COVID by the Numbers, October 26 Edition
The numbers since my last report continue to rise. The NH statewide 7 day average of new cases per 100,000, as of October 24, is 6.5, up from 5.3 on October 12. The rate of acceleration has slowed, but we are still seeing steady increases. We are now the 4th lowest state, behind Hawaii, Vermont and Maine. I think it is worth noting that both Vermont and Maine have significantly lower rates for their 7 day average of new cases; Vermont is at 2.7, and Maine has taken over the lowest spot at 2.4.
On October 12, there were 738 active cases here in New Hampshire. As of yesterday, October 25, there are 1,032. The hospitalization number has also gone up from 17 to 23. The bright spot here is that is still much lower than it was earlier in the pandemic, but it bears close watching. The difference is that we are testing many, many more people now than back in May, when we only tested persons with symptoms, so we are actually identifying more asymptomatic cases than before.
In Cheshire County, the 7 day average of new cases rate has gone from 1.3 to 1.9. There was a spike up as high as 2.6 during the week of the 14th to the 21st, but we seem to have settled back to 1 or 2 cases a day. We are currently the second lowest county in the state, and our local rates are lower than the statewide rates for Vermont and Maine.
That said, in Cheshire County, we had 9 active cases on October 12, and we are now at 21 active cases, driven by those days when we had 4 new cases a day. Active cases are located in Walpole, Westmoreland, Marlow, Keene, Swanzey, Jaffrey, Fitzwilliam, and Rindge. Jaffrey, Rindge and Keene seem to have most of the more recent cases, but they have not been reported as being associated with either of the colleges.
There are now only 6 states in the contiguous 48 that are still in the yellow “community spread” category on the Harvard Global Health Initiative map—Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York on the east coast and Washington and Oregon on the west coast. 21 states are in the bright red category, up from 13, and the rest are orange. North Dakota is now at 105.2 cases per 100,000. The US as a whole has gone from an average of 15 cases per 100,000 to 20 per 100,000.
These are numbers you may want to keep firmly in mind when considering holiday travel plans. Also, check each state’s requirements with regard to travel. NH currently requires anyone travelling here from outside New England to self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival; this applies to anyone from NH who has travelled and stayed in those states as well. Bear in mind that when that order was issued, all the New England states were in the Yellow category, except Vermont, which was Green. Now, the three southern New England states are at Orange–the rate of new cases in Massachusetts and Connecticut is 13 per 100,000; Rhode Island is at 21. Be careful out there.
Each state has its own different leisure travel requirements. Vermont looks at the county you are travelling from. Currently Cheshire County, along with Sullivan and Coos, are the only NH counties that are exempt from the Vermont quarantine requirement. Essential travel (work, shopping for essentials) is allowed. If you are planning to travel, look at the requirements both in NH and in the state you are visiting.
Wear your mask—even when you are at a distance, keep your distance—even when you are wearing a mask, wash your hands, and keep well.
~Representative Lucy Weber