Coronavirus Update: 7 New Deaths; K-12 Schools To Return Full-Time By April 19 | New Hampshire Public Radio

Coronavirus Update: 7 New Deaths; K-12 Schools To Return Full-Time By April 19

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NHPR is continuing to cover the developing story around coronavirus in New Hampshire. Bookmark this page for the latest updates, including case numbers and other important news of the day.

Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage.

The latest numbers in New Hampshire
Credit Centers for Disease Control

Scroll down to our live blog for more COVID-19 news and the latest updates.

The most recent update from the N.H. Department of Health and Human Services on April 1: 

  • 7 new deaths reported. 
  • 433 new cases reported.
  • The state's COVID-19 deaths total 1,245.
  • Active cases total 3,287.
  • 81 patients are currently hospitalized.

Click here for NHPR's COVID-19 tracker for case and trend data in N.H.

Other important links:

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LIVE BLOG - CORONAVIRUS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE:

Rising cases part of what Sununu calls spring surge

Update: Thursday, April 1, 3:19 p.m.

The state epidemiologist announced seven additional COVID-19 deaths today. None were associated with a long-term care facility, said Dr. Benjamin Chan.

Chan reports 433 new cases, 81 current hospitalizations, and 3,287 residents with active infection.

The latest figures come as New Hampshire further expands the eligibility for vaccines. Starting tomorrow, April 2, everyone 16 and older in New Hampshire can schedule an appointment for a vaccine shot.

New Hampshire will be expanding the number of vaccination locations, says Dr. Beth Daly, chief of the state’s Bureau of Infectious Disease Control. Besides the state’s sites, there are 45 different pharmacy locations, she notes.

Lori Shibinette, commissioner of the state Department of Health and Human Services, says the state is closing a known outbreak at the Bedford Nursing and Rehab Center. She announced three new outbreaks: Coos County Nursing Home in Berlin, Northern N.H. Correctional Facility in Berlin, and Rockingham County House of Corrections in Brentwood.

Gov. Chris Sununu announced today that, effective April 19, all K-12 schools will be required to return to in-person class five days a week.

Asked about whether the state would allow out-of-state college students to signup for a vaccine, Sununu said New Hampshire will not take that step. “I don’t know of any states that are currently vaccinating out-of-state college students,” Sununu says.

— Dan Tuohy

College towns urge state, Sununu to devise plan to vaccinate all college students

Update: Thursday, April 1, 2 p.m.

Administrators of towns and cities that are home to colleges and universities have sent Gov. Chris Sununu a letter requesting the state devise a plan to provide COVID-19 vaccines to out-of-state college students.

Read the letter here.

The communities represented are Durham, Hanover, Henniker, Keene, Manchester, Nashua, New London, and Plymouth. "Any effort we can make to vaccinate all of our local population, including college/university students - who live, work, and participate in the economies of communities around the state - will be a benefit to New Hampshire and all of our residents," the letter reads.

- NHPR Staff

Efforts underway to allow all college students to be vaccinated

Update: Wednesday, March 31, 6:01 p.m.

The group representing New Hampshire colleges and universities says it in discussions with Gov. Chris Sununu to identify a date when all college students - including those from out of state - become eligible for the state's COVID vaccine registration process.

A spokesperson for Sununu says the state's position has not changed, and that non-resident students who attend college in New Hampshire are not currently eligible for vaccines here.

When registering for a vaccine, New Hampshire residency can be shown with documents such as a drivers license or payroll check with a state address.

Eligibility for out-of-state students varies across New England. Rhode Island and Massachusetts will include all out-of state college students in their vaccine plans starting April 19th.

Maine and Vermont are only allowing residents to register.

- Alli Fam

A fifth of N.H. inmates received at least one dose

Update: Wednesday, March 31, 4:41 p.m.

About 19 percent of men and women incarcerated in New Hampshire's prisons have received at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The state Department of Corrections says it is currently vaccinating inmates in its four facilities aged 50 and above and hopes to start vaccinating inmates above the age of 40 next week.

It says that it has requested vaccines for all remaining residents but is waiting for state allocations.

During Phase 1b earlier this year, state-run correctional facilities offered vaccines to staff on-site. It says about 60 percent of its staff got vaccinated that way, and others have been vaccinated in the community since then.

The Department of Corrections says it is not able to collect more detail on staff vaccination rates off-site because of medical privacy protections

- Sarah Gibson

State vaccine site sees busy - and smooth - day

Update: Wednesday, March 31, 4:31 p.m.

More than 35,000 residents booked an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine today by 3 p.m., Gov. Chris Sununu said.

