A COVID Pause
I would like to thank the community of Lyme for their thoughtful response to the COVID pandemic during the past 15 months. You have been diligent in following mitigation recommendations and 70% of the total population of Lyme has stepped up to become fully vaccinated, according to recent statistics from the state.
On Wednesday, June 30th the State’s Emergency Operations Center will officially return to Steady State and will no longer be staffed for COVID-19 response. The Joint Information Center will close and the Dept. of Health and Human Services will respond directly to all COVID media inquiries. In addition, the fixed vaccine sites (like JC Penny) will close. Anyone wanting a COVID vaccine will go to their healthcare professional, drugstore, etc. Regional Public Health Networks including the Upper Valley Regional PH Network will continue to hold vaccine clinics at the request of communities, businesses, etc.
On Thursday June 24th the Lyme Covid Response team was suspended until further notice. This team of dedicated community members representing the majority of service organizations in Lyme met weekly during the past year+ to assure a free flow of accurate and timely information to the community. Special thanks to our emergency response members in Fire, Police and FAST squad; Health Officer, Public Information Officer, Selectboard and town Administration, CommunityCare of Lyme, Food Pantry, Lyme Parish Nurse, Lyme Congregational Church, the Lyme School, Converse Free Library, Crossroads Academy, Lyme Nursery School, and the PTO.
COVID is not gone but as the summer and vaccinations progress we find ourselves in a lull that has been marked by decreasing numbers of cases, hospitalizations and deaths. The presence of the delta variant, first noted in India, is becoming the dominant variant in many countries and its numbers are increasing in the US as well, primarily among those who are unvaccinated. Although across the country mitigation steps have been relaxed or removed and for the most part justified by the high efficacy rates of vaccines, it is important to keep in mind that the vaccines are not 100% effective. The more uncertain you are about the vaccine status of the people around you, particularly if you are unvaccinated or more vulnerable (for example, a compromised immune system), the more likely you are to benefit from continuing with the mitigation steps of wearing masks, 6’ distancing and hand hygiene in public and in enclosed spaces.
Wishing you a safe and healthy summer!
Lyme Emergency Operations Center
As many of you may be aware already the Janssen vaccine commonly referred to J&J has recently been associated with 6 cases of a blood clots in the brain (cerebral venous thrombosis) within 2 weeks of receiving the J&J vaccine in combination with low numbers of thrombocytes, a cell that helps clotting. All cases were in women between 18 and 48 yrs of age. This is out of 6.8 million doses of vaccine that have been given in the United States so it is a very rare occurrence. However, The New Hampshire Dept of Health and Human Services is recommending a pause in the use of J&J until more facts can be gathered.
If you have received the Johnson and Johnson (Janssen) vaccine and develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination you should be evaluated immediately by your primary care physician
o Recommendations for treatment are not yet available, except that use of heparin may be dangerous, so, if anticoagulation is necessary, non-heparin alternative anticoagulants are indicated. This important to be aware of because heparin is commonly used in clotting disorders.
This reaction has not been documented with the mRNA vaccines Moderna and Pfizer. More information to follow as facts are elucidated.
Step By Step Instructions for using NH VINI:
EOC bulletin Update from Governor Sununu’s press conference 3/11/21
3/17/21 Phase 2A registration begins for teachers K-12, childcare workers, youth camp workers through vaccines.nh.gov
3/22/21 Phase 2B registration begins for those 50-64 yrs. old vaccines.nh.gov
New registration and appointment scheduling system will be used. Instructional video still needs to be released and you won’t be able to use it until next week but it involves 5 steps and is called VINI not VAMS
Step 1 Screening and pre-registration (once information confirmed you will receive message from VINI to schedule appointment)
Step2 Make your appointment
Step 3 You will go to site at time chosen in Step 2 to get vaccine
Step 4 Second dose appointment made automatically but then you can change if you need to and search for new date before canceling old date (a big improvement from VAMS)
Step 5 Verification message will be received
More guidance changes in visitors coming from outside state (domestic travel only) and multiple relaxation of business guidance being rolled out- retail, barbers and cosmetology, restaurants, day and night camps. Mask mandate still in effect because it is an effective mitigation. https://www.covidguidance.nh.gov
Variants in NH- Dr Chan reported that 9 cases of B.1.1.7 (the UK variant) has been found in NH. None of these cases in Grafton County. Most were from residents who had traveled but not all. This is one more reason why caution must be taken, even after vaccination, to follow mitigation procedures in higher risk activities.
Covid-19 Update 3/10/2021
Lebanon site is open only 3 days a week and it alternates as listed below
This week starting today open it is open WEDNESDAY and FRIDAY. (CLOSED THURSDAY, SATURDAY, AND SUNDAY.)
NEXT week starting Tuesday 3/16/21 Lebanon is open TUESDAY, THURSDAY, SATURDAY (CLOSED MONDAY, WEDNESDAY, FRIDAY, SUNDAY)
The week starting 3/22/21 Lebanon is open MONDAY, WEDNESDAY, FRIDAY (CLOSED TUESDAY, THURSDAY, SATURDAY, AND SUNDAY.)
The week of Tuesday 3/29/21 Lebanon is open TUESDAY (CLOSED MONDAY, WEDNESDAY)
For those of you with second appointments on a closed date in Lebanon you may go to Claremont on that day or go to Lebanon the next day that it's open at same time. If you have a first appointment on a date that Lebanon is closed let me know because that means a more systemic problem but I don’t think from your emails that there should be further problems once these second dose appointments given to you in error are completed.
Again, sorry for this confusion. It occurred during first appointment vaccinations when the second dose appointment was given without consulting the schedule. The assumption was made that 28 days from first appointment would fall on a day Lebanon was open but clearly looking at the schedule now that wasn’t the case.
Covid-19 Update 1/19/2021
Pass through of press release from the NH Governor today at 1:34pm
Concord, NH – On Friday, January 22, the State of New Hampshire will begin accepting vaccination appointments for individuals within Phase 1B, which includes:
- New Hampshire residents 65 and over
- New Hampshire residents who are medically vulnerable at significant risk – including family caregivers for those under 16
- New Hampshire residents with developmental disabilities that receive services in a congregate residential setting, as well as staff in those settings
- Corrections officers and staff
- Populations that experience health disparities
Alteration of Phase 1B to include individuals 65 and older follows recommendation by the CDC to ensure that populations proven to be most vulnerable – which compromise 95% of deaths in the state – are prioritized in distribution efforts.
Vaccinations for Phase 1B will begin on January 26. An estimated 300,000 individuals are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination within Phase 1B of the state’s distribution plan. Supply of COVID-19 vaccines delivered to the states has fallen short of the increases promised by the federal government.
“Overpromising and under delivering has become a habit with pretty much everyone in Washington D.C., which is why in New Hampshire we designed our vaccination system to be flexible and able to deliver for our citizens regardless of what they send us,” said Governor Chris Sununu.
Those eligible for Phase 1B vaccination can begin the process of scheduling an appointment on Friday, January 22 at 8 AM. Scheduling an appointment online at vaccines.nh.gov is the fastest, most efficient way to do so and is highly encouraged.
For those unable to schedule an appointment online, the 211 Hotline remains available. An extremely high call volume is anticipated. Wait times may be long, but every call will be answered by a live person.
Limited supply of vaccines from the federal government means appointments may be booked weeks out. Everyone in Phase 1B who wants an appointment will get an appointment. If allocation should increase, appointments will be rescheduled to earlier dates and times.
The State will continue to urge federal partners to make more doses available as quickly as possible.
Covid-19 Update 1/14/2021
Today the Governor announced an update to the State’s COVID-19 vaccine plan:
Phase 1a vaccinations ( High and Moderate risk Health Care providers, Long term care facility staff and residents and First Responders) continues and is expected to be completed by the end of February.
Phase 1b has changed. The list now includes those residents over 65 yrs old; those with at least two medically vulnerable conditions for example cancer, severe COPD, heart failure; those family caregivers of medically vulnerable individuals under age 16yrs.; those residents and staff at residential facilities for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities; corrections officers and staff and first responders and health care staff not vaccinated in Phase1a
The rationale behind expanding Phase 1b is that the first two groups comprise the most vulnerable population from which 95% of the deaths from COVID occur
Those who qualify for Phase 1b can register beginning next week, January 22,2021 at www.vaccines.nh.gov THE SITE WILL NOT BE ACTIVE UNTIL THAT DATE.
211 can also assist with registration.
You will be instructed after completing initial registration to proceed to sign up at a vaccination site for available dates and times.
Those over 65 yrs old will need proof of age (for example, drivers license, passport, birth certificate) when they go for their vaccine.
Those who qualify because of two medically vulnerable conditions will need to contact your primary care physician for certification that they meet the medical criteria for the vaccine.
Plan ahead, get to your vaccine appointment on time, bring your proof of age and if necessary medical certification.
We do not know exactly at this time where the vaccine sites will be in the Upper Valley.
Vaccinations for Phase 1b will begin January 26, 2021
Please Note: This group is projected to consist of ~300,000 people across the state. The state receives about 17,000 doses of vaccine per week. It is the vaccine availability that determines the rate of vaccination.
We will be working with our community partners to see how we might facilitate registration for those who might not have access to internet. Transportation will be another issue to resolve. Your patience will be necessary and challenged.
More information will be forthcoming as we receive it.
Covid-19 Update 1/11/2021
Since the vaccine arrival into the state last month there has been a lot of excitement and hope generated. We wanted to make this document available to the Lyme community so that some of your questions might be answered. We have a ways to go yet to begin public vaccination and your patience is requested. The answers will never seem to be quick or complete enough since most of the facts have evolved in a learn-as-you-go mode. Please be assured that as we receive more information and facts we will make a point to distribute that information to our community through all our partners on the Lyme COVID Response Team. As various at-risk groups are identified to go ahead and be vaccinated we will make every effort to help you achieve that goal through provision of information, transportation or whatever is needed. Currently those people in the state identified as high risk for COVID exposure: health care workers, school nurses, first responders and long term care facility residents/staff, are receiving their COVID vaccine injections. This is Tier 1a. Hopefully by the end of January the next group, Tier 1b will start lining up for theirs. The following document can be found on the states website https://www.nh.gov/covid19 under Resources and Guidance at top of page Vaccine in Vaccine FAQ’s but is included here in a minimally modified form below:
COVID-19 Vaccination Planning Frequently Asked Questions
The purpose of this document is to provide public health and community partners with frequently asked questions and answers that may be used to assist in responding to inquiries from their communities.
Is there a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)?
The first two allotments of vaccine for Phase 1a has been delivered to New Hampshire and is currently being distributed to populations within that phase. It is expected to take another 3-4 weeks to vaccinate all of the people in Phase 1a.
