Coronavirus Update: N.H. Reports Three More COVID Deaths, 421 New Infections | New Hampshire Public Radio

Coronavirus Update: N.H. Reports Three More COVID Deaths, 421 New Infections

21 hours ago

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 Feb. 9: 

  • 3 new deaths reported. 
  • 421 new cases reported.
  • The state's COVID-19 deaths total 1,109.
  • Active cases total 3,170.
  • 159 patients are currently hospitalized.

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

Other important links:

Support our journalism...become an NHPR member today. 

LIVE BLOG - CORONAVIRUS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE:

State reports three new deaths, downward trends in cases and hospitalizations

Update: Tuesday, Feb. 9, 3:20 p.m.

Three more Granite Staters have died from the coronavirus, state health officials announced Tuesday. Of the new deaths, one patient was associated with a long-term care facility. Since the start of the pandemic, 1,109 New Hampshire residents have died from the virus. 

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The state also reported 421 newly-identified COVID-19 infections. According to state epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan, the seven-day average for new cases is between 350-400, and the test posititivity average is 4.4%, both down from the previous week's report. 

According to Chan, the state is currently monitoring 3,170 active COVID cases, and 159 patients are hospitalized with the virus.

- NHPR Staff

State reports lowest number of new infections since October

Update: Monday, Feb. 8, 2021

New Hampshire health officials announced the deaths of two additional residents from COVID-19 on Monday. The patients were from Hillsborough and Rockingham counties. Since the start of the pandemic, 1,106 Granite Staters have died from the virus.

The state also reported 121 new positive test results for the coronavirus, the lowest new case report since October of last year. Health officials are reporting 3,245 active COVID-19 infections in New Hampshire, and 179 current hospitalizations.

- NHPR Staff

Sullivan County Jail managing COVID-19 outbreak

Update: Monday, Feb. 8, 4:05 p.m.

The Sullivan County Jail in Unity is managing an active outbreak of the coronavirus. 23 inmates and six staff are currently positive with COVID-19. About two dozen have recently recovered.

Jail administrators say they have required testing for inmates showing symptoms since the pandemic began, and are now now offering testing within the facility twice a week. They say inmates who test positive are seen by medical staff five times a day.

The Strafford County Jail and the Correctional Facility for Women in Concord are also monitoring outbreaks.

- Sarah Gibson

Six more New Hampshire deaths, active cases drop below 4,000

Update: Sunday, Feb. 7, 6:15 p.m.

Six additional New Hampshire residents have died from COVID-19, according to a report from state health officials Sunday. The new deaths bring New Hampshire's toll from the virus to 1,104 since the beginning of the pandemic.

The state reported 3,661 active infections in the Granite State, the first time case numbers have dropped below 4,000 since late November.

Health officials also announced 362 newly-identified infectons. The state's current positivity rate stands at 2.7%, a significant drop from recent weeks. Resident hospitalizations number 186, the state announced.

- NHPR Staff

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

8 more deaths, 477 new COVID cases

Update: Saturday, Feb. 6, 4:45 p.m.

New Hampshire state health officials reported eight additional deaths and 477 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday.

The fatalities are across six counties. To date, 1,098 residents have died due to the virus, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services.

There are 183 patients currently hospitalized and there are 4,021 active infections statewide. Seventy-five of the new cases are under age 18.

- NHPR Staff

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N.H. announces six additional COVID deaths

Update: Friday, Feb. 5, 6:47 p.m.

Six additional residents have died due to the coronavirus, the state announced tonight. Three of the deaths were from Hillsborough County, and one each from Coos, Merrimack, and Rockingham counties.

Health officials also reported 500 new cases and 4,062 active infections statewide.

Since the pandemic began, New Hampshire has had 1,091 deaths from the virus and confirmed 67,595 cases of COVID-19.

As of Friday morning, 198 residents are hospitalized for treatment related to the virus.