Today was the first day those in the 30-39 age bracket were able to sign up via vaccines.nh.gov. Sununu says users did not experience wait times today. The state will further expand the eligibility Friday, when those 16 and older can register for the vaccine.

The state estimates about 25,000 in the 30-39 group have already received at least their first dose.

In his update this afternoon, Sununu noted that, due to FDA requirements, 16- and 17-year-olds will only be allowed to get the Pfizer vaccine, and a parent must be present at the time of the vaccination.

- NHPR Staff

486 new cases, one additional death

Update: Wednesday, March 31, 3:30 p.m.

N.H. health officials have announced 486 new cases today, the highest daily new case total since February 1.

The state says 89 of those cases are in people under the age of 18. One additional death was reported, putting the overall total at 1,238.

- NHPR Staff

N.H. announces 408 new COVID cases

Update: Tuesday, March 30, 8:01 p.m.

State health officials announced 408 new COVID-19 cases and 2,864 active cases statewide - the most current cases in a day since Feb. 21. Explore The Data: Tracking COVID-19 in New Hampshire

No additional deaths were reported Tuesday. 

Of the new cases, 70 residents were under age 18. There are currently 80 people hospitalized in the Granite State due to coronavirus, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services.

- NHPR Staff

UNH to cancel summer on-campus youth programs

Update: Tuesday, March 30, 6:01 p.m.

The University of New Hampshire has announced that it will cancel in-person, on-campus youth programs this summer.

“The decision was made after careful review of available staffing, COVID-19 health and safety requirements, and the significant work required over the summer to ensure the university can open fully for the fall semester,” reads part of the UNH announcement.

“We regret any inconvenience this may cause for family summer planning. We truly appreciate your interest in our youth programs and camps and hope you will find suitable alternatives for a wonderful summer camp experience.”

— NHPR Staff

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2,570 vaccinated in two-day greater Nashua clinic

Update: Tuesday, March 30, 3:01 p.m.

A two-day vaccination clinic at Fidelity in Merrimack vaccinated 2,570 people, according to Nashua Public Health.

The vaccinated individuals were teachers, school staff, child care providers, youth camp staff, and residents 50 and older from greater Nashua.

Fidelity provided space, as well as a 10,000-square-foot tent, for the clinic. In addition to Nashua Public Health, the clinic was organized with support from Nashua Public Works, Litchfield Police, and Merrimack police and fire departments.

The multi-agency and jurisdictional teamwork is a staple behind these kinds of clinics, not to mention the volunteers that help. The mass vaccination clinics at New Hampshire Motor Speedway saw health and public safety personnel from towns and cities from around the state.

- NHPR Staff

N.H. getting additional federal vaccine aid

Update: Tuesday, March 30, 1:21 p.m.

U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire say the state is getting nearly $30.7 million in additional federal money to support COVID-19 vaccines to correct a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention formula that previously shortchanged small states.

The money is coming from the December federal aid package, as well as the latest one, known as the American Rescue Plan.

The amount includes an installment Tuesday of more than $12.7 million through the December funding package, as well as nearly $18 million that will arrive through subsequent installments starting in April.

- Associated Press

Sign-ups for 40 and older going smoothly

Update: Tuesday, March 30, 8:20 a.m.

The next phase of vaccination signups in New Hampshire is off to a smooth start Monday. Residents age 40-49 became eligible Monday, including Gov. Chris Sununu.

Your Guide To Coronavirus Vaccines in New Hampshire

His office said by 4 p.m., 36,000 people had booked appointments.

The next group, ages 30-39, can register as of Wednesday, and the last group ages 16-29, can sign up Friday.

The vaccine has not yet been approved for children under 16.

- Associated Press

N.H. DHHS Data Quality Check Adds to Overall Case Total; 272 New Cases

Update: Monday, March 29, 5:10 p.m.

No new deaths were reported today - a first for the month - but in addition to 272 newly identified cases, the total case count grew by 47 after the state conducted a look at the quality of its data. Those additional cases range from November 2020 through March 2021. The total number of cases identified in N.H. is now 83,340.

There are currently 73 residents hospitalized with COVID-19 and 2,785 active cases.

- NHPR Staff

Regional Public Health Networks Focus on Vaccine Accessibility for N.H. Residents of Color

  Update: Monday, March 29, 4:22 p.m.

In the Seacoast region and Strafford County, community groups, like Black Lives Matter Seacoast, are helping people of color 18 and older schedule their appointments. The community groups are collecting the contact information of residents of color who want a COVID-19 vaccine, and passing the list to the region’s Public Health Network.

