New Hampshire - COVID-19 Covered

New Hampshire

Total Cases: 4,685 (June 2)
Tests Administered: 74,117 (May 31)
Fatalities: 245 (June 2)
Testing:
  • New Hampshire announced that it would be closing 10 of 14 surge testing sites at the beginning of June. The sites, which had expanded the state’s testing capacity by 1,600 beds, were reportedly unused during the height of the state’s COVID surge. (May 28)
  • New Hampshire health officials announced that testing would be expanded to businesses with employees who can’t social distance. Those covered by the announced expansion will have access to free tests. (May 28)
  • New Hampshire announced that it has expanded testing availability to workers who must have prolonged contact with others. (May 27)
  • Long-term care facilities in New Hampshire saw a spike in new cases and deaths caused by COVID 19. (May 20)
  • Less than 4% of 1,800 weekly antibody tests administered in New Hampshire have come back positive, suggesting that social distancing measures have been effective in slowing the spread of the disease. (May 19)
  • New Hampshire announced that the state would open a new testing site in downtown Concord as part of an effort to increase statewide testing capacities to 1,500 tests per day. (May 12)
  • Governor Chris Sununu and Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Commissioner Lori Shibinette announced the State of New Hampshire’s new online COVID-19 Testing Registration Portal. More than 2,000 tests have been requested through the portal in less than 24 hours.  (May 7)
  • Governor Sununu announced that the state would expand the requirements for COVID-19 testing to allow anyone with a single symptom to be permitted to schedule a test even without a doctor’s recommendation. (May 7)
  • New Hampshire will receive at least $17 million for coronavirus testing in the emergency relief bill just passed by Congress. (April 24)
  • Governor Sununu issued emergency order #30 to provide temporary requirements regarding healthcare provided in alternative settings. Per his order, patients were anticipated to be directed to alternative care sites (ACS), such as high schools, convention centers, and nursing and rehabilitation hospitals, from overwhelmed hospitals.  In anticipation of this requirement, the governor ordered all health insurance providers to ensure reimbursement for care received at these sites and that all care provided at these sites should continue to be coded as acute care regardless of the location it is received at. (April 9)
  • Governor Sununu applied for a waiver to the federal government to allow non-rehabilitation patients to use New Hampshire’s rehabilitation hospitals. (March 31)
  • The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has announced new recommendations to help healthcare providers determine who should be tested for COVID-19: given the nationwide shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other testing supplies, healthcare providers in New Hampshire must prioritize the State’s existing inventory of these materials to care for patients who will develop severe COVID-19 illness, and exposed health care providers and exposed first responders.(March 20)

ECONOMIC RESPONSE

Essential Service Designations:

  • Governor Sununu issued emergency order 27, allowing hotels and other lodging establishments to provide accommodations for “essential health care workers, first responders, state-approved quarantining accommodations for individuals, and victims of domestic and sexual violence.” (April 6)
  • Governor Sununu’s stay-at-home order excludes groceries and convenience stores, pharmacies, doctors’ offices, hospitals, gas stations, banks, credit unions, and other essential businesses. (March 26)

Labor & Workforce Guidance, Standards and Regulations:

  • Governor Sununu announced that Small group fitness classes, personal fitness training, small group youth, amateur sports practices, and personal care businesses, including acupuncture, massage therapists, and tattoo, tanning, and nail salon shops, will be allowed to reopen on June 1 as long as social distancing requirements can be maintained. The governor also announced that state beaches will be allowed to reopen to active recreation only, such as walking, running, swimming, and surfing. State parking lots will be limited to 50 percent capacity.  (May 26)
  • Childcare workers in New Hampshire have reported that the state’s requirements to wear masks and maintaining social distance with young children are impractical for their day to day operations. (May 22)
  • New Hampshire restaurants will be allowed to reopen for outdoor dining on Monday, May 18. (May 18)
  • New Hampshire businesses, including retailers, drive-in movie theaters, golf courses, barbers and hair salons, will begin to phase in or expand services on a limited basis on May 11 under the Stay At Home 2.0 program. The program is in effect until May 31. (May 7)
  • Governor Sununu issued emergency order 31 establishing the COVID-19 Long Term Stabilization Program for New Hampshire first responders and front-line workers to receive Medicaid funded stabilization treatment. (April 16)
  • Governor Sununu issued an emergency order directing the creation of temporary non-congregate housing for first responders and homeless individuals who may have been exposed to COVID 19. (April 10)
  • Governor Sununu issued an emergency order 27, suspending hotels and short-term rentals for all non-essential reasons. (April 6)
  • Governor Sununu announced that New Hampshire is formally making a disaster declaration to the federal government. (March 30)
  • On March 16, Governor Sununu issued an emergency order (Emergency Order 5) to give individuals who are unable to work or who have reduced hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic immediate access to unemployment benefits. (March 16)
  • This applies for individuals whose employer temporarily closes due to COVID-19; individuals that need to self-quarantine; individuals that need to care for a family member that has COVID-19; individuals that need to care for a dependent because of school closures, childcare facility closures or other similar types of care programs; and self-employed individuals that are temporarily unable to operate their business because of any of the above-listed situations. (March 16)

