Coronavirus Update: State Reports 3 Deaths; Hotels Reopen In New Hampshire

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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.

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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 June 7: 

  • 3 additional deaths were reported Sunday. So far, 286 people have died from COVID-19 in New Hampshire. 
  • DHHS reported 26 new cases. The state's total case number now stands at 5,043.

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

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New mobile testing site to open in Manchester

Update: Monday, June 8, 3:45 p.m.

Manchester will be opening up a mobile COVID-19 testing site at the intersection of Union and Spruce Streets this week. The site was created in partnership with several community organizations, including Centro Latino, Hope Tabernacle, and the Granite State Organizing Project.

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The site will be open for one day – this Thursday – but Sarah Jane Knoy, Executive Director of the GSOP, says if there’s enough demand they’ll try to do it every week.

“We want to make sure that this community that is traditionally underserved gets all the testing that they need,” she says.

There will be Spanish interpreters at the site, and organizers say they’re looking into having Arabic, Swahili, and French interpreters as well. The testing will be free and available by appointment only.

- Alex McOwen

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Hotels reopen in New Hampshire

Update: Sunday, June 7, 3:25 p.m.

Hotel managers across New Hampshire say they had a busy reopening weekend. As of Friday, the state’s hotels, motels, and other lodgings are now able to resume operations with increased safety precautions and limited capacity.

Molly Rice, general manager of the Woodstock Inn Brewery in North Woodstock says they had 15 rooms booked this weekend.

“All the guests were like super happy just to be out of their house you know and to be here having dinner having breakfast, it was great to see people again,” Rice says.

Under the state’s reopening guidelines, all hotel common areas are closed and elevators will be limited to one party at a time. Out-of-state guests will be required to sign a document attesting that they’ve remained at a home for at least 14 days before arriving in New Hampshire.

- Alex McOwen

Protections for New Hampshire renters set to expire

Update: Sunday, June 7, 2:30 p.m.

Protections for renters during coronavirus will end when New Hampshire's state of emergency expires. Governor Chris Sununu announced his fourth extension of that order last week. It's now currently set to end June 26.

Jeff Goodrich is an attorney at the Legal Advice and Referral Center based in Concord. He says one place people facing an eviction can go for help is their municipal welfare office.

“That’s probably the first place you want to go, if you have an eviction notice for rent, have that for the welfare officer for bringing the rent current,” he says.

Goodrich says under state law, welfare offices have an obligation to help people meet those payments if they’re facing an eviction.

- Daniela Allee

5 more Granite Staters have died from COVID-19

Update: Saturday, June 6, 4:05 p.m.

Five more New Hampshire residents have died from the coronavirus. State health officials announced Saturday that all five people were 60 or older and from Hillsborough County. The number of Granite Staters who have now died from COVID-19 is now 283.

New Hampshire reports 74 new positive test results, which brings the total number of cases to 5,019. An estimated 66 percent of those have recovered, according to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services.

Eleven of the new cases required hospitalization. To date, 487 people, or 10 percent of the total cases, have required hospital care at some point after being infected.

- NHPR Staff

More details offered on fund for small businesses in N.H.

Update: Saturday, June 6, 9:00 a.m.

After a week's delay, the state on Friday announced additional details about a $400 million fund aimed at small and mid-sized businesses.

Gov. Chris Sununu said the state received more than 13,000 pre-applications for unrestricted grants. Every applicant will now be sent a short follow up form that is due by next Friday, June 12. Sununu says the aim is to make the program seamless.

“We feel very confident. It should be a very successful program to allow folks to get some basic funds in to pay rent or mortgage, utilities, or whatever they need to do to keep those businesses floating and thriving.”

Given the large number of applicants, no entity will receive more than $350,000 in aid. Every business that qualified will receive some level of funding.

- Todd Bookman

New guidance for restaurants, golf, camps, and weddings

Update: Friday, June 5, 3:25 p.m.

