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Coronavirus Blog: Earlier Updates (Dec. 1 through Dec. 31)

Manchester nurse administering COVID-19 vaccine in Manchester - photo
Jordyn Haime / NHPR
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This post gathers NHPR's past updates on coronavirus in New Hampshire in December 2020.

NOTE: Some of the stories below may contained outdated guidance and stories that have since evolved. Please click the links below for the most up-to-date coverage and guidance. 

Earlier updates:

New data on how vaccines allocated

Update: Thursday, Dec. 31, 7:01 p.m.

The state has released new data about how COVID-19 vaccines are being allocated.

Of the over 64,000 doses that have arrived in New Hampshire, about a third have actually been administered to high-risk health care workers, first responders, and people associated with long-term care facilities.

That means that about 18 percent of the state's highest-risk population has been vaccinated so far. The state says it hopes to have all of them immunized with at least the first of the two shots by the end of January.

According to the CDC, New Hampshire was expecting almost a hundred thousand more doses than have arrived so far, a proportion similar to other states, as Operation Warp Speed has rolled out slower than anticipated.

Another 17,000 shots are expected to arrive next week.

- Jordyn Haime

N.H. reports 18 more deaths, 848 new cases

Update: Thursday, Dec. 31, 5:44 p.m.

State health officials announced 18 additional COVID-19 deaths on Thursday, bringing the 2020 death toll from the virus to 759 residents.  Of the fatalities, 233 were in December alone.

There were 848 new infections reported, 5,919 active cases statewide, and 317 people in the hospital due to the virus. The hospitalization number is the highest count in New Hampshire to date.

Of the new cases, 118 were residents under the age of 18.

Since March, the state of New Hampshire has confirmed 44,028 coronavirus cases.

- NHPR Staff

New order expands temporary LNA licensure

Update: Thursday, Dec. 31, 10:45 a.m.

Yesterday, Governor Chris Sununu issued Emergency Order #78, authorizing certain military service members and EMTs to obtain temporary licensure as licensed nursing assistants, as the state plans its vaccine rollout.

For what we know so far about the coronavirus vaccine in N.H., read the story here. We will continue to update as we learn more.
 
In a statement, Governor Chris Sununu said, “This Emergency Order provides yet another tool to ensure that health care providers across the Granite State are able to maintain workforce and continue to provide quality care as we distribute the COVID-19 vaccines…By allowing current or former military service members and emergency medical technicians who have met New Hampshire’s requirements to temporarily work as licensed nursing assistants, we are providing yet another tool to combat this pandemic as it draws to a close. The light at the end of the tunnel is within sight.”

The state has reported more than 500 new cases per day since December 2.
 
This Order follows Emergency Order #75, issued on December 10, 2020, which authorized certain nursing students to obtain temporary licensure.

- NHPR Staff

2 inmates at Valley Street Jail test positive

Update: Wednesday, Dec. 30, 6:29 p.m.

At least two inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 in the state's largest county jail, in Manchester.

The superintendent of the Valley Street Jail told County Commissioners Wednesday that several staff have also tested positive for the virus, though he did not provide details.

Superintendent Willie Scurry says the facility is testing an entire unit of inmates who may have been exposed, and they expect those test results within a week.

- Sarah Gibson

594 new infections, 6 additional deaths

Update: Wednesday, Dec. 30, 5:27 p.m.

Six additional Granite Staters have died from the coronavirus.

The state Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday that five of the deceased were older than 60, and one resident, from Strafford County, was younger than 60. DHHS did not provide any more information regarding the deaths, beyond their county of residence. The other deaths were from Hillsborough, Belknap, and Merrimack counties.

The COVID-19 death toll in New Hampshire is now 741. 

The state also reported 594 new infections Wednesday, 5,762 active cases statewide, and 306 hospitalizations.

- NHPR Staff

Suspension of interstate youth hockey extended

Update: Wednesday, Dec. 30, 4:07 p.m.

The suspension of interstate youth hockey competition will be extended until at least Jan. 31, according to a statement released today from seven governors of Northeastern states.

The suspension is for public and private schools, as well as youth hockey leagues.

The prohibition will not impact interstate collegiate, professional, or U.S. national team hockey activities, which remain subject to existing health and safety protocols and restrictions, according to the governors.

The suspension was scheduled to expire Dec. 31 in response to coronavirus outbreaks with youth hockey play. The joint announcement comes from N.H. Gov. Chris Sununu, Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker, Maine Gov. Janet Mills, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, R.I. Gov. Gina Raimondo, and N.J. Gov. Phil Murphy.

- NHPR Staff

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More vaccines arrive in NH, few details available

Update: Wednesday, Dec. 30, 12:23 p.m.