When approved, how many doses will New Hampshire receive? For the first shipment New Hampshire received (12, 675 doses) which was distributed to locations for vaccination of those people in Phase 1a. (~112,915 people) As of 12/31/20 NH has administered 21,126 doses. (WMUR 12/31/20) Equitable allocation of vaccine is important to NH DHHS and decision-making around vaccine distribution will be informed by national guidelines with consideration for ethical and medical considerations.
How is the vaccine given? Both vaccines are injected into a muscle (“intramuscular”). For adults, vaccine will be injected into the shoulder muscle called the deltoid.
Does it hurt? There may be some discomfort as with any vaccine at the injection site, but it usually is temporary.
How many shots do I have to get? Both the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, require two doses. The interval (or, spacing) between the Pfizer vaccine dose 1 and dose 2 is 21days. The interval (or, spacing) between the Moderna vaccine, dose 1 and dose 2 is 28 days.
If I get the Pfizer vaccine, can I get the second shot with another brand?
No. The second shot must be the same brand as the first shot.
Where do I get a vaccine?
It depends on when you are recommended to get the vaccine (which phase of vaccine distribution you are in). When there is sufficient supply for everyone, you will likely be able to get it at your primary health care provider or at another location such as a pharmacy or public clinic. The State of NH is working hard to provide as many vaccination opportunities as supplies and logistics allow while decreasing any health disparities.
When will I get it?
The vaccine will be available for everyone in 2021. The first limited doses available are being provided to high and most –risk health workers, first responders, and those residents and staff in long-term care facilities in Phase 1a. As final national recommendations are made, vaccine population categories will be made public.
How long will protection last? It is not yet known how long a person who gets the vaccine will be protected: it could be lifetime, like the polio vaccine or it could be a year, like the flu shot. Experts are studying this to learn more, and we will share new evidence as it becomes available.
How will we know if a COVID-19 vaccine is safe? The process for vaccine trials has not changed. Operation Warp Speed has allowed for trials to progress faster because of federal funding, without compromising safety. The development time is shortened, but all of the usual processes are in place for safety such as large clinical trials, which includes different populations (such as elderly or minority persons), independent review by FDA and CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and our own state experts.
Will I need to pay for a COVID-19 vaccine? No. Vaccine doses will be available to the American people at no cost regardless of insurance status. However, vaccination providers will be able to charge an administration fee or office visit, and payment could be the responsibility of the patient. However, most public and private insurance companies will cover that fee. It is always best to talk with your health insurer or primary care provider about your specific coverage, but it is expected there will be no patient cost sharing.
What if I don’t have insurance? Vaccines will be provided at no cost.
Will there be enough vaccine for everyone?
Yes, eventually. Initial vaccine supply will be limited so not everyone will be able to be vaccinated right away. COVID-19 vaccine will be given to people at highest risk first. Based on the recommendations from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s Framework for Equitable Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccine, a phased and equitable distribution plan has been developed for New Hampshire.
Should I still be vaccinated? Yes. Unless you are currently actively infected with COVID-19, you should get the vaccine. Studies have shown that some individuals can get the disease more than once.
Will I be able to stop wearing a mask and social distancing if I get the vaccine? No. While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone to continue to use all the tools available to us to help stop this pandemic, like covering your mouth and nose with a mask, washing hands often, and staying at least 6 feet away from others. Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC’s recommendations will offer the best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19. Experts need to understand more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide before deciding to change the current recommendations. Other factors, such as how many people get vaccinated and how the virus is spreading in communities, will also affect this decision.
Can I get COVID-19 from the vaccine? No. The COVID-19 vaccine cannot give you the disease.
I have a compromised immune system. Is it safe for me to get the vaccine? Probably yes, but you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific concerns. National recommendations will be made based on research as to whether the vaccine is safe in people with compromised immune systems.
I live with someone whose immune system doesn't work well. Is it safe for me to get the vaccine? Yes. Because of the way the vaccine is made, it cannot give you the disease and so you cannot infect another person by getting the vaccine.
Where will I be able to get the vaccine? For Phase 1a, vaccine will be provided by hospitals for their health workers, CVS and Walgreens for long-term care facilities, and at 13 fixed sites throughout NH for first responders and health workers not working for a hospital and for those long term care facilities not enrolled with CVS or Walgreens. In future phases, vaccine will be available in New Hampshire through health care providers, pharmacies, and special vaccination clinics, depending on your risk for disease.
I run a local pharmacy. Can I play a part in vaccine distribution? Maybe. We appreciate each inquiry related to working with us for COVID-19 vaccination. Federal and state plans have already identified retail pharmacies that will improve access to vaccination for the public. If you own or manage an independent pharmacy, please email email@example.com for more information about how to enroll as a vaccine provider.
How is NH Department of Public Health Services (DPHS) preparing for vaccine distribution? For months, NH DPHS has been engaged on a multidisciplinary, careful, and evidence-based planning process for COVID-19 vaccine distribution. The process of vaccinating NH residents —in stages based on risk criteria provided by scientific oversight agencies —is dynamic. NH DPHS has led the vaccination initiative with healthcare and other partners, and with oversight of ethics experts and with attention to equity. Preparation efforts include making best estimates of the dates and quantities of vaccine availability, scheduling populations to be prioritized while vaccine supply is limited, identifying vaccine sites and vaccinators, training and authorizing additional vaccinators, creating public information campaigns, and closely monitoring the process and outcome. Special efforts will be necessary to reach populations at elevated risk and to develop trust with people who have concerns about vaccine safety. NH DPHS is committed to a process that is transparent and fully grounded in science, which is critical to ensuring public confidence in the vaccine.
I understand the vaccine seems to be safe, but what if I get sick from the vaccine? CDC and FDA encourage the public to report possible side effects (called adverse events) to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). This national system collects data to look for adverse events that are unexpected, appear to happen more often than expected, or have unusual patterns. Reports to VAERS help CDC monitor the safety of vaccines. Safety is a top priority. Healthcare providers will be required to report certain adverse events to VAERS. CDC is also using a new smartphone-based tool called v-safe to check on people’s health after they receive a COVID-19 vaccine. When you receive your vaccine, you should also receive a v-safe information sheet telling you how to enroll in v-safe. If you enroll, you will get regular text messages with surveys where you can report any problems or adverse reactions you have after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
Can children get the vaccine? Children will be likely given the opportunity to get the vaccine in the future. However, the data we currently have is based on trials with non-pregnant adults. As clinical trials expand, we will know more about the safety of the vaccine in children.
I am pregnant. Can I get the vaccine? Maybe. Pregnant women should first have a discussion with their primary care or prenatal provider to determine if vaccination is appropriate for you. The CDC website has additional information on COVID-19 vaccines.
What can I do as we wait for a vaccine? COVID-19 continues to circulate in our communities. You should still socially distance with anyone not in your household and use a cloth facemask. If you are not feeling well you should stay home and get tested.
Additional resources:·Center for Disease Control (CDC), ·Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA)·Public Health Communications Collaborative
(This document was modified by M. Caudill-Slosberg to reflect recent developments, for example, we now have two vaccines and a better idea of vaccine flow into the state for timeline and approx. doses administered as of 12/31/20.)
Covid Update 1/8/2021
We wanted to share this graphic with you of the NH phases of vaccination. There are no details for how to “sign up” or where the vaccines will be given as yet for Phase 1b and beyond. These will be rolled out in the next weeks to months as we continue to balance COVID spread mitigation with vaccinating the population at risk and at large. Please be assured that as soon as we know we will pass this information on to you and assist you as needed with accomplishing the goal of getting our community vaccinated. The guiding principle for the order of events is to capture those at most risk of exposure and/or those who would have serious consequences should they be exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. In Phase 1B the list of medical conditions in determining the medically vulnerable is being developed further and will be released within the week. More to follow.
When the area experiences an emergency situation we can alert you through a system called CodeRed. These messages could be an order to shelter in place; evacuate an area; a missing person bulletin or other emergency message. If you still have a landline that emergency information or bulletin is sent automatically from Hanover Dispatch through your phone line. However, if you use a cellphone you need to sign up to receive these important messages automatically. To assure that you do not miss these important messages in the future please Text the word NORTHCOUNTRY to the number 99411 to enroll in the Hanover Dispatch emergency alerts.
Please be assured that you will not receive spam or other nuisance alerts, just important information.
Covid-19 Update 11-19-20
EOC Bulletin 11/19/20
The surge that is currently nationwide is also affecting NH with over 500 new cases reported today. This afternoon Governor Sununu announced a statewide mask mandate:
Concord, NH — With rising cases, substantial statewide community transmission, and an increase in hospitalizations, today Governor Chris Sununu signed an Emergency Order instituting a statewide mask mandate in New Hampshire, as cases rose to 529 -- the state’s highest total to date. The mask mandate takes effect at 12:01 AM on Friday, November 20, 2020, and will remain in effect through January 15, 2021.
“With rising cases, substantial statewide community transmission, and an increase in hospitalizations – the data supports enacting a statewide mask mandate,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “Instituting this commonsense mask mandate today will allow us to keep our economy open and help ensure our health care system has the capacity and workforce it needs in the coming weeks. By wearing a mask, Granite Staters can keep our friends, family, neighbors, and critical workforce members and those they care for safe – without shutting down the economy.”
Beginning on November 20, 2020, all persons over the age of 5 within the State of New Hampshire shall wear mask or cloth face coverings over their noses and mouths any time they are in public spaces, indoors or outdoors, where they are unable to or do not consistently maintain a physical distance of at least six feet from persons outside their own households.
For purposes of this Order, the term “public spaces” includes any part of private or public property that is generally open or accessible to members of the general public. Public spaces include, but are not limited to, lobbies, waiting areas, outside plazas or patios, restaurants, retail businesses, streets, sidewalks, parks, beaches, elevators, restrooms, stairways, parking garages, etc.
Several new or updated guidance documents are now posted on the Dept of Health and Human Services website nh.gov/covid19 and the links are included in this bulletin.
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/quarantine.html 10/27/20 is the CDC version of quarantine guidance
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-guidance.html updated 11/12/20 reporting that cloth masks can offer protection for the wearer as well as those around them
https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/covid19/documents/self-quarantine-covid.pdf 11/12/20 Newest guidance on how to self-quarantine at home
https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/covid19/documents/self-isolation-covid.pdf 11/12/20 Newest guidance on how to self-isolate at home
https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/covid19/documents/travel-guidance.pdf newest travel guidance. What’s new is that after 7 days of quarantine upon arriving back in NH (from outside of New England) the traveler can have a PCR test and if negative and they were never in contact with a known COVID + case they can cease quarantine. If a test is not obtained the remainder of the 14 day quarantine is required.
