); 60 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): 1,252 (+71); 30 per 10K residents
  • Rockingham (inc. Salem & Derry): 903 (+15); 29 per 10K

These two counties make up about 79% of all confirmed cases in NH.

Our neighboring towns:

  • Methuen: 649 (+17); 257 recovered (+9). 31 deaths (+0); 128* confirmed cases per 10K residents
  • Lawrence: 1,976 (+59). 86 deaths (4); 246 cases per 10K residents
  • Haverhill: 600 cases (April 29), up 215 from April 23. 94* cases per 10K.

*Case per 10K changed due to population errors

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

Issues with some of the data from the State Joint Information Center. 

On Monday I asked for verification of certain bits of data, which didn’t make sense. I have not heard had a satisfactory report to my Freedom of Information request from the Dept of Health and Human Services / State Joint Information Center regarding the errors and discrepancies that I have found in their reports. They sent me two emails today. The first one said, “On Monday, we determined that there was a data entry error over the weekend, which affected the negative test results figure. This was announced at Monday’s press conference, and the data has since been corrected. Our apologies for the confusion.” The number of New confirmed tests, minus deaths, minus recovered should equal the total number of active cases. That number is off by 90. I resent my first request and was told that I had been given a response, and then “Your request for information has been forwarded to our legal team for review. You can anticipate a response within 5 business days.”

I would like to feel more comfortable with the numbers they have given us. Even today, I find more errors. The difference in confirmed cases from yesterday today, based on the numbers they reported, is 104, but they announced 108 cases. Londonderry is reported as 85 cumulative cases today, but they had 86 yesterday. A cumulative total can’t go down! In one place in today’s numbers, they are showing the number for Manchester’s confirmed cases like 602, in another place, it’s 603. These are minor issues, and not worthy reporting, but when I can easily find three errors in their data for today, it concerns me. What other errors could there be that I can’t find?

Issues with some of my data

Thanks to Joel Vendt for pointing out a discrepancy in the number of cases per 10K for Hudson. I had used Hudson’s population from a website called suburbanstats, which said their population was 7,336. I found census records for 2018, which has their population as 25,559. I have readjusted my numbers to reflect that. This brings their rate from 55 per 10K down to 23 per 10K.

I rechecked the population count that I’ve been using for every town that I’ve been tracking, using the 2018 Census numbers. I found similar issues with a few other towns, especially Concord and Nashua NH, and Methuen and Haverhill MA; and minor discrepancies in other NH towns. These corrections will affect the rates per 10K for these towns.

I’m not sure that this is totally my fault, but I erred, and I’m willing to admit it. I apologize for any confusion this may have caused.

Some N.H. emergency child care centers are closing due to a lack of demand.

As of May 1, more than 300 child care programs statewide have been designated as emergency providers to help support the children and families of essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to low volume, some have had to close. It’s based on demand. Some will reopen when the businesses reopen, and the need returns.  Read more.

Kids are falling ill with a baffling ailment which might be related to COVID-19.

It’s not NH news, but concerning enough that I felt it should be shared. This new issue is similar to Kawasaki disease or toxic shock syndrome; experts say it is too early to determine whether or not there is a direct link between the virus that causes COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) and Kawasaki disease, although there are appears to be a connection. It’s happening in Europe (France, England, and Spain). It’s happening in NYC, too, affecting at least 15 kids.

AMC huts

The eight high-mountain huts, near the 4,000 footer mountains, which are operated by the Appalachian Mountain Club will not open for the rest of the year. Most of the other AMC facilities will reopen no sooner than July 1, with new safety protocols in place.

Economic Reopening Task Force

Requests from gyms to reopen with certain restrictions by May 18. Tourism is hoping to add outdoor activities like zip lines and mini-golf this month, and a phased opening of places like Canobie Lake Park, with a soft opening in the next month and a half. Read more.

