Restrictions loosened at some long-term care facilities
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Restrictions are being loosened a bit for long-term care facilities in three New Hampshire counties that have maintained very low coronavirus numbers for at least two weeks, state Health Commissioner Lori Shibinette said Thursday.
She said facilities in Belknap, Coos and Grafton counties can now increase the number of visitors indoors to two per resident. Some rules also have been loosened regarding communal dining and other activities, she said.
New Hampshire started to allow indoor visits from one designated person at most facilities earlier this month. They also started allowing some nonessential personnel such as hairstylists, to visit.
Other coronavirus-related developments in New Hampshire:
New Hampshire officials are planning to increase attendance slightly at amusement parks from 25% to 35% with social distancing guidelines still in effect.
“There aren’t any major outbreaks to report from those types of venues, so we’re going to increase the capacity,” Gov. Chris Sununu said at a news conference Thursday.
With winter not too far away, there’s been talk about how ski resorts will operate, Sununu said. The problem isn’t so much with skiing and other outdoors activities, but dealing with crowded lodges, he said. Tighter access is being discussed to restaurants and bars with more emphasis on grab-and-go-type food, he said.
The New Hampshire town of Plainfield is the latest community to require that masks be worn in public to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The Valley News reports the town Selectboard voted 3-0 for the ordinance Wednesday and it took effect immediately. It requires face coverings in buildings open to the public and in stores and restaurants, though exceptions are made while seated at a table and eating.
Masks are “strongly encouraged” but not required for people who are exercising or on trails or sidewalks, unless they are in groups of more than 15. Children ages 6 and up also must wear masks. There are exceptions for potential health risk reasons.
A first offense carries a warning. Subsequent offense have fines starting at $50.
As of Thursday, 7,194 people had tested positive for the virus in New Hampshire, an increase of 35 from the previous day. The number of deaths increased by one to 431. The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in New Hampshire decreased over the past two weeks, going from 28 new cases per day on Aug. 12 to 18 new cases per day on Aug. 26.
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.