Dartmouth-Hitchcock limits visitors as virus cases rise
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - Dartmouth-Hitchcock is again putting strict limits on visitors to its hospitals and outpatient clinics in response to the rising number of COVID-19 cases.
Effective Friday, visitors will be banned under most circumstances. Limited exceptions will be made for pediatric patients, women giving birth, patients at the end of life and those in a few other circumstances.
The return to more restrictive policies applies to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon as well as the health system’s outpatient clinics and facilities. Officials said their decision was based on the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in both New Hampshire and Vermont.
More than 11,000 people have tested positive for the virus since the pandemic began in New Hampshire. The state announced 252 new cases Thursday - the highest one-day total - though officials said the number included about 50 that should have been reported a day earlier, but weren’t, due to an issue with one of the national labs. Two new deaths were announced, bringing the total to 486.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in New Hampshire has risen over the past two weeks from 81 new cases per day on Oct. 22 to 148 new cases per day on Nov. 5.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.
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