Coronavirus Coverage | New Hampshire Public Radio

Coronavirus Coverage

Credit Centers for Disease Control

Important links:

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

Currier Museum of Art

The Currier Museum of Art in Manchester is open again - with safety measures in place - and some new plans to reach out to different communities. The museum was recently awarded more than $700,000 in CARES Act funding to expand an art therapy program for veterans.

Alan Chong, director of the museum, joined NHPR's Peter Biello to talk about that and other new projects there.

Note: The transcript below was machine-generated and may contain minor errors.

Patrick Feller/ Flickr Creative Commons

Citing concerns about the safety of victims of domestic and sexual violence, the New Hampshire Superior Court system says it will no longer automatically stream their testimony from courtrooms.

Since jury trials resumed in the state in August following a months-long pause due to the coronavirus, members of the public have been able to watch proceedings through video links.

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Concerns about the U.S. Postal Service

Oct 21, 2020
A U.S. Postal Service truck is parked outside a home on a snowy day while a postal worker delivers mail.
Flickr

The U.S. Postal Service is dealing with an unprecedented number of mail-in ballots this year, amidst political turmoil about absentee voting and the COVID-19 pandemic. Some are worried about the USPS's ability to process all of the ballots by Election Day given some staff shortages, and there are also concerns about the health and safety of postal workers. National reporters join us to clarify some of the inaccuracies they've heard about the USPS and discuss what they're covering. 

Air date: Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. 

In mid-March, Karla Monterroso flew home to Alameda, Calif. after a hiking trip in Utah's Zion National Park. Four days later she began to develop a bad, dry cough. Her lungs felt sticky.

The fevers that persisted for the next nine weeks grew so high — 100.4, 101.2, 101.7, 102.3 — that on the worst night, she was in the shower on all fours, ice cold water running down her back, willing her temperature to go down.

Fat Katz, a restaurant in Hudson, New Hampshire
Google Maps

Fat Katz Food and Drink, a restaurant in Hudson, has been fined $2,000 for violating state emergency orders in response to COVID-19. 

According to a notice from the state Attorney General’s office, Fat Katz hosted karaoke inside the restaurant with shared equipment and failed to enforce mask policies.

The National Guard

A continuación, encuentra las noticias del martes 20 de octubre. 

Puedes escucharlas haciendo click en el audio o leerlas.


The number of active COVID-19 cases in New Hampshire has more than doubled over the past two weeks, from 500 to over 1,000 infections, a number almost five times higher than the number of cases in the beginning of September.

The National Guard

Positive COVID-19 cases in New Hampshire are becoming harder to investigate and manage, state health officials say.

N.H. Electric Cooperative members support adding broadband access to the utility's mission.
Wikimedia Commons

Members of the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative have voted by a wide margin to add rural broadband service to the utility’s mission.

The vote was 88 percent in favor of adding broadband to the Co-op’s bylaws, alongside electric service. An earlier campaign to do this fell just short of passing.

Face masks
Centers for Disease Control

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services is warning residents of a COVID-19 cluster connected to a restaurant in Hudson.

At least 17 COVID-19 cases have been linked to Fat Katz Food and Drink. 

Picture of Massachusetts Welcome Sign
Jimmy Emerson, DMV/Flick Creative Commons

The state of New Hampshire announced Friday it will file a federal lawsuit against Massachusetts over its cross-border income tax collection policies during the pandemic.

The lawsuit centers on a Massachusetts emergency provision that caps how much income out-of-state residents who work for Massachusetts-based companies can deduct on their income taxes while working remotely. 

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

Schools in New Hampshire are getting an additional $45 million to help with coronavirus-related expenses.

Gov. Chris Sununu announced the funding at a press conference Thursday, following recommendations from lawmakers on the Governor’s Office for Economic Relief and Recovery Legislative Advisory Board.

Most of the money - which comes to the state from the federal CARES Act - will go to school districts directly, at a rate of approximately $200 per pupil.

Jordyn Haime for NHPR

Activists from the Poor People’s Campaign gathered outside Governor Chris Sununu’s press conference this afternoon to demand changes to the state’s draft Crisis Standards of Care.

Sarah Gibson/NHPR

Indoor hockey rinks in New Hampshire are being ordered to shut down for two weeks after being linked to a spate of COVID-19 outbreaks.

Health officials say at least 158 youth and adult players have tested positive during the past two months, including players from 23 different teams. 

CDC

Two additional restaurant employees at Flatbread Company in Portsmouth have tested positive for COVID-19, according to Jason Lyon, company president and COO.

