Cases reported in schools, police, prison, businesses

  • —DHHS data

Published: 12/1/2020 5:18:37 PM

Students in area schools, members of the Concord Police Department as well as staff and inmates at the State Prison for men have all tested positive for COVID-19, state officials said.

Six new students at Concord High School have tested positive for COVID-19, according to updates from Concord’s interim Superintendent Kathleen Murphy and the state Department of Health and Human Services.

Murphy announced the cases in a letter to the school community Tuesday afternoon. The students’ last day of attendance in school varied from Nov. 15 to Nov. 24. In an initial review of the cases, Concord school nurses and administrative staff found no evidence of school transmission, Murphy said.

In addition, one student at Mill Brook School had tested positive for COVID-19 and was in school last on Nov. 15.

One student at Abbot-Downing School had tested positive and was last in school on Nov. 30, Murphy said.

Concord is currently teaching its students remotely until January 19.

In nearby Hopkinton, Maple Street School and Harold Martin School pivoted to remote education Tuesday, after a student in Team A at Maple Street School was presumed to have COVID-19. Principal Amy Doyle announced the case in an email to families on Monday night. Contact tracing was conducted, and staff and students who may have had contact with the affected individual were notified by the school, Doyle said.

In Penacook, a student at Merrimack Valley Middle School tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend, Merrimack Valley superintendent Mark MacLean announced in a letter to staff and families Monday. The case is a household or community transmission, and not a school-based transmission, MacLean said. The student had already been in quarantine when the test was administered.

In addition, an adult at Penacook Elementary School in Concord tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend, MacLean announced. Similar to the other case, MacLean said it was an instance of household or community transmission, and not a school-based transmission. The adult had already been in quarantine when the test was administered.

A student at Franklin Middle School tested positive for COVID-19, Superintendent Dan LeGallo announced in a message to the school community Tuesday afternoon. The student is a remote-only student, and no action was being taken within the schools.

Two new cases were reported at Canterbury Elementary School. The Shaker Regional School District’s COVID-19 dashboard was updated to reflect the positive cases Tuesday.

An individual at Cawley Middle School in Hooksett has tested positive for COVID-19, Superintendent William Rearick announced in a letter to staff and families Monday. People who were identified as close contacts through contact tracing were notified, Rearick wrote. All Cawley Middle School students will be learning remotely until Dec. 4.

State Prison outbreak

Nine staff members at the New Hampshire State Prison for Men have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last week, state officials said.

In total, 22 staff members and two residents have tested positive throughout the pandemic. This raises concerns about staffing at the facility, which has traditionally struggled to hire as many guards as it would like.

The prison has a number of guidelines put in place to reduce the spread of the coronavirus within the facilities— staff is required to wear fabric face masks during their shifts and residents are required to wear surgical masks when they display symptoms of COVID-19. Both residents and staff are required to wear N95 masks if they test positive for the virus.

Yet, throughout November, there has been a steady stream of positive tests from staff in the facility. Currently, the facility only tests inmates who are either symptomatic or are identified as having had close, prolonged contact with an infected person, according to the Department of Corrections website.

“The recent increase in community transmission of COVID-19 has impacted our agency like so many others resulting in some staff and residents testing positive,” said Helen Hanks, the commissioner of the NH Department of Corrections. “The Department continues to manage operations under CDC guidance for correctional facilities and will continue to collaborate with NH Public Health through this pandemic.”

Concord Police

Four employees of the Concord Police Department tested positive for COVID-19, Police Chief Bradley Osgood announced Tuesday.

The employees were tested after experiencing symptoms of the virus last week. The infected employees did not come in contact with the public, Osgood said. He said the cases are isolated instances and not connected to any cluster within the department.

One patrol officer tested positive following a couple of days off of the job. Another employee tested positive during his vacation. A third employee developed symptoms after his shift last Monday and received a positive test result on Sunday. The last employee tested positive on Monday, after going into the office a little more than a week before. All of the infected individuals are isolating at home.

The city of Concord also announced that one City Hall employee tested positive for the virus but has not had contact with the public either.

Stumble Inn

A COVID-19 outbreak at a Londonderry restaurant has infected at least 11 people, and health officials are urging recent customers to seek testing.

Diners at the Stumble Inn Bar and Grill may have been exposed to the virus between Nov. 11 and Nov. 23, the Department of Health and Human Services said Monday.

Officials said close contacts to those infected have been notified, but anyone who visited during that time should get tested.

The numbers

State officials announced Tuesday 772 new positive test results for COVID-19 across New Hampshire, including 110 in Merrimack County. A man from Rockingham County and a woman from Cheshire County both died of the disease. They were both over 60 years old and bring the state’s death toll to 528.

Across the Granite State, 160 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19. Since the start of the pandemic, the state has recorded a total of 21,766 cases of COVID-19 with 841 (4%) of those having been hospitalized. 

(Material from the Associated Press about Stumble Inn was used in this report.)

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