Another 19,000 coronavirus vaccines arrived in New Hampshire this week - but detailed and up-to-date information about how many people have gotten their shots, and where this batch is going, hasn't been made publicly available.

Other states, including Vermont, Massachusetts and Maine, are offering detailed information on their state websites about where and to which groups the vaccine is being administered. Many other states are reporting daily updates to their vaccine administration totals.

New Hampshire health officials said the state would be offering more detailed information to the public early this week, but that information hasn't been made available yet.

- Jordyn Haime

20 additional deaths announced in N.H.

Update: Tuesday, Dec. 29, 5:11 p.m.

The state announced 20 additional deaths due to COVID-19 and 1,029 new infections.

Hillsborough County had 10 of the fatalities. The other fatalities were: four residents from Strafford County, three from Rockingham County, two from Belknap County, and one from Merrimack County. All the deceased were older than 60, according to state public health officials.

Since the pandemic began, 735 Granite Staters have died from the virus and the state has confirmed 42,697 coronavirus infections. 

As of Tuesday, 295 people were hospitalized and there are 5,883 active cases statewide. 

Of the new cases reported Tuesday, 435 are from Dec. 27 and 484 from Dec. 28. Test results from previous days continue to be processed.

- NHPR Staff

N.H. COVID deaths total 715

Update: Monday, Dec. 28, 5:21 p.m.

There were another seven deaths reported Monday night, bringing New Hampshire's total number of deaths from the virus to 715.

The residents were all over 60. The only other information the state immediately released about the deceased were their home counties: two from Grafton, two from Hillsborough, two from Strafford, and one person from Rockingham.

The state Department of Health and Human Services also announced 861 new COVID-19 infections. Based on available investigations, most of the new cases are either associated with an outbreak setting or have had close contact with a person known to have the coronavirus.

As of Monday night, 269 residents are hospitalized due to the virus, and there are 5,508 active cases statewide.

- NHPR Staff

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891 new cases, 7 additional deaths announced

Update: Sunday, Dec. 27, 5:49 p.m.

New Hampshire health officials reported seven deaths and 891 new COVID-19 infections on Sunday.

There are currently 6,994 active cases statewide and 270 residents hospitalized due to the virus.

The state also reports that more than 503,000 people have been tested for the coronavirus via the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests.

- NHPR Staff

N.H. announces 11 additional deaths

Update: Saturday, Dec. 26, 5:33 p.m.

The state on Saturday announced 11 additional COVID-19 deaths and 1,031 new infections.

New Hampshire has recorded 701 deaths and confirmed nearly 40,000 coronavirus cases since the pandemic began. The 11 deaths reported Saturday are residents from Hillsborough, Merrimack and Rockingham counties; all were older than 60.

There are 6,119 active cases statewide and 277 current hospitalizations.

The new cases announced Saturday include 562 new cases from Dec. 23 and 280 new cases from Dec. 24. Some test results from previous days are still being processed, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

- NHPR Staff

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13 additional N.H. COVID-19 deaths

Update: Thursday, Dec. 24, 4:06 p.m.

An additional 13 people have died from COVID-19 in New Hampshire, state health officials announced Thursday.

The deceased were all over the age of 60, and included residents of Belknap, Hillsborough, and Merrimack counties.

About 300 people remain hospitalized with COVID-19 in the state. There are currently roughly 6,000 active cases of the illness in New Hampshire.

Since the pandemic began, there have been 690 COVID deaths and 38,902 confirmed coronavirus cases in the Granite State.

- NHPR Staff

21 more deaths, record hospitalizations in New Hampshire

Update: Wednesday, Dec. 23, 3:45 p.m.

New Hampshire health officials today reported 21 deaths from COVID-19, tying December 16th as the highest number of deaths announced in a single day. Of the new deaths, nine patients were female, and twelve were male.

So far, 677 of the state's residents have died from the coronavirus.

Sign up for NHPR's Coronavirus Newsletter to get near-daily updates in your inbox

The state also announced 571 new coronavirus infections, including 63 individuals under the age of 18. The new cases span all ten of New Hampshire's counties. 

Hospitalizations from the virus have reached a record level, at 305. The hospitalization rate of COVID-19 patients in New Hampshire is two percent. 

- NHPR Staff

Leaders look to build trust in the COVID vaccine

Update: Wednesday, Dec. 23 3:10 a.m.

As the COVID-19 vaccine rolls out in New Hampshire, local leaders are looking for ways to build community trust in the vaccine.

