Health officials in New Hampshire announced seven new outbreaks of the novel coronavirus on Thursday, six of which are occurring in a long-term care facility. The seventh involves a cluster of cases at the Department of Corrections Secure Psychiatric Unit, where 10 residents and 14 staff have tested positive for the virus.
Dr. Ben Chan, the state’s epidemiologist, also announced seven new deaths on Thursday, the majority of which occurred in residents of long-term care facilities. The total number of fatalities the state has seen related to the outbreak is now 544.
“So, I just want to pause and briefly comment that we continue to hear people comparing COVID-19 to influenza,” Chan said, during a press conference. “And while the symptoms of COVID-19 and influenza are very similar, if not the same in most circumstances, the consequences and the impact on our communities from COVID-19 is much more severe. And I think that that’s clearly highlighted in the number of people dying from COVID-19 compared to the number of people that normally die from influenza every year.”
CORONAVIRUS SURGE ‘LIKELY’ 2 TO 3 WEEKS POST-THANKSGIVING, FAUCI WARNS
The seven new additions bring the total number of ongoing coronavirus outbreaks at institutions in the state to 19. At New Hampshire Veterans’ Home, where 51 residents are sick and 66 staff members have tested positive, the state has recorded 15 deaths. St. Teresa Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, which has seen 31 residents test positive and 18 staff members sickened, has reported nine fatalities.
Coos County Nursing Hospital currently has the largest ongoing outbreak, with 60 resident cases reported and 62 staff members also testing positive. The facility has reported six fatalities.
Statewide, health officials are reporting a 6.5% average positive rate, with the active number of cases reaching over 4,300. Chan said there is an average of about 500 to 600 new infections per day.
CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE
“The pandemic continues to show very high spread within our communities,” Chan said. “And as community transmission increases, we know that the risk to our individual, our families, our communities, our schools, our businesses is only going to increase. And the community mitigation measures, the social distancing, the facemask use, avoiding social gatherings, practicing good hand hygiene continues to be the primary way that we have to control this pandemic, at least until we have widespread supply of a vaccine.”