NH DHHS Announces Two New Presumptive Positive Test Results For COVID-19
Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has announced two new presumptive positive test results for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
DHHS will hold a press conference on Sunday, March 8, 2020 at 10:30 am at the Division of Public Health Services, 29 Hazen Drive in Concord.
One patient is an adult male from Grafton County who had contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 at Hope Bible Fellowship at 114 Seminary Hill in West Lebanon, NH on March 1st at the morning service. Due to symptoms, this individual underwent testing at our public health laboratories today. The church has cancelled services and is working with NH DPHS to advise everyone who attended a coffee social at 9 AM or the worship services at 10 AM on Sunday March 1st to stay home and avoid contact with others for 14 days (through March 15th) and monitor for symptoms of COVID-19. Anyone who attended the March 1 social or service and has developed symptoms of fever or respiratory illness should immediately stay home and distance themselves from household members and contact the Bureau of Infectious Disease Control at 603-271-4496 (after-hours: 603-271-5300).
The second patient is an adult male from Rockingham County who traveled to Italy. Due to symptoms consistent with COVID-19, this individual underwent testing today at our Public Health Laboratories.
DHHS is investigating to identify and notify individuals who may have been in close contact with either individual.
“These new cases broaden our investigation and our public health team is working to try and prevent further community transmission,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan. “It is important for anybody in our communities who may have fever or other respiratory symptoms to practice social distancing and stay home when ill. We continue to work with hospitals and community organizations to respond to this challenging global COVID-19 outbreak.”
DHHS conducted COVID-19 testing for both people today at the State Public Health Laboratories. Specimens from both patients will be sent to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmatory testing. The two patients are isolated at home and being monitored by public health staff professionals. DHHS is investigating to identify and notify individuals who may have been in close contact with either individual.
Because COVID-19, and all respiratory illnesses, are most commonly spread through respiratory droplets, all people should take the same precautions as those recommended to prevent the spread of influenza:
- Stay home and avoid public places when sick (i.e. social distancing)
- Cover mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing
- Wash hands frequently
- Avoid being within 6 feet (close contact) of a person who is sick
- Avoid sharing drinks, smoking/vaping devices, or other utensils or objects that may transmit saliva
- Disinfect frequently touched surfaces