Please note this “testing out of quarantine” ONLY APPLIES TO TRAVEL RELATED QUARANTINE
Emergency Operations CenterTown of Lyme
GETTING to WELL with COVID-19
LYME EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER
November 15, 2020
PROTECT YOURSELF NOW
Stay informed and up to date with the Town of Lyme (www.lymenh.gov) and Library (www.lymenhlibrary.org) COVID-19 websites and the Lyme Listserv. Continue with the everyday prevention actions you have been practicing. If you have a chronic illness or are over age 65, consider asking for help to get those essentials instead of shopping yourself or limit excursions to the have-to-do yourself ones.
Practice your physical distancing of at least 6 feet from non-family members
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Clean your hands often. Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Clean and then disinfect surfaces and things you touch often periodically, such as tables, chairs, doorknobs, light switches, elevator buttons, handrails, countertops, remote controls, shared electronic equipment, shared exercise equipment, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
Wear a clean face covering/mask when you go into public.
Use disinfectant wipes or dilute bleach following directions on the container.GET READY IN CASE YOU GET COVID-19
Make a plan for if you or a family member gets sick:
Stay in touch with others by phone or email. You might need to ask for help from friends, family, neighbors, community health workers, etc., if you become sick.
You can contact the CommunityCare of Lyme Helpline 795-0603, or email for questions, services, or concerns.
If you live alone, seek out a “buddy” who will check on you if you become sick. Your neighborhood captain can also check in on you and your household.
Have an emergency contact list and an up-to-date list of daily medication including the time(s) you take them and dosage. Keep this information readily available.
Contact your doctor about getting refills if needed (at least a 30-day supply) to have on hand in case you need to stay home for a few weeks.
Be sure you have over-the-counter medicines and medical supplies (e.g., tissues and acetaminophen, cough drops) to treat fever and other symptoms. Some local pharmacies will deliver medications and supplies.
Have enough household items (e.g. pet food, diapers, baby food, cleaning supplies and groceries) so that you and your family will be comfortable staying home for a few weeks.
Choose a room that you can quickly turn into the sickness/ recovery room. If available, designate an extra bathroom for anyone who becomes ill and let others know only the person who is ill will use it.
Continue to take everyday steps to stay healthy: wash your hands often, avoid sick people and crowds, eat a healthy diet, get enough sleep and exercise.
Reduce or stop cigarette use or vaping; ask your healthcare provider for assistance if needed.
Your best defense is preventing exposure to other people and following the hand washing, physical distancing and wearing of a face-mask in the presence of others.
Certain people are more vulnerable to becoming ill from the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
Age-related changes in the immune system can make it more difficult to fight off infections. Chronic illnesses that are not well controlled can also be challenging when infections develop.
Check with your health care provider if you have any questions.
IF YOU GET ILL WITH COVID-19, USE YOUR PLAN
Most people with COVID-19 infection get better at home. Follow the guidance of your healthcare provider and these CDC tips for how to take care of yourself at home.
Exposure to the virus usually occurs 2 to 11 days before becoming ill. Virus shedding begins before you become ill which can spread the virus to others whether or not you wear a face covering or mask BUT wearing a mask can reduce the amount of virus released. That's a good thing!
Symptoms may include just not feeling well, fever, cough, runny nose and /or diarrhea, nausea, loss of appetite, loss of taste and smell.
If you feel like you are developing symptoms, call your healthcare provider. Tell them that you think you might have COVID-19. This will help them take care of you and protect others.
Get tested by calling your health care provider for assistance or contacting Alice Peck Day (603) 442-5665 or go to https://business.nh.gov/DOS_COVID19Testing/ for other test sites near you.
If you live alone, keep your friends and family up to date on your health. Let them know if you need anything. You should not leave your house when you are sick. You are in isolation unless your doctor tells you to go to hospital for testing, and then you should only leave wearing a facemask.
The person with symptoms of COVID-19 infection should be isolated from other family members and wear a facemask or covering when receiving food, using a bathroom outside of their room or when a family member is in their room.
Family members of a test positive or an untested but symptomatic case should consider themselves in quarantine from 2 days before positive test or symptom onset, which means staying at out of work, school and monitoring for symptoms.
In households with an infected person: clean all high touch surfaces with household disinfectant spray or wipes. Wear gloves and facemask while doing so, and consider ventilating rooms when weather permits.
Dispose of tissues, paper products, contaminated gloves and masks in a separate lined container and handle this trash wearing gloves and facemask.
Wash hands frequently with soap and water after contact even if gloves were used.
Do not share utensils, towels or bedding with the family member who is ill.
Wash any soiled bedding, clothes, dishes, utensils using your normal washing procedures, handle with gloves on. Dry thoroughly using the warmest dryer settings recommended on clothing label and use regular dishwasher cycle or wash dishes in hot soapy water.
Know when to get emergency help.
Call 911 right away if you or a family member get worsening symptoms, such as:
Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
Confusion or inability to arouse
Bluish lips or faceThis list does not include everything. Call your healthcare provider or 911 for any symptom that is severe or concerning and let them know you think you may have COVID-19.
I WAS ILL WITH COVID-19 (either confirmed with test or assumed because of symptoms or exposure to others with COVID-19).NOW WHAT?
You can stop home isolation IF you meet the following conditions:
You have not had a temperature for 24 hours without the use of medicine to reduce fevers
Your symptoms have improved (for example, your cough and shortness of breath are improved)
At least 10 days have passed since symptoms began.
Please be aware that it is rare but possible to get COVID-19 again after about 3 months or more usually with a milder infection. So please continue using the prevention strategies of hand-washing, 6 ft. distancing and face masking in public.
COVID-19 surges in NH and in the Upper Valley, latest developments (recent changes in red)
New Hampshire, including the Upper Valley is seeing a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases that is sweeping the nation. All counties in NH are now at substantial community spread, that is >100 cases/100,000 people. The increased numbers are thought to be driven by an increase in indoor gatherings driven by cooler weather as well as clusters involving bars, restaurants and long term care facilities and educational institutions.
• At his press conference yesterday Governor Sununu encouraged everyone to carefully consider their holiday plans, circumstances, and take the necessary precautions for the safety of themselves and their family. He reviewed the updated travel guidance that now includes the following options for those traveling outside of New England upon their return. If traveling outside of New England (that is other than MA, VT, Maine, RI, CT) you and your family can:
· Quarantine for 14 days upon return or
· Quarantine for 7 days upon return followed by a negative COVID test.
• Dr Benjamin Chan of the NH Dept of Health and Human Services announced a change in contact tracing as they move to their Surge Plan. This plan will now prioritize contact tracing to the following groups:
o People 18 years old and under
o People 65 years old and over
o Disproportionately impacted racial and ethnic minority populations
o People associated with a cluster/outbreak
o People known to be in congregate care settings
o Healthcare workers
The remaining cases will be notified and given information about isolation and quarantine by their health care providers who may also initiate contact tracing.
For your information and safety:
Should you become aware of a possible exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 (or a probable case) there are two important considerations to determine whether you are a close contact:
1) Were you in close proximity, that is less than 6 feet, masked or unmasked for a cumulative time of 10 minutes or more during a 48 hr. period and,
2) Were you in close proximity with the COVID + (or probable) case during their infectious period defined as beginning 2 days before onset of symptoms or 2 days before a positive COVID test result in asymptomatic individuals.
If you are a close contact you should quarantine* (stay at home and monitor temperature and development of potential COVID symptoms**). Contact your health care provider. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing is recommended. See Testing information below.
Unless you are in the higher risk group identified in the Surge Plan above, there is a chance that you may not be contacted directly by the Dept of Health if you were a close contact but it is important that you still self-quarantine for 14 days to protect your immediate community in the workplace, school, among friends and family.
*Quarantine instructions https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/covid19/self-quarantine-covid.pdf
**If you become symptomatic:
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19 and should isolate*** until they have been tested for SARS CoV-2:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
***Isolation instructions https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/covid19/self-isolation-covid.pdf
Currently the state is supporting testing sites locally at Alice Peck Day Hospital and Clear Choice MD, an urgent care clinic in Lebanon 410 Miracle Mile, 603/276-3261
For APD Call (603) 442-5665 to make an appointment or for more information check out this link to website: https://www.alicepeckday.org/services/covid19communitytesting
https://business.nh.gov/DOS_COVID19Testing/ Link to current SARS CoV-2 PCR testing sites and a separate SARS CoV-2 Antigen testing site list. Currently optimum testing for asymptomatic individuals is the PCR test. Antigen tests are most reliable in early symptomatic individuals.
If you have further questions you may reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
EOC Bulletin 10_17_20
This is to inform the Lyme community that there has been a confirmed exposure to a COVID19 positive case at the Lyme School.
The school’s COVID Task Force team is working with and following the guidelines of the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). At this time, the school’s medical team is contacting all potentially exposed individuals. No other identifying information will be distributed publically.
This is not an unanticipated situation and the Lyme School has been able to respond in a timely manner because of the system in place for addressing and containing any spread of infection.
As expressed in the EOC bulletin yesterday 10/16/20, NH and Grafton County are experiencing an increase in positive COVID cases. Please consider recommitting to the mitigation procedures we’ve had in place over the past eight months.
Because COVID-19 is most commonly spread through respiratory droplets, we should all take the following precautions to prevent the spread of the disease:
· Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
· Avoid close contact with others. When outside your home, keep a distance of at least 6 feet between yourself and others. This is known as social (physical) distancing.
· Wear a cloth face covering that covers your mouth and nose to protect others when in public areas.
· Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands if you are not wearing a mask at the time.
· Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
· Stay home if you have a fever or are not feeling well.
Children may worry about themselves, their family and friends getting sick with COVID-19. Tips for talking to children about COVID-19 can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/talking-with...
To learn more about COVID-19, please check these trusted resources:
· New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services: https://www.nh.gov/covid19/index.htm
· United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
We will continue to keep you updated as necessary.
Things are heating up as the weather cools down.
NH is currently seeing an increase in the number of COVID cases, 829 active cases as of yesterday including an increase in Grafton County to 25 active cases. Lyme continues to have 1-4 cases. Two clusters with potential relevance to area are currently under investigation in the State:
a) One tied to youth and amateur hockey events and as a consequence the Governor has currently suspended youth and amateur hockey events for two weeks.
b) One involving patrons at a restaurant, Fat Katz Food and Drink, located at 76 Derry Road, Hudson, NH between October 2 and 9th. 17 cases have resulted to date.
