State health official: Colleges contribute to rise in COVID-19 cases

Anika Clark, The Keene Sentinel, N.H.
·2 min read

Feb. 20—New Hampshire health officials Thursday announced two more COVID-19-related deaths, along with 461 more positive tests for the viral disease.

The latest reported deaths involved women from Hillsborough County and Rockingham County, both of them 60 or older.

The 461 positives included 26 from Cheshire County, seven from Sullivan County, 57 from parts of Hillsborough County outside Manchester and Nashua and 16 for which the county of residence was still being determined.

According to State Epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan, 141 of the 461 newly announced cases are associated with colleges and universities.

Keene and Rindge, both college towns, are leading the Monadnock Region in number of active cases, according to Thursday's data. Home to a state college, Keene is listed as having 47 active cases of COVID-19 while Rindge, home to Franklin Pierce University, is listed as having 36.

Statewide, 72,399 people have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began, about 94 percent (68,201 people) of whom have recovered, according to the latest data available from the N.H. Department of Health and Human Services. The deaths of about 2 percent (1,150 people) have been attributed to COVID-19.

About 4 percent (3,048 people) have active infections. Current cases include 143 in Cheshire County, 67 in Sullivan County, 400 in parts of Hillsborough County outside Manchester and Nashua, and 57 for which the county of residence was not yet known.

The state listed most area towns with under 10 active cases each as of Thursday. Keene and Rindge are exceptions, along with Jaffrey and New Ipswich which are listed with 14 cases each.

The current PCR test positivity rate was listed at 3.2 percent. State health officials don't provide the positivity rate for antigen testing in their daily updates.

As of Thursday morning, 126 people were in New Hampshire hospitals for COVID-19.