The North Country and Greater Manchester Regional Public Health Networks are also scheduling residents of color through the state’s equity allocation.

Greater Monadnock Public Health Network is operating a vaccine waitlist to provide vulnerable populations the opportunity to find earlier vaccine appointments.

You can find your Regional Public Health Network here.

- Alli Fam

New Daily COVID-19 Cases Continue to Climb Upwards

Update: Sunday, March 28, 9:20 p.m.

New Hampshire health officials reported nearly 800 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend. The average number of new daily cases has been inching up in recent weeks, as state health officials warn of another possible surge in the virus.

Even as the pace of vaccination picks up in the state, COVID-19 continues to spread and shows little sign of fully receding.

The average daily number of hospitalizations in New Hampshire has held steady for two weeks.

Meanwhile, the state has averaged between two and four deaths linked to the coronavirus every day for more than a month.

-NHPR staff

Thousands Vaccinated At N.H.'s Second Mass Clinic

Update: Sunday, March 28, 7:00 p.m.

The state held its second COVID-19 mass vaccination clinic over the weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.

In all, more than 9,000 people got their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine over the past two days at the track.

Vaccinators administered the shots through opened car windows. At times, the state says more than 700 people an hour were being vaccinated.

People who received their first shots over the weekend will get their second shot in late April.

-Josh Rogers

Four additional deaths, 401 new infections reported

Update: Saturday, March 27, 4:16 p.m.

Four additional Granite Staters have died from COVID-19. The state Department of Health and Human Services on Saturday announced the four residents were from Belknap, Cheshire, Hillsborough, and Rockingham counties. 

The state reported 401 new cases, and 2,818 current infections statewide.

There are 78 residents in the hospital due to the virus.

Since the pandemic began, the state has confirmed 82,745 coronavirus cases.

- NHPR Staff

N.H. reports 2 additional deaths, 389 new cases

Update: Friday, March 26, 5:17 p.m.

New Hampshire is now averaging about 40 more COVID-19 cases a day than a week ago. This comes amid steadily increasing or stagnant progress on the pandemic on several fronts.

Hospitalizations, which declined sharply through much of January and February, have been stuck in roughly the same place for the past week: About 70 people have been treated, statewide, each day.

Two new deaths from COVID-19 were also confirmed Friday: A man over age 60 from Cheshire county, and a man under age 60 from Hillsborough County.

Since the pandemic began, 1,231 New Hampshire residents have died from the virus.

- NHPR Staff

Governor extends mask mandate

Update: Friday, March 26, 3:59 p.m.

Gov. Chris Sununu today issued his 18th extension of the state emergency declaration, which was first issued a year ago this month in response to the coronavirus pandemic. He also extended the state's mask mandate through April 16.

The order requires residents who are over the age of 5 to wear a mask any time they are in public spaces, indoors or outside, and they are unable to maintain social distance of 6 feet from those outside of their households.

Asked about the mask order during a news conference Thursday, Sununu said he expected to extend the mask order, citing an uptick in new COVID-19 cases and concern for a "spring surge" in cases.

- NHPR Staff

State announces vaccine sign-up dates for all ages over 16

Update: Thursday, March 25, 3:25 p.m.

New Hampshire residents over the age of 16 will be able to register for vaccine appointments within days, Gov. Chris Sununu announced Thursday.

Get the latest updates on COVID-19 delivered to your inbox - sign up for our Coronavirus Newsletter today. 

Residents between 40-49 years old will be able to begin registering using the state's VINI system on March 29, residents between 30-39 will be able to register on March 31, and residents over 16 can register beginning on April 2.

- NHPR Staff

Editor's note: NHPR is tracking this developing story. Bookmark NHPR.org for updates.

State announces one death; infection rates trending upward

Update: Thursday, March 25, 3:15 p.m.

New Hampshire's state epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan announced one new COVID death Thursday. The patient was associated with a long-term health care setting, Chan said. Since the start of the pandemic, 1,229 Granite Staters have succumbed to the virus.

The state also reported 418 new infections. According to Dr. Chan, New Hampshire's case numbers are trending upward, with a seven-day average of 300-350 new positive test results per day. The test positivity rate is also increasing, with a seven-day average of 4.4%.

Chan says the increase in new cases is primarily in patients under 60, and that vaccination roll-outs have contributed to a decrease in cases in older patients. Some of the cases contrinuting to that trend may be tied in an increase in infections on the state's college campuses, according to Chan.

There are 82 residents hospitalized with the virus.

- NHPR Staff

10 new deaths, as reported new cases continue rise

Update: Wednesday, March 24, 5:55 p.m.

