Coronavirus Update: New Hampshire Reports 4 COVID-19 Deaths, 872 New Infections | New Hampshire Public Radio

Coronavirus Update: New Hampshire Reports 4 COVID-19 Deaths, 872 New Infections

Dec 17, 2020

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 Dec. 15: 

  • 4 new deaths reported. 
  • 872 new cases reported.
  • The state's COVID-19 deaths total 629.
  • Active cases total 6,928.

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

Other important links:

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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.

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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.

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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

Londonderry Bar Site Of COVID Outbreak, State Says

Update: Monday, Nov. 30, 8:55 p.m. 

State health officials say a Londonderry bar is the source of a COVID-19 outbreak 19 that infected at least 11 people, including patrons and staff.

Anyone who visited the Stumble Inn Bar and Grill on Rockingham Road between November 11 and 23 may have been exposed to COVID-19 and should seek testing, health officials say. The New Hampshire Health Department is investigating the outbreak and notifying known close contacts directly.

The bar has been temporarily closed.

-NHPR staff

Active COVID cases surge past 5,000

Update: Monday, Nov. 30, 7:35 p.m.

The number of people hospitalized from COVID-19 in New Hampshire has risen sharply in the past few days, reaching 160 people on Monday, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services. That's up from roughly 130 people over the weekend and 120 a week ago.

No new deaths were announced Monday. Current COVID cases in the state number 5,145. The state's total cases since the start of the pandemic now stands at 20,994. 

So far, 526 New Hampshire residents have died from the virus. 

- NHPR Staff

State reports 3 more deaths from COVID-19

 Update: Sunday, Nov. 29, 5:45 p.m.

State health officials announced three more COVID-19 deaths on Sunday, bringing New Hampshire's total deaths to 526. 

491 new infections were also announced, including 62 cases in patients under the age of 18. There are currently 4,995 active coronavirus cases being monitored by the state. 

Today's totals include 259 positive test results from Friday, Nov. 27.

- NHPR Staff

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N.H. reports 6 additional deaths

Update: Saturday, Nov. 28, 5:47 p.m.

The state on Saturday announced six additional deaths and 702 new COVID-19 cases, representing data from Nov. 26 and Nov. 27.

Of the total new infections, 417 were reported on Thanksgiving Day, and 285 on Friday.

As of the Saturday update, there are 4,837 current cases statewide, and 133 residents hospitalized due to the virus. Since March, 523 residents have died from coronavirus, and the state has tallied 20,002 confirmed cases.

- NHPR Staff

N.H. announces three additional COVID deaths

Update: Friday, Nov. 27, 6:48 p.m.

State health officials announced three additional COVID-19 deaths and 547 new infections on Friday.

The fatalities were residents of Belknap, Merrimack and Rockingham counties - three men who were older than 60, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Since the pandemic began, the state has recorded 517 deaths from coronavirus and confirmed 19,313 positive test results.

The 547 new cases reported Friday — which is the highest single-day case count to date in New Hampshire — is data for cases and test results received through Wednesday, Nov. 25, due to the Thanksgiving holiday. The state says it will report the Nov. 26-27 results in its Saturday update.

There are 4,570 current cases statewide. As of Friday, 131 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in New Hampshire, surpassing the previous record hospitalization totals logged during the first wave of the virus this spring.

- NHPR Staff

Store, tavern fined for violating emergency orders

Update: Friday, Nov. 27, 9:59 a.m.

A country store in Loudon and a tavern in Lincoln are the latest businesses to be penalized for violating emergency orders during the coronavirus pandemic. The attorney general's office on Wednesday fined the Loudon Country Store $2,000 and the White Mountain Tavern $1,000.

It said the store owner had been warned more than 10 times that workers were required to wear masks but instead refused and posted a sign on the building saying the emergency order violates the constitution.

The tavern also was cited for workers not wearing masks and for hosting a musical performance during which customers mingled at the bar.

- AP 

402 new infections, 1 more death

Update: Wednesday, Nov. 25, 7:21 p.m.

State health officials announced Wednesday night that one additional resident has died from coronavirus. A woman from Strafford County, who was older than 60, was the 514th COVID-19 death in New Hampshire since the pandemic began.

The state also reported 402 new cases and 4,293 active cases statewide. There were 125 Granite Staters hospitalized due to coronavirus on Wednesday.

- NHPR Staff

N.H. has 4,311 active cases statewide

Update: Tuesday, Nov. 24, 7:01 p.m.

One additional resident has died from the coronavirus. The state announced Tuesday that a man from Coos County, who was older than 60, died from the virus.