- NHPR Staff

Two dozen residential outbreaks still active in New Hampshire

Update: Thursday, Feb. 4, 7:45 p.m.

The list of active COVID-19 outbreaks in nursing homes, jails and other congregate settings is growing shorter each week, but more than two dozen outbreaks are still ongoing.

Three of the state’s five largest active outbreaks are at correctional facilities: the New Hampshire State Prison for Men, Hillsborough County Jail and Strafford County Jail. Outbreaks are also ongoing at the Sullivan County Jail and the New Hampshire State Prison for Women.

More than a dozen long-term care facilities are also battling active clusters of coronavirus. That includes Hillsborough County Nursing Home, with 16 deaths and more than 160 cases reported among residents and staff since the start of January. This comes after the same county home battled another severe outbreak last spring and summer, which infected more than 200 people and claimed 16 lives.

- Casey McDermott

Sununu apologizes for problems with vaccine scheduling

Update: Thursday, Feb. 4, 5:40 p.m.

Gov. Chris Sununu is apologizing for a botched rollout of scheduling for second dose COVID-19 vaccination appointments. This week, tens of thousands of residents who had been told they could make second appointments within the CDC’s recommended timeframe logged on to find no new slots available.

“Obviously, it’s been a very frustrating week for a lot of our citizens,” Sununu said. “We apologize, we understand it. We’ve literally been working around the clock to correct it.”

Sununu said the issue was with a CDC-run database called VAMS. New Hampshire is just one of a handful of states using VAMS to schedule vaccines.

Starting next week, second dose appointments will be made automatically. Appointment cards will be handed to residents as they receive their first doses.

Health Commissioner Lori Shibinette says the state has so far administered 148,000 vaccine doses, with 110,000 of those first shots, and 38,000 second does.

-Todd Bookman

N.H. reports 9 more COVID-19 deaths; new infections trending downward

Update: Thursday, Feb. 4, 3:20 p.m.

State health officials announced the deaths of nine more Granite Staters from COVID-19 or virus-related conditions Thursday, bringing New Hampshire's death toll since the start of the pandemic to 1,085.

According to state epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan, today's report is on par with the past week, during which 63 residents have died. 

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The state also announced 433 new positive test results for COVID-19 Thursday. According to Chan, the average number of newly-identified cases has hovered between 400 and 450 in the last week, which he says is a significant decrease from previous weeks. (You can explore the state's data on NHPR's COVID-19 tracker right here.)

The state is currently tracking 4,099 active coronavirus cases, and 209 residents are hospitalized with the virus.

- NHPR Staff

Ten more deaths, 354 new cases announced

Update: Wednesday, Jan. 3, 5:21 p.m.

Even as New Hampshire reports fewer new infections and hospitalizations from COVID-19, the death toll remains steady.

Ten more people were confirmed dead from coronavirus on Wednesday, for a total of 1,076 fatalities since the start of the pandemic. Most of those who've died from COVID-19  have been over age 60 or associated with long-term care settings. But New Hampshire's death toll also includes six people under age 40, and 11 healthcare workers.

More than 120 people have been reported dead from COVID-19 in just the past two weeks.

The state is averaging about 470 new cases a day over the last week, about half the rate of a month ago. Still, transmission remains high across the state and officials urge people to follow precautions to limit spread of the virus.

- NHPR Staff

Dartmouth, UNH to hold in-person graduation ceremonies

Update: Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2:57 p.m.

Dartmouth College and the University of New Hampshire are planning in-person graduation ceremonies this spring, with restrictions in place because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Dartmouth will limit its on-campus ceremony in June to graduating seniors and graduate and professional school graduates, with family and friends viewing online.

The college had hoped to also hold a delayed celebration for last year's graduating class, but that won't be happening. In Durham, UNH will hold ceremonies for the class of 2020 on May 15 and for the Class of 2021 the following weekend. Students will be limited to two guests.

