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NH DHHS Daily Update on COVID-19 – March 9, 2020

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has issued the following update for March 9, 2020, 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

DHHS is closely monitoring the global COVID-19 outbreak and emerging science in order to minimize the impact to the health of our population, including rapid identification, isolation, and testing of people with suspect COVID-19. DHHS is issuing the following updated guidance for our communities.

· Travel Guidance for Individuals at Increased Risk for Health Complications from COVID-19

Emerging data from China show that people with medical conditions and those older than 60 years are at increased risk of serious health complications and even dying if they become ill with COVID-19. Everyone should monitor the CDC’s Travel Health Notices and avoid travel to any country with a level 3 travel notice (China, Iran, Italy, South Korea). Older adults and those with other medical conditions should talk with their healthcare providers before any domestic or international travel and consider postponing travel to minimize their risk from COVID-19.

· DHHS and DOE Working to Address School Concerns and Avoid Unnecessary School Closures

DHHS and the NH Department of Education (DOE) continue to work collaboratively to help school districts protect students and communities, and address COVID-19 concerns. We offer and update many resources available both through the DOE and DHHS. The most recent school guidance from DHHS can be found here. As the global COVID-19 epidemic unfolds, there are likely to be more people in NH identified with COVID-19, and close contacts will be asked to stay home and self-quarantine, which may directly affect students and school staff.

NH DHHS will continue to have a scientifically-based and collaborative response that balances reducing risk of disease transmission with school continuity. When DHHS identifies risk from COVID-19 to a school community that warrants closure, DOE and DHHS will collaboratively alert and advise the impacted SAU. Currently, there is no recommendation for any school to close over COVID-19 concerns. We continue to work with the NH DOE to keep school communities updated. It is critical that school districts coordinate their COVID-19 response with DHHS and DOE to make informed decisions to protect their communities.

· Precautionary Guidance for Town Meeting Locations

Tuesday, March 10, 2020 is Town Meeting Day in New Hampshire. To help prevent potential spread of COVID-19 at town meeting locations, the New Hampshire Secretary of State has provided the most recent CDC polling location guidance to town election officials. The above public health recommendations apply to all polling workers and attendees. In addition, the CDC recommends election officials implement the following COVID-19 precautions for town meeting locations:

· Stay at home if you have fever, respiratory symptoms, or believe you are sick

· Practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces

· Disinfect surfaces that may be contaminated with germs after cleaning

· Practice hand hygiene frequently

· Clean and disinfect voting associated electronics (e.g., voting machines, laptops, tablets, keyboards) routinely

· Ensure bathrooms at the polling station are supplied adequately with soap, water, and drying materials so visitors and staff can wash their hands

· Provide an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol for use before or after using the voting machine or the final step in the voting process

New Hampshire 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Summary Report (updated March 9, 2020, 1:00 p.m.)

Total Number of Persons Tested

56

Number of Confirmed Case(s) 1

2

Number of Persons Tested (current, presumptive positive) 3

2

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

8

Number of Persons Tested (closed, tested negative)

Number of Persons Being Monitored in NH (approximate point in time)

44

225


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 Monday through Friday to include a current summary of testing actions.

Previous Updates

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

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

· COVID-19 Testing Capability Expands

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

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.