COVID-19 Update for Sunday: NH cases reach new high; Maine tightens restrictions

  • This 2020 electron microscope made available by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention image shows the spherical coronavirus particles from the first U.S. case of COVID-19. Two new studies published online Monday, June 29 in the New England Journal of Medicine, suggest more than 250 U.S. children have developed a serious inflammatory condition linked to the coronavirus and while most recovered after intensive-care treatment, the potential for long-term or permanent damage is unknown. (C.S. Goldsmith, A. Tamin/CDC via AP) C.S. Goldsmith, A. Tamin

Published: 11/1/2020 4:51:23 PM

The number of COVID-19 cases reported in New Hampshire reached a new high this weekend as officials warned that community transmission of the virus is increasing.

The Granite State saw 205 new cases of the novel coronavirus Saturday, the most reported in a single day since the pandemic began in March.

State health officials also announced the death of a woman from Hillsborough County, bringing New Hampshire’s total deaths to 483. She was at least 60 years old, according to a news release from the Department of Health and Human Services.

There are currently 1,338 COVID-19 cases diagnosed in New Hampshire, nearly a rise of nearly 400 from the same time last week, according to DHHS figures.

Hospitalizations are also up, with 42 people receiving hospital care, more than double the 19 people reported last Saturday.

Gov. Chris Sununu said in a statement that the “situation here in New Hampshire remains very serious” and health officials expect case totals to continue rising.

“We must all remain vigilant in our daily lives,” he said. “As we enter these winter months, it will be more important than ever to wear your mask, practice social distancing, and maintain proper hand hygiene.”

Transmission of the virus is considered “substantial” in Merrimack, Rockingham, Hillsborough and Coos counties, while transmission is “moderate” in Grafton, Sullivan, Strafford and Belknap counties, according to the state’s COVID-19 dashboard.

On Saturday, Rockingham County saw 50 new cases, while Strafford County reported 28. In Hillsborough County outside of Manchester and Nashua, there were 27 new cases.

Meanwhile, neighboring Vermont reported 17 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing its current caseload to 380.

There’s currently one person hospitalized in the Green Mountain State with the virus, and the state hasn’t announced any new deaths since July.

Maine tightens restrictions

Maine is reinstating restrictions meant to curb the spread of COVID-19 amid a resurgence of the virus, Gov. Janet Mills said Sunday.

Maine has been one of the most successful states at controlling the virus, but it’s dealing with a wave of new infections. The rolling average of daily cases more than doubled from below 30 per day to more than 67 by Friday. The state reported 103 infections that day, the largest single day increase in cases.

The state had been slated to reopen bars Monday, but that has been postponed to a yet-to-be-determined date, said Mills, a Democrat.

The state is removing New York, Connecticut and New Jersey from its list of states that are exempt from travel restrictions, Mills said. That means visitors from those states must quarantine for two weeks or produce a negative coronavirus test.

Maine also is reducing indoor capacity limits from 100 to 50, Mills said.

“If we do not control this outbreak, we may never get this evil genie back in the bottle,” she said.

The new restrictions take effect Wednesday. The Mills administration said recently it plans to distribute 400,000 rapid antigen tests. The testing will be available at no charge later this month, the administration said.

Salem sees Halloween crowd

Halloween still attracted lots of people to Salem, the most witch-friendly city in Massachusetts, although crowds were smaller than during a typical year because of the coronavirus.

Mayor Kim Driscoll said two weeks ago that 2020 “is not the year to come to Salem.” Still, people dressed as goblins and ghouls made their way to the Witch City, despite calls to stay home.

Those who made it to Salem had to contend with closures and restrictions designed to prevent the kind of large crowds that typically descend on the North Shore city on Halloween.

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