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COVID-19: NH cases hit lowest average since early April

  • Trish, left, and John Portanova dine inside instead of outside on the patio at the La Carreta restaurant in Portsmouth, N.H. on Monday, June 15, 2020. Indoor dining rooms reopened across New Hampshire as some restrictions due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak were lifted. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Charles Krupa

  • A patron wearing a protective mask leaves The Goat Bar and Grill restaurant on Monday, June 15, 2020 in Portsmouth, N.H. as other guests eat lunch in the window seating area. Indoor dining rooms reopened across New Hampshire as some restrictions due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak were lifted. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Charles Krupa

  • Patrons finish their lunch inside The Works Bakery on Monday, June 15, 2020 in Portsmouth, N.H. as another guest reads a book with her meal at an outdoor table. Indoor dining rooms reopened across New Hampshire as some restrictions due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak were lifted. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Charles Krupa

  • A family crosses the street to look at the menu at The Goat Bar and Grill restaurant on Monday, June 15, 2020 in Portsmouth, N.H., as guests eat lunch in the window seating area. Indoor dining rooms reopened across New Hampshire as some restrictions due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak were lifted. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Charles Krupa

Published: 6/15/2020 9:31:11 PM
Modified: 6/16/2020 10:59:13 PM
NH cases hit lowest averagesince early April

The two-week average of new cases of COVID-19 in New Hampshire declined to 50 over the weekend, the lowest it has been in more than two months.

According to state statistics, the last time the running average was this low was April 9, when New Hampshire was just instituting more testing and trying to determine the extent of COVID-19.

At the same time, however, deaths are continuing to rise. The tally of people who have succumbed to COVID-19 has risen more than 100 in less than three weeks to 318 as of Sunday. Deaths continued to be almost entirely concentrated among people over age 60 in long-term care facilities.

The percentage of people who have recovered from COVID-19 is now at 75% — 3,987 out of 5,318.

As of Monday, 5,345 people in New Hampshire had tested positive for the virus, an increase of 27 from the previous day. The number of deaths stood at 320.

Restaurants welcome diners inside

CONCORD — New Hampshire restaurants reopened for indoor dining Monday, though pleasant weather made patio seating more popular at one breakfast spot.

Erika Kainu, manager of Tucker’s in Merrimack, estimated that at most, eight indoor tables were full at any one time Monday morning, with many customers opting to sit outside instead. The restaurant seats 100 people, but is limited to 50 under new rules meant to prevent spread of the coronavirus. Customers were happy to return, as were staffers, she said.

“The team is really excited to be back, we’re really happy to have customers in the restaurant,” she said. “It’s obviously been an adjustment, but the team is so flexible and resilient.”

Restaurants initially were restricted to takeout and delivery after Gov. Chris Sununu issued a stay-at-home order in March. Outdoor dining resumed May 18, and as of Monday, indoor dining is allowed at tables spread 6 feet apart.

Restaurants in Rockingham, Hillsborough, Merrimack and Strafford counties are limited to 50% capacity, however, not just because the vast majority of the state’s COVID-19 cases have occurred there, but because of their proximity to the Massachusetts border.

Monday marked the first day of the state’s move from a stay-at-home order to what the Republican governor has called a “safer at home” advisory.

Traffic keeps returning

New Hampshire’s turnpikes saw more than 1.8 million trips through E-ZPass stations last week as cars continue returning to the roads.

Before the pandemic, slightly over 2 million trips was the weekly average, a number that fell more than half to 933,000 when the stay-at-home order was first placed.

Since then it has risen slowly each week and is now at about 80% of pre-pandemic levels.


Mass. resumes soldiers’ homes visits

Massachusetts’ two state-run soldiers’ homes are resuming visits this week after they became hot spots for the coronavirus.

The Chelsea Soldiers’ Home will begin allowing visits outdoors starting Monday while the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home will begin allowing them Tuesday.

The state's Executive Office of Health and Human Services says all veteran residents and staff have been retested in preparation for resuming limited visitation.

Eight residents tested positive for COVID-19 at the Holyoke home and six at the Chelsea home as of Friday, the office said.

State officials say recreational activities, including supervised time outdoors, have also resumed for veterans at the Holyoke home, which was the site of one of the deadliest outbreaks of the virus in a nursing home in the nation. Veterans are also being trained to use iPad, which are being used for regular family communication through video chat, they said.

As of Friday, 76 veterans at the Holyoke home and 31 veterans living at the Chelsea home had died from the virus during the pandemic.

State officials on Monday reported that the number of newly reported cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts dipped below 100 as the state continues to make progress in its battle against the disease.

The total number of confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 now stands at nearly 105,700 with the addition of the 87 newly reported cases.

— Associated Press and
Concord Monitor reports




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