Dr. Marie-Elizabeth Ramas, a family physician in Nashua, recently started The Lighthouse NH. It's a grassroots effort to get more public heath information to disadvantaged groups. She'll host the organization's first event Saturday evening, a Facebook live stream about the COVID-19 vaccine in communities of color.

People of color have been disproportionately represented in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in New Hampshire, but are more hesitant to get vaccinated. That's likely due to a long history of medical racism. But Ramas, and researchers, say it's likely they can be swayed by a trusted source, like a local community leader, or a primary care doctor.

- Jordyn Haime

Students, Teachers To Get Priority In COVID Testing

Update: Tuesday, Dec. 22, 10:05 p.m.

The state will prioritize COVID testing for students, teachers and school staff when the school year resumes after winter break.

Many New Hampshire schools have closed for the holidays and plan to conduct classes remotely for several weeks into 2021.

At a press conference Tuesday, Gov. Chris Sununu said, when they do return to class, staff and students with COVID symptoms will be able to get an appointment for a test within 24 hours.

“We just want to make sure that students that may require a test to get back into school aren’t being held back, three, four, five, six days or even a week, while awaiting those results,” Sununu said. “We want to make sure those kids can get back into class as quickly as possible.”

For information on testing sites, go to nh.gov/covid19 and click on "Get Tested."

-NHPR staff

State provides new details on vaccine distribution

Update: Tuesday, Dec. 22, 5:35 p.m.

State health officials today announced new details about plan to vaccinate the most high-risk people in New Hampshire.

So far, over eight thousand front line healthcare workers have been vaccinated against COVID-19, and the state received a shipment of around thirty-two thousand more doses this week.

Many of those have been allocated to long-term care facilities, which started immunizing patients and staff this week, and for ambulatory workers and first responders, who are scheduled to get their shots starting next week at clinics and mobile sites around the state.

Another eighteen thousand vaccines are expected to arrive next week. State officials are hoping for more doses as new vaccines become available.

- Jordyn Haime

Outbreak at Berlin prison

The New Hampshire Department of Corrections is reporting 75 active COVID-19 cases among inmates at the Northern New Hampshire Correctional Facility in Berlin. The cases are the latest in a series of outbreaks in jails and prisons across the state this month.

The state's latest numbers show 121 active cases among inmates at the New Hampshire State Prison for men in Concord, a decline in confirmed active cases since last week.

There are no active cases reported at the state's correctional facility for women.

- Sarah Gibson

More performance venues closing during surge

Update: Tuesday, Dec. 22, 5:00 p.m.

More of New Hampshire's live performance venues are pausing shows, citing concerns over the surge of COVID-19 cases in the state.

The Capital Center for the Arts says it is canceling shows through the end of February. In Portsmouth, The Music Hall says it was pause in-person events for six weeks after the New Year.

Other venues making changes include the Tupelo Music Hall, which is remaining closed temporarily.

The new federal relief package contains funding to support live performance venues. 

- Todd Bookman

624 new COVID-19 cases, four new outbreaks announced

Update: Tuesday, Dec. 22, 3:45 p.m.

New Hampshire health officials announced 624 new COVID-19 infections on Tuesday, and no new patient deaths. According to state epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan, New Hampshire's test positivity rate is holding steady at around 9.1%. 

Current active cases in New Hampshire number 6,485, with 297 patients hospitalized with the virus. So far, 656 residents have died from the virus, including 52 in the last week, Chan said.

Chan also said that in order to mitigate the spread of the virus, the state is encouraging anyone who has symptoms, no matter how mild, get tested for the coronavirus.

Four new outbreaks announced

The Department of Health and Human Services reported four new outbreaks at residential facilities Tuesday, at: Golden View Health Care Center in Meredith, Keystone Hall/Harbor Care in Nashua, the Northern New Hampshire Correctional Facility in Berlin, and Wentworth Senior Living in Portsmouth.

- NHPR Staff

Twenty-four thousand doses of Moderna vaccine arriving tomorrow

Update: Monday, Dec. 21, 5:55 p.m.

The state of New Hampshire is expecting to receive over twenty-four thousand doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine tomorrow (Tuesday). Moderna’s vaccine, which is being partially produced in Portsmouth, was recently approved for emergency use by the FDA.

New Hampshire also received close to 9,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine Monday, fewer than originally expected. Those doses are all going to the state’s most vulnerable residents, including health care workers. Long term care facilities will begin distributing shots to their residents and staff this week.

So far, almost 2,000 people in New Hampshire have gotten a COVID-19 vaccine. The state aims to have 100,000 people immunized by the end of January.

- Jordyn Haime

No deaths reported Monday; 847 new infections announced

Update: Monday, Dec. 21, 4:40 p.m.