Tuesday many Lyme residents noted that our movement across the VT/NH border was going to be impacted by this increase in COVID numbers. This is when Vermont identified Grafton County as a restricted travel area asking that we limit movement into VT for non-essential activities unless quarantined for 14 days prior to or for VT residents, after visiting Grafton County. Because the two states use different measurements to determine such restrictions and community spread our maps can be frustrating to compare. Travel across the borders for essential tasks like food shopping, medical visits, work and school are not restricted.
But the bottom line is that the virus that causes COVID-19 has not left the area in fact community spread is increasing. Increased risk continues to be associated with increased time in enclosed spaces. It is still extremely important to wear cloth facemasks in public, increase your hand hygiene routine and be aware of the space between you and the next person in public, 6’ or more. The summer gave us a brief hiatus and more space to run around so lets recommit to looking out for each other as we move into the fall and winter months.
Holidays ahead The CDC is a good resource for practical guidance for the coming holiday season https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.htm... planning for a trip outside of the state or coming into Lyme please refer to the NH state’s travel guidance https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/covid19/documents/employee-travel-guid... note that the restrictions may change if the numbers continue to rise so just check nearer your time of departure and return for expectations related to quarantine.
Resources for Flu shots
1) Call DHMC Flu Hotline 603/653-3761 to make an appointment for the flu drive-thru clinics. You don’t have to be a patient at Dartmouth Hitchcock Clinic or Medical Center to participate but you do need to make an appontment.
If you have a Dartmouth Hitchcock MyDH account you can also book appointment through that resource.
2) APD- not holding flu clinics this year
3) Many of the area pharmacies (e.g. CVS, Walgreens, DHMC Centerra Plaza Pharmacy and some store pharmacies like Walmart) are giving flu shots. Recommend calling any pharmacy before making a special trip to see if they currently have supplies.
Updated COVID testing sites
Currently the state is supporting testing sites locally at Alice Peck Day Hospital and Clear Choice MD, an urgent care clinic in Lebanon 410 Miracle Mile, 603/276-3261
For APD Call (603) 442-5665 to make an appointment or for more information check out this link to website: https://www.alicepeckday.org/services/covid19communitytesting
https://business.nh.gov/DOS_COVID19Testing/ Link to current SARS CoV-2 PCR testing sites and separate COVID Antigen testing site links. Currently optimum testing for asymptomatic individuals is the PCR test and Antigen tests are most reliable in early symptomatic individuals.
Testing still available through Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center for patients of Dartmouth Hitchcock clinicians.
Be safe! Lyme EOC
Current available testing for COVID-19:A PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test, which detects the presence of SARS CoV-2 DNA, is the most commonly available test for community members at this time. The test is valid for detection from 1-2 days before COVID-19 symptoms develop. This test uses a swab into the back of the nose and is a reliable way of assuring a good specimen. If the test is positive then you can be sure that any symptoms you have are likely due to COVID-19.If you have symptoms and a negative PCR test then you probably don’t have COVID-19 but should wait until symptoms are improving and are fever free for 24hrs without fever reducing medication before resuming public exposure.If you are without symptoms or known exposure to COVID-19 a negative test really doesn’t mean much except to continue with what you’ve been doing for prevention.If you are in quarantine, a negative test does not mean you can opt out of any remaining days. Quarantine is up to a total of 14 days because after exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19, symptoms can develop for up to and including Day 14.If you need testing because of sxs and you are not a patient of a DHMC or Alice Peck Day provider talk to your primary care provider and see what lab they want you to go to or see choices below for testing. Insurance companies are billed and testing sites all need appointments first. If you don’t have insurance, arrangements can be made through NH Medicaid for assistance with testing payment. See details below **Community testing for PCR test is available at:
- Valley Regional Hospital – To schedule, use Valley Regional’s website.To reach their COVID Hotline with questions, call 603-542-7850.
- Lebanon National Guard Armory - This site is currently open Monday-Friday 1300-1700 (1pm to 5pm) and Saturday 0800-1200 (8am to Noon). To schedule a test, call the state’s coordination office at 603-271-5980 or register online HERE. * this is a new testing site as of last week
- Clear Choice MD in Lebanon also tests symptomatic patients +1 603 276 3261 https://ccmdcenters.com/locations/lebanon-nh
- Vermont’s Pop Up Testing – Vermont sometimes has pop-up testing locations in White River Junction and Springfield, VT. Please check the link for dates, locations and to register. This testing is only for asymptomatic peoples.** Under the authority provided by the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA), New Hampshire has opted to implement a new Medicaid eligibility group to cover COVID-19 testing services for individuals who are uninsured or have certain limited health coverage. Individuals must apply and qualify for this testing group and will need to provide a social security number and self-attest to being a resident of New Hampshire and either a US Citizen or having a qualifying immigration status on the application. There is no income or resource test for this group. Covered services include only COVID-19 testing and testing-related services, including anti-body (serological) testing. Please note that this Medicaid group does not cover treatment or medication for COVID-19, and does not cover any other services other than the COVID-19 testing services. If you would like to find out if you are eligible for a different Medicaid group that covers more than COVID-19 testing services, please visit NH EASY by clicking this link https://nheasy.nh.gov/#/. You will find information about other DHHS programs you may be eligible for as well.Self-quarantine and self-isolation:Self-quarantine applies to individuals who are waiting to see if they get symptoms of COVID-19:1) after exposure to a known COVID positive or suspected COVID positive individual or2) after traveling outside of New England.Self-quarantine is for a total of 14 days. Stay at home and monitor for fever and symptom development. Should symptoms occur contact your health care provider for testing options or see above for testing sites.Self-isolation is for individuals who are COVID-19 test positive, either symptomatic or asymptomatic or who are symptomatic without a test. Isolation lasts for at least 10 days after onset of symptoms and with symptoms improving AND 24 hrs without fever using no fever lowering medication.Cloth face coverings/masks:Remember these need to be washed daily. Hot soapy water is all you need. Air dry or use dryer. Do not touch front surface or inside of mask and if you do wash hands immediately or use hand sanitizer. Take mask off using straps not by grasping the cloth face covering. Cloth face masks are available from multiple sources now in all colors and patterns.Flu shotsThe annual influenza season will be starting around November and the seasonal flu vaccine will be available soon. Please consider getting your flu shot so that you will have a layer of protection against influenza whose symptoms share a similarity with the COVID-19 infection. As soon as the drive-through flu clinics or other public models have been finalized we will start posting the times and places.Current COVID status in communityCurrently COVID-19 cases are not present in Lyme and in Grafton County there are 3 cases being followed at this moment. The state continues to have a slow decrease in the number of cases as well. HOWEVER, this can all change as out of state travelers and students return; and/or indoor public exposure increases with the cold weather. Even under the best of circumstances movements outside the home will need to continue with the same attention to physical distancing, mask wearing, frequent hand hygiene, and disinfecting of surfaces.I can assure you that much consideration has been given to assuring a safer election process and school reopening with public health input from multiple resources. If we can continue to follow the guidelines for mitigation strategies used for the past six months and abide by the self-quarantine and isolation procedures above we should be able to limit the number of infections and the spread in the months to come.Stay safe!
Covid-19 Update 07-22-20
You should be proud of the efforts you have made to keep COVID-19 out of the community. We welcome our visitors/part time residents from out of state but please abide by the very recommendations that have made this a much safer state to visit, at the moment. (See the 3 W’s and travel recommendations below)
Three W’s to ward off COVID-19: wearing a mask, washing your hands, and watching your distance.
COVID-19 locally- As of 7/19/20 1-4 cases in Lebanon, Orford, Plainfield, Enfield and Grantham. Total of 10 cases in Grafton County
Cases continue to decrease in NH with current cases at 554 and hospitalizations down to 17
NH Travel Guidance 7/14/2020 -New travel guidance to be aware of changes italicized and bolded
NH residents or out-of-state visitors traveling to/from areas outside of New England (Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, or Rhode Island) need to self-quarantine for the first 14 days of any intended stay in NH after travel (starting from the last day of their travel outside New England). This recommendation is irrespective of the mode of transportation for travel (public vs. private transportation).
- On Friday July 16th Governor Sununu extended the emergency declaration for another 21 days, Executive Order 2020-15, the sixth extension of the State of Emergency declared in Executive Order 2020-04. Governor Chris Sununu signed HB 1266 into law, making temporary modifications to the absentee voter registration, absentee ballot application, and absentee voting processes in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) disease.
- There is an email address where concerns/complaints about reopening around public health concerns can be sent until the new, single site is set up by the Attorney General’s office. Link to come as available. email@example.com
If you happen to be wearing the masks used in construction businesses with the exhalation valves- STOP! These masks do not prevent the air you breathe out from escaping into the environment which defeats one of the reasons we recommend mask wearing during this pandemic.
I found this article to be quite helpful:
Still Confused About Masks? Here’s the Science Behind How Face Masks Prevent Coronavirus
We talked to UCSF epidemiologist George Rutherford, MD, and infectious disease specialist Peter Chin-Hong, MD, about the CDC’s reversal on mask-wearing, the current science on how masks work, and what to consider when choosing a mask.
Please note: The Claremont testing site is due to close at end of July and new testing sites in the state will be identified, more to follow.
- Anyone can be tested in NH who would like a test (meaning you can be asymptomatic). We have a drive-thru COVID-testing site set up in Claremont at the Middle School with the capacity to test 125 people daily with support from local partners and the NH National Guard. The site is one of seven and is by appointment only, and is open 6 days a week on Monday-Thursday from 11:00-19:00 and Friday-Saturday from 08:00-16:00. Anyone who would like to be tested can call the state’s new coordination office at 603-271-5980 or register online HERE.
From the COVID Symptom Tracker App research some of you may have signed up to use a few months back:
COVID Symptom Tracker research:
Initial symptoms most common in first two days, headache, sore throat and muscle pains
Full list of symptoms in approx. order of how predictive they might be, are:
Loss of smell/taste, Persistent cough, Fatigue, Loss of appetite, Skin rash, Hives, Fever, Severe muscle pain, Shortness of breath, Diarrhea, Delirium, Abdominal pain, Chest pain, Hoarse voice, Eye Soreness, Sore or painful throat, Nausea and vomiting, Headache, Dizziness or light headedness
Association of symptoms and chronic illnesses with need for hospitalization with COVID-19:
“Key predictors of attending hospital with COVID19: An association study from the COVID Symptom Tracker App in 2,618,948 individuals” preprint
Covid-19 Update 06-23-20
The recording of last night's session, COVID-19: Practical Guidance for Summer 2020, with doctors Elizabeth Talbot, Antonia Altomare, Kenton Powell, and Margaret Caudill-Slosberg, is avalable here:Video Recording
Access Password: 9V$S!&&5Audio Onlyhttps://us02web.zoom.us/rec/play/7pAkdrqvqD83SdCRsASDAf5_W9S0e_mshHBPqaYJyRqwWnkDMAHzZ7IaMeQW6AOJP1oag5sLxnCPnEIiAccess Password: 9V$S!&&5
Covid-19 Update 06-02-20,
As June begins I wanted to share some recent reviews and guidance from resources I believe capture what we currently ‘know’ about the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. It is an evolving situation.
