Sununu says state preparing for surge in COVID-19 patients

Published: Apr. 3, 2020 at 1:41 PM EDT
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New Hampshire is preparing for a surge of COVID-19 patients, setting up temporary hospitals around the state. Our Adam Sullivan has details.

Gov. Chris Sununu says there are now about 1,600 additional beds across the state of New Hampshire to deal with the pandemic when it peaks in the Granite State.

The surge flex facility at Plymouth State University is one of 14 sites set up now in New Hampshire which brings the state's total bed capacity to 5,000.

Similar to Vermont, Sununu expects the number of COVID-19 cases in New Hampshire to peak in late April or early May.

"One of the concerns that we do have those folks out of Massachusetts or New York will come up to their second homes in Northern New Hampshire and if they bring the virus with them, if they do get infected, they are going to put a surge and a run on our facilities up there. That is a real concern. They are great facilities with amazing health care but they are not designed for the potential capacity that could bring," said Sununu, R-New Hampshire.

Sununu says the facilities housing these temporary hospitals will not be required to pick up any of the costs associated with them.

A federal disaster declaration has been approved for the state.

Sununu says that they are closely monitoring half a dozen medical facilities with COVID-19 patients but he reiterated that the surge hospitals are only if they are needed and they will be locked in the meantime.