COVID update: Lakes Region Community College opens campus slightly, Highland Games canceled

  • Spectators watch the sheep dog trials at the start of the Highland Games at Loon Mountain Friday, Sept. 16, 2016, in Lincoln, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole) Jim Cole

Published: 6/2/2020 7:45:43 AM

As colleges around the state figure out how and whether to reopen their campuses, Lakes Region Community College in Laconia is letting some students back on campus to complete lab work and plans to do more over the summer.

The campus remains closed to the public and most courses are being held online, but as of Monday, according to a press release, students in automotive, electrical and EMT medical programs were allowed back to do lab work and complete the spring semester.

The move, which the release said was approved by the state Department of Health and Human Services, is a prelude to a Phase I reopening planned for the summer, which in turn will “allow the college to evaluate and refine practices with a small number of students and faculty on campus, something that will prove invaluable as plans continue for opening the campus for the Fall 2020 term.”

“Plans involved ensuring we have personal protective equipment for everyone to wear while on campus, enacting new policies and practices for sanitation, social distancing, redirecting traffic flows outside and inside of our buildings, and training staff, faculty, and students,” said Dr. Larissa Baia, president of the college.

Baia said that Lakes Region Community College is still taking applications for the Fall 2020 term, whether classes are offered face-to-face, remotely, or online.

Long-term care facilities study committee

A measure that would set up a committee to study safety in long-term care facilities in light of the coronavirus pandemic has the support of a New Hampshire legislative committee.

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee recommended passage Tuesday. The measure now goes to the full Senate.

The panel would study safety, including the risk of suicide, of residents and staff, in the facilities. It would scrutinize the acquisition and inventory of personal protective equipment; policies on infection control; the adequacy of staffing and testing capacity; and the support and communication from federal and state government agencies.

More than a dozen nursing homes or other long-term care facilities have experienced coronavirus outbreaks in New Hampshire, and their residents make up the majority of those who have died of the virus in the state.

Highland Games canceled

The largest gathering of Scottish clans in the Northeast has been canceled because of the coronavirus.

Organizers said the 45th annual New Hampshire Highland Games scheduled for September at Loon Mountain won’t happen this year.

In addition to music, dance, pageantry and Scottish culture, the event has included competitions in traditional Scottish strength and agility tests, such as the stone throw, hammer throw and caber toss.

“It is hard to imagine a fall without the Games, but Scots ARE resilient,” organizers said in a statement.

The numbers

Only 39 new positive test results for COVID-19 were announced Monday, the lowest total in a week, and no new deaths were reported.

However, Tuesday totals are often the lowest of the week because of reporting schedules related to the previous weekend.

There have now been 4,685 cases of COVID-19 diagnosed in New Hampshire. Several cases are still under investigation. Additional information from ongoing investigations will be incorporated into future COVID-19 updates. All are adults with 69% being female and 31% being male. The new cases include four people in Merrimack County.

Five new hospitalized cases were identified for a total of 456, or 10% of all cases.

The rate of positive results of PCR tests continues to be below 5%, a sign that the pandemic is not spreading widely.

(Staff writer David Brooks contributed to this report.)


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