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Coronavirus watch: A total of 39 cases in NH, businesses, churches and schools continue to adjust to social distancing

  • Situation in New Hampshire on Monday, March 16, 2020. NH DHHS

  • Roy's Market in Peterborough announced Tuesday that toilet paper, paper towels and bleach are back in stock. Courtesy Photo

  • Adams Playground in Peterborough is now closed to the public. Courtesy Photo—

  • Adams Playground in Peterborough is now closed to the public. Courtesy Photo—

  • As of Thursday evening, March 12, Shaw's in Peterborough was sold out of some essential hygiene items like toilet paper. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • COVID-19 Photo by CDC on Unsplash—

  • New Hampshire 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Summary Report (updated March 18, 2020, 9:00 AM) NH DHHS—

Published: 3/13/2020 5:51:13 PM
Today, Wednesday, March 18

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services reported 13 new positive test results for COVID-19 for a total of 39 cases in the state. The new cases are all in adults, including six males and seven females, four people from Hillsborough County, three from Rockingham County, three from Carroll County, two from Belknap County, and one from Merrimack County. The four individuals from Hillsborough County all reside in Manchester.

Additionally, Governor Chris Sununu issued three more emergency orders to provide relief. Including that businesses have temporary authorization for take-out or delivery of beer and wine. “All restaurants, diners, bars, saloons, private clubs or any other establishment that have both a restaurant license and on premise license from the New Hampshire liquor commission shall be temporarily authorized to allow for takeout or delivery of beer or wine.”

Click here for the full NH DHHS press release.

We also received another update from Monadnock Community Hospital president and CEO By Cynthia K. McGuire.

“We’re still trying to do the best we can to prepare for the worst,” MCH doctor Lucas Shippee said Wednesday.

The hospital is conserving supplies and staff by limiting services and redirecting employees’ duties. And everyone’s temperature is taken before they are allowed to enter the hospital building.

Shippee said the situation remains “fluid” and while the hospital has tested many for the virus, no tests have come back positive.

Whether life will return to normal in the next few weeks or months is just not known right now, he said. “It’s really impossible to predict.”

We have several stories online right now and in tomorrow’s edition from what’s going on with remote learning in our schools and school lunches to how churches and businesses are adjusting and finally to the Red Cross’ need for donors. We are also adjusting.

We have also launched an online survey and a listing for business hours for those that remain open, please contact us at news@ledgertranscript.com if you need to reach us with any information.

Thanks for reading, MEGHAN PIERCE

Tuesday, March 17

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services announced nine new positive test results for COVID-19, the disease caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus, for a total number of 26 cases in the state. Click here to read the full press release.

“The increasing number of cases and new evidence of community-based transmission raises concern that the COVID-19 outbreak is intensifying in New Hampshire,” said State Epidemiologist, Dr. Benjamin Chan in the press release. “The State has put into place measures to help prevent larger scale transmission at schools and larger gatherings; however, it is critical for everybody to monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 and practice social distancing. We know that this novel coronavirus can be spread very easily through close contact, and the virus can be spread even when people are only having very mild early symptoms of illness.”

Locally, no cases have been reported in the Monadnock Region.

Town officials throughout the region have been meeting to discuss emergency preparedness, many are asking residents to conduct as much town business online and over the phone.

On the business side Roy’s Market announced today that toilet paper, paper towels and bleach are back in stock and Dollar General announced it is “strongly encouraging our first hour of operations be dedicated to our senior shoppers. Additionally, all stores will close an hour earlier in order for employees to clean, restock shelves as well as for their health and wellbeing.”

Here at the Ledger-Transcript we continue to work to keep you as updated as possible. For local businesses, please contact us with your business hours if they have changed and if you are making any accommodations for seniors.

Monday, March 16 update

So much has changed in such a short amount of time in the response to the COVID-19 outbreak both at the state and local level.

On Saturday, most town’s across the state held their Town Meeting. Jaffrey postponed, read our coverage here.

On Sunday, Gov. Chris Sununu issued an Executive Order that ordered all K-12 public schools in New Hampshire transition to temporary remote instruction and support for a three-week period beginning Monday, March 16, and ending Friday, April 3.

Then on Monday he ordered all restaurants and bars are to close dining areas and only serve patrons via take-out, drive-through and delivery.

Additionally on Monday, DHHS announced “four new positive test results for COVID-19. This brings the total in New Hampshire to 17 cases. The new confirmed cases of COVID-19 are in three adult males and one female under the age of 18 years, who are from the counties of Grafton (2), Rockingham (1), and Carroll (1). In total, sixteen cases of COVID-19 have either been travel-related (to domestic or international locations) or identified close contacts of a person with COVID-19; one person’s risk factors are still under investigation. All patients are isolating at home and household contacts have self-quarantined.”

We will continue to cover the ongoing response to COVID-19, specifically how communities and schools handle the school closures and how businesses and employees are managing. Since so many closures have been announced since we started this blog we are no longer trying to list them. We had a reporter write a story today about library closures, and included news that the Peterborough Town Library would be opened in a limited capacity. Shortly after the story went to print, however, the library announced it would also be closing to the public.

Look for our ongoing coverage later this week on what is still open and how churches and managing worship this weekend. Thank you for reading.

This story was last updated Monday, March 18, at 7:45 p.m.

Because of the public health threat, all Monadnock Ledger-Transcript’s coronavirus related news will be free to all readers. Click here to read our ongoing coverage.

We have started this blog to keep the community updated on the ongoing coronavirus response. We will be posting health news as well as closings and cancellations. Please send your news regarding the coronavirus to news@ledgertranscript.com.

The New Hampshire Department of Health & Human Services has set up a COVID-19 hotline for people with questions about coronavirus health concerns or other questions, just dial 211. You can also go to their website for up-to-date information on what is happening around the state and how to protect yourself and your family: https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/2019-ncov.htm.

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