New Hampshire will allow indoor dining and wedding receptions to open starting June 15, under new guidance announced Friday by Gov. Chris Sununu.

Sununu outlined additional steps to reopen businesses and activities that were shut down in his previous emergency orders in response to coronavirus.

The guidelines updated Friday include:

Restaurants were allowed to serve outdoor dining customers starting May 18. The next step, on June 15, will allow for indoor dining to resume. Read the latest restaurant guidance.

Sununu said he’s taking a geographic approach based on where most of the COVID-19 cases have been identified - in the southern tier.

To that end, restaurants in Hillsborough, Merrimack, Rockingham and Strafford counties can open June 15 at 50 percent of their indoor capacity. Restaurants in the remaining counties can reopen indoor seating June 15 at 100 percent capacity. Social distancing guidelines for the businesses remain in place.

Wedding reception guidance was also released Friday. For post-weddding receptions and events, occupancy must be limited 5o percent for facilities, tables limited to six people, and dancing within 6 feet of another person is discouraged, with the exception of family members and people from the same household.

Story: Restaurants can soon open for indoor seating; wedding receptions to resume

The state's stay-at-home order is in effect until June 15. At that time, Sununu says, "It is our intent to allow the stay-at-home order to sunset."

The governor said each component of the new guidance includes maintaining social distancing and practicing proper hygiene to limit possible transmission of the virus.

- NHPR Staff

N.H. Reports 5 Additional Deaths, 80 New COVID-19 Cases

Health Commissioner Lori Shibinette announced five additional deaths Friday due to the coronavirus. Four of the residents were from long-term care facilities.

Nearly a Quarter of Nursing Homes in N.H. Impacted by Coronavirus

She announced 80 new cases, which brings the total number of confirmed cases in the state to 4,953. 

- NHPR Staff

Sununu to discuss further guidance for reopening N.H.'s economy

Update: Friday, June 5, 2:01 p.m.

Gov. Chris Sununu will outline additional updates to New Hampshire's emergency orders in response to the coronavirus pandemic during a news conference Friday at 3 p.m. 

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The governor's stay-at-home order was extended previously to June 15. In recent weeks, a task force has continued to review various sectors and industries for reopening guidelines.

Sununu announces phase 2 of seacoast beach reopening

Update: Friday, June 5, 11:01 a.m.

Gov. Chris Sununu has adjusted his emergency order to further reopen New Hampshire's seacoast beaches. He announced Friday that the next phase of reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic would allow for sunbathing and other traditional beach activities.

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It takes effect immediately.

The state's seacoast beaches reopened Monday, June 1, but only for "active recreation," such as walking, running, swimming, and surfing. With Friday's adjustment, beachgoers are still advised to maintain social distancing of 6 feet from other groups.

Parking restrictions remain in place for state parks, and parking is still prohibited along Route 1a in Seacoast communities.

- NHPR Staff

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N.H. offers testing to any resident

Update: Thursday, June 4, 11:39 a.m.

Gov. Chris Sununu says increased coronavirus testing capacity means it’s time to “push the limit" on getting as many people as possible tested.

“Even if you are asymptomatic," he says, "having that information about folks about folks who may be asymptomatic knowing that there are a lot of individuals out there who test positive those folks test positive one that are asymptomatic, and making sure that iffolks are positive, making sure they are not carriers, unknowing carriers to loved ones or other folks in the community. It’s very very important.”

The state announced 47 new cases of coronavirus Wednesday, and nine new COVID-19 related deaths. Six of the people who died were residents of long-term care facilities.

Almost 80 percent of New Hampshire’s 265 coronarvirus deaths are linked to long term care settings.

- Jason Moon

Sununu backs peaceful protest gatherings

Update: Thursday, June 4, 11:12 a.m.

Governor Sununu on Wednesday defended his support of the peaceful protests being held around New Hampshire, which remains under a stay-at-home order because of the pandemic.

