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New Hampshire offers vaccines, day passes at state parks

August 16, 2021 GMT

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire state parks are offering both vaccinations and free day passes over the next six weeks.

The Department of Health and Human Services said Monday it is partnering with the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources to offer vaccines at state parks via the state’s mobile vaccine van. Those who get vaccinated at the parks will receive complimentary passes that can be used until the end of 2022.

The first stop will be Bear Brook State Park in Allenstown on Wednesday. Sixteen other stops at 10 different parks are planned between then and Sept. 30.

“We welcome thousands of New Hampshire residents and visitors to our many state parks each day,” said Sarah Stewart, commissioner of the agency that oversees parks. “We are thrilled to partner with DHHS in order to make the vaccine as easy and accessible as possible.”

In other coronavirus developments:

MEDICAL SOCIETY-VACCINATIONS

The New Hampshire Medical Society hopes to increase the state’s vaccination rate by sending doctors to individual businesses and schools.

James Potter, the association’s vice president, told WMUR-TV that he knows of one business that invited a doctor to visit and speak to employees about their concerns about getting the COVID-19 vaccine. He said members also want to work with schools to set up vaccine clinics as the academic year gets underway. The goal is to get at least 80% of middle and high school students vaccinated, he said.

“If you want to stay in school and not go to remote learning, if you want to have an athletic schedule and compete for championships, if you want to do club events or theater and drama, then you’ve got to get vaccinated,” he said.

If the rate doesn’t increase significantly, hospitals could become as overwhelmed as they are in other parts of the country, he said.

“We really have to change tactics here,” he said. “Or, we’re going to look a lot like the South come this fall.”

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THE NUMBERS

More than 103,000 people have tested positive for the virus in New Hampshire, including 85 cases announced Monday. No new deaths were announced, keeping the total at 1,395.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in New Hampshire has risen over the past two weeks from 72 new cases per day on July 31 to 177 new cases per day on Aug. 14.