There have been 513 residents who have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

State health officials reported 362 new infections Tuesday, with 4,311 current cases statewide. There are 121 people in the hospital due to the virus.

Manchester had 76 of the new cases, and Nashua 20 cases.

The state's geographic breakdown of the new infections: Hillsborough County, other than Manchester and Nashua, 63; Rockingham County, 61; Merrimack County, 43; Belknap County, 36; Strafford County, 22; Cheshire County, 11; Carroll County, eight; Grafton County, three; and Coos and Sullivan counties, two each. The state is working on determining residence for 15 of the cases.

- NHPR Staff

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Panel rejects using relief funds on food stamps

Families receiving food stamps won't get a boost from New Hampshire's federal coronavirus relief aid. The state has allocated all but $990,000 of the $1.25 billion it received.

Any funds not allocated by Dec. 31 must be returned to Washington. Democrats on a spending advisory panel tried to direct the leftovers to the food stamps program, but were defeated.

Taylor Caswell, director of the Governor's Office for Emergency Relief and Recovery, said whatever is left as the deadline nears will be put into the state's unemployment trust fund.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in New Hampshire has risen over the past two weeks from 182 on Nov. 8 to 418 on Sunday.

- Holly Ramer, Kathy McCormack, Associated Press

Study shows holiday risk of gatherings

Update: Tuesday, Nov. 24, 1:08 p.m.

A map created by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology can show the risk level of a COVID-19-positive person being present at holiday gatherings.

At events with 10 people, Hillsborough has the highest risk level out of any other county in New Hampshire, at 16 percent. In the same county, an event with 20 people carries a nearly 30 percent change of coming in contact with someone with COVID-19.

Belknap also has significant risk levels, at 27 percent for events with 20 people.

Health experts are discouraging travel and gatherings with people outside of the immediate household this year.

- Jordyn Haime

Credit Georgia Tech

N.H. sees 445 new infections

Update: Monday, Nov. 23, 4:59 p.m.

There were 445 new COVID-19 infections reported Monday, Nov. 23.

Of the new cases, 49 of the positive tests are residents under the age of 18. The state did not announce any new deaths from the virus.

As of Nov. 23, 121 residents are in the hospital due to coronavirus. There are 4,304 active cases across New Hampshire.

Total confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state since March have topped 18,000.

4 COVID deaths bring New Hampshire's total to 512

Update: Sunday, Nov. 22, 5:00 p.m.

State health officials announced Sunday that four more Granite Staters have died as a result of COVID-19, bringing New Hampshire's death toll from the virus to 512. All of the patients were older than 60, and included two male residents of Belknap County, one male resident from Sullivan County, and one female resident of Coos County.

The Department of Health and Human Services also announced 322 new coronavirus infections, including 33 patients who are under 18 years old. The cases span all ten counties in the state.

- NHPR Staff

N.H. sees one more death; 493 new infections

Update: Saturday, Nov. 21, 4:27 p.m.

The state announced a man from Hillsborough County has died from coronavirus.

There are also 493 new COVID-19 infections to report Saturday, with 52 of them residents under 18 years old.

Since March, New Hampshire has confirmed 17,281 cases, with 829 hospitalizations. On Saturday, there were 116 people in the hospital due to the virus.

Hillsborough County is home to almost half of the new cases, with Manchester reporting 120 and Nashua 43. Other cases by county: Rockingham County, 105; Merrimack County, 37; Strafford County, 27; Belknap County, 22; Cheshire County, 16; Grafton County, 11, Carrol and Sullivan counties, six each; and Coos County, three. The state was still trying to determine residence for 15 cases.

There are 4,174 active cases statewide.

-NHPR Staff

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1 additional death; 527 new infections reported

Update: Friday, Nov. 20, 5:47 p.m.

State health officials announced 527 new COVID-19 infections on Friday. And a Hillsborough County resident, a woman older than 60, died from the virus. There have been 507 deaths from coronavirus since March. 

The Friday case count is two fewer than the record daily new infections from a day earlier. Eighty of the new cases are in Manchester, and 31 in Nashua. Of the new cases, 51 are residents under 18 years old.

The Department of Health and Human Services says investigation has indicated most of the cases have had contact with a person with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis, or are associated with an existing outbreak setting.

The state reports 108 residents in the hospital due to the virus, and there are 4,089 active cases statewide.

The latest update also showcases the level of testing. As of Nov. 20, about 400,000 PCR tests have been conducted.

- NHPR Staff

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State sets daily record for new COVID cases, Sununu announces mask mandate

Update: Thursday, Nov. 19, 6:00 p.m.