- AP 

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7 new COVID-19 deaths, 328 new cases

Update: Tuesday, Feb. 2, 4:11 p.m.

The state announced seven additional COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday. The latest report brings the total number of coronavirus deaths in New Hampshire to 1,066.

There are 4,222 active infections statewide and 328 new cases reported - both numbers that are trending downward.

Health officials say 202 residents are currently hospitalized due to the virus.

- NHPR Staff

Current vaccination rate around 3,000 per day

Update: Tuesday, Feb. 2, 4:00 p.m.

A week into the state's efforts to begin vaccinating all residents over the age of 65, New Hampshire is vaccinating about three thousand people per day.

Dr. Beth Daly is the Chief of the Bureau of Infectious Disease Control for the state. She says more vaccination sites will open as the state receives more doses from the federal government.

“[A]s we get more vaccines available to us, we will absolutely onboard more locations. And the goal is to make this as available as the influenza vaccine, right? We just don't have the number of vaccines available to us to make that happen."

The state is in Phase 1B of its vaccination rollout. In addition to those 65 and older, younger people who have serious medical conditions are now eligible for their first doses.

- Mary McIntyre

N.H. considers more renter protections amid pandemic

Update: Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2:01 p.m.

Some renters facing eviction during the coronavirus pandemic would get extra time to come up with cash under a bill before a House committee.

The measure sponsored by Rep. Casey Conley, a Democrat from Dover, would require courts to pause eviction cases for 30 days if the renter has applied for help from a federal, state or local housing assistance program.

On Tuesday, he called it a temporary, critical lifeline for tenants facing financial difficulty during the pandemic. The Apartment Association of New Hampshire opposed the bill.

- AP

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Some residents report problems making second vaccine appointments

Update: Tuesday, Feb. 2, 12:00 p.m.

Some New Hampshire residents are expressing frustration as they continue to struggle to make timely appointments for their second COVID-19 vaccine dose.

The state announced it would open up new appointment windows at 8am Tuesday. The move came following complaints that second appointments were booked out well beyond the CDC’s recommended six-week maximum between shots.

But many residents say the new system isn’t working for them. Debra Woodward of North Hampton said she’s been checking for an earlier appointment, but the state website shows none are available.

“They should have been ready for all of these people to get online,” Woodward said. “And it’s just, they said they had more appointments and they obviously don’t.”

The state says it is aware of the issue and will continue to release new appointments over the next 48-hours.

-Todd Bookman

Update: Monday, Feb. 1, 6:30 p.m.

State health officials reported two additional COVID-19 deaths Monday, bringing New Hampshire's total deaths since the start of the pandemic to 1,059.

Continuing a recent trend of declining case numbers, officials also announced 364 new infections. For the first time since early December, coronavirus hospitalizations have dipped below 200, and now number 193, according to the state.

- NHPR Staff

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Winter storm shuts down state's vaccination sites

Update: Monday, Feb. 1, 12:15 p.m.

The state is closing its COVID-19 vaccination sites on Tuesday, citing the impending winter storm. State health officials say that they have already reached out to anyone with an appointment and offered them a vaccine slot today.

State-run coronavirus testing sites in Concord in Londonderry will also be closed on Tuesday. Appointments at those sites are being rescheduled.

- Todd Bookman

UNH starts spring semester with new protocols, safeguards in place

Update: Monday, Feb. 1, 12:10 p.m.  

The University of New Hampshire is starting its spring semester today. Students began arriving on campus last week, and will return to in-person learning. Students were required to show a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival and were tested a second time on campus.

The semester is starting a week later than originally scheduled, and there will be no spring break in order to limit the chances of exposure. 

The university has added beds to its COVID-19 isolation dorm. It's also starting a pilot program that will allow a small number of students to attend UNH hockey games through a lottery system.

- Mary McIntyre

New Hampshire reports 16 more COVID-19 deaths

Update: Sunday, Jan. 31, 6:25 p.m.  

