COVID-19 Sunday update: N.H. deaths top 600

  • Lenora Kahn, her dog Bella, and Judith Albert dine outside of Marjoram Roux on Railroad Street in Great Barrington, Mass., Friday, Dec. 11, 2020. Even as the weather gets chilly, outdoor dining is safer than dining indoors at a restaurant. (Ben Garver/The Berkshire Eagle via AP) Ben Garver

Published: 12/13/2020 6:42:53 PM

New Hampshire COVID-19 deaths topped 600 on Saturday as state health officials announced that another 10 people died from virus-related illness.

Those who died include three men from Belknap County, three women from Hillsborough County, three women from Rockingham County and a man from Rockingham County, according to a news release from the state Department of Health and Human Services.

All of them were at least 60 years old, according to the release.

State officials also reported 791 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday, bringing New Hampshire’s current caseload to 6,598.

There are currently 247 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been a total of 30,244 cases of coronavirus with 857, or 3%, requiring hospital care.

Neighboring Vermont reported 80 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday morning, bringing its total of active cases to 2,206.

Vermont has seen 95 virus-related deaths and there are 22 people hospitalized with coronavirus in the Green Mountain State.

Fourth Hanover Terrace resident dies

A fourth person at Hanover Terrace died from COVID-19 this weekend as the nursing home works to contain an outbreak that has infected 64 of its 69 residents.

Martha Ilsley, Hanover Terrace’s temporary administrator, said in an email Tuesday that four residents are considered “seriously ill,” while 10 have recovered from coronavirus and five tested negative.

“We continue to test the negative residents daily,” she said, adding another round of testing is scheduled for Monday.

The nursing home has 27 staff members out of 95 who have tested positive for COVID-19, with 12 who have recovered and returned to work, according to Ilsley.

“I remain appreciative of all of my staff who are so committed and dedicated to our residents, and to all of our community for their ongoing support to our staff and residents,” she said.

Massachusetts tightens restrictions

Restaurants across Massachusetts face tighter restrictions and indoor theaters are again closed under reinstated public health measures that took effect Sunday as the state experiences a second surge in COVID-19 cases.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker announced the rollbacks Tuesday, saying the state “cannot simply wait for the vaccine to get here.”

Baker's move allows restaurants to remain open but requires diners to wear masks at all times except while eating or drinking. No more than six people are allowed at a table instead of 10, and there is a 90-minute limit for meals.

The maximum number of people allowed at outdoor gatherings has been reduced from 100 to 50, and anyone hosting outdoor gatherings of more than 25 people must provide advance notice to their local board of health.

Indoor theaters and performance venues are again closed, and outdoor venues will be limited to 25% capacity with no more than 50 people.

Rhode Island health director tests positive for COVID-19

The director of the Rhode Island Department of Health has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a statement Saturday night from the governor's office.

Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott is asymptomatic and will continue to work from home. She had attended the state's weekly coronavirus briefing on Thursday.

Gov. Gina Raimondo tested negative Saturday and will continue to be tested throughout her seven-day quarantine, according to her spokesman Josh Block. Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor, Block and consultant medical director Dr. Philip Chan will also quarantine since they also attended Thursday's news conference.

Block said he tested negative and Commerce spokesman Matt Sheaff said Pryor tested negative on Saturday. Chan was scheduled to be tested Sunday.

Alexander-Scott is the second member of Raimondo’s cabinet to test positive. Director of Administration Brett Smiley tested positive Thursday.

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