CONCORD, NH — Another four women connected to long-term care settings in New Hampshire have died due to or related to COVID-19, according to state health officials.
“We offer our sympathies to the family and friends,” the State Joint Information Center said.
The women all lived in Hillsborough County and were all 80 years of age or older. There have now been 482 fatalities in the state.
After collecting nearly another 9,000 specimens Wednesday and other testing counts updated slightly from previous days, another 131 new positive coronavirus test results were found. A little less than 400 tests are pending for a polymerase chain reaction test positivity rate of 1.1 percent. The positive results came from more than 100 PCR tests.
The increase in positive test results has pushed the entire state of New Hampshire into a “substantial” level of transmission — 100 new cases per 100,000 over 14 days.
Of the new tests, 20 were children, slightly more than half were female, and none were hospitalized. Coos, Hillsborough, Merrimack, and Rockingham counties are all in the “red” zone along with Manchester and Nashua, according to the community level transmission metrics. Hospitalizations and seven-day PCR test positivity rates are still “minimal.”
“There are currently 30 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19,” the state said. “This census may include out of state residents hospitalized in NH and/or individuals readmitted to the hospital, therefore increases in the daily hospital census may not always equal the number of new hospitalizations reported in a given day.”
Three of the new cases had no identified risk factors — meaning they did not travel, were not associated with an outbreak setting, and did not have close contact with a person with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis.
Twenty-one of the new test results lived in Rockingham County while 20 each lived in Merrimack County and Hillsborough County outside of Manchester and Nashua. Six people live in Nashua, the report said.
Some are still under investigation.
The state has 4,600 people under public health monitoring.
K-12 school cases continue to diminish in New Hampshire — down to 39 as of Thursday.
Some schools, however, are reporting new cases: Goffstown High School reported its fourth case Thursday; Londonderry Senior High School reported its seventh positive test result; Moultonborough Middle Level reported its first patient; Portsmouth Christian Academy in Dover reported its first case; Winnisquam Regional High School posted its first case; and the Woodbury Middle School in Salem reported its second case.
Stop The Spread Of COVID-19
The COVID-19 virus is spread through respiratory droplets, usually through coughing and sneezing, and exposure to others who are sick or might be showing symptoms.
Health officials emphasize residents should follow these recommendations:
Avoid any domestic and international travel, especially on public transportation such as buses, trains, and airplanes.
Practice social distancing. Stay at least 6 feet from other people, including distancing while in waiting areas or lines.
When you can’t practice 6 feet of social distancing, wear a face covering.
Anyone who is told to self-quarantine and stay at home due to exposure to a person with confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 needs to stay home and not go out into public places.
If you are 60 years or older or have chronic and underlying health conditions, you need to stay home and not go out.
Avoid gatherings of 10 people or more.
Employers should work from home as much as possible.
There is increasing evidence that the virus can survive for hours or possibly days on surfaces. People should clean frequently touched surfaces, including door handles, grocery carts and grocery basket handles, etc.
Take the same precautions as you would if you were sick:
Stay home and avoid public places.
Wear a face covering.
Cover mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing.
Wash hands frequently.
Disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
More information from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services about coronavirus can be found here on the department’s website.
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This article originally appeared on the Concord Patch