CONCORD, NH — While New Hampshire has seen a steady increase in the number of positive test results since bottoming out in mid-August, the positivity rate still remains quite low in the state, according to date from health officials.
For much of June, July, and August, when 2,000 to 4,000 specimens were collected daily, as much as 2.5 to 3 percent of all tests offered a positive result. During the past few months, anywhere from 0.5 to 1.3 percent — anywhere from one-fifth to one-half as much as before, based on 6,000 to 10,000 tests and more than 13,000 tests in early September. Health officials have said that as more people get tested, more positive results will be discovered, while "community-based transmission continues to occur in the state," in all counties.
On Sunday, another 70 new positive test results were announced after 7,076 polymerase chain reaction specimens were submitted to the state Saturday and numbers from previous days this week were revised up. Nearly 900 tests are pending with a positivity rate of 0.7 percent. More than 313,000 Granite Staters, nearly 21 percent of the state, have been tested, and nearly 539,000 tests have been administered. The state reported Sunday that more than 11 percent of children up to 9-years-old in New Hampshire and more than 18 percent of children in the 10 to 19 age group have been tested.
Of the 70 new cases, investigations are still being conducted on three of the cases while 12 were children. A little less than half were female with 15 new cases live in Hillsborough County outside of Manchester and Nashua, 14 reside in Rockingham County, nine live in Merrimack County, and six live in Nashua.
There were no new hospitalizations reported Sunday with 17 currently receiving more extensive care. All of the new cases had identified risk factors.
Approximately 4,100 people are under public health monitoring.
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Nashua has the highest current case count in the state at 110 with Manchester at 105, Bedford at 63, and Warner at 46.
Every other community in the state has less than 30 cases. Concord has 27, Londonderry and Portsmouth have 24, Salem has 23, and Merrimack has 22. Hampton currently has 15 cases. Exeter has 10, Milford has nine, Amherst and North Hampton have eight, and Windham has six.
Another Death In New Hampshire
Another elderly resident, a man from Merrimack County, has died due to or from complications of COVID-19 — bringing fatalities in New Hampshire to 467 people or 5 percent of all cases.
More Cases Connected To Schools
During the weekend, a handful of new schools were listed as having positive test results.
Alvirne High School in Hudson reported its first case; Bow High School reported its third active case; the Christa McAuliffe Elementary School in Concord posted its first case; the Ellis School in Fremont reported its fourth case; Goffstown High School reported three cases — two active and one recovered; the Lyme Elementary School posted its first case; Manchester Memorial School reported another new case; Matthew Thornton Elementary School in Londonderry reported its first case; Newfound Regional High School in Bristol has its first case while Phillips Exeter Academy has a third case.
Currently, there are 100 schools with active cases.
There has been some confusion on cases connected to schools and school activities in New Hampshire with a handful of inaccurate postings as well as some schools not knowing or not realizing that they had cases that were deemed connected to their schools.
Jake Leon, a public information officer with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, said cases reported on the school dashboard were done after health officials conducted a case investigation and the case was confirmed positive.
"The cases are included on the schools dashboard if the infected individual lives in New Hampshire and is both associated with a school (includes both staff and students) and confirmed to have been physically present on campus, or physically participating in group school activities (e.g., sports)," he said.
The numbers may differ from other school-based reporting which can include presumed positive cases of COVID-19 or individuals associated with schools who were never physically present on campus or who live out of state, he added. No cases before Aug. 1 are included.
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.
Guidance to schools can be found can be found here.
Instructions for returning travelers to self-observe for symptoms of COVID-19 are available are available here.
For more information on COVID-19 in NH, visit its site here.
For the latest information from the CDC, visit its site here.
To access the state's COVID-19 data dashboard, click on this link here.
To access the state's COVID-19 Interactive Map Dashboard, click on this link here.
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