New Hampshire reported 847 new cases of the coronavirus Monday, with active cases across the state now numbering 6,688.

No new deaths were announced Monday, a break from several consecutive days with multiple deaths reported, including 21 over the weekend.

656 New Hampshire residents have died from COVID-19, and more than 37,000 have tested positive for the virus. 

There are currently 278 Granite Staters hospitalized with the coronavirus.

- NHPR Staff

Nine more Granite Staters die from COVID-19

Update: Sunday, Dec. 20, 3:35 p.m.

State health officials announced Sunday that six more New Hampshire residents have died from COVID-19, bringing the state's death toll since the start of the pandemic to 656. The patients who died were residents of Hillsborough, Rockingham, and Merrimack counties. 

The Department of Health and Human Services also reported 947 new positive test results for the coronavirus, bringing total active New Hampshire cases to 6,908. 

261 residents are currently hospitalized with the virus.

- NHPR Staff

N.H. announces 12 additional COVID-19 deaths

Update: Saturday, Dec. 19, 5:26 p.m.

Twelve additional residents have died due to the coronavirus, state health officials announced Saturday. 

The state reported 676 new infections and 6,725 active cases statewide. There are 258 people hospitalized with the virus.

The results reported Saturday include new results confirmed for previous days: 38 on Dec. 14, 189 on Dec. 15, 134 on Dec. 16, 153 on Dec. 17, and 162 on Dec. 18.

Since the pandemic began, New Hampshire has recorded 650 COVID-19 deaths and confirmed 35,609 positive test results.

- NHPR Staff

Currier Museum to temporarily close

Update: Saturday, Dec. 19, 12:41 p.m.

The Currier Museum of Art in Manchester is closing after this weekend due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The museum will stay closed until at least mid January in hopes of slowing the spread of the disease.

The Currier will remain accessible digitally, and work to expand its virtual reach this winter. It will still be celebrating the New Year with its family-friendly "Noon Year's Eve" event, which this year will be digital only.

- NHPR Staff

Nine more residents die from COVID-19, state announces

Update: Friday, Dec. 18, 7:05 p.m.

Nine more New Hampshire residents have died as a result of the coronavirus, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. The new deaths bring the state's total since the start of the pandemic to 638.

State health officials also announced 697 new COVID-19 infections. The new cases span every New Hampshire county, and include 71 patients under the age of 18. 273 New Hampshire residents are currently hospitalized with the virus.

- NHPR Staff

4 more deaths, 872 new COVID-19 cases in New Hampshire

Update: Thursday, Dec. 17, 3:20 p.m.

State health officials announced four more deaths of New Hampshire residents as a result of COVID-19 Thursday, bringing the state's total deaths to 629 since the start of the pandemic. Three of the deaths were associated with outbreaks at long-term care facilities.

The state also announced 872 newly-identified coronavirus infections. In the past week, New Hampshire has averaged around 8,000 COVID tests per day, with a positivity rate of about 9%. There are currently 6,928 active infections across the state, and 284 patients are hospitalized with the virus.

New institutional outbreaks announced

New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services commissioner Lori Shibinette announced eight new institutional outbreaks Thursday, at: The Arbors of Bedford, Clipper Harbor nursing home in Portsmouth, Community Bridges in Concord, Country Village Center/Genesis HealthCare in Lancaster, Harris Hill Center in Concord, Mount Prospect Academy in Hampton, the Merrimack County Jail and the Strafford County Jail.

Four outbreaks were reported as closed by the state. 

Vaccine distribution begins

More than 3,000 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine have been distributed to New Hampshire hospitals, according to Gov. Chris Sununu. In the past two days, 901 front-line health care workers have received the first part of this two-dose vaccine. 

According to Sununu, the state’s vaccine delivery was not disrupted by the winter storm - and that operations were adjusted accordingly.

- NHPR Staff

COVID Cases Continue To Rise At State Men's Prison

Update: Wednesday, Dec. 16, 7:30 p.m.

The state men’s prison in Concord is continuing to see more COVID-19 cases on a daily basis.

There are currently 40 staff who have tested positive for COVID-19. That's up from 16 staff cases a week ago.

Over 140 inmates are now positive for COVID-19, up from 28 cases just last week.

No one has died from COVID in the facility, the state says. Officials say they continuing to conduct testing, and many inmates are in quarantine.

- Sarah Gibson

New Hampshire records highest single-day death total since start of pandemic

Update: Wednesday, Dec. 16, 6:15 p.m.

State health officials announced 21 coronavirus deaths Wednesday, the highest number of deaths reported in a single day since the start of the pandemic. The previous record was 19 deaths, recorded on May 6.

