Health | New Hampshire Public Radio

Health

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The state's largest school district is going remote, citing a steady rise in coronavirus cases and potential staffing shortages.

The Manchester Board of School Committee announced the decision on Tuesday, as the 7-day PCR Test Positivity Rate hovered around 7%, one of the highest in the state. The move takes effect Monday, Nov. 23.

Courtesy of Facebook/Southern New Hampshire Health

The city of Nashua is revamping 24/7 walk-in services for people seeking help with addiction.

Nashua has been without after-hour addiction services since its Safe Stations programs shut down in July.

NHPR File

With coronavirus cases rising and Thanksgiving around the corner, some school districts are weighing whether to go remote until after the holidays.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

A spike in coronavirus cases is forcing many New Hampshire school superintendents to consider going remote.

So far, state officials say school reopening has contributed very little to the state’s coronavirus numbers, but many districts’ reopening metrics require them to reassess their schedule when community transmission levels reach those seen in the last week.

CDC.gov

This post was updated with new information on Nov. 2.

A youth residential facility in Plymouth is dealing with a cluster of COVID-19 cases.

As of Monday, the state's coronavirus data dashboard repoted 19 active cases. A spokesman for the state health department says the latest number reflects ten cases among academy staff and nine cases among youth.

Courtesy of Gorham Middle & High School Facebook page

Schools in the Androscoggin Valley have avoided COVID-related quarantines and shutdowns so far, but COVID-19 cases at the federal prison in Berlin have school leaders on alert.

courtesy of Federal Bureau of Prisons

The federal prison in Berlin says inmates who tested positive with the coronavirus earlier this month have all recovered, but the prison has continued widespread testing to monitor for more cases.

Prison spokesman Aaron Posthumus says that after eight inmates tested positive earlier this month, they and inmates who had close contact with them were placed in quarantine. 

Courtesy of Dan Goonan

Manchester officials and the state are once again sparring over how to fund homelessness response efforts in the city.

The National Guard

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

Josh Rogers / NHPR

State health officials are doubling down on their recommendations to schools for dealing with potential COVID-19 cases, in spite of criticism that the recommendations are too strict.

The state says students with any new or unexplained COVID-19 symptoms should immediately be sent home and referred to their physician for COVID-19 testing.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

More school districts are announcing positive COVID-19 cases, prompting a handful of schools and over a thousand students to go to remote learning plans this week.

DHHS

A coronavirus outbreak among students at Windham High School will force that school to remain remote for at least the next week.

The school was supposed to reopen with a hybrid model on Wednesday, but news that sixteen students had tested positive for COVID-19 prompted the school to change its plans last minute and reopen with a remote model.

Pikist

State health officials say schools should be prepared to send students with even mild symptoms of the coronavirus home, and that rapid testing will be necessary for schools to remain open.

Stethoscope
jasleen_kaur

With most New Hampshire schools just a month from reopening, there's one staff member on many people's minds: the school nurse.

Jason Moon for NHPR

A group of Black, Latino and immigrant business owners and community advocates is calling on Gov. Chris Sununu and lawmakers to direct more COVID-19 relief money to minority communities.

As the numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases rise in New Hampshire, we've heard from a lot of listeners.

As a station, we've tried our best to keep pace with the breaking news of the virus, including a live coronavirus blog, a story on finding connection while social distancing, and reporting on how schools are responding to the outbreak.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu says his opposition to the Affordable Care Act hasn't changed, but that it makes sense for New Hampshire to join a multi-state effort to defend the law from legal challenge.

Sununu has had a complicated relationship to the health care law often known as Obamacare. He described it as a failure and and celebrated efforts to repeal it. But he's also signed a reauthorization of Medicaid Expansion -- a provision of the law that's brought the state millions of dollars to pay for heath care.

Allison Quantz / NHPR

State officials say statistics released for 2018 show that heart disease was the leading cause of death in New Hampshire.

That's the first time in over a decade that it surpassed cancer.