Here are some things we think we know about coronavirus:
- We’ll have to live with this for a long time.
- You should be wearing a mask.
- American public health infrastructure needs an update.
- Responding to the virus is extraordinarily expensive.
- We have a long way to go to fix virus testing.
- We can’t count on herd immunity to keep us healthy.
- The virus produces more symptoms than expected.
- We can worry a bit less about infection from surfaces.
- We can also worry less about a mutating virus.
- We can’t count on warm weather to defeat the virus.
NH “opening up” You can find the timelines and Guidance for various activities opened to date and in the future: Note that restrictions and modifications in “business as usual” apply across the board.
1) Governors declaration 5/1/20 Stay at Home 2.0 extended until 6/15/20.
May 4 Hospitals could resume elective and non-emergent procedures
May 11 Golf courses, Retail establishments, barbers and hair salons, drive-in theaters and dental
May 18 Attractions, restaurants, equestrian facilities
May 22 Amateur and youth sports; Childcare
May 29 Places of worship, driver’s education
June 1 Health and Fitness clubs, massage, tattoo parlors, beaches, acupuncture will be open.
June 5 Hotels, motels, B&B (non-NH residents will be asked to sign a waiver saying they have quarantined for 2 weeks before arrival)
June 22 Day camps
June 28 Overnight camps
And if you are still wondering about the benefits of wearing a mask a recent study showing the ejection of droplets during loud talking https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2007800?query=featured_home have added additional support to those from coughing and sneezing. Talking, especially loud talking, can be associated with suspension of small droplets for up to 8 minutes, more than enough time if virus is present in those droplets to be a source of infection. A damp facecloth reduced this aerosol to nothing. There’s still a shortage of N95 masks but we know that surgical masks and cloth masks reduce the release of expired droplets in talking, sneezing and coughing forming a protective barrier that reduces the spread of viruses to those around you.
Anyone can request a COVID-19 test in NH, even individuals without symptoms.
There is drive-thru COVID-testing site set up in Claremont at the Middle School with the capacity to test 125 people daily with support from local partners and the NH National Guard. The site is one of seven and is by appointment only, and is open 7 days a week from 11:00am-7:00pm. Anyone who would like to be tested can call the state’s new coordination office at 603-271-5980 or register online here: https://prd.blogs.nh.gov/dos/hsem/?page_id=8479
Testing guidance for NH residents can be found at https://www.nh.gov/covid19/resources-guidance/testing-guidance.htm
Be well and stay safe. Margaret Caudill-Slosberg, EMD
Covid-19 Update 05-21-20
A major question on the minds of many in the community is “how can I be safer in this time of uncertainty as NH reopens for business?” The best advice I’ve read to date is from Atul Gawande, physician and author who published this article in the New Yorker on May 13th https://www.newyorker.com/science/medical-dispatch/amid-the-coronavirus-crisis-a-regimen-for-reentry.
What he recommends is to do what health care professionals have learned in the midst of functioning in their “hot zones” quite successfully given their intense exposure to SARS CoV-2 in the hospital.
The elements are all familiar to you: Hygiene, distancing, masks and screening. “Each has flaws. Skip one, and the prescription won’t work. But, when taken together, and taken seriously, they shut down the virus.” You did it successfully already plus “stayed at home”. It will take a bit of rebalancing if you decide not to stay at home now but it can be done if you remember these basics and strictly adhere to them.
Hygiene means washing (or sanitizing) your hands before and after you enter a public or group space and at least every couple of hours while in it. Disinfect high touch surfaces at least once a day in your home. (And don’t touch your face, nose or eyes until you have washed your hands thoroughly)
But exposure is also about not being too close to others because of the airborne spread of the virus causing COVID-19. This makes the 6 feet of physical distancing still important. Remember that loud talking, sneezing and coughing can spread the virus from an asymptomatic or symptomatic person with COVID-19 so a new strategy has been introduced and many of you have already adopted this new spring fashion statement: Masks
Wearing a mask or face covering is about keeping others safe and is a sign of respect for the life and health of others. It will also give you some element of protection so it's a win-win for you and those around you.
The COVID-19 infection is not going away but it has currently been reduced and we want to remain as safe as we can while re-engaging in more activities this summer so the idea of screening, the fourth element is presented in two ways, self-screening and testing.
Self-screening means being aware of how you are feeling particularly if you develop any new symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, fever >100 degrees F, chills, muscle pain, new loss of taste or smell, or sore throat (CDC, May 13, 2020). If you are “off” or just not feeling well, stay home until the symptoms have improved and 2) get tested for COVID-19 if there is any question of a possible exposure causing your symptoms.
Currently you can be tested by calling your medical provider; or by registering at https://bit.ly/2WDwaoy or calling 603-271-5980 for testing at fixed sites across New Hampshire (the closest sites are in Claremont and Concord); or by calling ConvenientMD at 833-263-0131 (the closest sites are Littleton and Concord); or by callng ClearChoiceMD Lebanon 603-276-3261; or by obtaining a test kit at home through https://www.pixel.labcorp.com/at-home-test-kits/covid-19-test . By being tested for COVID-19 you can determine if you need to isolate and can have your contacts identified so that the infection can be halted from spreading further.
While these 4 elements are not difficult to do physically, they can be challenging to practice when we are distracted by seeing friends and family, eating, shopping, and engaging in all the activities that used to be done so effortlessly. Do only what you are comfortable with doing and think you can manage. Take baby steps like you might have done already in grocery shopping or walking with friends. If you are at a higher risk because of age or chronic illness consider avoiding exposure to places where the numbers of people will be higher or occurring in a smaller space or where masks are not being worn.
As we move into this next phase of our new normal and make an effort to enjoy the summer ahead these simple acts performed together will make it safer to re-engage with family, friends and the public offerings available. And when the number of cases start going back up, be prepared to resume your more restrictive routine - we might be on this roller coaster for a while.
Margaret Caudill-Slosberg, EMD
Lyme Emergency Operations Center
Covid-19 Update 05-06-20From the latest "meeting" of the LCRT came this list of resources for families from both NH and VT. Compiled by Kathy Barth, School Nurse at Crossroads Academy:
Some other additional resources for families (in case you haven't seen these)
Covid-19 Update 05-01-20
Concord, NH – Today, Governor Chris Sununuannounced he is implementing a new, modified Stay-at-Home Order. Stay at Home 2.0 is in effect until May 31st. The state is taking steps to reopen the economy in a smart, phased approach that is supported by facts, science and data.
Each of the decisions and guidance documents below have been reviewed by State Epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan and his team at the New Hampshire’s Public Health Department.
“The people of New Hampshire have taken this epidemic incredibly seriously,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “We have all played a small part in flattening the curve and slowing the spread of COVID19. We all know you are healthier at home, and that continues to be true, but we are also taking steps to reopen our economy in a smart, step-by-step approach that is supported by facts, science and data.”
Universal Guidance is being issued for any business that is currently open, or will soon be opening, under these next steps. This universal guidance will serve as the bare minimum standards which businesses must meet to maintain or begin operations. For specific industries with specific operational procedures, industry specific guidance for certain sectors can be found below.
All applicable industries are able to start opening up in incremental phases as determined by Public Health.
Universal Guidance can be found here.
Industries that can continue to operate with new, modified guidance:
Industries that can begin to phase-in services on May 4, 2020:
Industries that begin to phase-in, or expand services on May 11, 2020:
Industries that can begin to phase-in, or expand services on May 18, 2020:
NOTE: A copy of the Governor's presentation can be found here.
Covid-19 Update 04-26-20
Good Evening, Here’s an update from the Lyme Emergency Operations Center (EOC)
As the EOC marks the 8th week of being activated I wanted to reflect on some of the changes I’ve observed. We have come a long way in both our learning and response to the pandemic. There have been great acts of kindness; beautiful heartfelt writing and song; laments of loss and rediscovered joy found in the simplest of pleasures. And yes, there have been the moments of loneliness and agitation, symptoms of our prolonged isolation because we’re just "trying to do the right thing!”. So when I read about these same observations all around me and across the globe there is a confirmation that it is so very human not to like the current state of affairs and that gives me courage to persevere.
Because what choice do we really have? We know that the virus causing COVID-19 can spread quickly through the air even in the innocent gesture of speaking; that you don’t have to be symptomatic to infect others and that it is circulating in every county in the state, constantly infecting newly exposed individuals. We also know that the tiresome chants of “keep your distance”, “wear your mask”, “wash your hands” and “don’t touch your face” work to limit the spread of infection. You have been able to do that as a collective effort so give your self some well-deserved kudos!
What’s the immediate future look like at the state-level?
On Friday April 24, 2020 Governor Sununu extended his State of Emergency Order 2020-04 for 21 more days that should put us at May 15th, 2020. This order extends, among other things, the orders to:
(i) require public K-12 schools to transition to remote instruction and support, (ii) prohibit scheduled gatherings of 10 or more and require restaurants and bars to transition to take-out and delivery only, (iii) temporarily prohibit disconnection or discontinuance of certain services, including public utilities, in the event of non-payment, (iv) temporarily prohibit evictions and foreclosures, (v) dramatically expand access to State unemployment benefits for individuals impacted by COVID-19, (vi) close non-essential businesses and mandate that Granite Staters stay home with limited exceptions, (vii) expand access to Telehealth Services to protect the public and healthcare providers, and (viii) restrict hotels and other lodging providers to provision of lodging for vulnerable populations and essential workers.
The extension was necessary to allow time for the task force for opening NH businesses as well as the above mentioned services and protections to remain in place after the prior May 4th deadline. I expect we will hear more about the results of these efforts and the 'when and how’ NH might re-emerge in early to mid May.
There were some interesting observations reported in the news this past week:
1) House cats (in addition to tigers) and minks have now been shown to be susceptible to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (the virus that causes COVID-19).
“Until we know more, the CDC is recommending the following:
- Do not let pets interact with people or other animals outside the household.
- Keep cats indoors when possible to prevent them from interacting with other animals or people.
- Walk dogs on a leash, maintaining at least 6 feet from other people and animals.
- Avoid dog parks or public places where a large number of people and dogs gather.
If you are sick with COVID-19 (either suspected or confirmed by a test), restrict contact with your pets and other animals, just like you would around other people.
- When possible, have another member of your household care for your pets while you are sick.
- Avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food or bedding.
- If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wear a cloth face covering and wash your hands before and after you interact with them.”
2) Testing for COVID-19 infection and the antibody against the SARS-2 Coronavirus
The widespread capacity for testing for the presence of COVID-19 infection is still limited in the state of NH as it is in most states. Though the testing criterion for inclusion has increased among those at higher risk of exposure (e.g. health care professionals) and for those at increased risk if exposed (e.g. nursing home residents and those with chronic illness) it is not at a level necessary for widespread monitoring of any community spread as yet.
The antibody test for prior COVID-19 infection has generated considerable interest because of recent observations of a low-grade infection rate among those communities that have been tested in NY and CA. These tests will be useful ~3 weeks after a COVID-19 infection. Multiple antibody tests have been developed but their accuracy and consistency has been poor. In a recent study, whose pre-print appeared Friday, only 3 out of 14 tests were thought to be worthy of further evaluation? There is also another level of consideration for those who do have antibodies. Are they sufficient to infer immunity from re-infection and how long will that immunity last? Questions yet to be answered.
3) Some interesting (to me at least) devices noted in this weeks readings. (Early adopters, take note)
Kinsa QuickCare Smart Thermometer- this thermometer company has been tracking influenza outbreaks using an app that accompanies use of its “smart” thermometer for a couple of years. You can check it out at https://www.kinsahealth.co Though it hasn’t been applied to tracking COVID-19 infections there’s an intriguing possibility.
Pulse-oximeters- an opinion piece in the NYT’s earlier in the week discussed an observation that among patients with COVID-19 respiratory infections, low oxygen levels were not always accompanied by an expected shortness of breath. Using a pulse oximeter, a small device that can measure oxygen levels at the fingertip could potentially be used as an early warning device for patients. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/20/opinion/coronavirus-testing-pneumonia.html
The COVID-19 tracking app being tested by the Massachusetts General Hospital, Stanford University School of Medicine and King’s College London that I mentioned a week or so ago is still looking for 267 more Grafton County residents to sign up. The daily tracking is very simple to do and takes less than 30 seconds. You can download the app by going to https://covid.joinzoe.com Once enough people register it has the potential for identifying infection spread through self-reporting to the app. One person reported back to me that the wrong county was entered after they registered it correctly but that was the only problem I have heard of locally to date.
Be safe, be kind and be good to yourself!
Emergency Management Director
Lyme Emergency Management
Covid-19 Update 04-15-20
According to the models, NH should have seen the peak of COVID-19 cases this week but thanks to your ongoing efforts to stay home, reduce your trips into the public and wearing masks when you do, we have not overwhelmed the hospital system to date. We know this isn’t easy and you have all made sacrifices.
As we move forward in response to this life changing pandemic it will be critical that these same behaviors continue until we can test more and keep those at greatest risk safe.
Rationale for covering your mouth and nose
Some of you may have read about some interesting studies that have observed how the COVID-19 virus could be spread through coughs, sneezes, breathing and speaking. Some coughs can eject virus-laden droplets and aerosol up to 16 feet away and sneezes up to 26 feet away from the person who has not covered their mouth and nose. Today’s New York Times 3-D simulation portrays this quite visually and helps to understand why masks can help reduce the spread and why covering ALL coughs and sneezes is critical.
New testing criteria
Yesterday in the health alert network (HAN) bulletin to health care providers the NH health department expanded their criteria for testing for the coronavirus that causes COVID-1 (inbold):
People in the following groups should be tested for COVID-19 if symptomatic (new additions in bold):
o Healthcare workers and first responders
o Family members of healthcare workers and first responders (because it impacts the ability for these individuals to return to work)
o Any person residing in, or who has worked or visited, a long-term care facility (LTCF) or healthcare setting
o Patients hospitalized with fever, respiratory illness, or flu-like symptoms
o Patients who may have had close contact with a large number of people
o Residents or employees of jails or prisons
o Essential workers who deliver, or directly support, home, community, or institutional care services
o Patients 65 years of age and older
o Patients with underlying chronic health conditions which puts them at increased risk of complications from COVID-19
This is so important! Expanding the testing so that we can quickly identify and contain the spread of this virus and Covid-19 is critical to understanding the effectiveness of the mitigation strategies. To date many people may have been infected with the SARS-2 coronavirus but unless they met the strict criteria were not tested. Now the determination of prior exposure and illness will depend on the development of antibody testing. Antibodies are made in response to an infection and the COVID-19 antibody tests are still being developed and tested. If we hear anything about antibody testing availability we’ll let you know.
Masks and face coverings
The surgical masks that were distributed this week by CCL and their neighborhood captains
are meant to assist you with covering your mouth and nose when out in public. If worn under a cloth face covering they can be kept clean and help as an additional filtration layer. When taking the mask off - lift the band up and away from your scalp; then down in front of your face, removing the mask in one movement. Avoid touching the inside or outside of the mask body. Place in paper bag to dry out. Wash your hands after removing masks and/or face coverings. Wash face coverings regularly.
Margaret Caudill-Slosberg, EMD
Covid-19 Update 04-10-20
We can assume that the virus that causes COVID-19 has been in the community and we are now beginning to see cases identified in Lyme. This was expected as no community has absolute protection from the spread.
In the next few days every Lyme household will be receiving an important mailing from the Town of Lyme’s Emergency Management and the Lyme COVID-19 Response Team. Please read and heed the “Getting to Well with COVID-19” page and use as a reference to guide your preparations in the weeks to come.
Our intention is to:
1) Reinforce steps you have been following to “flatten the curve”
2) Provide written guidance for wearing face coverings and
3) Provide steps to plan and prepare now for a COVID-19 illness in your household
New Hampshire and this community in particular have done an amazing job of slowing the infection and your sacrifice is acknowledged and appreciated. We will be making continued efforts through our community organizations to support those sacrifices and keep you safe as we go forward.
Margaret Caudill-Slosberg, Emergency Management Director
Town of Lyme
Covid-19 Update 3-27-20
From Margaret Caudill-Slosberg,
Emergency Management Director
Tonight we are going to start our Stay at Home/Save Lives in NH until May4th. I am very much relieved and this is why:
Looking at the models from the infectiousness of COVID-19 we could easily exceed 600,000 by the beginning of May a number that would overwhelm the entire health care system in NH if NO CONTROLS WERE IN PLACE.
Your participation in restricting contact, practicing physical distancing has slowed the spread a little, but more has to be done. The continued lack of sufficient protective garb for health care workers and first responders; the limited number of ventilators; limited testing and no specific treatment for the infection makes us very close to a crisis if we don’t continue the restrictions and possibly strengthen them.
Please understand that the most restrictive orders have not been given yet and if they were the number of cases could stay below the tipping point and not overwhelm the health care system health care. However the incremental restrictions have been rolled out because of the recognized burden borne by NH citizens. With no playbook to direct the perfect balance, the next order to stay at home EXCEPT for essential travel, plus continuing all the things you have been doing is what is necessary to slow the spread in the community and the state.
Let me also address the multiple inquiries I have been getting regarding the understandable fear that the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is lurking everywhere, for example: should I let people pet my dog when I’m outside walking, should I sterilize my newspaper, should I wash my grocery packaging, can I safely eat the take-out food.
The answer is not perfect or absolute. The research that has identified the COVID-19 coronavirus on surfaces has been under laboratory conditions, controlling humidity and other conditions, and not in the “real world.” The virus has a sensitive fatty coat that makes it susceptible to drying, heating, freezing and disinfectants. Some surfaces like metal or plastic, non porous in nature, can have virus detected for 9 days, but are they infectious? are they alive? -we don’t know yet.
COVID-19 is now believed to be spread less by airborne transmission (suspended virus like dust particles in the air) and more by droplet transmission meaning when a person with infection breathes, coughs or sneezes those micro-virus-laden droplets are released into the air but drop within 6 feet of where that person was standing and on to surfaces around them.
So when a doctor or nurse or ambulance person has to put a tube down a patient’s airway with COVID who has stopped breathing that is a dangerous time for exposure. Kissing someone who is infected is a dangerous time of exposure. If you are out and about and touch a door handle or light switch that has been touched by someone with COVID infection who didn’t sanitize their hands and then touch your face, mouth, eyes or nose you could become infected if you don’t wash or sanitize your hands first.
So in general consider that with all contact of surfaces outside the home, wash hands regularly or use hand sanitizer. Disinfect shopping carts and don’t touch your face. Stay 6 ft away from others while in public. When you arrive home, clean your hands, disinfect knobs or handles and light switches you’ve touched before you washed hands.
If you feel better doing it, put groceries away then wash your hands; read the mail then wash your hands; read the paper then wash your hands and don’t touch other peoples dogs unless they give you permission (that’s probably for lots of reason). You have to draw the line somewhere and if you make your living space clean, limit your outside contacts to picking up the essentials you will do okay. If anything changes in terms of recommendations I will let you know ASAP.
Covid-19 Update 3-26-20
Concord, NH — Today, Governor Chris Sununu released Emergency Order #17, mandating the closure of all non-essential businesses and requiring Granite Staters to stay at home.
A copy of Emergency Order #17 can be found here.
A copy of designated “Essential Services” can be found here. Additional services may be designated as Essential and added to EXHIBIT A with written approval of the Commissioner of Business and Economic Affairs and the Governor.
Covid-19 Update 3-26-26
COVID-19 Update 3-21-20 Community Update #6
COVID-19 behaviors; transmission; take-out food safety; grocery packaging or packaging in general; disinfection of surfaces - in response to the many questions received on these topics.
The behavior of COVID-19 is being watched carefully in the US. The lack of adequate testing has frustrated best efforts but the case descriptions are being reported and reviewed. From this we see that the disease can affect people across the age range; less so in the very young and more significantly in the very old.
Symptoms requiring hospitalization have to do with the development of severe pneumonia so the symptoms of cough, fever and shortness of breath should be taken very seriously. The development of mild disease is by far the experience of the majority of COVID cases. But as we have seen elsewhere even the presence of a number of people with mild disease can quickly overwhelm the medical system and allow spread to the more vulnerable population. We will need to flatten that curve for many months to come.
Symptoms seem to be more variable than described in Wuhan, China so strict case descriptions have been challenging. Having a thermometer is very helpful and unfortunately in short supply but that will hopefully change quickly as well; keep looking if you don’t have one.
The disease can mimic many of the viral illnesses common at this time of year. So much so that some have taken to suggesting we assume any illness developed recently as a possible COVID infection. Until there is more testing available the practice of self-quarantine and self-isolation for mild COVID symptoms is warranted (See Bulletin#5). When there is a system in place to use private labs we will make you aware of the options. If you go too soon for testing or while you have no symptoms the test will not be accurate.
