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Nashua Board Of Health Recommends Curfew In Response To COVID-19

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Daniela Allee, NHPR
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The Nashua Board of Health is recommending the city impose a curfew in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The 9:30 pm curfew would prohibit indoor activities at businesses including bars, restaurants and clubs. Takeout would be allowed to continue.

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Nashua has one of the state's highest rates of COVID-19 cases, and public health officials there say COVID-19 hospitalization and death rates are on the rise.

Nashua alderman Tom Lopez said a curfew was the least the city could do, given the mounting crisis.

"I don't think the public fully grasps that we are in the emergency, versus maybe looking at it further down the road,” he said.

But some business owners who rely on late-night crowds say the curfew would cripple them. Others point to recent data suggesting that the majority of coronavirus transmission is occurring in family and household gatherings, rather than businesses.

Doctors on the Board of Health said the curfew would not replace other public health measures, but they warned of a total shutdown if people didn’t begin to take the coronavirus more seriously. 

“When you’re on the front line writing death certificates because of COVID-related illness or working in the ER’s or the NICU where I work and seeing all this, it’s front and center," said Dr. Charles Cappetta. “The question is: How can we start showing people that we’re taking this seriously? This is one effort to do that.”

It isn't clear when the full Board of Aldermen may take up the proposal, though the Board of Health recommended they have an emergency meeting this week.

Sarah Gibson joined NHPR's newsroom in 2018. She reports on education and demographics.

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