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More people under 60 and outside long-term care are dying in N.H.'s latest COVID surge

As of Dec. 16, 2021, at least 1,828 people have died from COVID-19 in New Hampshire.

November was New Hampshire’s deadliest month of the COVID-19 pandemic since January, when last winter’s surge was at its peak.

And despite the availability of vaccines designed to prevent this very outcome, the end of this year has been even deadlier than last. More than twice as many Granite Staters died from COVID-19 between September and mid-December 2021 compared to the same period last year.

Here’s what else the state’s data tells us about who’s dying from COVID-19, and how that’s changed in recent months.

When COVID-19 first arrived in New Hampshire, it tore through nursing homes and other congregate care settings. The close quarters of these facilities, coupled with the age and medical risk factors of many residents, made people in long-term care settings especially vulnerable to the virus.

But for most of the past year, that trend has flipped: Throughout 2021, far more people have died outside of long-term care settings than inside.

Since the coronavirus first arrived in New Hampshire, it has hit adults over age 60 the hardest. That’s remained true throughout the second year of the pandemic. But in the past few months, the share of younger people who've died has been growing.

Most of these newer deaths have been among people in their 40s or 50s, according to state data. But since September, at least seven people in their 30s and one person in their 20s have also died from COVID-19.

Casey McDermott is a senior news editor at New Hampshire Public Radio. Throughout her time as an NHPR reporter and editor, she has worked with colleagues across the newsroom to deepen the station’s accountability coverage, data journalism and audience engagement across platforms.

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