If you have been infected and recover, the current test for infection will not be accurate. That would require a different way of looking for antibodies your body made against the virus and is currently being developed, but not available now.
The major mode of virus spread is now thought to be respiratory droplets in the air up to 6 feet from of an infected person’s breathing, coughing, sneezing. That's why we stress the 6 to 8 feet physical distancing from others.
These droplets carry the virus to hard surfaces where they can last for several hours to days but are very sensitive to disinfectants and environmental changes such as dryness. Disinfecting doorknobs, light switches, cellphones, computers once a day at home is important. When you are outside the home, even if briefly, use disinfectant wipes and or hand sanitizer on grocery carts or gas pump handles etc. and don’t touch your face. Use a barrier like a sleeve or Kleenex if you must scratch an itch until you can wash your hands. Nitryl or non-latex gloves may help protect you but you have to take them off correctly and wash your hands after you do. Don’t touch your face with gloves on.
At this time, since food preparation businesses should be following their usual universal precautions for infection control during normal food preparation while preparing take-out food, just like they would when life and business was normal, - the food they prepare is safe.
The transmission of the COVID virus from touching grocery store packaging or any packaging not from your home is not thought to be a source of any significant COVID virus exposure. There also comes a point when you must draw the line to excessive precautions because the evidence just doesn’t support it. Wash your hands when you come home from shopping, wash your hands before eating, don’t touch your face and put some de-stressing activities into your daily life! We have a long way to go and we plan to help you get there.
Finally, there are several ways of accomplishing adequate disinfection:
Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work. Use disinfectants appropriate for the surface.
Diluting your household bleach.
To make a bleach solution, mix:
- 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water
- 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water
Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.
· Ensure solution has at least 70% alcohol.
Other common EPA-registered household disinfectants.
Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens pdf icon[7pages]external icon claims are expected to be effective against COVID-19 based on data for harder to kill viruses. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).
COVID-19 Update 3-21-20 Community Update #5
COVID-19 Definitions: Self-Quarentine, Self-Isolation, Higher Risk Individuals
There continues to be confusion around terminology and the implications of being in self-quarantine versus self-isolation and under what circumstances each is requested. These actions for removing yourself from contact with the general public are in addition to the steps you have been counseled in and are doing - strict hand hygiene, disinfection, physical distancing for self-protection. So we would like to clarify further:
The term being used for people who are not symptomatic (i.e. not ill) who have come into contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 or had contact with a person with COVID-19 infection symptoms but no test because of mild symptoms.
Please Note: This replaces recommendation for self-observation guidance since mild COVID cases are no longer being confirmed by test as of 3/18/20 and this situation is the same as if you had contact with someone who might possibly have a COVID-19 infection, but you are not showing any signs of being ill:
1. Stay home and out of the public for 14 days after your last contact with the COVID-19 infected or presumed COVID-19 infected person.
2. Contact health care provider to let them know of your status.
3. If you proceed to develop symptoms – e.g. fever, dry cough, and feeling sick and/or runny nose, head congestion and/or loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea self-isolate and notify your health care provider.
The term being used for the action taken by people who have or think they have a COVID-19 infection. Symptoms can be fever, dry cough, and feeling sick and/or runny nose, head congestion and/or loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea. Symptoms can spread out over 12 days. Please Note: If symptoms worsen: increasing fever, cough and shortness of breath and are no longer mild call your health care provider immediately or 911 if severe.
Take these actions:
1) Stay at home
2) Let your health care provider know you are ill and self -isolating
3) Keep away from other people in house as much as possible at least 6-8’
4) Use a separate bathroom if possible and if not possible disinfect surfaces touched: doorknobs, light switch, toilet handle; let your health care provider know you are ill and self -isolating
5) If possible, stay in separate room from others. Have food trays placed at doorway by others to decrease contact.
6) You are still expected to cover coughs or sneezes, wash hands frequently,
For How Long?
Any person with COVID-19 compatible symptoms who is not tested and can be managed at home (i.e. does not require hospitalization) should self-isolate until:
1) At least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared, AND
2) At least 72 hours (3 days) have passed since recovery – which is defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms.
HIGHER RISK INDIVIDUALS
These include those who are older (age 60 and above) and/or have heart disease, high blood pressure, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes or in cancer treatment.
Because these health conditions may affect your ability to fight infections it is recommended that in addition to all the personal hygiene recommendations and periodic disinfection of surfaces that you avoid contact with others outside your residence except for essential trips to obtain food, medications, or medical care.
COVID-19 Update 3/19/20
Covid-19 infections, testing, and self-quarantine
We know that there have been increasing concerns with the almost daily changes in restrictions, new declarations, and shortages. The increase in the number of COVID-19 infection cases in the United States as well as New Hampshire continues. We knew this was going to happen in this pandemic, but all of this can easily create increased anxiety, fear and confusion.
Therefore, we want to address the issue of testing for COVID-19 and the latest recommendations that were received by your health care providers late yesterday afternoon. We want to give you the rationale for why the changes in testing have occurred so that you can understand how these decisions were made.
We are now seeing community-based transmission which means people are becoming ill with no known risk factors, and this will lead to an increase in community infections. This prompted a change in recommendations for testing people with mild COVID-19 symptoms. Why? Because most people with mild symptoms from the COVID-19 infection can be managed at home without testing, much like managing flu symptoms, and confirming the infection for every person does not change how most people’s illness is managed. The only available treatment at this time is strictly for symptoms a person may be experiencing, for example, acetaminophen or ibuprofen for fever, aches and pains; rest; light meals; and plenty of fluids.
As a result of this community transmission, health care providers are advised not to test everyone with mild fever or respiratory symptoms because of the following:
· Coming in for a COVID-19 test exposes the public, healthcare workers, and vulnerable persons to COVID-19
· We must preserve our limited personal protective equipment (PPE) and COVID-19 test supplies for our healthcare system to be able to care for those who develop more severe COVID-19 illness.
This means that any person with COVID-19 compatible symptoms (fever, dry cough, fatigue) who is not tested and can be managed at home (that is, those not requiring hospitalization) will be instructed to self-isolate* until:
a) at least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared AND
b) at least 72 hours (3 days) have passed since recovery – defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medication and improvement of respiratory symptoms.
1. People who don’t have symptoms (asymptomatic) should not be tested for COVID-19 regardless of exposure because it depletes PPE and the limited testing resources and in addition will not change the need for the exposed individual to self-quarantine**
2. All asymptomatic close contacts of a person with COVID-19 symptoms, with or without a positive test for COVID-19, should stay home (self-quarantine**) for 14 days from the last day of contact or exposure to the infected or presumed infected individual.
3. Finally, although international travel is no longer the only risk factor for COVID-19, persons who have traveled from countries with widespread sustained transmission must also stay in self–quarantine** for 14 days from the last day of travel.
Both self–isolation and self-quarantine require a person to avoid contact with the public.
*Self-isolation is a safety measure for those infected or thought to be infected by the coronavirus to prevent transmission of the virus to others.
** Self-quarantine is a precautionary measure for people who may have been exposed to the coronavirus and lasts two weeks, the length of time during which symptoms emerge in 99% of cases.
What you can do:
· Practice all the prevention strategies: hand washing, avoid touching your face, disinfecting surfaces, social distancing, cover coughs or sneezes, and stay at home except for necessary errands.
· Regular sleep and exercise routine, connect with friends by email, phone calls, letter writing, whatever works for you.
· Call 211 if you have questions about COVID-19 or for other resources.
Flattening the curve and slowing the spread is still possible and we ask all of you to do your part.
Margaret Caudill-Slosberg, Emergency Management Director
Bill Waste, Public Information Officer
COVID-19 Update 3/17/20
Fact Sheet regarding COVID-19 frequently asked questions
New FAQ available Here
COVID-19 Update 3/17/20 Governor’s Emergency Order #2 relative to gatherings of 50 or more people and restaurant/pub restrictions. Emergency Order #2 Pursuant to Executive Order 2020-04 Temporary prohibition on scheduled gatherings of 50 or more attendees and onsite food and beverage consum ption Pursuant to section 18 of Executive order 2020-04, it is hereby ordered, effective immediately, that:
- In accordance with CDC guidelines, the following activities are hereby prohibited within the State of New Hampshire:
- Food and beverage sales are restricted to carry-out, delivery, curbside pick up, and drive through only, to the extent permitted by current law. No onsite consumption is permitted, and all onsite consumption areas in restaurants, diners, bars, saloons, private clubs, or any other establishment that offers food and beverages for sale shall be closed to customers.
- Section 2 of this order shall not apply to food and beverage service in (a) healthcare facilities, (b) airports, or (c) cafeterias located within a private business which are primarily intended to serve the employees of that business.
- The Division of Public Health shall enforce this Order and if necessary may do so with the assistance of State or local police.
- This Order shall remain in effect until Monday, April 6, 2020 .
Many developments have occurred in the past 36 hrs. and we wanted to share with you the latest developments and concerns:
This week will be extremely important as our community, now impacted by school closure and the closure of multiple venues in NH, face the growing awareness that safety and endurance may require a different way of living.
Closing schools will only help to control the spread of this virus if we all take appropriate measures to comply with the recommendations of our public health officials. At least during the period of this initial school closure, we should be limiting the potential for disease transmission by avoiding unnecessary contact with other people.
This means that gatherings such as play dates, parties, and other unnecessary social contact should be avoided. Older children should be advised to practice “social distancing,” which means staying at least six feet from one another, and avoiding gathering in large groups. For this next phase of our community response, we should all stay home as much as possible in order to minimize the opportunity for the virus to spread.
This afternoon Governor Sununu issued the following order that “Effective at close of business tonight, all restaurants and bars in NH will be required to serve patrons by takeout, delivery, and drive-through methods only. Scheduled public gatherings over 50 people will be prohibited. This order will remain in effect until April 7.”
As we proceed to follow daily developments for you if you have questions about the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak or other state or local services please call 211 or visit their website at http://www.211nh.org/.
Remember to take care of yourself and others by following the guidance provided by the CDC, which we’ve linked below.
This is a situation that is changing daily and we are attempting to follow developments and keep you informed.