Though gatherings of 10 or more people remain banned, thousands of people have attended numerous protests this week following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Sununu noted that he has not stopped other protests during the pandemic, including some aimed at him.

State tax revenues plummet during pandemic

Update: Wednesday, June 3, 4 p.m.

State tax collections came in 22 percent below target for the month of May as the coronavirus pandemic continues to constrict the economy. The $25 million shortfall leaves the state about $100 million behind forecasts for the fiscal year, which closes at the end of June.

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With hotels largely closed and restaurants limited to take-out or outdoor seating, collection of the Meals and Rooms Tax came in 58 percent below target.

Business tax collections were off by about 27 percent, though the Department of Revenue Administration says part of that shortfall is due to an emergency extension for filing returns, meaning some of this shortage will be collected in June.

Real estate transactions in New Hampshire slowed by 17 percent statewide, hurting the collection of the real estate transfer tax.

Tax receipts from the sale of tobacco and liquor in the state were largely on target for the month.

- Todd Bookman

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Long-term care homes still bearing burden of pandemic

Update: Wednesday, June 3, 3:25 p.m.

Dr. Ben Chan, New Hampshire's state epidemiologist, said the latest numbers continue to show the burden that COVID-19 has had on at-risk populations. Six of the nine new deaths reported Wednesday are from long-term care or congregate living homes, he said.

Of the total 265 COVID-19 deaths in New Hampshire, as of June 3, close to 80 percent have been residents of long-term care facilities. More than 76,000 residents have now been tested for coronavirus. Chan says the state is averaging about 1,700 tests a day.

Health Commissioner Lori Shibinette announced that the state is expanding testing in the North Country. ClearChoiceMD and Littleton Regional Hospital have a new site on the grounds of the hospital. Residents may make an appointment, but one is not necessary.

The state allows anyone who wants a coronavirus test to now get one.

- Dan Tuohy

Crowds a challenge for contact tracing

Update: Wednesday, June 3, 10:52 a.m.

Manchester health officials say large gatherings like this weekend’s protests make it nearly impossible to conduct effective contact tracing.

The state of New Hampshire, and the cities of Manchester and Nashua all have teams investigating cases of COVID-19.

Phil Alexakos is the Chief Operating Officer of the Manchester Health Department. He says contact tracing is one of the city’s most effective tools in fighting the coronavirus.

“And so by having large events where things like close contact can happen, if you have cases there could potentially be a lot more exposure that is incubating and waiting to present itself.”

Alexakos says it’s important that people attending these events continue to practice social distancing and to wear face coverings.

If someone who attended a protest tests positive, the city will put out public messaging to alert anyone who may have been exposed.

- Alex McOwen

N.H. reports 11 additional deaths

Update: Tuesday, June 2, 6:52 p.m.

New Hampshire health officials announced 11 additional deaths due to the coronavirus on Tuesday. The deaths, all of whom were 60 or older, brings the total number of COVID-19-related fatalities to 256.

With 65 newly identified positive results, the overall caseload is now 4,749.

Six of the new cases required hospitalization. As of June 2, 97 Granite Staters are in the hospital receiving care for the virus.

- NHPR Staff

Just how accurate are antibody tests?

Update: Tuesday, June 2, 11:31 a.m.

Antibody testing could help determine whether someone has been infected with COVID-19 in the past. But public health officials are still unsure about whether an individual who has antibodies is immune to the virus.

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Antonia Altomare is an epidemiologist and infectious disease physician at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. She says available antibody tests are only accurate 50 percent of the time.

"Until we have a better test, it's going to be hard to know what to make of the results. As far as the research behind immunity, we're getting closer. I would say in the next weeks to month, we'll have a better sense of what that means."

Altomare says antibody testing could still be helpful for the state with regards to contact tracing and keeping track of the spread of the virus.

- Mary McIntyre

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Lawmakers want to study how nursing homes are handling COVID-19

Update: Tuesday, June 2, 11:21 a.m.

