CONCORD, NH — New Hampshire health officials, as expected, reported some of the highest new COVID-19 positive test results in months.
On Friday, the State Joint Information Center reported 99 new cases after collecting 7,181 polymerase chain reaction tests Thursday with 1,149 tests still pending. The positivity rate, the state reported, was 0.9 percent.
Part of the reason for the jump, the most cases since May 28 when 104 cases were reported, was due to a few factors, according to Lori Shibinette, the commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. As she said at Thursday’s weekly news conference, 22 PCR tests were delayed from one laboratory. Another 19 antigen tests — tests that were not previously included in reporting data, were also included. Those tests, Shibinette said Thursday, were listed as “probable” positives and since that time, PCR tests have proven that those people were infected.
Shibinette said, from this point forward, health officials would consider antigen positives as pure positives. About 400,000 antigen tests will be used between now and the end of the year at schools, nursing homes, and other places were rapid test results are needed.
Of the 99 cases, 60 were female and 16 were children. Thirty-five live in Manchester while 23 reside in Hillsborough County outside of Manchester and Nashua, 16 live in Nashua, nine live in Rockingham County, and three live in Merrimack County.
There are currently more than 8,500 accumulative cases in the state with 7,636 recoveries — or 89 percent of all cases.
Twenty people are currently hospitalized in New Hampshire. Twelve had no identified risk factors.
“Of those with complete risk information, most of the cases have either had close contact with a person with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis, have recently traveled, or were associated with an outbreak setting,” the state said.
The state has issued nearly 456,000 PCR tests with about 278,000 Granite Staters being tested.
Approximately 2,750 people are under public health monitoring.
New Outbreak Settings
Two new COVID-19 outbreak settings were also reported by the state on Friday.
Bedford Hills Center Genesis, which had a previous outbreak that closed in mid-July after seven deaths, has another outbreak with 33 residents and 15 staffers testing positive and two more deaths.
Also, the Warde Health Center Windham has three residents and one staffer infected.
A third outbreak setting is still active at Mountain View Community in Ossipee with three residents and five staffers testing positive.
New School Cases Reported
Several new positive cases were reported on the state’s school data dashboard in K-12 schools.
The Allenstown Elementary School reported a new case to go along with its first recovered case. The Alton Central Elementary School reported its first case. The Amherst Middle School also reported a new case along with its recovered case. Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro reported its first case while Hopkinton High School also has a new case. Both McKelvie Intermediate School and Riddle Brook Elementary School in Bedford reported new cases. The Cornerstone School, a private school in Stratham, also reported its first case while the Three Rivers School in Pembroke also reported a new case. The Waterville Valley Elementary School also reported its first case while the Woodbury Middle School in Salem also reported its first case and Windham High School reported another new case.
New Hampshire has 27 active school cases.
Colleges and universities also reported a number of new cases including Lakes Region Community College with one case, six new cases at Saint Anselm College to go with six recovered cases, and 32 active cases at UNH in Durham.
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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