Governor’s Press Conference

Long-term Care Facilities  (LTC)

  • Long-term care facilities have had major issues: 78% of the COVID-19 deaths in NH have been at long-term care facilities.
  • In the past three weeks, 1,000 long-term residents and 5,000 staff have been tested.
  • NH has done 4,200 tests in 19 facilities, resulting in 93 positive results. [5,000 or 4,200?)
  • NH has received federal testing supplies easier swabs for more comfortable, non-invasive testing.
  • Over the next two weeks, these swabs will be sent to long-term care facilities, enabling them to do their own tests, and send to state public health lab.
  • Baseline of all residents who have not tested positive.
  • Sentinel surveillance: Every week 10% of the LTC facilities will test 10% of the resident population
  • Serial testing: 7-9 mobile testing units will visit nursing homes to continue testing staff. The goal is to have every LTC employee tested every 7-10 days.
  • Read more about nursing home deaths here.

Online portal

  • A new portal has been set up to allow anyone to schedule a COVID-19 test.
  • Anyone with symptoms or underlying conditions, healthcare workers or anyone over 60 can schedule their own test at one of the five locations in Tamworth, Claremont, Plymouth, Rochester or Lancaster.
  • Tests can be done, regardless of insurance.
  • Testing for those without insurance will be covered by Medicaid.
  • Medicaid will only cover testing for COVID-19, not treatment.
  • Go to NH.gov or call 603-271-5980
  • Those who are close to any one of 11 ConvenientMD centers can go to one of those locations. (Bedford, Belmont, Concord, Dover, Keene, Merrimack, Nashua, Portsmouth, Stratham, and Windham, NH, or Newburyport, MA.

The Emergency Child Care Collaborative

  • 265 centers are taking care of 5,300 kids whose parents are part of the essential workforce.
  • These facilities still have 1500+ spots available
  • There are 100 more centers that are available if there is demand.
  • $500,000 was given to these facilities.

Dental care

  • The governor’s GOFERR team is working to reopen dental offices for routine patient care.
  • A plan has been approved by members of GOFERR, and will be delivered to the governor soon.
  • Proposed plan calls for N95 masks for dental personnel; screening for patients and testing for dental staff.
  • No cosmetic work would be allowed in the first step, but orthodontic work would be permitted soon.

Q: Protecting businesses from lawsuits from employers?

  • National issue. Some businesses don’t want to open because of fear of being sued. NH is looking into it.

Q: How do you separate what happens at LTC facility from other things as they opening up?

  • Guidelines have been approved by the industries
  • No expectation of an increase in community-based transmission

Q: If community spread changes, will we have enough equipment if all efforts are on LTC facilities?

  • We are doing much more than LTC facilities.
  • The new test is easier, makes it more appealing to people to want to be tested.
  • [Question was not really answered]

Q: Have you done enough to protect the vulnerable population? And there are claims that the contract with Convenient MD should be canceled. They aren’t doing a good job. They received the contract because the owner is a big political donor to Sununu’s campaign.

  • Convenient MD has been a terrific partner.
  • We can never do enough. We are getting to the point where we can do more.
  • I’m not dealing with political questions.

Q: Weekly info has not been updated since April 27? Will it be out soon? Will it include demographics like other states? Portsmouth Health Officer says standard for restaurants aren’t sufficient, and Portsmouth restaurants don’t want to open. Salem is considering a mandatory mask law. Thoughts?

  • Weekly report was published last week, next will be released today or tomorrow. [Note: There is nothing on the site since April 27.]
  • No new categories, but there will be a daily dashboard sometime soon.
  • Anyone questioning the health and safety guidelines, they can talk to Public Health. Guidelines are adequate. Towns can take additional steps; they have that right during a public health emergency.

Q: NH has highest of total death of people in congregate living situations of all states

  • Not number, it’s the percentage.
  • We have taken aggressive steps for testing

Q: How do you consider if death is COVID-related death

  • Contributing cause of death
  • To verify: Physicians statement or death certificate
  • Most have had a diagnosis

Q: Businesses want to open, can’t get workers?

  • Provide guidance, PPE
  • Encourage to get off unemployment

Stipends to first volunteers? What about doctors, nurses, grocery store workers?

  • We can take more steps. GOFERR will look into it.
  • Opportunities for a lot of money

Canobie Lake Park – Story Land: Soft opening in 1.5 months?

  • Not impossible. They are bread and butter of the State. They count on a lot of people in a tight place. Lots of touching. Not conducive to social distancing.
  • If we don’t open smart, it will be much worse in the long-term

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.