More than 2,600 New Hampshire residents died from heart disease that year.Nationally, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women.

About 647,000 Americans die from heart disease each year, accounting for one in every four deaths.

High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking are major risk factors for heart disease.

Photo by Vaping360.com via Flickr / Flickr/CC - http://vaping360.com/

 

Massachusetts' ban last week on vaping products is giving a boost to some vape shops in New Hampshire. The ban, which came after a rash of vaping-related lung illnesses and deaths in September, is considered the most aggressive state action against vaping in the country.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Local health care providers facing the loss of federal money beacuse of Trump administration rules on abortion say their patients will be hurt by the state budget impasse.

Top Democratic budget writers say that’s one reason they want a quick resolution with Governor Sununu, who vetoed their budget last week.

Flickr/Meriwether Lewis Elementary School

 

New Hampshire is the best state in the country for child well-being, according to a national study released this week.

The 2019 Kids Count Data Book, funded by the Annie E Casey Foundation, shows New Hampshire's student test scores and children's health outcomes are some of the highest in the country and are improving.

Credit ZaldyImg/Flickr

 

The Monadnock region’s first syringe exchange program is getting off the ground this month. The pilot program is part of a mobile harm reduction effort by the Keene Serenity Center and funded by the national non-profit AIDS United.

Recovery coaches will deliver a kit with clean water, syringes, tourniquets, disposal bags, and safe injection instructions to homeless people who are addicted to opioids.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

 

Students and administrators say e-cigarettes are becoming more popular and harder to control in New Hampshire.

E-cigarettes - which look like flash drives or pens - produce a flavored vapor with nicotine. Manufacturers say they help adults quit smoking, but with flavors like cotton candy and lagging regulations on products, many say vaping has become an epidemic among teens.

Speaking with Senator Jeanne Shaheen at Epping High School on Tuesday, freshman Dylan Comeau suggested the original intent of vaping had changed.

AP

Prescription opioids in New Hampshire could soon be marked by orange stickers on their lids. A bill passed by the state senate by a vote of 22-1 on Thursday would also require pamphlets be given out with each prescription.

The bill's sponsor, Democratic state rep Tom Loughman, says he introduced the bill after hearing stories of people who took opioids without realizing it.

NHPR Photo

Lawmakers approved a bill Wednesday requiring all of the state's public middle and high schools to provide menstrual products in female and gender neutral bathrooms free of charge.

The bill was inspired by Rochester high schooler, Caroline Dillon, who said her peers were skipping school because they couldn't afford tampons or pads.

Supporters have praised the bill for breaking the stigma around menstruation.

Its critics said the bill was an unfunded mandate requiring schools to pay for more services without giving them the money to do so.

 

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

 

 At a public hearing on the state budget Tuesday, senators heard testimony in support of increasing funding for public schools and health care workers.

Many spoke in support of a bill that would boost state aid for health care programs, address worker shortages, and increase Medicaid reimbursements.

Daniel S. Hurd via Flickr CC

A plan to spend more than $10 million to address a shortage of mental health beds has passed the New Hampshire House.

The money would pay for a number of efforts including renovations at existing hospitals to make room for more mental health beds, a new mobile mental health crisis unit, and new transitional housing for people who are released from inpatient psychiatric care.

Flickr/Marco Verch

Lawmakers are moving forward with a bill that would require schools to provide tampons and pads in restrooms for free.

The proposed legislation began when Rochester high schooler Caroline Dillon realized last year that her peers were skipping school when menstruating because they couldn't afford menstrual products.

Courtesy Dartmouth-Hitchcock

Lawmakers at the State House heard testimony on a bill Wednesday that would pave the way for an expansion of telemedicine in New Hampshire.

Senate bill 258 would add primary care physicians and pediatricians to the list of doctors in New Hampshire who can bill Medicaid and private insurers for telemedicine.

CDC.gov

In an effort to halt an ongoing hepatitis A outbreak, health clinics in Manchester, Nashua, Somersworth, and Concord are offering free vaccines to people without health insurance.

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