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New Hampshire COVID-19 cases at 65

By Staff | Mar 22, 2020

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu announces a series of emergency orders on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Concord, N.H., in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The orders create immediate access to unemployment benefits for residents unable to work or facing reduced hours due to the new coronavirus pandemic. He also took steps to protect people from being evicted or having utilities shut off in the next few weeks. (AP photo/Holly Ramer)

CONCORD – On Saturday, the state Department of Health and Human Services announced 10 new positive test results for COVID-19. There have now been 65 cases diagnosed in New Hampshire.

The new cases are all adults, including five males and five females. County or city of residences are Rockingham (5), Grafton (1), Manchester (1), Hillsborough County other than Manchester and Nashua (1), Merrimack (1) and Strafford (1).

This is the first positive case of COVID-19 identified in Strafford County.

Six of the cases have either had travel to domestic or international locations or have had close contact with a person with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis. Four of the cases, including in Rockingham and Hillsborough counties, have no identified risk factors, indicating additional community-based transmission of COVID-19 in New Hampshire.

Community-based transmission has been identified in Carroll, Cheshire, Grafton, Hillsborough, Merrimack and Rockingham counties and the city of Manchester. One new case is hospitalized; thus far, three patients out of the 65 positive cases (5%) have been hospitalized. The other new cases are isolating at home.

SENATOR’S HUSBAND TESTS POSITIVE

State Sen. Martha Fuller Clark, D-Portsmouth, released information Saturday that her husband, Dr. Geoffrey Clark, has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a Senate news release.

While she is at risk, she has not yet experienced symptoms, the release said. To the extent members of the public were in close contact with Sen. Fuller Clark between March 7 and March 15, they should follow the below state guidelines to protect themselves and others:

• Division of Public Health Services Self-Quarantine Guide: https://www.nh.gov/covid19/residents/documents/self-quarantine-covid.pdf

• Division of Public Health Services Self-Observation Guide: https://www.nh.gov/covid19/residents/documents/self-observation-covid.pdf

“While my husband is feeling under the weather, his symptoms are not critical, and we have been in self-isolation since Tuesday,” Fuller Clark said.

“After my husband received the positive test result today, we felt it was our responsibility to inform the public so that others may take the necessary precautions to self-observe and self-quarantine as necessary,” she said.

One person who is also self-isolating at home as a result is state Sen. Dr. Tom Sherman, D-Rye.

Sherman said he is self-isolating now until Friday because he drove Fuller Clark to Concord one day during the period in question and is following the recommended guidelines.

Sherman, a gastroenterologist, said he is busier than usual trying to help constituents by phone and email.

URGENT ACTION REQUESTED

New Hampshire’s governor and the four members of its congressional delegation are urging President Donald Trump to take additional action to get critical medical supplies to the state.

In a letter they made public Saturday, Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, Democratic Sens. Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen, and U.S. Reps. Annie Kuster and Chris Pappas thanked Trump for his announcement that he would use the Defense Production Act to expand domestic manufacturing of critical medical supplies.

The letter to the president came as the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services changed its recommendations for who should be tested for COVID-19, focusing on people who could be at highest risk.

The intent of the testing changes is to preserve the state’s inventory of the materials needed to care for patients who will develop severe COVID-19 illness, as well as exposed health care providers and exposed first responders.

The governor and the delegation urged Trump to begin distributing existing materials from the National Strategic Stockpile while domestic production ramps up.

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms such as fever and cough, and the vast majority recover. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.

More than 65 people have tested positive in New Hampshire for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Three people have been hospitalized.

HANDMADE MASKS

New Hampshire’s largest hospital is encouraging volunteers to sew face masks for patients, visitors and staff so that medical-grade protective equipment can be conserved for front-line health care workers.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center is preparing kits with fabric and elastic for pickup and has set up a website with directions on how to sew the masks based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Donations can be dropped off either at the hospital’s service center warehouse in Lebanon or at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock clinic in Manchester. The masks will be sanitized and distributed throughout the Dartmouth-Hitchcock health system in New Hampshire and Vermont.

Kristin Roth, the hospital’s director of volunteer services, says the nearly 500 people who typically volunteer at the facility have been eager to step up.

“We were being inundated with questions about, ‘How can I help?'” she said Saturday.

Businesses also are helping. F.H. Clothing Co. in Quechee, Vermont, plans to start making masks on Monday.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This content is being provided for free as a public service to our community during the coronavirus outbreak. Please support local journalism by subscribing to The Telegraph at https://home.nashuatelegraph.com/clickshare/checkDelivery.do;jsessionid=40C089D96583CD7318C1C1D9317B6162.

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