State health officials announced 369 new cases of COVID-19 Sunday, the lowest daily count since Thanksgiving, right before holiday-related travel and gatherings led to a surge of new infections across the state.

But while case numbers and hospitalizations have been trending down in New Hampshire, the average daily death tally has remained relatively steady for several weeks. On Sunday, 16 new deaths were announced.

Two hundred people were reported to be hospitalized in New Hampshire due to COVID-19 Sunday. That's down from more than 330 a month ago.

The seven-day average of new deaths has remained between eight and 10 since the second week in January.

The vast majority of COVID-19 fatalities in New Hampshire have been among residents over the age of 65. The state began prioritizing that group for vaccines starting last week.

- NHPR Staff

N.H. reports 6 additional COVID-19 deaths

Update: Saturday, Jan. 30, 4:02 p.m.

State health officials announced six additional COVID-19 deaths Saturday. Since the pandemic began, New Hampshire has recorded 1,042 deaths due to the virus.

Three of the deaths were from Cheshire County. Three others were residents from Hillsborough, Rockingham and Strafford counties.

The state reported 537 new cases and 217 current hospitalizations Saturday. There are 5,238 active COVID-19 infections statewide.

- NHPR Staff

Northeast states extend ban on interstate youth hockey

Update: Saturday, Jan. 30, 9:01 a.m.

Interstate youth hockey competitions will remain prohibited in New England and New Jersey until at least April 1, the region's governors said Friday.

The seven states previously had suspended interstate youth hockey activities for public and private schools and youth leagues through Jan. 31.

The prohibition does not apply to collegiate, professional or U.S. national team hockey activities. Ice rinks in some states had been temporarily closed last year because of clusters of COVID-19 linked to games and practices. The states have issued new guidance on games, fan numbers, and face coverings.

— AP 

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State announces 14 more COVID-19 deaths

Update: Friday, Jan. 29, 6:25 p.m.

State health officials announced the deaths of 14 more Granite Staters from the coronavirus Friday. New Hampshire's death toll from the virus now stands at 1,036.

The state also announced 614 newly-identified COVID-19 infections, and is currently tracking more than 5,000 active cases. There are 214 residents hospitalized with the virus.

The latest report from the Department of Health and Human Services includes positive test results in all ten New Hampshire counties, including 87 patients under the age of 18.

- NHPR Staff

Additional second dose appointments open up for Phase 1B

Updated: Friday, Jan. 29, 5:00 p.m.

On Tuesday, February 2, 2021, at 8:00 a.m., additional second dose appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine will be made available for scheduling in CDC’s VAMs scheduling system. Phase 1B participants who have received their first dose were emailed instructions earlier today.

These second dose appointments will only available to people that have already received their first dose and are scheduling their second dose, and those who have already scheduled their second dose appointments but would like to reschedule for an earlier date.

A reminder email with a link is set to go out on Monday, February 1.  The email will come from no-reply@nh.gov

- NHPR Staff

N.H. DOE announces release of $156 million in COVID funds

Update: Friday, Jan. 29, 2:59 p.m.

The state Department of Education announced $156 million in federal funds are being released to support public schools in response to COVID-19.

The funding, via the coronavirus relief act, includes help for schools to reopen, assess student learning and support low-income students, and other steps to mitigate the impact of the virus on students and families, according to the DOE.

New Hampshire education has received more than $218 million in federal COVID-19 relief funding. View the state's town-by-town breakdown of federal COVID grants awarded.

- NHPR Staff

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Littleton Regional Healthcare vaccination appointments cancelled due to scheduling error

Update: Friday, Jan. 29, 10:52 a.m.

Littleton Regional Healthcare says a scheduling error means all appointments made there before January 25th for a COVID-19 vaccination were canceled and need to be rescheduled.

Marti Faulkner and her husband had both scheduled their vaccination appointments for Friday and were surprised to hear it had been cancelled.

