CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - Gov. Chris Sununu is extending New Hampshire’s mask mandate, citing the state’s high coronavirus case rates, hospitalizations and fatalities.
The mandate took effect Nov. 20 and was set to expire Friday. It requires anyone over the age of 5 to wear a mask in indoor or outdoor public spaces where they do not consistently maintain a physical distance of at least six feet from people outside their own households.
“Our health care system is still under an immense amount of pressure,” Sununu said in a statement. “To loosen or eliminate the tools we have utilized with success so far is the wrong approach to fighting this pandemic. The light at the end of the tunnel is within sight, but we must remain vigilant and we cannot let up now.”
Sununu had resisted calls for a statewide mandate, even after the rest of the New England states enacted similar measures. His decision to order one has sparked weekly protests near his home.
The renewed mandate expires March 26.
___ THE NUMBERS
More than 55,000 people in New Hampshire have tested positive for the virus, with 794 cases reported Friday that included results from several days. Eleven additional deaths were announced, bringing the total to 908.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in New Hampshire has risen over the past two weeks from 732 new cases per day on Dec. 31 to 788 new cases per day on Thursday.
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