New Hampshire has lost two more residents to the coronavirus, state health officials announced Thursday. The state also reported 529 new COVID-19 infections, a new daily record for reported cases.

There are currently 4,006 active cases of COVID in the state, and 506 people have died.

In response to the surge in cases and what health officials call "substantial spread" of the virus in all ten New Hampshire counties, Gov. Chris Sununu has announced a statewide mask mandate effective tomorrow, Nov. 20. The mandate covers all indoor and outdoor public spaces where social distancing cannot be maintained.

Five new outbreaks at long-term care facilities were also announced, at Colonial Poplin Nursing and Rehabilitation in Fremont, Maple Leaf HealthCare Center in Manchester, Oceanside Genesis in Hampton, Ridgewood Center in Bedford, and the Studley Home in Rochester.

- NHPR Staff

Read the mask mandate executive order here.

Hospitalizations surge with COVID cases

New Hampshire health officials announced 98 current hospitalizations from COVID-19 today. That number has doubled in two weeks.

Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Lori Shibinette said hospitals currently have the capacity for more COVID-19 patients, but that could change very quickly.

"If we doubled our hospital capacity in two weeks, if we double again in another two weeks, that's going to start to strain us."

Shibinette said the statewide mask mandate announced by Gov. Sununu may help slow the rise in hospitalizations from coronavirus.

- Jordyn Haime

PPE being sent to North Country businesses

Business owners in the North Country are getting a big shipment of PPE and hand sanitizer Friday in order to continue operating safely during the pandemic. The Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce is in charge of the initiative. It plans to distribute thousand of masks and rubber gloves to its members in a drive-through in downtown Berlin.

The materials are paid for with money from the state's share of federal CARES Act money. Business leaders say the free PPE is especially helpful now with new local and state mask mandates in place. Restaurants and businesses will have disposable masks for clients indoors, and will also receive a limited amount of more durable masks and face shields for employees.

- Sarah Gibson

2 deaths, 447 new COVID cases reported

Update: Wednesday, Nov. 18, 6:45 p.m.

State health officials reported two deaths from COVID-19 Wednesday. Both patients were older than 60, one a female resident of Merrimack County, and the other a male resident of Belknap County.

447 new cases were also announced, 45 of which are in patients younger than 18. There are currently 3,767 active cases in New Hampshire, with 91 residents hospitalized.

- NHPR Staff

Governor requests authorization for 900 Guardsmen to stay on

Update: Wednesday, Nov. 18, 12:21 p.m.

Gov. Chris Sununu has requested President Trump authorize deployment status for up to 900 New Hampshire National Guard members through March 31. Guardsmen are working in several ways to support the state's response to COVID-19, including testing and distributing personal protective equipment.

In his letter, Sununu notes they will also play a key role in vaccine distribution, and therefore should also be classified as a FEMA mission operation.

This represents more than double the number of Guard members included in the existing call-up for coronavirus response. The previous approval identified 400 members through Dec. 31.

Sununu also requests the Trump administration reinstate the 100% federal cost share for the Guard's role.

Read Sununu's letter here.

AG fines 3 food service businesses on face coverings rule

Update: Wednesday, Nov. 18, 12:20 p.m.

The state Attorney General's office has issued violations and assessed $500 fines to three food service businesses after investigating complaints employees were not wearing face masks. One of the state's executive orders in response to COVID-19 requires staff working with food and customers to wear face coverings.

The AG said it sent violation letters to Simply Delicious Baking Co. in Bedford, Checkmate Pizza in Concord, and What A Bagel in Nashua.

The businesses can challenge the penalties, either negotiating a settlement or requesting a hearing.

NHPR will have additional reporting on the Attorney General's latest violation letters in response to the state's emergency orders amid the pandemic.

- NHPR Staff

Two additional deaths announced in N.H.

Update: Tuesday, Nov. 17, 6:29 p.m.

Two additional residents have died from COVID-19, the state announced Tuesday. Health officials identified the two as a female from Hillsborough County and a female from Merrimack County, both of whom were 60 or older. The state's coronavirus death toll is now 502. 

The state reported 279 new infections and the number of active cases statewide increased to 3,551. There are 77 residents hospitalized due to the virus.

Since the pandemic began, New Hampshire has confirmed 15,303 positive cases of COVID-19.

- NHPR Staff

Berlin Adopts Mask Ordinance

Berlin is the latest New Hampshire community to adopt a mask ordinance. Mayor Paul Grenier, in a plea to his city about the need for the ordinance, noted that there were more than 80 cases of COVID-19 in the Colebrook-West Stewartstown area, and two deaths.