Margaret Caudill-Slosberg, Emergency Management Director
William Waste, Public Information Officer
Emergency Operations Center
COVID-19 Update 3/14/20 We are sharing a press release from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services regarding the 7th presumptive case of COVID-19 in New Hampshire. Personal concern should only be a factor if you went to the Department of Motor Vehicles office in Manchester during the dates and hours listed (see below). Locally, little has changed in the past week. The initial cases associated with DHMC and the church in West Lebanon are coming to the end of their two-week isolation period and (thankfully) no new cases have appeared as yet. All the precautions published about personal hygiene and social distancing still apply. National and New Hampshire States of Emergency have been declared and there are some restrictions (at least in Vermont) on large gatherings. This is already having a negative effect on local events from performances to ski areas. It is still left to local organizations, municipalities and schools to make their own decisions about closing or postponing events and still left up to individuals to decide whether to attend such gatherings or not. Please exercise due caution depending on your personal level of risk, and call ahead before heading off to an event or meeting to confirm it is still being held. Bill Waste Public Information Officer Lyme COVID-19 Response Team
The person is an adult female from Rockingham County who notified their healthcare provider after developing symptoms. There is an ongoing investigation to identify people with close contact before this individual self-isolated. Any person who has been identified as a close contact will be notified directly by DHHS. DHHS has determined that the person was at the Manchester branch of the NH Division of Motor Vehicles, at 377 South Willow Street in Manchester on the following days:
- Monday, March 2, from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm
- Tuesday, March 3, from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm
- Wednesday, March 4, from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm
- Thursday, March 5, from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm
- Tuesday, March 10, from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm
The Manchester DMV will be closed on Saturday, March 14, for enhanced cleaning and to allow DHHS to conduct the contact investigation. Any individuals who entered the Manchester DMV during those days and times may have been potentially exposed to the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and should monitor their health for fever or respiratory illness. Any persons who were in the Manchester DMV on those days and have developed symptoms should stay home, limit their contact with others, and immediately contact their healthcare provider. Any individual who is symptomatic but does not have a healthcare provider should contact DHHS at (603) 271-4496.
Any person who develops fever or respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) should stay home away from others and seek health advice by phone from a healthcare provider to discuss symptoms and any risk factors for COVID-19.
Given the increasing numbers of infections globally and around the United States to protect themselves and help prevent further community spread, all persons should:
- 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
COVID-19 Update 3/12/20
To date there are 6 positive cases of COVID-19 in New Hampshire, 2 confirmed 4 presumptive.
All cases have been either travel related to Italy or the most recent (6th case) was to multiple European countries; or from direct contact with infected individuals such as the 3rd case, exposed when they sat next to the second case in church on 3/1/20 in West Lebanon.
So we have the three original cases in our immediate vicinity; no new cases here at the moment. The good news is that the first wave of local contacts in quarantine will be finished this weekend and no new cases have developed to date.
The work of Public Health is to quickly identify potential exposures of contacts or advise symptomatic or individuals at risk i.e. those with the travel histories to global hotspots or known contact exposures to isolate or quarantine depending on presence of symptoms and risk. Both procedures are meant to remove those individuals for the 14 days from last exposure from the general population.
There has been some confusion and circulating rumors in the state after some individuals reported that they “had a coronavirus infection” and thought they were infected with COVID-19. These individuals had been tested presumably for cold symptoms in doctor’s offices. Some of the common colds are caused by coronaviruses, however not the novel coronavirus, COVID-19 virus. Those individuals do not have the pandemic infection of current concern.
The test for COVID-19 is not available in the doctor’s office. To collect the samples, usually throat swabs, health care workers wear personal protective equipment (PPE) in controlled environments to reduce their exposure. Current testing is under the direction of public health. More testing availability will occur soon but this is the situation at this time.
Cancellation of large gatherings defined as greater than 50, 100 or 1000 depending on the organization, has been all over the news. How “big” is the trigger size for these cancellations? Well a lot has to do with density of the population to be gathered; travel distances of participants, physical size of venue e.g. larger implies less contact; population characteristics of participants- older adults or younger adults? mixed ages? and many other factors. The goal is reduction of exposure risk to flatten the curve.
**211NH is New Hampshire's statewide, comprehensive, information and referral service operated by Granite United Way and will replace the current Department of Public Health Hotline (603-271-4496) for COVID-19 related questions. Call 211 for questions, concerns and information.
Nothing has changed in terms of what you can do to limit your exposure: Hand hygiene, regular disinfection of office and home surfaces frequently touched, (don’t forget your computer and cellphones), social distancing 6’ when out and about but particularly from coughing or sneezing individuals; and stay home if you are ill. Take care of yourself; stress management is definitely effective and called for in this situation. The Lyme COVID 19 Response Team met today and there is a gathering storm of assistance and support going forward. You are not alone. Be kind to each other. Margaret
Margaret Caudill-Slosberg, EMD, Town of Lyme
03/11/20 Update to add link to Library Covid 19 resource Page.
03/08/20 Update on COVID-19
The Town of Lyme is committed to communicating any new information it receives from DHHS relating to COVID-19 as quickly as we can. Here is what we know:
On Sunday, March 8, 2020, Town of Lyme officials were alerted by DHHS that another presumptive case of COVID-19 has been identified in Grafton County. An individual who attended a worship service at Hope Bible Fellowship in West Lebanon has tested positive for COVID-19.
Recommendations from DHHS regarding this new development are as follows:
“Anyone who attended a coffee social at 9 AM or the worship services at 10 AM on Sunday March 1st at Hope Bible Fellowship at 114 Seminary Hill in West Lebanon, NH are asked 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 church cancelled all activities for today March 8th.
DHHS has stated there were approximately 60 people in attendance at the March 1st service.
In addition to this incident, the DHHS has released the following stats for total NH contacts to date 3/7/20:
- 150 people are currently being monitored by DHHS
- 2 cases have now been confirmed by the CDC, they were the first patients reported last week in Grafton
- 2 additional cases are presumptive COVID-19 positive awaiting CDC confirmation (The third case from church exposure above and a 4th case who traveled to Italy from Rockingham County.)
We are currently awaiting test results from other persons who may have been exposed. It takes approximately 24 hours from the time of testing for results to be received.
During this time of uncertainty, we ask that our community continue to follow CDC guidance regarding practicing responsible social distancing and personal prevention measures as well as the following recommendations for People at Serious Risk for COVID-19:
If you are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, you should:
- Stock up on supplies
- Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others
- When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often.
- Avoid crowds as much as possible
During a COVID-19 outbreak in your community, stay home as much as possible
The Town of Lyme will continue to post updates on our Town website page as well as List serve as we receive them.
EMD, Town of Lyme
COVID-19 - TOWN OF LYME PLANNED RESPONSE
Posted on: March 5, 2020 – 4pm
What Is Being Done?
The Town of Lyme is actively engaged with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and our local and regional partners with regards to the State and local response to the COVID-19 virus through the Public Health Emergency Management structure.
DHHS has a very active website that contains the most updated information on COVID-19 that can be accessed here: dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/2019-ncov.htm.
DHHS is in close contact with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and maintains links on its website to the CDC’s most recent information on the virus that can also be found here: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.
The Lyme COVID-19 Emergency Response Team will continue to serve as a resource conduit for reliable and timely communication between the Emergency Operations Center staff and the community in this rapidly changing situation.
While the Town is closely monitoring the progression of the virus and is planning for the potential spread in the Upper Valley region, we are asking everyone to concentrate their efforts on PREVENTION. There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19.
Prevention measures that are accessible to almost everyone and should be practiced regularly include:
- Proper Hand Washing (If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol)
- Covering Your Cough
- Avoiding Touching your Eyes, Nose, and Mouth
- Avoiding Close Contact with Anyone Who is Sick (Maintaining a minimum distance of 6 feet)
- Staying Home When You Are Sick
- Regularly Cleaning and Disinfecting Frequently Touched Objects and Surfaces
- Following the *CDC’s Guidance for Travel. In addition, please monitor CDC sites that identify locations with COVID-19 for both foreign and domestic travel to determine appropriate travel times.
- Wipe down contact surfaces, door knobs, telephones and key pads with any of the recommended products identified in this document: Interim Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection
*DHHS has put together a Self-Observation Guide for anyone returning to the United States from a country other than China with a travel advisory and strongly recommends you protect yourself and others by following the steps outlined in the Observation Guide.
Symptoms of COVID-19
Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear 2-14 days after exposure and include
- Shortness of Breath
If you develop symptoms AND have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you have recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19 contact your healthcare professional to see if you should be tested.
Frequently Asked Questions
Outbreaks involving COVID-19 continue to evolve quickly. It is important that you stay informed of new information as it becomes available.
Safety Response Plan
Should an outbreak occur that requires a large public safety response, the Emergency Operations Center is open and information will be provided on what is being requested of the public.
Emergency Operations Center
COVID-19 Community Update
Posted March 1, 2020
To the Lyme Community:
We are writing to provide you with an update about the coronavirus COVID-19 that has been spreading across the globe since December 2019 and our plan for a Lyme COVID-19 Emergency Management Response Team to support our regional and state public health response. Our immediate goal will be to provide a reliable resource for the most accurate and timely information available on developments as they unfold. Updates will be posted regularly on the town’s website https://www.lymenh.gov/, the Lyme Listserv and disseminated through multiple community organizations.
We are also dedicated to encouraging community members to incorporate good habits into their overall health practices as everyday measures to prevent illness and spread of diseases in the flu and cold season such as:
- Covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing. If you use a tissue, discard it immediately and wash hands.
- Staying home and avoiding public places when sick, i.e. social distancing
- Washing hands with soap and water, frequently, for 20 seconds (or two rounds of “happy birthday to you”) OR using an alcohol-gel sanitizer
- Avoiding close contact by staying at least 6’ from a person who is sick
- Not sharing anything that transmits saliva: drinks, smoking/vaping devices, utensils
- Disinfecting frequently touched surfaces - consider using spray disinfectant with cloth rather than wipes (which do not break down in landfills)
Finally, we encourage you to begin preparation of your household as if we were about to have a huge snowstorm that required being self-sufficient for an extended period of weeks. Consider the special needs of children, older adults, and pets (food, medication, phone numbers, activities, etc.).
By beginning our preparation now we can fine-tune it as the situation unfolds. Working together we will be stronger.
The Lyme COVID-19 Emergency Response Team
Margaret A. Caudill-Slosberg, EMD
Michael Hinsley, Deputy EMD
Kevin Sahr, Select Board and Deputy EMD
Michael Mundy, Fire Chief
Shaun O’Keefe, Police Chief
Lisa Rayes, Fast Squad
Jeff Hannisian- Town Health Officer
William Waste, Public Information Officer and Lyme Congregational Church
Patty Jenks, Community Care of Lyme
Jeff Valence, School Principal
Judy Russell, Librarian
Lyme Parish Nurses
Jeff Snelling, Lyme Baptist Church
Dina Cutting, Town Administrator
A resource for questions about the COVID-19 (C-19) virus in New Hampshire:
The following number is the 24/7 number for the public’s questions to the NH Dept of Public Health 603-650-1818.