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COVID-19: Most NH hospital overflow sites closing; Sullivan County nursing home worker tests positive

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    A heart and the words "Hang in There" adorn the wall of an alleyway, sharing an inspirational message, outside the Cravings Cafe and Gift Shop in Nashua, N.H., Wednesday, May 27, 2020. Many of the adults with disabilities that work at the cafe and gift shop have not been able to go to their usual jobs at the shop due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Charles Krupa

  • Bill Forchion, of Brattleboro, Vt., paints hearts onto slate and gives them out for free to people in the community in hopes of raising their spirits Thursday, May 28, 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Kristopher Radder/The Brattleboro Reformer via AP) The Brattleboro Reformer via AP — Kristopher Radder

The Associated Press
Published: 5/28/2020 9:50:59 PM
Modified: 5/28/2020 9:50:52 PM

CONCORD — New Hampshire plans to start breaking down most of its “flex facilities” to handle hospital overflow for coronavirus cases starting next week, saying that hospitals have created surge spaces of their own, if needed.

The state had set up 14 facilities around New Hampshire for about 1,600 beds. It plans to keep four facilities open in Manchester, Plymouth, Durham and Littleton.

“My job is to plan for the worst and hope for the best, and when we stood these surge sites up our hope was to never have to turn the lights on,” Gov. Chris Sununu said in a statement Thursday.

Health and Human Services Commissioner Lori Shibinette said the state is prioritizing resources for residents and staff at long-term care facilities.

Worker at Sullivan County nursing home tests positive

UNITY — A part-time employee of Sullivan County nursing home has tested positive for COVID-19, according to nursing home administrator Ted Purdy.

The nursing home tested all its residents and staff members during the week of May 17, Purdy said in a Thursday email. The National Guard Mobile Testing Unit tested 130 residents and 70 staff members and 150 other employees were tested at the Claremont Middle School.

The female employee worked two shifts on May 20 and 21 before she notified the nursing home of her positive result on May 22, according to a Facebook post last week by Sullivan County Manager Derek Ferland.

The employee remains in good health without symptoms, Purdy said. She is being followed by the New Hampshire Department of Public Health.

No residents have tested positive.

Residents and staff members at the nursing home are screened for symptoms regularly, Purdy said. Staff evaluate residents for symptoms and take residents’ temperatures three times a day. Staff members are screened and their temperatures are taken at the beginning and end of their shifts.

Older adults and those with underlying health conditions are considered to be at a greater risk of developing serious symptoms or dying from COVID-19.

A resident of Grafton County Nursing Home in North Haverhill died in late April after contracting COVID-19.

Vermont tests Rutland prison; no coronavirus cases found

MONTPELIER — The Vermont Department of Corrections said Thursday it has completed testing of inmates and staff at the Rutland prison for the virus that causes COVID-19 and no cases were detected.

The department announced the results of the tests of 117 inmates and 87 staff members of the Marble Valley Regional Correctional Facility.

Vermont now has completed testing of all inmates and staff at four of the state’s six correctional facilities. Additional tests are planned.

Races postponed at NH track

The Attorney General’s Office will not take action against a New Hampshire racetrack that violated the state’s order prohibiting large gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic.

Riverside Speedway in Groveton held races with spectators on Saturday despite being warned by police, the Attorney General’s Office said. After being told the state was prepared to take legal action, Riverside owner Michael Humphrey announced Wednesday the season has been postponed until further notice.

Attorney General Gordon MacDonald said Thursday that no further action was necessary.

“The objective of the Governor’s Orders is to protect the public health. Mr. Humphrey’s decision advances that important objective,” he said.

Valley News Staff Writer Nora Doyle-Burr contributed to this report.

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