Coronavirus Coverage

Credit Centers for Disease Control

So far 1,091 cases of COVID-19 have been identified in the state, as of April 14, and 27 patients have died. The CDC and N.H. health officials are conducting containment efforts, including use of isolation to decrease introductions and spread of the virus. The state urges residents to take the following precautions:

  • Avoid any domestic and international travel, especially on public transportation such as buses, trains, and airplanes.
  • Practice social distancing. Stay at least 6 feet from other people, including distancing while in waiting areas or lines.
  • Anybody who is told to self-quarantine and stay at home due to exposure to a person with confirmed or suspect COVID-19 needs to stay home, and not go out into public places.
  • If you are 60 years or older or have chronic medical conditions, you need to stay home and not go out.
  • Avoid gatherings of 10 people or more.
  • Employers need to move to telework as much as possible.
  • There is increasing evidence that this virus can survive for hours or possibly even a few days on surfaces, so people should clean frequently touched surfaces, including door handles, grocery cart and grocery basket handles, etc.

For more info on COVID-19 in N.H., visit the N.H. Dep. of Health & Human Services page here

Peter Biello / NHPR

Like many private sector hospitals, the Manchester VA is taking steps to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The VA is asking anyone with possible symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever or cough, to call the VA before showing up, and providers are deciding on a case-by-case basis whether to go forward with elective, non-urgent surgeries and procedures.

But some VA staff have been concerned that some procedures, like colonoscopies and routine vaccinations, are still taking place. They say these come with unnecessary risks to patients and staff.

Brianna Wu is hoping for an upset.

The software engineer is looking to challenge incumbent Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) for a second time. But, before that, she has to get on the ballot for September's primary.

For congressional candidates like Wu, that means collecting 2,000 signatures, no large number. But with in-person contact several limited by the coronavirus outbreak, even that feels impossible now.

When Jennifer Haller heard that researchers were looking for volunteers to be injected with an experimental coronavirus vaccine, the Seattle mother of two rolled up her sleeve.

Well, not literally. Haller, 43, the first person to receive the vaccine, was wearing a tank top when a pharmacist, sheathed in gloves, a mask and protective eye gear, injected her with an experimental vaccine named mRNA-1273. It made her arm a bit sore, "but besides that, no, no side effects," she says.

President Trump has made a lot of promises about actions that his administration is taking to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Not all of them have been exactly on the mark — and some have yet to pay off as advertised.

Naval hospital ships

The president announced on Wednesday that the Navy would dispatch its two hospital ships, the USNS Comfort and the USNS Mercy, to help treat patients and free up land-based hospitals for coronavirus patients.

KRISTIAN BJORNARD; FLICKR cc

Recycling handlers across New Hampshire are concerned about coronavirus exposure despite federal reassurance.

The current federal guidance to municipal waste operators is that they can keep handling people's trash and recyclables in the usual way without an extra risk of picking up coronavirus.

Click here for all of NHPR's coronavirus coverage, including our live blog, FAQs, and more

Recycling handlers across the state are concerned about coronavirus exposure despite federal reassurance.

The current federal guidance from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to municipal waste operators is that they can keep handling people's trash and recyclables in the usual way without an extra risk of picking up coronavirus.

“That’s surprising to many of our members and they want to take additional steps," says Reagan Bissonnette, the executive director of the Northeast Resource Recovery Association.

Centers for Disease Control

The cities of Manchester and Nashua are seeking donations of cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment as they work to respond to the coronavirus outbreak.

United Airlines is threatening massive employee layoffs, furloughs or pay cuts if Congress doesn't pass a coronavirus economic relief package by the end of this month.

The air travel industry is suffering enormous financial losses because of the coronavirus outbreak as governments and businesses around the world restrict travel.

Thursday, the Transportation Security Administration reported screening the fewest number of airline passengers ever. Only about 624,000 people passed through airport security checkpoints, compared to 2.4 million people on the same day last year.

The novel coronavirus, which has hit the U.S. like a storm that no one saw coming, has taken a toll on schools, restaurants, bars, the airline industry, retail and other businesses.

Now, it's affecting the funeral home industry.

Washington state officials this week banned funerals and memorial services until the end of the month, with that moratorium likely to be extended indefinitely. Burials are now "delivery only," meaning that only mortuary workers are allowed at the grave site.

Updated at 8:03 p.m. ET

The White House disclosed its first case of the coronavirus on Friday night: a person who works in the office of Vice President Pence.

"Neither President Trump nor Vice President Pence had close contact with the individual," Pence spokeswoman Katie Miller said in a statement. She declined to give further details.

"Further contact tracing is being conducted in accordance with CDC guidelines," Miller said.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday afternoon ordered all Illinois residents to stay at home, as the deadly coronavirus has spread to a quarter of the state's counties and infected more than 500 people.

The stricter limits will go into effect on Saturday.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Booms, clangs and bangs — the sounds of a healthy supply chain — continue to echo on the production floor of Hitchiner Manufacturing in Milford.

While retailers and restaurants across New Hampshire are facing a sudden disruption in business, Hitchiner, like many of the state’s manufacturers, hasn’t yet felt the impact of the coronavirus epidemic.

This is part of a series looking at pressing coronavirus questions of the week. We'd like to hear what you're curious about. Email us at goatsandsoda@npr.org with the subject line: "Weekly Coronavirus Questions."

