Coronavirus Coverage

Credit Centers for Disease Control

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

With the coronavirus pandemic sweeping across the globe, everyone is being urged to isolate at home and distance themselves from one another. But what happens if you’re in recovery for substance use disorder and isolating yourself is detrimental to your health? We discuss how recovery centers are providing care remotely and how those in recovery are coping.

Air date: Thursday, March 26, 2020

As the new coronavirus continues to spread around the globe, researchers say the virus is changing its genetic makeup slightly. But does that mean it is becoming more dangerous to humans? And what would the impact be on any future vaccines?

Governor Chris Sununu says the state is exploring the option of offering curbside pickup at New Hampshire Liquor and Wine Outlets as a way to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, while allowing the outlets to remain open.

Sununu said the details were still being worked out.

The governor signed an executive order last week allowing people to purchase beer and wine directly from local restaurants, which have been limited to offering only carry-out or delivery service due to the virus.

At a time when the nation is desperate for authoritative information about the coronavirus pandemic, the country's foremost agency for fighting infectious disease outbreaks has gone conspicuously silent.

"I want to assure Americans that we have a team of public health experts," President Trump said at Tuesday evening's coronavirus task force briefing — a bit of reassurance that probably would not have been necessary if that briefing had included anyone from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Borrowers who have defaulted on their federal student loans will get a temporary reprieve from having their wages, Social Security benefits and tax refunds garnished by the federal government, U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced on Wednesday. This break will last for a minimum of 60 days, beginning March 13.

NHPR

 

 

Four-term Democrat Anne McLane Kuster says a series of CDC-related events set the country back dramatically when it comes to fighting the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

 

“So what we tried to do here in New Hampshire is adjust to the reality on the ground,” she said, commending state officials who attempted testing in the early stages. “But they were quickly overwhelmed in that lab,” she said, speaking on The Exchange. Kuster represents the second Congressional District in New Hampshire.

 

(To hear the full Exchange conversation with Congresswoman Kuster, click here.

Excerpted comments in this story have been edited slightly for clarity)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daniela Allee / NHPR

Coronavirus has forced the closure of restaurants, stores and other places where we gather.  And with so many people staying home, hobbies are becoming more important.

For some, knitting, crocheting and sewing have been ways to stay grounded and connected with others - and it's also a way to help those working on the frontlines of this pandemic. 

NHPR launches new statewide call-in program; NPR to air national conversation show 

NHPR’s weekday evening lineup is changing, in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Updated at 11:47 p.m. ET

The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved a $2 trillion relief package Wednesday night designed to alleviate some of the worst effects of the swift economic downturn currently underway as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ahead of the 96-0 vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told lawmakers, "Our nation obviously is going through a kind of crisis that is totally unprecedented in living memory."

Coronavirus home cooking is now a part of American life.

In an unusual move, the Food and Drug Administration today announced that is making it easier for doctors to try an experimental treatment for COVID-19 patients that uses plasma from people who had the disease and recovered.

There is scant evidence it works in people infected with the coronavirus, but the approach has been tried for other illnesses.

Updated at 11:35 p.m. ET

Workers in at least eight Amazon warehouses across the country have tested positive for the coronavirus, just as the e-commerce giant ramps up hiring to meet surging online sales.

Across much of the nation, health care workers report ongoing, dire shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) including hospital gowns, face shields and especially respiratory N95 face masks.

President Trump says key help is on the way from the strategic reserve and from private industry ramping up production, including big shipments from 3M.

Updated at 2:20 a.m. ET

The Trump administration and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced early Wednesday that the White House and Senate had reached a deal for an unprecedented $2 trillion spending package aimed at propping up individuals, businesses and the nation's health care system amid the onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic.

White House legislative affairs director Eric Ueland made the announcement at about 1 a.m. ET.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we are done. We have a deal," Ueland said.

Centers for Disease Control

As communities prepare for an anticipated surge in coronavirus cases, local police, fire and EMT responders are making due with a dwindling supply of protective gear to limit their own exposure.

But with personal protective equipment in short supply nationwide, some departments say they will have to alter their response plans to protect their staff.  