A state Senate committee voted unanimously Tuesday to study how New Hampshire nursing homes are handling COVID-19.

The study would look at testing, PPE, infection control policies, and staffing issues in light of COVID-19.

The committee decided against also looking into the fiscal health of nursing homes.

Senator Martha Fuller Clark, D-Portsmouth, feared looking at homes’ finances would impede focusing on pressing safety issues.

“And it seems to me that it might prevent getting the information that we need in a timely fashion. So perhaps there is another way to get that information.”

In New Hampshire, residents of long-term care facilities account for more than 75% of the state’s 245 COVID-19 deaths.

- Josh Rogers

Inland beaches open

Update: Tuesday, June 2, 10:59 a.m.

New Hampshire has opened inland beaches at state parks, but for walking or passing through only.

Inland beaches are narrow and don’t allow for proper social distancing as a seacoast beach would, according to the division of parks and recreation.

State officials say for the most part, park employees haven’t seen the crowds that typically gather at inland beaches in the summer months.

State has tested at all N.H. nursing homes

Update: Monday, June 1, 4:45 p.m. 

New Hampshire has now tested for COVID-19 at all of the state's nursing homes. Completing those tests, which took weeks, was a precondition for the launch of long-term care surveillance testing, a method the state hopes will give it a better handle on how the coronavirus is moving through nursing homes.

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"So what that is, is 10 percent of residents in nursing homes and all staff tested between seven and twelve days with the hope that the average is ten,” says Health and Human Services Commissioner Lori Shibinette.

About 40 percent of New Hampshire’s recent new cases of COVID-19 are tied to long term care facilities, as are more than 75 percent of the state’s deaths.

Overall, the coronavirus has killed 1.5 percent of the residents who live in long term care facilities in New Hampshire.

- Josh Rogers

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N.H. beaches, some business to reopen today

Update: Monday, June 1, 6:55 a.m.

Seacoast beaches are officially open today, but only for visitors who remain in motion.

The governor's reopening plan allows for swimming, running, walking, surfing - but you can't spread out a blanket or eat a picnic lunch on the beach yet. State-owned parking lots are limited to 50 percent capacity.

The state advises any beach goers to maintain social distancing and limit groups to ten people or fewer.

Tattoo shops, personal care businesses can reopen

New Hampshire tattoo shops, massage therapists and some other personal care businesses can open their doors today as long as they follow state public health restrictions.

Michaela Clarke with Midnight Moon Tattoo in Meredith says she and her colleagues are excited to get back to work. They've decided to implement extra precautions like changing into a different set of clothes when they arrive at the studio.

”And then when they leave the studio they change out of their clothing, to wear their home clothing just to lessen any chance of spread,” she says.

Small fitness classes like yoga and martial arts are also allowed to restart today - but the state requires gyms to remain closed to other uses.

- Lauren Chooljian

3 additional deaths, 106 new cases

Update: Sunday, May 31, 7:30 p.m.

State health officials announced three additional deaths from coronavirus on Sunday, which brings the total number of deaths from the virus in New Hampshire to 245.

The residents were all 60 years old or older. One was a male resident of Hillsborough County, two were residents of Rockingham County, one man and one woman.

There were 106 new positive test results Sunday. The total number of confirmed cases in the state now stands at 4,651.

Explore the Data: Tracking COVID-19 in New Hampshire.

- NHPR Staff

4 additional deaths, 55 new cases, 9 new hospitalizations

Update: Saturday, May 30, 7:01 p.m.

State health officials announced four additional deaths from coronavirus on Saturday, which brings the total number of deaths from the virus in New Hampshire to 242.

The residents were all 60 or older and from Hillsborough County. They were two men and two women. 

There were 55 new positive test results Saturday. The total number of confirmed cases is 4,545, of which 2,940, or 65 percent, have recovered, according to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services.

Nine of the new cases required hospitalization. Currental total hospitalizations are now 107.

- NHPR Staff

Earlier updates