CONCORD, NH — A spike in coronavirus positive test results coming from a town in Merrimack County as well as the most deaths from COVID-19 in New Hampshire since July made for one of the worst one-day reports of data in many months Saturday.
The State Joint Information Center reported five new deaths — two women and two men from Hillsborough County and a man from Belknap County. According to the state’s summary dashboard, four of the fatalities were 80 years of age or older while one was between 70 and 79. Four were also connected to long-term care settings. It was the most deaths reported in a single day since July 1 when six deaths were reported.
In New Hampshire, 455 people have died due to or from complications of COVID-19.
Another 123 new positive test results were also reported Saturday — the highest number of positive cases reported in a single day since May 19. Of the new cases, 102 were polymerase chain reaction and 21 antigen tests. But the positivity rate was also a relatively low 1.2 percent based on 8,137 PCR specimens collected Friday.
“Thirty-five of the new cases are associated with an outbreak at a long-term care facility,” the state said. “There are now 692 current COVID-19 cases diagnosed in New Hampshire. Several cases are still under investigation. Additional information from ongoing investigations will be incorporated into future COVID-19 updates.”
A little more than 100 tests are pending. Thursday’s test count was also upgraded from 9,730 to 10,646 tests. The state has administered 493,109 tests to 292,451 people — 19.4 percent of residents in the Granite State.
Twenty of the new positive test results were children while 53 percent were female. Forty live in Merrimack County, 22 in Rockingham County, 21 in Hillsborough County outside of Manchester and Nashua, 16 in Nashua, and eight in Manchester.
About 30 of the new cases connected to Merrimack County came from Warner which went from five active cases Friday to 35 on Saturday. The boost in the number of cases in Merrimack County pushed the region from minimal to moderate on the state’s community level transmission metrics chart.
All the other county cases were spread out in different communities in each county.
Seven of the cases have on identified risk factors while 21 people are currently hospitalized.
Health officials have 3,150 under monitoring.
A number of K to 12 schools reported new cases in New Hampshire including: The Bernice A. Ray Elementary School in Hanover; three new cases at the David R. Cawley Middle School in Hooksett; another case at the Epping Elementary School; the Hillsboro-Deering High School with its first case; the Mount Prospect Academy in Keene; and the Newport Middle School reporting its first case.
There are 50 active cases of COVID-19 in New Hampshire connected to K-12 schools currently.
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