Sununu issues new travel guidance
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - With the holidays approaching and coronavirus cases rising in New Hampshire, Gov. Chris Sununu on Thursday issued updated travel guidance for residents, giving them an option on testing and quarantine time.
If people are traveling outside of New England, they are being asked to quarantine for 14 days upon their return, or quarantine for seven days upon their return, followed by a negative COVID-19 test.
Social gatherings with people not wearing masks, including those with immediate family, are still big spreader events for the virus, Sununu said. “We want everyone to think carefully about it.”
Regarding holiday gatherings at home, state officials aren’t going to give formal guidance on that, but are asking families to be very cautious and consider wearing a mask, especially if there are elderly people or people with underlying conditions present.
“Obviously, we’re not going to tell people that they can’t have a family gathering at Thanksgiving,” Sununu said.
New Hampshire is changing its priorities for contact tracing, with its public health division no longer handling every case, and bringing in outside partners to help out.
Health Commissioner Lori Shibinette said staff are reaching about 40% to 50% of positive cases on the first call. “Because of that, we want to equip our providers, our physicians, nurse practitioners, our hospital staff with the tools to help everyone keep themselves safe and their community safe.” She said people who are told they have tested positive usually hear the news from their health care providers.
Priorities for contact tracing for public health officials include people under age 18 and over 60; disproportionately impacted racial or ethnic minority groups; cases associated with a cluster or outbreak; congregate living settings; and health care workers.
Some other organizations like school districts also are taking on contract tracing, and that’s going well, Sununu said.
VOTERS TESTING POSITIVE
State health officials have warned of possible community exposure to COVID-19 on Election Day in four New Hampshire polling places.
Health Commissioner Lori Shibinette said Thursday that the individuals who voted at Souhegan High School in Amherst; Pembroke Academy; Belmont High School; and Newfields Elementary School have tested positive for the virus.
Shibinette said that anyone who stood in line at these locations, or at others and weren’t able to practice social distancing should monitor for coronavirus symptoms.
More than 13,000 people in New Hampshire have tested positive for the virus since the start of the pandemic. The state announced 323 new cases Thursday. Three deaths were announced, bringing the total to 495.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in New Hampshire has risen over the past two weeks from 103 new cases per day on Oct. 28 to 226 new cases per day on Nov. 11.
(Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)