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • Governor Sununu announced the creation of an equity response task force that would recommended strategy and plan to address the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on communities of color in New Hampshire. (May 28)
  • Governor Sununu issued Emergency Order 41 extending Medicaid coverage to allow COVID-19 testing for uninsured New Hampshire residents. (May 6)
  • Over 1,700 small businesses and non-profits in New Hampshire have been approved for $356 million in emergency loans through federal stimulus law. (April 10)
  • Governor Sununu sent a letter to Secretary Mnuchin regarding the CARES Act and requested state guidance on the timeliness of funding. (April 2)
  • New Hampshire’s congressional delegation announced the state will receive an additional $11.7 million in federal aid from the coronavirus relief package to help community service programs and the homeless. (April 2)
  • Governor Sununu issued an emergency order to help ensure that domestic and sexual violence crisis centers have the resources needed to provide critical services to victims of domestic violence during the COVID-19 outbreak. (April 1)
  • Governor Sununu issued an emergency order to authorize emergency funding for child protection services, including domestic violence support, substance use support, the Strength to Success program, technology to support youth family services families, and the family resiliency support line during the COVID-19 outbreak. (April 1)
  • New Hampshire’s congressional delegation announced that the state will receive an additional $147 million from the massive coronavirus aid package signed into law by President Trump. (March 31)
  • New Hampshire will receive $1.25 billion in relief from the CARES Act. (March 30)
  • For those unemployed due to COVID-19, New Hampshire increased the weekly minimum benefits from $32 to $168, added an additional $600 per week to individual benefits, and extended the maximum length of benefits from 13 weeks to 39 weeks. (March 30)
  • New Hampshire extended interest and dividend payment deadlines to June 15 for 98% of interest and dividend taxpayers. (March 30)
  • New Hampshire’s Attorney General joined 32 other states in asking online retailers Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Walmart, and Craigslist to prevent price gouging on coronavirus-related products. (March 25)
  • Emergency Order 3 prohibits providers of electric, gas, water, telephone, cable, VOIP, internet service, and deliverable fuel services will from disconnecting or discontinuing service for non-payments for the duration of the State of Emergency. (March 16)
  • Emergency Order 4 prohibits landlords from starting the eviction proceedings for those unable to pay due to their financial situations and prohibits all judicial and non-judicial foreclosure actions during the state of emergency. (March 16)
  • On March 13, Governor Sununu signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency due to COVID-19. (March 13)

Business Support & Resources:

  • On March 18, Governor Sununu announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) approved New Hampshire’s application for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans, which will help small businesses overcome the loss of revenue due to the COVID-19 outbreak. According to the SBA, the loans offer up to $2 million in assistance for small businesses and may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. (March 18)
  • Governor Sununu announced a new portal for New Hampshire businesses to help provide personal protective gear for medical workers. (March 24)
  • Governor Sununu announced that in coordination with New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, the state created a public-private partnership plan to ensure essential workers have access to safe, CDC-compliant childcare. (March 26)

SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Shelter-In-Place Orders:

  • Governor Sununu extended the state’s Stay-at-Home order until June 15. (May 29) 
  • Governor Sununu issued a Stay-at-Home order, effective March 27 until May 4. (March 26) 

Curfews:

  • No records found.

Social-Distancing Guidelines:

  • New Hampshire’s seacoast beaches reopened on June 1, but only for visitors who remain in motion. Governor Sununu’s reopening plan allows for swimming, running, walking, surfing – but you can’t spread out a blanket or eat a picnic lunch on the beach yet. State-owned parking lots are limited to 50 percent capacity until further notice (June 1)  
  • Governor Sununu extended his previous emergency order limiting all gatherings to no more than 10 people until May 4. (April 4) 
  • Governor Sununu asked individuals from out-of-state who come to New Hampshire for non-work-related reasons to voluntarily self-quarantine. (March 28

Delivery Services:

  • Governor Sununu extended his previous emergency orders, restricting food and beverage sales to carry out, delivery, curbside pickup and drive-through only, and allowing for takeout or delivery of beer or wine until May 4. (April 4)
  • Governor Sununu issued an emergency order giving liquor store workers a 10 percent wage increase. Governor Sununu argued that keeping liquor stores open as an essential business is necessary to help boost state revenue and prevent the regional spread of the coronavirus. (March 31)
  • Governor Sununu issued guidance on allowing retailers to transition to curbside pickup or delivery only. (March 27)

SCHOOL CLOSURES

K-12:

  • Governor Sununu announced that the state’s school summer programs may be operated remotely. (April 28) 
  • Governor Sununu issued emergency order 32 closing all New Hampshire schools until the end of the school year (April 16) 
  • Of the additional $147 million New Hampshire is receiving in federal aid, $82.5 million will go towards elementary and secondary schools, higher education, and the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund. (March 31)  
  • Governor Sununu announced standardized tests will not take place in New Hampshire for the 2020 spring semester. (March 30)  
  • Governor Sununu extended remote learning until May 4, 2020. (March 27)  
  • Governor Sununu issued Emergency Order 7, which allowed for the temporary modification of data and privacy governance plans to give school districts greater flexibility when developing remote learning software tools. (March 18)  

State Higher Education:

  • Governor Sununu stated that budget shortfalls created by the ongoing pandemic could affect the state’s higher education, which may have to accelerate changes that were being anticipated. (April 24)
  • New Hampshire’s three largest public universities – the University of New Hampshire, Plymouth State University, and Keene State College – have suspended all in-person classes and transitioned to remote learning for the remainder of the spring semester.

Produced by Marathon Strategies, an independent PR firm that delivers intelligent communications and research solutions. For information, email Phil Singer at COVID-19@marathonstrategies.com