“Last night, the 28th, we both received an email from the CDC verifying that our appointments are cancelled with a link to reschedule.”

Littleton Regional Healthcare's website has instructions for rescheduling vaccine appointments. The contact email is: geninfo@lrhcares.org

- NHPR Staff

16 additional COVID-19 deaths announced

Update: Thursday, Jan. 28, 4:29 p.m.

Sixteen additional residents have died from the coronavirus, state health officials announced Thursday.

The state also reported 721 new COVID-19 cases. There are 5,374 active infections statewide and 222 residents are in the hospital for treatment.

Since the pandemic began, New Hampshire has recorded 1,022 deaths and confirmed 64,258 positive cases of coronavirus.

- NHPR Staff

12 More COVID-19 Deaths In New Hampshire

Update: Wednesday, Jan. 27, 5:25 p.m.

New Hampshire's death toll from COVID-19 is now more than 1,000. Today's announcement of 12 deaths brings the total number of fatalities in the state to 1,006, according to health officials. 

The state also reported 440 newly-identified COVID-19 cases, including 59 patients under the age of 18. There are currently 5,214 active infections being tracked by health officials, and 223 residents are hospitalized with the virus. 

- NHPR Staff

Vaccinations For Some Prison Inmates To Begin This Week

Update: Wednesday, Jan. 27, 5:10 p.m.

The New Hampshire Department of Corrections says it hopes to start vaccinating inmates who fall within phase 1B for the coronavirus vaccine this week.

The Department says it has a list of eligible inmates who are 65 or older, or who have two or more conditions. Once vaccines arrive, they will be administered by prison medical staff.

The National Guard has deployed some soldiers and airmen to the New Hampshire Men's Prison in Concord to provide security. Recent COVID-19 outbreaks have left a critical shortage of corrections officers.

-Peter Biello

Some N.H. Residents Report Delay In Getting COVID Relief Checks

Update: Wednesday, Jan. 27, 12:20 p.m.

Sen. Maggie Hassan is urging the IRS to address issues with federal COVID-19 relief payments sent to New Hampshire residents.

In a letter sent to the agency Tuesday, Hassan said that more than 100 residents had reached out to her office because they didn’t receive the full economic impact payments and tax refunds they’re eligible for.

Some Social Security beneficiaries said they did not automatically receive the $600 payments they are eligible for. Others who filed taxes returns jointly said they received $600 payments instead of $1,200 payments for which they appear eligible.

Others who sent in 2019 paper tax returns have not had those processed, resulting in delayed tax refunds and delays in receiving federal relief. Hassan is asking the IRS to process those returns.

-Daniela Allee

Long wait times reported between first and second COVID vaccine doses

Update: Tuesday, Jan. 26, 5:40 p.m.

Phase 1B of coronavirus vaccination began today. Some people who received their first dose of the vaccine say they aren’t able to schedule the necessary second dose for up to six weeks.

The state says it is aware of the long lag-time and will soon release new appointment windows for those scheduling a second dose. Perry Plummer is coordinating vaccine distribution for the state.

“If you've got your first dose, and you are scheduled for your second dose, and you had to schedule out a ways, we’ll be able to open up more second dose appointments. We already have a plan to do that, we have the capacity to do it.”

The Pfizer doses require at least a 21-day window; the Moderna version is 28 days. Officials say second doses do not need to be delivered on those exact intervals to be effective.

- Todd Bookman

New Hampshire reports four more coronavirus deaths

Update: Tuesday, Jan. 26, 3:15 p.m.

State health officals announced four additional COVID-19 deaths Tuesday, bringing New Hampshire's death toll from the virus to 994. There are currently 5,430 known patients with active cases of the coronavirus. The state also reported 435 new positive test results for COVID-19.

According to state epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan, New Hampshire's COVID-19 test positivity rate is trending downward, and is currently at 6.1%. Chan also says that overall case and death numbers are declining, but that community transmission of the virus is still a serious concern.