The patients were residents of seven New Hampshire counties: Belknap, Cheshire, Coos, Grafton, Hillsborough, Merrimack, and Rockingham.

Sign up for NHPR's Coronavirus Newsletter to get the latest updates in your inbox.

The Department of Health and Human Services also reported 928 new positive test results for COVID-19. There are currently 6.680 active cases of the virus in New Hampshire, continuing a rising trend that signals growing community transmission.

Hospitalizations are also trending upward; there are currently 286 patients hospitalized with the virus in New Hampshire.

- NHPR Staff

State reports 670 new cases - no new deaths

Update: Tuesday, Dec. 15, 6:21 p.m.

State health officials announced 670 new coronavirus cases Tuesday night. No additional deaths were reported - the current COVID-19 death toll is 604.

The daily PCR positivity test rate was 6.2%, according to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. The results reported Tuesday included 81 new cases for Dec. 10, 91 for Dec. 11, 1 for Dec. 12, 111 for Dec. 13, and 386 for Dec. 14.

There are 252 residents hospitalized and 6,477 active cases statewide. Since the pandemic began, the state has recorded 32,545 cases of coronavirus.

- NHPR Staff

Increase in applicants for home heating help

Update: Tuesday, Dec. 15, 4:19 p.m.

There is greater interest in winter home heating assistance amid the coronavirus pandemic.

New Hampshire’s community action agencies say they’re seeing more first-time applicants for the assistance. 

Betsey Andrews Parker leads the Strafford County CAP. She spoke on a panel with Congressman Chris Pappas on Tuesday about expiring federal aid programs that have let groups like hers expand their usual programs. She hopes that aid will continue.

“People are really actually ruining their credit because they’re trying to keep themselves afloat during this time,” she said. “So having this program has been incredibly beneficial for a lot of middle income families who’ve never accessed community action services before.”

Parker said many new clients lost income or jobs this year because they’ve had to stay home for their kids’ remote learning.

- Annie Ropeik

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Outbreak Grows At State Men's Prison

Update: Tuesday, Dec. 15, 11:30 a.m.

An outbreak of COVID-19 at the state men's prison in Concord continues to grow.

According to the latest numbers from the New Hampshire Department of Corrections, over 100 inmates at the prison have recently tested positive for the illness.

There are also 14 active cases among staff members at the men's prison. Two staff members at the state women's prison have also tested positive for COVID-19.

Officials are also still working to contain an outbreak at the Merrimack County jail.

- NHPR Staff

Front-line health workers get vaccine

Update: Tuesday, Dec. 15, 11:09 a.m.

Front-line health workers were among the first people in New Hampshire to get their COVID-19 vaccine at Elliot Hospital in Manchester this morning.

The first doses of the Pfizer vaccine arrived in New Hampshire on Monday.

Temperatures were in the 20s, but five health care workers braved the cold to get their shots outdoors. Some said they did it because they wanted to show the public that the vaccine was safe.

At the event, New Hampshire Health Commissioner Lori Shibinette said everyone should get the vaccine when it's more widely available -- not only for themselves, but for those who have been on the front lines of the pandemic.

- Jordyn Haime

The COVID-19 Vaccine is in N.H. Here's What We Know So Far

N.H. House Considers Drive-In Meeting

Update: Monday, Dec. 14, 5:30 p.m. 

The New Hampshire House of Representatives is tentatively planning to hold a drive-in style meeting in January at the University of New Hampshire in the wake of its speaker dying of COVID-19.

Dick Hinch, who was sworn in Dec. 2 as leader of the state's newly Republican-led, 400-member House, died last week.

His death prompted Democrats to call for the Jan. 6 meeting to be held virtually. Lawmakers are expected to elect a new speaker, adopt rules and introduce bills on that day.

Acting Speaker Sherman Packard says they're looking at a drive-in-style meeting at UNH where everyone will stay in their cars. He said they're trying to work out how lawmakers would vote.

One more New Hampshire death, 919 new COVID-19 infections reported

Update: Monday, Dec. 14, 4:40 p.m.

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services reported one new COVID-19 death Monday, December 14, brining the state's total deaths from the virus to 604. The patient who died was a male resident of Merrimack County.

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The state also announced 919 new coronavirus infections, a number that includes 127 patients under the age of 18. The new cases span all ten New Hampshire counties, reflecting the growing community spread that has resulted in a surge of COVID infections across the state.

Explore the data - COVID-19 in New Hampshire

Hospitalizations are also increasing, with 256 individuals currently being cared for in the state's hospitals. Current COVID-19 cases number 6,752 in New Hampshire; there have been 31,875 total cases identified since the start of the pandemic.