After steady improvement containing the pandemic since the start of the year, progress in New Hampshire appears to have stalled.

On Wednesday, the state reported that 10 more people have died from the virus, the highest one-day jump in over a month. Three of those people were under age 60, according to the state.

As New Hampshire's seeing rising averages in new deaths and cases of COVID-19, hospitalizations are stuck at the same level they have been for the last week. They still have yet to fully fade back to levels seen before the winter surge.

Statewide, New Hampshire hospitals have been treating at least 60 people for the coronavirus every day since early November.

The state also reported 360 new cases. Since the pandemic began, New Hampshire has confirmed 81,521 positive tests for coronavirus.

- NHPR Staff

VA authorized to vaccinate all veterans

Update: Wednesday, March 24, 4:06 p.m.

President Joe Biden signed a bill into law Wednesday that would allow VA Medical Centers to vaccinate all veterans, including those who are not currently enrolled in VA healthcare, as well as their spouses and caregivers.

Sen. Maggie Hassan is an original cosponsor of the Senate version of the bill.

A spokesperson for the Manchester VA would not say when COVID-19 vaccines would be available to those who now qualify under this law, but encouraged anyone interested to sign up for updates at the VA's website.

Veterans who received a dishonorable discharge are excluded.

- Peter Biello

1 additional death announced in N.H.

Update: Tuesday, March 23, 6:54 p.m.

State health officials announced an additional COVID-19 death Tuesday. A man from Hillsborough County, who was older than 60, died from complications with the virus.

The state also announced 386 new cases, 2,476 active infections, and 64 hospitalizations.

- NHPR Staff

Race track in Loudon to be mass vaccination site this weekend

Update: Tuesday, March 23, 1:34 p.m.

Gov. Chris Sununu announced that the state will have a second mass vaccination site this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. It is by appointment only, and it will be held Saturday and Sunday.

The state vaccinated more than 11,000 residents March 6-8 at the race track in Loudon. 

Sununu said appointments remain available for eligible residents to schedule in the state's COVID-19 vaccination website.

The state hopes to vaccinate 8,000 residents this weekend. In the announcement, Sununu's office says the Pfizer vaccine will be the only vaccine offered at this weekend's appointments at the Motor Speedway.

- NHPR Staff

State announces 207 new infections

Update: Monday, March 22, 4:55 p.m.

There are 207 newly-identified COVID-19 infections in New Hampshire, according to Monday's report from state health officials. Of the cases with complete information, all ten of the state's counties are represented, and 35 of the patients are younger than 18.

No new deaths were reported, and the hospitalization number remained stable at 72.

- NHPR Staff

241 new COVID infections reported in New Hampshire

Update: Sunday, March 21, 6:00 p.m.

State health officials announced 241 new positive test results for COVID-19 Sunday. Forty of the newly-identified infections are connected to patients under the age of 18, and the cases span all ten of New Hampshire's counties.

No new deaths were reported.

- NHPR Staff 

DHHS announces four more COVID-19 deaths

Update: Saturday, March 20, 7:00 p.m.

Four more New Hampshire residents have died from the coronavirus, according to state health officials. The Department of Health and Human Services says that the patients who died were residents of Cheshire, Hillsborough, and Rockingham Counties. 

The state also reported 344 newly-identified COVID-19 infections, and a current case total of 2,241. Sixty-three Granite Staters are hospitalized with the virus.

Since the start of the pandemic, 1,217 residents have died from the coronavirus.

- NHPR Staff

State announces 6 additional coronavirus deaths

Update: Friday, March 19, 3:40 p.m.

State health officials announced six new COVID-19 deaths Friday. The patients who died were residents of Cheshire, Coos, Hillsborough, and Rockingham counties.

The state also reported 334 new positive test results for the coronavirus, including 67 individuals younger than 18 years old. Officials are tracking 2,345 active infections, and 74 Granite Staters are currently hospitalized with the virus.

- NHPR Staff

Explore the data: Visit NHPR's COVID-19 data tracker

Sununu: Vaccine will be available for all N.H. adults in a matter of weeks

Update: Thursday, March 18, 5:30 p.m.

Governor Sununu says vaccine eligibility for all adults in New Hampshire is only weeks away.

People who work in schools and child care facilities are getting vaccinated now. Registration will open up people who are 50 and older next week, on March 22.

“I think some folks will be registering on the 22nd and getting their vaccine like the twenty second or the twenty third," Sununu said at a press conference Thursday. "It's we're not waiting weeks away here. Folks can register and get the vaccine almost immediately.”