"This is real and it's past crisis stage," Grenier wrote. 

Read his letter to the city of Berlin.

- NHPR Staff

Court: Remote House sessions OK under quorum provision

Update: Tuesday, Nov. 17, 4:21 p.m.

The New Hampshire Supreme Court says holding House sessions remotely would not violate a constitutional provision about what constituents a quorum.

The House has been meeting at the University of New Hampshire to allow for greater social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic. Democrats voted in September to ask the court to weigh in on the possibility of remote sessions. Opponents argued that doing so would violate other provisions of the constitution, particularly one guaranteeing public access to government.

The court, however, limited its answer to the narrow question regarding quorum requirements.

- Holly Ramer, Kathy McCormack, Associated Press

Potential exposure in Salem and Wolfeboro

Update: Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2:50 p.m.

Anyone who attended the 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. services at Calvary Wolfeboro Church on Nov. 1 may have been exposed to coronavirus. The state says that, to date, 25 people with COVID-19 have been identified with connections to the church community. 

The state Department of Health and Human Services also announced potential exposures related to confirmed cases at Chasers Poker Room and Casino in Salem. The potential exposures occurred Nov. 4-7, and Nov. 9-12.

DHHS has conducted contact tracing on cases associated with these possible exposures, and is notifying known close contacts. The state advises any additional people at those locations during the dates and times noted to monitor for possible symptoms.

- NHPR Staff

State reports 500th death

Update: Monday, Nov. 16, 5:50 p.m.

New Hampshire has now lost 500 residents to the coronavirus. State health officials announced one patient death Monday, a male resident of Coos County.

State health officials also reported 358 new COVID infections, including 64 cases in patients under 18 years old. The new infections span all of New Hampshire's ten counties.

- NHPR Staff

State announces 361 new COVID cases

 Update: Sunday, Nov. 15, 5:10 p.m.

State health officials reported 361 new COVID-19 infections in New Hampshire Sunday. No new deaths were announced. So far, 499 residents have died from the virus.

Fifty of the new positive results are in patients under the age of 18. Currently, there are 3,306 people in New Hampshire with COVID. 69 people are hospitalized.

- NHPR Staff

N.H. has 2,970 active COVID cases

Update: Saturday, Nov. 14, 5:35 p.m.

The state reported one additional death Saturday from the coronavirus. There have been 499 deaths due to COVID-19 in New Hampshire since March. The latest fatality is a man from Sullivan County, who was 60 or older.

There are currently 68 residents hospitalized due to the virus, and there are 2,970 active cases statewide.

Health officials announced 384 new infections on Saturday, one of the highest daily case numbers during the pandemic, but 78 fewer than reported Friday.. Since March, the state has recorded 14,311 cases.

As of Nov. 14, the state reports 381,412 tests conducted via the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests, and 32,612 antibody tests. Explore the Data: Tracking COVID-19 in New Hampshire.

- NHPR Staff

N.H. reports 3 more deaths - new infections soar

Update: Friday, Nov. 13, 6:31 p.m.

State health officials announced 462 new COVID-19 infections on Friday, a big increase from a day earlier, which had already broken the previous high for daily new cases. The number of new cases is almost three times as many as the highest daily number in May.

There are 2,743 active cases statewide. 

The state reported three additional deaths, bringing the total since March to 498. The three fatalities were from Coos, Grafton, and Hillsborough counties.

Seven new hospitalizations were reported, and there are 69 residents currently in the hospital due to the virus.

Of the new cases Friday, 48 are under 18 years old. Click here to view the state's map of current cases by town, and click here to see the map of cumulative cases since March 1.

- NHPR Staff

Hospitality industry says more COVID aid is needed

Update: Friday, Nov. 13, 5:01 p.m.

Representatives of New Hampshire's hospitality industry say they will need a new round of federal coronavirus relief aid as outdoor dining has come to a close and there's no way of knowing when active business travel will resume.

Mike Somers, of the New Hampshire Lodging and Restaurant Association, said the next few months is going to be the toughest stretch. He spoke during a virtual meeting with U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen on Friday.

Tom Boucher, CEO of Great New Hampshire Restaurants, said outdoor dining accounted for about 35% of his restaurants' revenue in the third quarter. But business was down at about 30% at every location this week, and more losses are expected.

- AP

3 deaths, 3 new outbreaks, record case numbers, and potential exposure at polling places

Update: Thursday, Nov. 12, 1:35 p.m.

State health officials reported three new COVID-19 deaths Thursday, bringing New Hampshire's total deaths to 495. All three patients were connected to long-term healthcare facilities.