- NHPR Staff

State announces three more COVID-19 deaths

Update: Sunday, Dec. 13, 6:40 p.m.

State health officials annouced three new coronavirus deaths Sunday, bringing New Hampshire's total deaths to 603. The patients who died were residents of Coos, Grafton, and Rockingham counties.

The Department of Health and Human Services also announced 722 new positive test results for COVID-19, including 95 patients under 18 years old. Total active COVID cases total 6,560 in New Hampshire.

- NHPR Staff

10 additional deaths announced in N.H.

Update: Saturday, Dec. 12, 6:10 p.m.

The state recorded 10 more deaths from COVID-19 on Saturday, bringing the total number of fatalities from the coronavirus to 600 since the pandemic began.

Health officials also announced 791 new cases and the number of residents currently hospitalized with COVID-19 stands at 247.

More than 30,000 people in New Hampshire have tested positive for coronavirus since March.

- Todd Bookman

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Sununu again renews emergency declaration

Update: Saturday, Dec. 12, 5:12 p.m.

Gov. Chris Sununu on Friday extended New Hampshire's state of emergency declaration another three weeks, citing an increase in coronavirus cases across the state and in the region.

The Republican governor initially declared a state of emergency on March 13 and has continued to extend it every 21 days. This is the 13th extension of the emergency declaration.

He says a further extension is needed to combat a "significant increase" in COVID-19 infections in New Hampshire in recent weeks.

Among other measures, the order continues a statewide mask mandate for everyone over age 5 when they cannot stay 6 feet away from people outside their household.

- Associated Press

N.H. has six additional deaths and 1,190 new cases

Update: Friday, Dec. 11, 5:40 p.m.

New Hampshire announced six additional COVID-19 deaths and 1,190 new infections on Friday.

Of the new case results reported, 59 were from Dec. 7, 172 from from Dec. 8, 310 from Dec. 9, and 649 from Dec. 10. All six deaths reported Friday were residents older than 60, according to New Hampshire Health and Human Services.

The state's public health update continues to show the pandemic's surge in several areas, including hospitalizations and current case counts.

There were 258 residents hospitalized due to the virus Friday, and the active cases increased to 6,824.

Since the pandemic began, New Hampshire has had 590 deaths and confirmed 29,460 positive cases.

- NHPR Staff

State Testing Saturday for Legislators, Staff

Update: Friday, Dec. 11, 2:34 p.m.

State legislative leaders announced there will be drive-up COVID-19 testing clinics at two locations Saturday.

The testing availability comes two days after it was confirmed that New Hampshire House Speaker Dick Hinch died from the coronavirus.

No appointments are required for testing open to legislators, legislative staff members, and their families.

The tests are available from noon to 3 p.m. Dec. 12 at National Guard testing sites at 19 Terrill Park Drive in Concord and at 2 Garden Lane in Londonderry (I-93 Exit 4 park-and-ride location).

Testing at those sites is also available to the public from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

The state Department of Health and Human Services maintains a website and map of COVID-19 testing locations in New Hampshire.

- Dan Tuohy

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Manchester Looks to Add Bilingual Community Health Workers

Update: Thursday, Dec. 10, 7:15 p.m.

The city of Manchester is looking to hire two bilingual community health workers to help residents navigate health care and social services, while also doing community outreach and education.

Manchester’s public health department is specifically looking for people who speak both English and Spanish. Other preferred languages include Arabic, Nepali, Swahili, Portuguese and French.

According to the department’s chief strategy officer, while 10 percent of the city’s population is Latino or Hispanic, 18 percent of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the city self-identify as Latino or Hispanic.

The two community health workers will focus on outreach and education to promote testing and vaccinations, as well as help in contact tracing.

The health department is hoping to fill the positions next month.

-Daniela Allee

State announces 14 COVID deaths, 14 more institutional outbreaks

Update: Thursday, December 10, 3:25 p.m.

New Hampshire health officials announced 14 more COVID-19 deaths Thursday, bringing New Hampshire's death toll from the virus to 584. Today marks the second-highest number of deaths reported since May 6, when 19 deaths were announced. Of the new deaths, 13 patients were associated with long-term care or residential facilities.

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According to state epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan, community transmission continues to spread across the state. Current COVID cases number 6,303, an increase of almost two thousand from a week ago. The overall test positivity rate has also soared, from 7% a week ago to 9% as of today's report. Hospitalizations have doubled in that period, with 248 residents currently hospitalized with the coronavirus.

The state also announced 14 new institutional outbreaks at residential and long-term care facilities. 

- NHPR Staff

Explore COVID data since the start of the pandemic here

N.H. announces four additional deaths

Update: Wednesday, Dec. 9, 5:18 p.m.