The state also announced the closure of 12 outbreaks at residential facilities, and reported no new outbreaks.

- NHPR Staff

AT Thru-hikers told to stand down this season

Update: Tuesday, Jan. 26, 10:01 a.m.

Hikers are being advised to postpone plans to hike the entire length of the Appalachian Trail this year due to COVID-19.

The Asheville Citizen Times reports the Appalachian Trail Conservancy made the suggestion because it feels the pandemic makes long-distance hikes unsafe. Morgan Sommerville, regional director for the conservancy, says that as long as the pandemic continues, while vaccines aren't widely available and there's been no all-clear signs from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the conservancy is recommending against long-distance hikes on the trail.

The Appalachian Trail runs through 14 states from Georgia to Maine and covers 2,193 miles. There are more than 160 miles of the AT in New Hampshire, including the iconic stretch in the White Mountains.

- Associated Press

New Hampshire reports three more COVID-19 deaths

Update: Monday, Jan. 25, 5:35 p.m.

New Hampshire health officials announced Monday that three more residents have died from COVID-19, bringing the state's total deaths to 990 since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The patients who died resided in Hillsborough and Merrimack counties.

The state also announced 434 new positive test results for the virus. There are currently 5,627 active COVID-19 cases being tracked by the state, and 230 Granite Staters are hospitalized with the coronavirus.

- NHPR Staff

Some residents report confusion with next step of vaccine scheduling

Update: Sunday, Jan. 24, 9:30 p.m.

As New Hampshire expands COVID-19 vaccines to all residents over the age of 65, some are expressing confusion with the second step of the vaccine registration process.

Around 150,000 residents who are eligible as part of Phase 1B completed the first step by enrolling with the state over the past few days. But a follow-up email from the CDC, with a second registration process, is proving more challenging for some.

Bill Provencal, an 83-year-old man from Pittsfield, said the form contained strangely worded descriptions and hard to complete answers.

“Then it became very, very confusing,” he said. “There were, like, arrows pointing here and, you know, it just wasn’t kind to you, at all.”

Provencal said he nevertheless completed the form and got an appointment.

The state sent out an email late Friday with suggestions for successfully filling out the federal form.

Susan Goodwin and her husband Peter of Wolfeboro said the wording of some questions, as well as the process of filling in answers, was less than straightforward.

"We consider ourselves probably above average in intelligence, and it’s like, ‘Why is this so hard,’ you know?” Goodwin said.

Anyone with questions can call 2-1-1.

-NHPR staff

Six more New Hampshire residents die of COVID-19

Update: Sunday, Jan. 24, 5:30 p.m.

State health officials announced six more coronavirus deaths Sunday, bringing New Hampshire's death toll since the start of the pandemic to 987. The patients who died were all over 60, according to the state, and resided in Belknap, Coos, Rockingham, and Sullivan counties.

The Department of Health and Human Services also reported 808 new COVID-19 cases, including 98 positive test results for individuals younger than 18. There are currently more than six thousand active coronavirus cases in New Hampshire, and 239 residents are hospitalized with the virus.

- NHPR Staff

N.H. announces 10 additional deaths

Update: Saturday, Jan. 23, 4:22 p.m.

Ten additional Granite Staters have died due to the coronavirus, the state announced Saturday. Five of the fatalities were from Hillsborough County. The remaining five deaths were from the counties of: Belknap, Carroll, Cheshire, Coos, and Sullivan.

Since the pandemic began, 981 residents have died from COVID-19 and the state has confirmed more than 61,000 cases. 

As of Saturday, there are just under 6,000 active infections in New Hampshire. 

State health officials reported 636 new cases and 229 current hospitalizations.

- NHPR Staff

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State reports nine more COVID-19 deaths

Update: Friday, Jan. 22, 5:10 p.m.

