As COVID-19 cases rise, CDC updates risk level for many N.H. counties

  • All but two N.H. counties are not considered to have “medium” levels of community transmission—CDC

Monitor staff
Published: 4/17/2022 8:13:19 PM
Modified: 4/17/2022 8:12:01 PM

Residents in most New Hampshire counties may want to consider wearing a mask again, according to county-level guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Eight of New Hampshire’s 10 counties are now considered to have a “medium” level of community transmission, a change that reflects rising cases in the state.

The community transmission level increased in Belknap, Carroll, Grafton, Coos, Cheshire, Hillsborough, Rockingham and Strafford counties. Transmission levels are still considered “low” in Sullivan County and Merrimack County, which includes Concord and surrounding towns.

According to the CDC, residents of medium-risk counties should consider a number of precautions as cases begin to rise. Immunocompromised or high-risk people should talk with doctors about whether masks are now necessary in public spaces.

Those who frequently interact with a high-risk person should also consider regular testing and mask-wearing.

State and local authorities should also implement safety measures, such as enhanced prevention measures in high-risk settings like homeless shelters and correctional facilities.

Local health officials may also want to implement testing strategies for people who may be exposed to the virus at work, school, or other community settings.

After a brief reprieve from coronavirus surges, COVID-19 cases in New Hampshire are slowly rising again. The number of COVID-19 cases in New Hampshire has increased 55% over the last two weeks, according to state data.

Many experts believe the rise is due to a subvariant, dubbed the “stealth variant” or “stealth omicron,” which is more contagious than previous variants and is currently the dominant strain in the northeast.

In Concord, virus levels in wastewater have sharply increased, according to the CDC’s surveillance system. Increasing concentrations of the virus in wastewater is often an early warning that more cases are on the way.

Teddy Rosenbluth bio photo

Teddy Rosenbluth is a Report for America corps member covering health care issues for the Concord Monitor since spring 2020. She has covered science and health care for Los Angeles Magazine, the Santa Monica Daily Press and UCLA's Daily Bruin, where she was a health editor and later magazine director. Her investigative reporting has brought her everywhere from the streets of Los Angeles to the hospitals of New Delhi. Her work garnered first place for Best Enterprise News Story from the California Journalism Awards, and she was a national finalist for the Society of Professional Journalists Best Magazine Article. She graduated from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in psychobiology.

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