The state reported four additional COVID-19 deaths today and 1,006 new infections.

Since the pandemic began, New Hampshire has recorded 570 deaths due to the coronavirus. State health officials announced two men from Belknap County and two women from Hillsborough County, all of whom were older than 60, were the new deaths. 

The daily positivity rate for the PCR test was 5.4%. The results reported Dec. 9 include: 87 new cases from Dec. 4, 197 from Dec. 5, 86 from Dec. 6, 190 from Dec. 7, and 446 from Dec. 8.

Hospitalizations increased again to 232. There are 6,509 current cases statewide.

- NHPR Staff

School nurses to get priority for vaccine

Update: Wednesday, Dec. 9, 5:09 p.m.

State health officials say school nurses will be among those prioritized for the coronavirus vaccine in the next few months.

As the main point person for contact tracing, symptom screening, and public health messaging, school nurses are essential to keeping COVID-19 transmission in schools low and school buildings open.

On Wednesday, New Hampshire health officials told school nurses they will be in the highest priority phase for receiving the coronavirus vaccine.

Officials say the very first vaccines, anticipated next week, will go to high-risk hospital workers. By January, they expect to have enough vaccines for others in the priority phase, including school nurses.

The state estimates its vaccine distribution for that phase will last through February.

- Sarah Gibson

N.H. reports 807 new cases; Hospitalizations Surpass 200

Update: Tuesday, Dec. 8, 6:15 p.m.

State health officials announced 807 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday. Eighty-five of the newly infected are residents under the age of 18. COVID-related hospitalizations in the state also surpassed 200 Tuesday, to 211, up from 185 just a day earlier.

The total new cases reported Dec. 8 included results from these days: 91 new cases from Dec. 3, 222 new cases from Dec. 4, 226 new cases from Dec. 6, and 268 new cases from Dec. 7.

There are 5,818 active cases statewide, and 211 people are hospitalized due to the virus. No new deaths were reported Dec. 8.

Since the pandemic began, New Hampshire has confirmed 26,623 coronavirus cases and there have been 566 deaths.

- NHPR Staff

National Guard To Help Staff State Prison Amid Outbreak

Update: Tuesday, Dec. 8, 5:50 p.m.

The New Hampshire State Men's Prison is bringing in the National Guard to cover for staff who are out due to a coronavirus outbreak.

According to the Department of Corrections website, 17 prison staff and eight inmates currently have COVID-19. A spokesperson for the Department did not not say how many additional staff and inmates are in quarantine because of exposure to the coronavirus.

The spokesperson said National Guard members are being trained this week for their temporary posts at the prison, but that only trained corrections officers will provide direct supervision of inmates.

-Sarah Gibson

Member of Governor's Staff Tests Positive for COVID-19

Update: Monday, Dec. 7, 6:30 p.m.

A member of Gov. Chris Sununu's office has tested positive for COVID-19. 

According to a statement from the governor's office, the individual woke up Thursday with a fever and immediately began quarantining. The person had not been in the office since Wednesday, and is feeling, quote, "fine."

The individual was not a close contact of Sununu, according to the statement, and only one other person was identified as a close contact. That person is currently in quarantine.

-Jordyn Haime

New COVID infections soar in New Hampshire

Update: Monday, Dec. 7, 5:30 p.m.

State health officials Monday reported that two more New Hampshire residents have died from coronavirus, bringing total deaths to 566 since the start of the pandemic. Both patients were residents of Hillsborough County.

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The state also announced 1,045 new positive test results for COVID-19, a new daily record, and a number that includes test results from several days last week. 

There are 5,386 active cases in New Hampshire. 185 residents are currently hospitalized with the virus.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, New Hampshire has seen 25,816 diagnosed cases of the virus.

- NHPR Staff

N.H. reports 5 more deaths, 656 new COVID infections

Update: Sunday, Dec. 6, 5:15 p.m.

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services reported five COVID-19 deaths Sunday, bringing the state's total deaths to 564 since the start of the pandemic. The patients, who resided in Belknap, Hillsborough, Rockingham, and Strafford counties, were all over 60 years old.

The state also announced 656 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total of current cases to 4,654. Of the new infections, 71 patients are younger than 18. There are currently 169 Granite Staters hospitalized with the virus.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, New Hampshire has seen 24,771 positive test results for the virus.

- NHPR Staff

7 more deaths bring New Hampshire's toll to 559

Update: Saturday, Dec. 5, 6:00 p.m.

New Hampshire health officials announced seven new COVID-19 deaths Saturday. All of the patients were over 60 years old, and were residents of Belknap, Hillsborough, Merrimack and Coos counties. So far, 559 residents have died as result of the coronavirus.