Thursday also saw a record number of new infections reported, at 323. Active COVID cases number 2,528 in New Hampshire.

Potential exposure at polling places

Department of Health and Human Services commissioner Lori Shibinette announced potential community exposure at four New Hampshire polling places on Election Day. The state is advising that voters who visited Souhegan High School, Pembroke Academy, Newfields Elementary School, or Belmont High School should self monitor for coronavirus symptoms.

New outbreaks at residential facilities

The state announced three new outbreaks, at the Coos County Nursing Home, the New Hampshire Veterans Home, and the Prospect-Woodward Home - Assisted Living at Hillside Village in Keene. A previous outbreak at Bedford Hills Nursing Home has been closed.

There are currently seven active outbreaks at New Hampshire residential facilities.

New contact tracing protocols

The state will no longer conduct all contact tracing in New Hampshire, according to Shibinette, and will institute a protocol that prioritizes contract tracing when infections involve patients under 18 years old or over 65 years old, when they involve minority communities, when they take place at long-term healthcare facilities, and when health workers are infected. 

According to Shibinette, the state will rely on community partners and health care providers to take part in contact tracing going forward.

Note: This is a developing story and NHPR will be publishing updates

- NHPR Staff

N.H. joins other states in suspending interstate hockey through the end of the year

Update: Thursday, Nov. 12, 10:10 a.m.

New Hampshire is joining several northeastern states in suspending interstate hockey competitions for public schools, private schools, and youth leagues.

In a statement, Gov. Chris Sununu says he joined a coalition of governors from Vermont, Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Jersey in halting competitions starting this Saturday, November 14, through at least the end of the calendar year.

"Given the support for this agreement from our regional neighbors, New Hampshire made the practical decision to join this effort," Sununu said.

- NHPR Staff

State reports 3 additional deaths; 2,394 active cases

Update: Wednesday, Nov. 11, 7:01 p.m.

The state reported three additional fatalities from COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the total number dead since the pandemic began to 492.

According the health officials, two of the deaths were in Sullivan County, with the third in Coos County.

There were 233 additional cases reported, and four new hospitalizations.

The current number of hospitalized patients climbed to 69 as community transmission of the virus continues to amplify. 

Of the new cases, 28 residents are under 18 years old. The state says the new cases are from: Hillsborough County, 38; Rockingham County, 37; Merrimack County, 24; Belknap County, 17; Coos County, 14; Strafford County, 13; Cheshire County, nine; Grafton County, nine; Sullivan County, five; Carroll County, four; Manchester, 20; and Nashua, 15. The state did not have an immediate residence for 28 of the cases.

The confirmed coronavirus cases since March increased to 13,148.

- NHPR Staff

Significant community transmission of coronavirus in New Hampshire

Update: Wednesday, Nov. 11, 3:20 p.m.

Every county in New Hampshire is now classified as having a substantial level of community transmission of COVID-19.

The state defines substantial as having over 100 cases per 100,000 people. Carroll and Cheshire counties recently eclipsed that threshold.

Coos County, which took a lesser hit compared to southern counties in the spring, is now seeing the highest rate of community transmission in the state, with over 400 new cases per 100,000 residents.

Experts are now saying community transmission is a primary source of new infections.

Outbreak at Newport facility leads to stigma in community

A COVID-19 outbreak at a long term care facility in Newport has grown to 23 cases and three fatalities. The Woodlawn Care Center says staffing has become a major concern, with 9 current employees in isolation after testing positive.

There has also been reaction to those employees and their families in the broader community.

Read more on this story here.

Woodlawn's head administrator Chris Martin said one staff member's child was sent home from school, even though she didn't test positive. And some spouses of employees have also been sent home from work.

"I wasn't expecting all of that community stigmatization and how COVID-fatigued folks that's affected our staff."

Martin said the state has been helpful with intervening in these situations.

- Jordyn Haime

Strafford County jury trial canceled due to rising case rate

 Update: Wednesday, Nov. 11, 7:45 a.m.

A jury trial scheduled for this week in Strafford County has been canceled because of rising COVID-19 infection rates and limited air circulation in the Dover courthouse.

New Hampshire Superior Court Chief Justice Tina Nadeau says the decision was difficult and made to ensure continued health and safety in the court. The infection rate in the county was 16.8 cases per 100,000 as of Tuesday.

Also, several investigators in the case of a man charged with capital murder are either in quarantine or have tested positive for COVID-19, causing some delays in gathering reports and in forensic testing.

- Kathy McCormack, Associated Press

Earlier updates