Sununu didn't have an exact date for when the general population will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Registration is now happening on VINI, the state’s new system for vaccine appointments, which rolled out Wednesday.

- Alli Fam

Five more deaths, 347 new infections announced

Update: Thursday, March 18, 3:25 p.m.

Five more New Hampshire residents have died as a result of COVID-19, state health officials announced Thursday. According to state epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan, the state's death toll now stands at 1,207 since the beginning of the pandemic.

Chan says that in the past week, the state has seen sixteen deaths, 80% of which are tied to community transmission, rather than long-term care and residential facilities. This is the result of vaccinations being pioritized for nursing homes, Chan says.

Case numbers have risen slightly compared to previous weeks. According to Dr. Chan, the state averaged 250-300 newly-identified infections per day in the past seven days, with a test positivity rate holding steady at about 3.6%.

New Hampshire health officials are currently tracking 2,340 active cases of the coronavirus.

- NHPR Staff

State reports 327 new COVID infections

Update: Wednesday, March 17, 4:20 p.m.

New Hampshire health officials announced 327 newly-identified coronavirus infections Wednesday. No new deaths were announced. The new cases are patients who reside in all ten New Hampshire counties. Sixty-two of the patients are under 18 years old. 

Seventy-nine Granite Staters are currently hospitalized with the coronavirus.

- NHPR Staff

Bill Targets Price Gouging During States Of Emergency

Update: Wednesday, March 17, 8:20 a.m.

A bill aimed at regulating price gouging in states of emergency went before a state Senate committee Tuesday morning.

Brandon Garod, chief of the Consumer Protection Division at the Department of Justice, says many consumers called his office to report possible price gouging of essential goods like PPE during the pandemic.

“I found myself in the unfortunate position of having to tell these callers, tell these consumers that, New Hampshire doesn’t have any price gouging protection,” Garod said. “And, as a result, that there wasn’t really a mechanism for the attorney general’s office to institute an investigation.”

Not all high prices would be considered price gouging in the bill. A business could be passing on the increased cost of acquiring the product to the consumer, among other possibilities. 

Some economists have argued that high prices stop consumers from hoarding goods and incentive suppliers to produce more, which can push prices back down.

-Alli Fam

College-Based COVID Surges Continue In N.H.

Update: Tuesday, March 16, 6:35 p.m.

Colby Sawyer College continues to deal with a surge in COVID-19 cases identified last week.

The school has converted the gymnasium into emergency isolation housing, and although a few students have isolated there, it is currently empty.

As of Tuesday afternoon, 16 of the 55 students who tested positive remained on campus. The rest are isolating at home, according to a spokesperson for the school.

Students who tested negative at Friday’s mass testing event were also offered the opportunity to return home, which is what sophomore Kylie Callan did.

“From what I heard, there was someone in the same dorm as me,” Callan said. “She was moving out, but she was positive. I hadn't packed anything, but I was like, ‘I'm getting out now.’ ”

Classes are online, and will remain so until March 24th.

The surge of cases at Colby Sawyer is the latest in a string of college-centered COVID outbreaks in New Hampshire. College towns like New London, Durham and Hanover are seeing some of the highest per capita case counts in the state.

-Alli Fam

Three additional deaths announced Tuesday

Update: Tuesday, March 16, 8:03 p.m.

State health officials announced three additional COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday. All three residents were older than 60.

New Hampshire has recorded 1,202 deaths from the coronavirus since the pandemic began.

The state reported 286 new cases, 2,074 active infections, and 66 hospitalizations on March 16.

- NHPR Staff

Several N.H. Hospitals Loosen Visitor Restrictions

Update: Tuesday, March 16, 7:35 a.m.

Several local hospitals are loosening visitor policies, as coronavirus cases in New Hampshire continue to decrease and vaccination efforts expand.

Catholic Medical Center and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center both made changes this week to allow one visitor per patient in most cases. DHMC in Lebanon will allow three visitors at a time for end-of-life care.

Elliot Hospital, Concord Hospital, and Portsmouth Regional Hospital also have relaxed visitation policies this month.

-Daniela Allee

Health Officials Link COVID Cluster To Wrestling Meet

Update: Tuesday, March 16, 7 a.m.

New Hampshire health officials have identified a COVID-19 cluster associated with a wrestling tournament in Hampton.

Officials say the event took place March 6 at the RIM Sports Complex. They say anyone who participated in or attended the tournament should seek testing. Contact tracing investigations are underway.

The New Hampshire Attorney General's Office said it’s aware of the situation and is following up on it.

-NHPR staff

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