COVID numbers slowly rising in N.H. due to Delta variant

  • FILE - In this Nov. 3, 2020 file photograph, N.H. Gov. Chris Sununu wears a protective mask, due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak, at a polling station in Windham, N.H. New Hampshire joined three dozen other states, including the rest of New England, in enacting a statewide mask mandate as the coronavirus pandemic intensifies. Sununu issued an executive order requiring masks to be worn in public spaces, indoors or outside, when social distancing isn't possible, which goes into effect on Thursday Nov. 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File) Charles Krupa

Monitor staff
Published: 7/22/2021 5:17:21 PM

Granite Staters may soon see more cases of COVID-19, Gov. Chris Sununu said during the first COVID-19 press conference in over a month.

The Governor announced the end of weekly COVID-19 press conferences in June, as new cases dropped into the tens. In June, he said he may hold a few press conferences after July 4 as needed.

Now, as cases are slowly climbing in New Hampshire, Sununu reclaimed his position behind the podium. The hike in cases is likely due to Delta, a highly contagious variant that now comprises more than 40% of COVID-19 cases in New England.

The overall prevalence of COVID-19 is still low in the state compared to numbers from the Winter but health officials are still asking the public to exercise caution.

“The increasing trends highlight the need for people to get vaccinated,” said Dr. Ben Chan, the state epidemiologist.

Sununu said any surges in COVID won’t be handled how they were pre-vaccinations, when asked about whether New Hampshire would reinstate some safety measures, like mask mandates, in response to rising numbers.

“Right now we’re not anticipating any of that,” he said.

He said the key to keeping case numbers low is vaccination. If New Hampshire sees a surge in COVID-19 cases in the fall, he said he expects 99% of the affected Granite Staters to be unvaccinated.

“We have the ability to control this virus,” he said. “We all have that individual responsibility to take that on ourselves and be educated and get vaccinated.”

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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