New Hampshire Reports Record High Positive COVID-19 Test Results

CONCORD, NH — Gov. Chris Sununu, R-NH, issued a weekend statement Saturday after state health officials reported the highest single day of new COVID-19 positive test results — 205, including 31 children.

The new test results were reported after 7,927 specimens were collected Friday and prior days of tests were updated slightly from previous reports. A little more than 1,100 test results are pending for a polymerase chain reaction test positivity rate of 1.6 percent.

“The situation here in New Hampshire remains very serious, the data shows that community transmission is increasing, and we expect cases to rise,” Sununu said. “We must all remain vigilant in our daily lives. As we enter these winter months, it will be more important than ever to wear your mask, practice social distancing, and maintain proper hand hygiene.”

Nearly a quarter of the new test results, 50, came from Rockingham County with 27 living in Hillsborough County outside of Manchester and Nashua, 19 residing in Nashua, and 13 living in Merrimack.

State officials are still investigating the residency of eight cases.

Fifty-three percent of the new positive test results were female.

The state reported that 42 people are currently hospitalizations while only one of the new cases has no identified risk factors.

Accumulatively, 11,084 people have contracted COVID-19 in New Hampshire with 1,338 currently infected and 9,263, 84 percent, having recovered from the virus.

The State Joint Information Center also announced the 483rd death in the New Hampshire — a woman who was 80 years of age or older and lived in a long-term care setting in Hillsborough County.

More than 345,000 people have been tested for the coronavirus with nearly 617,00 PCR tests being administered by the state and 4,400 people under public health monitoring.

More Possible Restaurant Exposures

Both state and Nashua health officials issued alerts during the past 24 hours about possible restaurant exposure to the public.

Nashua Public Health is investigating potential community exposure related to a person with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis at the Texas Roadhouse on 580 Amherst St. The potential community exposure occurred in the bar area between 3 and 10 p.m. on Oct. 22, and 11 a.m. to close on Oct. 23.

“The health and safety of our staff and customers is our top priority,” Eric Martin, the restaurant’s director of food safety. “We have been following CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting our facility. We follow all reopening guidance for food service establishments from the state.”

Public health is investigating the situation and notifying any known close contacts directly but if you were at the restaurant during those dates, you should self-quarantine, monitor for symptoms — sore throat, congestion, runny nose, headache, muscle ache, fatigue, new loss of taste or smell, fever, cough, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, and get tested.

State health officials said contact tracers were investigating another possible community exposure in Merrill’s Tavern and Stagecoach Grille at the Atkinson Resort & Country Club between 11 a.m. and 11:30 p.m. on Oct. 24, 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Oct. 25, and 4 and 9:45 p.m. on Oct. 26.

“These potential exposure dates are in addition to the exposures in the bar and tavern area of Merrill’s Tavern on Wednesday, Oct. 21, from noon to 7:30 p.m. and Thursday, Oct. 22, from noon to 11:30 p.m.,” the state said Friday.

Health officials have conducted contact investigations on cases associated with this potential community exposure and is notifying known close contacts directly. However, health officials are making this public notification, “because there may be additional individuals at the location during those days and times who were exposed to the coronavirus and should monitor for symptoms and get tested.”

Schools Cases In New Hampshire

Forty-seven K-12 schools in the state have active cases.

While a number of schools during the past 48 hours reported patient recoveries, other schools reported new cases.

Colebrook Academy and Elementary School has its first case; Concord High School reported its third case; Dr. L. F. Soule Elementary School in Salem reported its first case; Exeter High School reported its second case; Newport Middle High School reported its first positive test result; and Plymouth Regional High School reported its second case.

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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

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