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services announced Friday that nine more residents have died from COVID-19. The patients who died resided in Cheshire, Grafton, Hillsborough, and Rockingham counties. The state's death toll from the virus now stands at 971.

State health officials also reported 724 new positive test results for the coronavirus. Of the newly identified cases, 114 patients are under the age of 18.

According to officials, community transmission is continuing to occur in all New Hampshire counties, with most new cases being traced to contact to people with confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses or associated with outbreaks at residential facilities.

- NHPR Staff

Portion of vaccines allocated to vulnerable communities

Update: Friday, Jan. 22, 5:01 p.m.

New Hampshire is allocating 10 percent of its COVID-19 vaccines to communities that are especially vulnerable to coronavirus infection. Mobile vaccinations to reach those communities are set to start next week.

Black and Latino residents in New Hampshire have made up a disproportionate share of COVID cases and hospitalizations. Michael Apollo, the emergency preparedness coordinator for the Nashua Public Health Network, says Nashua and other cities are using census data and the COVID-19 vulnerability index to identify where to set up mobile vaccination clinics.

The city will also be relying on community health workers to reach Spanish, Portuguese, French and Swahili speakers and let them know about the vaccinations.

- Daniela Allee

Governor Sununu extends State of Emergency

Update: Friday, Jan. 22, 3:26 p.m.

Today, Governor Chris Sununu issued Executive Order 2021-1, the fifteenth extension of the State of Emergency declared in Executive Order 2020-04, and Emergency Order #83, giving towns flexibility to postpone or reschedule 2021 town meetings and preprocess ballots in local 2021 elections prior to the enactment of Senate Bill 2.

SB2, to be taken up by the NH House in February and expected to pass, offers towns these provisions during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the emergency order will allow towns to make those decisions earlier.

- NHPR Staff

Vaccine registration for Phase 1B off to busy start

 Update: Friday, Jan. 22, 12:29 p.m.

Gov. Chris Sununu says registration for the next phase of New Hampshire's coronavirus vaccination plan got off to a quick start, with 60,000 people signing up in the first 40 minutes.

Registration opened at 8 a.m. Friday for the approximately 325,000 people in Phase 1B of the state's vaccination plan. That includes anyone age 65 or older, people with at least two qualifying medical conditions, corrections workers, and staff and residents of residential facilities for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

The easiest way to register is via the vaccines.nh.gov website. Those who can't schedule an appointment online can call the state's 2-1-1 hotline.

- AP 

State announces 12 deaths, 925 new COVID cases

Update: Thursday, Jan. 21, 3:20 p.m.

State health officials announced Thursday that 12 more New Hampshire residents have died from COVID-19. Six of the deaths were connected to outbreaks at long-term care facilities. In the past week, the state has lost 65 people to the virus.

The state also reported 925 new coronavirus cases. Active cases in New Hampshire now number 6,204. 240 Granite Staters are currently hospitalized with the virus.

According to state epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan, the test positivity rate has fallen slightly in the past week, from around 7% to 6.8%. Community transmission continues to be significant across the state, Chan said.

Several new residential outbreaks were reported, including at New Hampshire's State Prison for Women in Concord. 

- NHPR Staff

Twelve more COVID-19 deaths announced in New Hampshire

Update: Wednesday, Jan. 20, 5:00 p.m.

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services announced twelve additional COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday, bringing the state's death toll to 950 since the start of the pandemic.

The state also reported 729 new COVID-19 cases, including 109 individuals under the age of 18. There are currently 254 Granite Staters hospitalized with the virus.

- NHPR Staff

Majority of Valley Street Jail Inmates Considered 'Recovered'

Update: Wednesday, Jan. 20, 3:30 p.m.  

The majority of inmates who tested positive for COVID-19 at Valley Street Jail in Manchester are considered recovered. Thirty-two inmates at the jail are still positive, and the state continues to test inmates and staff on a weekly basis.