The state also announced 457 new cases, which includes positive test results from several days last week. Updated case numbers from Saturday will be announced in future reports. Of the new cases, 62 individuals are younger than 18 years old.

New Hampshire's total COVID cases number 24,138. There are currently 146 patients hospitalized with the virus in the state.

State health officials also announced potential community exposures to the coronavirus at several establishments in recent weeks.  Anyone who visited Filotimo Casino and DraftKings Sportsbook in Manchester between Nov. 19 and Nov. 29th, MacDougall's Tavern in Keene between Nov. 20 and Nov. 24, or Chop Shop Pub in Seabrook for an event on Nov. 21 may have been exposed to the virus and should seek a COVID-19 test.

- NHPR Staff

8 more deaths, cases soar in New Hampshire

Update: Friday, Dec. 4, 6:15 p.m.

State health officials announced eight more COVID-19 deaths Friday, including residents of Belknap, Hillsborough, Merrimack, and Strafford Counties. All of the patients were over 60 years old. So far, 552 Granite Staters have died from the coronavirus.

782 new infections were reported, a number that includes previously unreported cases from earlier this week. Of the new cases, there are 96 patients under 18 years old. The new infections span all ten New Hampshire counties. There are currently 4,720 active COVID cases in the state, with 159 patients hospitalized.

- NHPR Staff

Jury trials canceled in four counties

Update: Friday, December 4, 4:50 p.m.

The judicial branch is canceling jury trials in four counties, citing rising rates of COVID-19 infections, and poor ventilation in certain courthouses.

Jury trials in Sullivan, Strafford, Hillsborough Southern District and Belknap [Bell-nap] county are canceled through the end of January.

The courthouses will remain open, however, for certain hearings...and video and telephonic hearings will continue.

- Todd Bookman

Tamworth Sled Dog Race Canceled Amid COVID Concerns

The Tamworth Sled Dog Race, a New Hampshire winter tradition dating back to 1937, has been canceled this year. Organizers say the threat of COVID-19 makes holding the race too risky.

Poor weather conditions have forced the race's cancellation several times in recent years.

The last race was held two years ago, on Lake Chocorua. Organizers say they're hoping the race can return in 2022.

-NHPR staff

State announces 7 deaths, 7 new institutional outbreaks, 625 new cases

Update: Thursday, December 3, 3:15 p.m.

State epidemiologist Dr. Ben Chan announced seven more COVID-19 deaths Thursday, bringing New Hampshire's death toll to 544 since the start of the pandemic. All of the deaths were related to long term care facilities, according to Chan.

Chan also announced 625 new COVID-19 cases. The state currently has 4,342 active coronavirus cases. 

The current positivity rate for all types of tests is around 7 percent, Chan said. 156 New Hampshire residents are currently hospitalized with the virus.

The state also announced seven new institutional oubreaks. In all, 85 residents and 56 staff members have tested positive in the newly reported outbreaks.

Outbreaks were announced at: Grace House in Windham (3 residents, 5 staff members), Green Mountain Treatment Center in Effingham (13 residents, 14 staff) (see NHPR's earlier reporting on this outbreak here), Hanover Hill in Manchester (15 residents, 2 staff), Benchmark Senior Living at Nashua Crossings in Nashua (14 residents, 14 staff), Hanover Terrace in Hanover (21 residents, 15 staff), St. Joseph Residence in Manchester (9 residents, 3 staff), and at the Department of Corrections Secure Psychiatric Unit in Concord (10 residents, 3 staff). 

- NHPR Staff

Nine more COVID deaths in New Hampshire

Update: Wednesday, December 2, 6:40 p.m.

State health officials reported nine COVID-related deaths Wednesday, and 566 new infections. Since the start of the pandemic, 537 New Hampshire residents have died from the coronavirus, and there have been 22,332 cases identified.

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The latest patients who died were all over 60 years old, and include two residents of Belknap County, six residents of Hillsborough County, and one resident of Rockingham County.

Of the newly identified cases, 66 individuals are under 18 years old. The new cases span all ten New Hampshire counties.

- NHPR Staff

State reports two more deaths, 772 new COVID infections

Update: Tuesday, Dec. 1, 4:45 p.m.

New Hampshire health officials reported two more coronavirus deaths Tuesday, bringing the state's death toll to 528. Both patients were older than 60, a female resident of Cheshire County, and a male resident of Rockingham County.

The state also reported 772 new COVID infections, including 90 patients under 18 years old. So far, there have been 21,766 coronavirus cases in New Hampshire 160 patients are currently hospitalized with the virus.

- NHPR Staff

Earlier updates

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