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NH DHHS Daily Update on COVID-19 – March 6, 2020

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) today is issuing the following update on the new coronavirus, COVID-19. DHHS will continue to issue COVID-19 updates each day to provide media and the public with current information about the State’s efforts.

What’s New

· NH MMRS Supports State Efforts to Test People for COVID-19

On March 5, the Metropolitan Medical Response System, a highly-trained volunteer corps affiliated with DHHS, deployed to Lebanon to collect specimens from people determined to be potentially at risk for COVID-19. MMRS deployment was enabled by the Declaration of a Public Health Incident issued by DHHS Commissioner Lori Shibinette (see March 4 Daily Update). Specimens were collected from three community members for COVID-19 testing. MMRS is comprised of volunteer doctors, nurses, pharmacists, paramedics, EMTs, mental health professionals and non-medical personnel who provide medical support during public health events.

· DHHS Guidance for People with a Family Member in Self-Quarantine

Household members such as family members, including children, of quarantined individuals are not required to quarantine. As long as they remain asymptomatic, they can leave the home and can go to public places like school and work. If the person being quarantined develops illness, household members must then also stay home on quarantine.

· COVID-19 Testing Capability Expands

The State Public Health Laboratories (PHL) is now able to increase COVID-19 testing capacity after receiving additional testing supplies from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The additional supplies will allow the PHL to test an additional 200 people who have been determined to qualify for testing in order be able to meet future demand for COVID-19 tests.

Testing capacity is also set to expand due to an announcement from Quest Diagnostics, the world’s largest diagnostic testing provider, that beginning Monday, March 9, it will make testing available to patients through their healthcare provider.

· Federal Funding Bill for COVID-19 Response Approved by U.S. Senate

On March 5, the U.S. Senate approved legislation to provide $8.3 billion for COVID-19 response. Once the bill is signed by the President, the CDC will notify DHHS when the funding is available for NH. Information from the CDC on allowable uses of the funds is pending and the State will provide information on how the funds will be utilized to support the State’s and our communities’ response to COVID-19.

New Hampshire 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Summary Report (updated March 6, 2020, 9:00 a.m.)

Total Number of Persons Tested

25

Number of Confirmed Case(s) 1

0

Number of Persons Being Tested (current, test pending) 2

3

Number of Persons Tested (current, presumptive positive) 3

2

Number of Persons Tested (closed, tested negative)

20

1 Includes specimens confirmed by CDC confirmatory testing.
2 Includes specimens received and awaiting testing at NH Public Health Laboratories (PHL).
3 Includes specimens that have tested presumptive positive at NH PHL and are in route to CDC for confirmatory testing.

DHHS continues to test for COVID-19 in the NH Public Health Laboratories. DHHS is updating its website every morning around 9:00 am to include a current summary of testing actions.

Previous Updates

· DHHS Provides Update on Results of COVID-19 Testing at State Public Health Lab

· Travelers from China, Italy, Iran and South Korea to Self-Quarantine after Returning to U.S.

· U.S. House of Representatives Approves $8.3 Funding Bill for COVID-19 Response

NH DHHS Daily Update on COVID-19 Archive

Because COVID-19, and all respiratory illnesses, are most commonly spread through respiratory droplets, residents should take the same precautions as those recommended to prevent the spread of influenza:

· Stay home and avoid public places when sick (i.e. social distancing)

· Cover mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing

· Wash hands frequently

· Avoid being within 6 feet (close contact) of a person who is sick

· Avoid sharing drinks, smoking/vaping devices, or other utensils or objects that may transmit saliva

· Disinfect frequently touched surfaces

For more information, please visit the DHHS COVID-19 webpage at https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/2019-ncov.htm.