The new positive tests come after one staff member at Flatbread Company in Portsmouth initially tested positive this weekend. All other staff were encouraged to quarantine and get tested, even if they did not come in contact with the infected employee. 

NHPR

New Hampshire first responders now have access to COVID-19 test results within 15 minutes. ClearChoiceMD and ConvenientMD will start to provide those tests this week.

Health officials say there’s not a lot of opportunity for social distancing among first responders, and expanded rapid testing should help with staffing concerns.

Credit Courtesy of Cheryl Gaffney

Classrooms in New Hampshire have changed dramatically to reopen safely in the pandemic, and some of the biggest changes are in music class. Gone are the days of belting out songs shoulder to shoulder, sharing music stands, and swapping instruments. Instead, as NHPR’s Sarah Gibson reports, some schools are following new protocols to bring music back but keep COVID-19 risk low.


Photo Credit woodleywonderworks via Flickr Creative Commons

The Nashua School District is responding to pressure from parents and some school board members to hasten reopening plans after weeks of being almost entirely remote.

At a school board meeting on Tuesday night, Superintendent Jahmal Mosley presented the district’s metrics for moving between remote, hybrid, and in-person models. With transmission levels of COVID-19 now among some of the highest in the state, Mosley said Nashua meets the state's criteria for staying fully remote or hybrid.

Deborah Birx stands at a podium on a stage at Plymouth State.
Daniela Allee / NHPR

At a visit to Plymouth State University today, Doctor Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, warned that rural areas like New Hampshire could see a continued increase in COVID-19 cases. 

Shawn St. Hilaire / Courtesy

A continuación, encuentra las noticias del viernes 9 de octubre. 

Puedes escucharlas haciendo click en el audio o leerlas.

Una nota: Lo escrito es nuestro guión para nuestras grabaciones. Tenlo en cuenta si ven algunas anotaciones diferentes.


Pixabay

The state's long-term care ombudsman Susan Buxton is preparing to re-enter long-term care facilities as state and federal authorities continue the proccess of slowly re-opening nursing homes and assisted living facilities, allowing more visitors in hopes of alleviating social isolation.

"We are now in the process of putting together our plan to be able to go back into the facilities," Buxton said.

For information on how to reach the ombudsman, visit here.

Empty classroom
Pickpik

Superintendents across New Hampshire are warning of budget shortfalls and staff shortages as they navigate the coronavirus pandemic.

White House adviser Stephen Miller has tested positive for the coronavirus, the White House press office told NPR, days after President Trump and several others at the White House have also tested positive for the virus.

In a statement shared by the press office, Miller, who made his name as the architect of some of Trump's most controversial and severe immigration policies, said:

"Over the last 5 days I have been working remotely and self-isolating, testing negative every day through yesterday. Today, I tested positive for COVID-19 and am in quarantine."

The University System of New Hampshire includes Granite State College, Keene State College, Plymouth State University, University of New Hampshire, and UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law.
UNH

The pandemic has had a negative financial impact on many New Hampshire institutions, including higher education.

The University System of New Hampshire did receive and benefit from some CARES Act funding, but the costs associated with COVID-19 have meant major revenue losses.

President Trump was discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and returned to the White House on Monday evening. He gave reporters a double thumbs-up on his way through the doors, and the White House physician earlier on Monday said, "He's up and back to his old self."

But he's a few days into his diagnosis with COVID-19, a novel disease that doctors are still learning how best to treat. And, medical experts say, he may still be in a danger zone.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now says the coronavirus can be spread through airborne particles that can linger in the air "for minutes or even hours" — even among people who are more than 6 feet apart.

Perhaps it's no surprise, but people are drinking more during the pandemic.

In some cases, by a lot.

American adults say they're drinking 14% more often during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report in the journal JAMA Network Open. The increase in frequency of drinking for women was more pronounced, up 17% compared to last year.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

With hundreds of thousands of rapid COVID-19 antigen testing supplies slated to arrive in the coming months, the state says it will now include those results in its daily coronavirus testing figures.

President Trump's medical team held a briefing with reporters at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center again on Sunday.

The doctors said that since testing positive for the coronavirus, Trump has had two episodes of a drop in oxygen — one Friday morning before he went to the hospital and again on Saturday — and began a steroid treatment for that specifically.

Updated a 2:40 a.m. ET

President Trump sought to project an image of vigor in the face of COVID-19, with a surprise motorcade Sunday outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he is being treated, as his physicians suggested he could be discharged to return to the White House as early as Monday.

The president was admitted to Walter Reed on Friday, hours after announcing that he and the first lady had tested positive for the coronavirus.

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