Dan Tuohy/NHPR

New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu contends that a policy of social distancing is sufficient to "flatten the curve" of coronavirus in the state. A recent executive order prohibited gatherings of more than 50 people; that number was later reduced to 10 people. Some state and city leaders, including the mayors of Nashua and Manchester, are advocating for more stringent measures. We discuss what “shelter in place” means, where the state currently stands with official closures, and the impacts on the state economy.

 

Air Date: Wednesday, March 25, 2020

CDC.gov

Almost daily, state public health officials have updated the total number of coronavirus cases identified in New Hampshire. On Monday, that number surpassed 100 — a grim milestone.

Local media outlets, including New Hampshire Public Radio, have reported on this growing number as a sign of the virus’ spread in the state.

Click here for our live blog for the lates updates on coronavirus in New Hampshire

In arguing for returning the country to some kind of normal sooner rather than later, President Trump noted that 36,000 people, on average, die from the flu each year.

"But we've never closed down the country for the flu," the president said during an appearance on Fox News on Tuesday. "So you say to yourself, 'What is this all about?' "

The rate of new coronavirus cases in New York is "doubling about every three days" and is speeding up even more, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday. "That is a dramatic increase in the rate of infection."

The new estimates are "troubling and astronomical numbers," the governor said. He added that the apex of the curve of rising coronavirus cases in New York is still 14 to 21 days away, according to the latest projections. The governor also said New York is in urgent need of ventilators and other vital resources.

Updated at 7:35 p.m. ET

In his Tuesday afternoon briefing with the coronavirus task force, President Trump couched earlier comments about the need to reopen the U.S. economy within weeks, emphasizing that the decision would ultimately be data driven and made in consultation with public health experts.

The president said he still wants Americans working again by Easter Sunday, something he first said during a virtual town hall with Fox News earlier in the day. But he was much more circumspect over whether that would be possible from a medical standpoint.

With just about 500,000 employees, the United States Postal Service is one of the country's largest employers, but many workers say they're not receiving the training or supplies they need to deal safely with the coronavirus. They fear becoming carriers of another kind — catching and unwittingly spreading the virus.

Across the country, medical professionals are working to save the lives of people suffering from COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

In many places, a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) means that that nurses must reuse masks and do without certain protective measures.

The U.S. economy has been staggered and shocked by the coronavirus pandemic. A stock market meltdown was followed by a more seismic event — waves of business shutdowns, putting millions of jobs at risk.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR / NHPR

The Exchange will produce a special extended second hour on Wednesday at 10 a.m., as we talk with New Hampshire Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster. We'll discuss how Congress has responded to the coronavirus epidemic, including bipartisan legislation that is aimed at helping families, small businesses, and health agencies at all levels of government. We'll also get her response to the latest developments here in New Hampshrie, including the state's first death due to coronavirus and limits on public gatherings. 

What questions do you have about the federal response to the coronavirus? How has it impacted your life? Submit your questions before the show using NHPR's coronavirus listener survey.

Air date: 10 a.m., Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The Spanish military has found older residents of some care homes "completely abandoned" and even "dead in their beds," Defense Minister Margarita Robles said in a television interview on Monda

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

With reports of busy hiking trails, New Hampshire’s search-and-rescue teams are urging people who head into the forest to use an extra degree of caution to avoid putting wilderness first responders at risk for COVID-19.

While conservation officers are carrying personal protective gear, performing rescues could expose rescuers to the coronavirus.

As COVID-19 begins to hit jails and lockups around the country, the Trump administration is coming under growing pressure to release elderly and other particularly vulnerable inmates in the federal prison system to mitigate the risk of the virus' spread.

Already, three inmates and three staff at federal correctional facilities across the United States have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. In detention centers at the state and local level, including in New York City's jail system, confirmed cases of COVID-19 are on the rise.

Stay inside, don't meet with friends, don't go to work — these are the messages coming from public health officials at every level of government. But increasingly, experts say they believe those stark warnings must be augmented with another message:

If you think you might be sick, even a little sick, get tested for coronavirus.

The federal government is now adding supercomputers to its tool set in the hunt for ways to stop COVID-19.

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday approved a $100 billion bill to boost testing for the coronavirus and to guarantee paid sick leave for millions of workers impacted by the outbreak. Now, lawmakers are working on a $1 trillion dollar economic stimulus package on top of that. WGBH News' Morning Edition host Joe Mathieu spoke with New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen to learn more about the Senate's response to the pandemic. The transcript below has been edited for clarity.

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