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New Hampshire has small increase in virus infections

August 4, 2020 GMT

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire experienced a small increase in the number of coronavirus infections over the last one to two weeks, but it’s not believed to be a surge, the state epidemiologist said Tuesday.

Dr. Benjamin Chan said on average, the state has reported about 30 new infections per day. He said going back three to five weeks, it was about 20 to 25 infections per day.

“We are going to see the numbers continue to fluctuate up and down, that’s expected. We do not currently believe we are seeing another surge of COVID-19 in our state,” Chan said at a news conference. He said the percent positivity rate of tests and hospitalizations remain stable and low.

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Chan added, “we believe that lower levels of community transmission continue to occur in many parts of the state, and for that reason, we need everybody to continue to protect themselves and their families, and help to prevent further spread of COVID-19 within the communities.”

As of Tuesday, 6,693 people had tested positive for the virus in New Hampshire, an increase of 33 from the previous day. One new death was announced, for a total of 418. The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases has risen over the past two weeks; it was 21 new cases per day on July 20, and 28 new cases per day on Aug. 3.

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and the infirm, it can cause more severe illness and can lead to death.

Other coronavirus-related developments in New Hampshire:

SMALL FARMS

Gov. Chris Sununu announced a new grant program for small farmers and another for community college students with expenses related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Starting Thursday, farmers who make less than $50,000 in gross sales can apply to a $1 million fund to cover expenses. The application period ends Aug. 31.

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PICK UP YOUR TRASH

A plea to those visiting northern New Hampshire from a chamber of commerce: Please pick up your trash and wear a mask.

The Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce says even with the threat of a $100 fine and towing, cars crowd the roads near popular swimming holes and waterfalls and visitor leave a trail of trash. And not all are following guidelines to wear a mask and practice social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We continue to see and hear stories at the chamber about the general disregard for good old’ American manners. It’s taken us all by surprise,” Janice Crawford, the organization’s executive director, said Tuesday.

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MASK ORDINANCE

Local officials in the college town of Durham, New Hampshire, have passed an ordinance requiring face coverings to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Seacoastonline.com reports the masks are mandatory in certain areas for employees of all businesses, pedestrians, and other areas where social distancing cannot be maintained. It also applies to patrons inside restaurants and bars who aren’t seated at a table.

The masks are required in the Central Business, Professional Office, Church Hill and Courthouse zoning areas.

The emergency ordinance, passed by the Town Council on Monday night, carries fines of $100 and up. It expires as of Oct. 2 ad would need to be renewed or modified after that.

It does not apply to children under age 10 or those who can provide a medical exemption.

Town administrator Todd Selig issued an order in late May requesting residents to wear face coverings but said compliance “has been less than desired.” With thousands of students set to return to the University of New Hampshire later this month, numerous community members have said they will avoid downtown Durham and shop elsewhere unless mask wearing is mandated, he said.