COVID update Friday: New case count keeps declining but number of deaths keeps rising

  • DHHS—Courtesy

Published: 6/12/2020 7:48:40 AM

The average number of cases of COVID-19 reported in New Hampshire is now one-third less than it was at the peak in early May, and lower than it has been in more than 6 weeks.

However, the number of deaths at long-term health-care facilities is not slowing down.

On Thursday the state reported 34 new positives, one of the lowest tallies in months. The 14-day average is now 65, compared to a peak of 91 on May 9.

The state also reported 7 new deaths, all in people over 60 in Hillsborough County facilities, bringing the total to 308. The fatality count has more than doubled in the past month and shows no indication of slowing.

The number of PCR tests, which look for active COVID-19 cases, has slipped in the past week to below 1,800 a day.

Hunter field days return

New Hampshire Fish and Game Department will bring back Hunter Education field days at the Owl Brook Hunter Education Center in Holderness, after putting them on hold due to COVID-19.

The field days are designed for individuals who have completed their Hunter Education online course and intend to purchase a hunting license this year. Field days will be offered up to seven times weekly beginning in August to accommodate smaller class sizes in response to the public health emergency.

Also, 12- to 14-year-old will not be able to join a field day this year; they will be available only for New Hampshire residents age 15 and older.

All in-person Hunter Education classes have been canceled for 2020 and all class requirements must be met online.

For information

A New Hampshire racetrack that violated state orders during the coronavirus pandemic will be allowed to reopen this weekend ahead of other similar businesses.

Speedway to open

Riverside Speedway in Groveton held races in late May despite being warned by police that doing so would violate the state's order prohibiting large gatherings. After being told the state was planning legal action, the owner postponed the rest of the season and then sued Gov. Chris Sununu over the restrictions.

A judge held a hearing on the speedway's request for an emergency order blocking the restrictions Friday, a day after Sununu announced that racetracks would be allowed to reopen Monday. While the case proceeds, lawyers for both sides agreed that Riverside could hold races this weekend if it follows rules regarding limited capacity, social distancing and cleaning. 

Joe Bassett, general manager at Lee USA Speedway in Lee, said he doesn’t think it’s fair that Riverside is getting special treatment after violating the order.

“But he’s between a rock and a hard place, as all short tracks are,” he said. “We have limited time in summer to make our money, yet we have bills 12 months of the year.”

Bassett said his track will likely reopen June 19, though it will be a scramble. He asked fans to be patient.

“I’ve got three weeks’ worth of planning to make it work in a week,” he said. “But we’ll get things rolling.”

Covering up on campus

All employees and students who have been approved to be on campus at Dartmouth College are now required to wear cloth face coverings to contain the coronavirus.

Access to the Hanover campus remains highly limited, and officials have not yet announced plans for the fall semester.

The college's COVID-19 task force announced the new face-covering policy Friday, saying the masks will be required when using shared or communal spaces and when it is difficult to maintain at least 6 feet of social distancing space. 

Cloth face coverings also will be required at Colby-Sawyer College in New London when classes resume there Sept. 7.

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