CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire officials announced the first death from the coronavirus Monday.
State Epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan said at a news conference that the Hillsborough County man, who was over the age of 60, had multiple chronic health conditions and died over the weekend.
More than 100 people in the state have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. About a dozen have been hospitalized.
Gov. Chris Sununu also said that Southern New Hampshire University will be the first of eight “clinical flex areas” set up around the state where COVID-19 patients who no longer need acute treatment can recover. The goal is to increase bed capacity at hospitals for those who are the most ill, he said.
The mayors of New Hampshire’s two largest cities are asking the governor to require all but those who provide essential services to stay at home.
In a joint statement, Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig and Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess urged Gov. Chris Sununu to issue the order, arguing that it is a critical time and the state must do everything it can to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The pair called for Sununu to require everyone to work from home except for essential employees -- much as neighboring states like Massachusetts have done.
Sununu issued a ban on gatherings of 10 or people, but has not yet ordered everyone to stay at home.
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center said its laboratory is now able to test for the novel coronavirus.
The center said Monday the number of tests that can be performed daily could be up to 1,000, but because of the ongoing shortages of test collection supplies and personal protective equipment, testing is limited just to hospitalized patients within the Dartmouth-Hitchcock health system and healthcare workers, including first responders, who have direct contact with patients.
The center said once it's fully operational over the next week to 10 days, the turnaround time from test to results should provide results to patients within 24 hours or less.
Dartmouth College is adjusting its grading system as it moves to remote instruction for the spring term.
While student work will continue to be assessed, all undergraduate classes will be graded only as credit or no credit, and spring term courses will not be factored into grade point averages. Officials said Monday that the decision takes into account that not all students will thrive under distance-learning — some will miss discussions due to being in different time zones, others have limited Internet access or may have returned to home with significant family demands.
The New Hampshire Women, Infants and Children program is now conducting all appointments by phone.
The WIC program provides nutrition education and support to help keep pregnant women, new mothers, infants, and preschool children healthy.
Individuals can apply for assistance by contacting their local WIC office, and find the office closest to them at http://signupwic.com.
The Associated Press receives support for health and science coverage from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.