CONCORD, NH — State health officials announced Saturday that another 12 people have died due to or related to COVID-19 in New Hampshire.
Two were men who lived in both Belknap and Coos counties while one man lived in Carroll County. Four women and a man resided in Hillsborough County. One man also lived in Merrimack County and another lived in Rockingham County. Nine lived in long-term care settings. Seven were 80 years of age or older and five were between 70 and 79 years of age.
Fatalities in New Hampshire are now at 650.
The state announced 258 residents were currently hospitalized for coronavirus, a little more than a third of all people who have been hospitalized, 886, or 3 percent of all coronavirus infections in New Hampshire.
Officials also reported 676 new positive coronavirus test results in New Hampshire, including 64 children, for a positivity rate of 5.2 percent for polymerase chain reaction tests. About half of the latest tests were found via PCR tests with a little less than half coming from antigen tests.
The tests were found from specimens collected during the past five days — including 38 from Monday, 189 collected Tuesday, 134 cases from Wednesday, 153 patients from Thursday, and 162 from Friday. Slightly more than half were men.
Around 42,000 PCR tests have been administered in New Hampshire during the past five days, the state said.
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The state said 181 of the new positive infections live in Hillsborough County outside of Nashua, 136 reside in Rockingham County, 78 live in Nashua, and 53 live in Merrimack County. The residency of 43 people is still under investigation.
The latest community current case count published on Dec. 19. Source: New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Service
All of the new infections acquired the virus due to being in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis or an outbreak setting.
In New Hampshire, 35,609 people have been infected by the virus while 28,234 or 79 percent have recovered from the virus. The state said 482,947 have been tested via PCR test while 34,245 have been tested via antibody lab tests.
New Hampshire school setting cases for K-12 continue to decline, according to the latest data. There are 58 total active cases connected to a school setting and nearly 1,100 recoveries. Recent new cases in Patch communities include a new positive test result at the Penacook Elementary School.
However, college and university cases have risen to 15 total active cases in the state and 556 recoveries. The University of New Hampshire in Durham has 13 active cases while Plymouth State University has two active cases.
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.