- Associated Press - Thursday, October 22, 2020

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - New Hampshire is in line with the regional average in the percentage of New Hampshire nursing homes that have had at least one resident diagnosed with COVID-19, and it has fared better when it comes to resident deaths, the state health commissioner said Thursday.

Eighty-one percent of New Hampshire’s 470 deaths due to COVID-19 have occurred in long term care facilities. That’s the highest share in the nation, but it also reflects that deaths outside of nursing homes are low, said Lori Shibinette, head of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Forty-four percent of long term care facilities in New Hampshire have had at least one resident test positive for the virus, a number that ranges from 15% in Maine to 57% in Massachusetts. Fewer than 3% of the state’s nursing home residents have died. While Maine and Vermont have each lost fewer than 1% of their nursing home populations, the numbers are higher in the other New England states and New York, with Rhode Island topping the list at 15%.

New Hampshire is monitoring outbreaks at three facilities, down from more than 20 at the height of the pandemic.

UNEMPLOYMENT FRAUD



The attorney general’s office warned residents Thursday to beware of scammers seeking to divert unemployment benefits during the coronavirus pandemic.

The state has detected more than 6,000 cases of fraudulent claims being filed using stolen identities. Officials said they are related to large-scale data breaches over the past decade that did not involve any state systems. In some cases, imposters are changing bank account information and mailing addresses in an attempt to divert benefits from rightful recipients, while in other cases, scammers have posed as government officials urging recipients to return overpaid benefits.

Fewer than 100 checks have gone out in connection with the fraud, said Gov. Chris Sununu.

MASKLESS RESTAURANT

A small restaurant in Epping has closed rather than comply with the state’s mask requirements for employees.

Joe Bodge, owner of Roselynn Homemade Ice Cream said he decided to shut down after someone complained to the attorney general’s office about his employees not wearing masks. He plans to continue selling ice cream until his supply runs out, but has ended breakfast and lunch service until the mask mandate is lifted.

Bodge told multiple media outlets that while some customers turned around and left when they noticed the lack of masks, others expressed relief and appreciated the “sense of normalcy.”

THE NUMBERS

As of Thursday, 9,994 people had tested positive for the virus in New Hampshire, an increase of 82 from the previous day. One new death was announced, bringing the total to 470.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in New Hampshire has increased over the past two weeks from 76 new cases per day on Oct. 7 to 81 new cases per day on Oct. 21.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.

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