So far, Valley Street Jail has had the largest coronavirus outbreak of any county jail in the state, with dozens of staff and 108 inmates testing positive since the beginning of December.

Judges have allowed some inmates there to be released on bail, citing concerns about medical care and COVID-19 conditions in the facility. 

Read the full story here.

-Sarah Gibson

COVID-19 test positivity rate falls in New Hampshire

Update: Wednesday, Jan. 20, 11:20 a.m.  

The percentage of people testing positive for the coronavirus in New Hampshire has fallen in recent weeks, though it remains well above where health officials say it should be to limit community spread.

The so-called test positivity rate, which measures the number of positive cases out of everyone getting tested, peaked above ten percent in New Hampshire earlier this month. Speaking on NHPR’s The Exchange Wednesday, state epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan said the seven-day average is now under 7 percent. (Listen to the full episode of The Exchange here.)

“The trend is promising. The overall number still remains too high. We’d like to see that certainly below 5-percent, and the lower the better,” Chan said.

Chan said the positivity rate is one of the key measures in determining if the state is performing enough testing to identify and isolate people with the virus.

- Todd Bookman

5 more deaths in New Hampshire

Update: Tuesday, Jan. 19, 5:20 p.m.

State health officials reported Tuesday that five more Granite Staters have died from COVID-19. The patients were residents of Belknap, Hillsborough, Merrimack, and Strafford counties. So far, 938 people have died from the virus in New Hampshire since the start of the pandemic.

The state also announced 877 new positive test results for the coronavirus, among them, 112 individuals under the age of 18. 

There are currently 254 patients hospitalized with the virus.

- NHPR Staff

Teachers seek earlier vaccination window

Update: Tuesday, Jan. 19, 12:01 p.m.

New Hampshire teachers and some residents are pushing for the state to prioritize teachers in its COVID-19 vaccine roll-out.

Currently, K-12 teachers in New Hampshire are slated to begin receiving the vaccine in March, in spite of CDC recommendations to put teachers in Phase 1 of vaccine distribution.

Gov. Chris Sununu says that's because vaccines need to go first to those at the highest risk of death and hospitalization from COVID-19.

The state's largest teachers union, NEA-NH, is asking Sununu to move teachers to Phase 1B. This is also the request of over 8,000 people who have signed petitions on change.org, started by a preschool owner in Amherst and parent in Manchester.

The organizers plan to deliver these petitions to the governor this week.

- Sarah Gibson

State announces 1,034 cases; positivity rate of 8.2%

Update: Monday, Jan. 18, 5:45 p.m.

State health officials announced 1,034 new positive test results for COVID-19 on Monday, bringing total infections in New Hampshire since the start of the pandemic to 57,864. No new deaths were announced.

Of the new cases, 138 patients are under the age of 18. There are currently 237 Granite Staters hospitalized with the virus.

- NHPR Staff

State announced six additional COVID-19 deaths

Update: Sunday, Jan. 17, 5:35 p.m.

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services reported six additional residents have died from the coronavirus, bringing the state's death toll to 933 since the start of the pandemic. There are 6,387 active COVID cases statewide, and 243 residents are currently hospitalized.

The state also announced 941 new positive test results for COVID-19, including 130 patients under the age of 18. According to DHHS, community-based transmission of the coronavirus continues to occur across the state, and has been identified in all counties.

- NHPR Staff

N.H. has had 927 COVID-19 deaths to date

Update: Saturday, Jan. 16, 5:01 p.m.

State health officials announced on Saturday an additional 19 coronavirus deaths, bringing the state total to 927 since the start of the pandemic.

These included residents from Belknap, Grafton, Hillsborough, Merrimack, Rockingham, Strafford and Sullivan counties -- all 60 or older.

Another 483 new cases were announced. There are currently 252 people hospitalized with the virus and 6,081 active infections.

The state announced on Thursday that residents 65 and older will be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine during the next vaccination phase.

- Daniela Allee

Earlier updates

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