The global spread of COVID-19 cases continues, with cases around the world and increasingly strict measures to control its spread. Authorities in the U.S. and other countries have banned or discouraged large gatherings and are urging social distancing and frequent hand-washing.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

Schools are closed. Restaurants and bars have been banned from serving customers on-site. Even the state-owned ski area at Cannon Mountain has gone dark. It's all part of the state's effort to limit the transmission of COVID-19.

But one aspect of life in New Hampshire goes on as usual: state liquor outlets.

Click here for all of our coronavirus coverage, including our live news blog, FAQs, and more

Updated at 12:15 p.m. ET

U.S. taxpayers will have a three-month extension to file their taxes because of the coronavirus pandemic, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Friday.

He said that at the president's direction, "we are moving Tax Day from April 15 to July 15."

"All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties," Mnuchin added.

At the same time, he encouraged people who are set to receive refunds to file earlier so that they can get their money more quickly.

The fact that the novel coronavirus appeared in the middle of flu season has prompted inevitable comparisons. Is COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, pretty much similar to the flu or does it pose a far greater threat?

Although there are still many unknowns about COVID-19, there is some solid information from researchers that sheds light on some of the similarities and differences at this time.

Symptoms

The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 needed more than three months to infect 100,000 people worldwide, most of them in China. But the number of cases has surged since hitting that milestone earlier this month, with health agencies reporting another 100,000 people becoming infected in just 12 days, the World Health Organization said Friday.

Wikimedia Commons

As the coronavirus continues to spread throughout New Hampshire, communities are shutting down and people are isolated as they practice social distancing.

But in Tamworth, a group of nurses is working to keep their community connected through this pandemic.

NHPR's Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with Jo Anne Rainville, the executive director of the Tamworth Community Nurse Association, which provides free medical care and counseling to people in town.

(Editor's note: this transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.)

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: March 20, 2020

Mar 20, 2020

Friday on The Exchange, it's the Weekly New Hampshire News Roundup, and we'll take stock of a week when the coronavirus pandemic life changed for so many in the Granite State. Schools shut down, restaurants closed, and large gatherings banned. We'll examine changes to the state's unemployment benefits, the capacity for testing COVID-19, and the roll out of remote learning plans. 

Two Vermonters who tested positive for COVID-19 have died. Gov. Phil Scott and Health Commissioner Mark Levine announced the first coronavirus-related deaths in the state at a hastily arranged press conference Thursday night.

Gun and ammunition sales often spike during a crisis. That's exactly what's been happening now with the cornonavirus threat. Many gun buyers say they want to be ready with protection if there's panic.

Just a few miles from the Los Angles Airport, a group of people, including families with children playing video games, lined up outside LAX Ammo in Inglewood. A store employee checks IDs and tells potential customers what caliber ammunition is in stock. Answering questions, he tells the crowd he has .45 caliber and .38 Special.

As our state, our country and the world confront the coronavirus pandemic, NHPR is committed to  bringing you the latest information and serving as a vital community resource and virtual gathering spot.

Pharmacy staff who prepare IV drugs inside hospitals are the latest health care workers decrying a shortage of masks as they scramble to prepare medicines for patients with diagnoses ranging from cancer to COVID-19.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has ordered California's 40 million residents to stay at home indefinitely in the widest-ranging directive so far of any state as it grapples with a growing novel coronavirus epidemic that has killed 150 people nationwide.

The order late Thursday called on people to remain in their homes with exceptions only for essential travel. The move follows similar restrictions issued earlier this week for the San Francisco Bay Area.

Special hours for seniors to shop are just one of the ways grocery stores across the U.S. are adjusting their operations during the coronavirus pandemic.

Supermarkets are restricting their opening hours to give workers time for cleaning and restocking. They're also limiting how many items people are allowed to buy. And they're adding special designated hours when only seniors and others most vulnerable to the coronavirus are invited to shop.

U.S. Census Bureau

 

Officials with the 2020 Census are changing outreach efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Census Bureau announced it was suspending all field operations until April 1. Officials are also postponing the date to count homeless residents in New Hampshire.

And in historically undercounted immigrant and refugeee communities, groups are rethinking or postponing mobile assistance centers meant to help people without computers, phones, or internet complete the census online.

People infected with the coronavirus can spread it easily, even if they're not yet experiencing severe symptoms of the disease, according to virologists watching the pandemic unfold in Europe.

DHMC

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health is seeking donations of personal protective equipment for its healthcare providers. The hospital system is looking for more hand sanitizer, face masks and gloves as it prepares for an influx of patients with COVID-19. 

Click here for our live coronavirus blog for more New Hampshire updates

Via UNH website

Note: This is an updated version of an earlier story  

At UNH, online move comes after confusion  

The University of New Hampshire and other state schools are ending in-person classes for the rest of this semester. 

Click here for all of NHPR's coronavirus coverage, including our live blog, FAQs, and the latest guidance from health officials.

The state university system made the decision Wednesday night due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. 

Chelie Beaupre

From the minute she wakes up, Chelie Beaupre is thinking about grocery shopping. 

She’s been working 7 days a week, 12 hours a day, for the past two weeks -- getting groceries for a growing list of customers in the Manchester area who are using Instacart, an app that people can use for same-day grocery deliveries. 

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