COVID by the Numbers—January 24 Edition
As of today, there are some grounds for cautious optimism. Very cautious, as I am aware I have used that phrase a number of times during my reporting to you. First off, Cheshire County is no longer #1 in the state for infection rates. We are actually back down to #8. Partially, this is because the statewide average of number of reported cases per 100,000 population rose a bit, from 53.3 on January 17 to 59.2 today. That number has fluctuated between 53.3and 59.4 ever since the beginning of the year.
The better news is that the Cheshire County rate of reported cases per 100,000 has come down from a high of 64.0 on January 17, and is now at 44.7, well below the state average. Countywide, we had a high of 425 active cases on January 17. As of today, there are 284 active cases in the County. The cumulative total of cases in the county has gone from 1,910 on the 17th to 2,123 today.
3 more lives were lost to COVID in Cheshire County this week. We have lost 12 in all in the course of the pandemic; 5 of those 12, nearly half, were in the past two weeks.
In Walpole, the cumulative number of reported cases to date in Walpole is 91, up from 84 on the 17th. The number of currently active cases has come down from a high of 30 active cases on January 12, to 21 on January 17, and now to 15 on January 24.
Statewide, the cumulative number of cases went from 56,864 on January 17 to 62,337 today. The number of active cases came down from 6,387 to 6,122. Hospitalizations are down from 243 to 239. Another 54 Granite Staters lost their lives to COVID this week, bringing the cumulative total to 987.
Vaccine Update: If you are over 65, you may register to get the vaccine by going to www.vaccines.nh.gov . Currently, you register at that site, and then you will receive an email with a link to set up your appointment. Many people who signed up on Friday got their emails withing 24 hours, though the site says it will be 3-5 days. DHHS reported yesterday that 170,000 people have signed up; 160,000 have received emails to select a location and time slot. The folks at DHHS are hoping to combine these two steps into one step soon, so the procedure may change. If you are waiting for your sign-u email be aware it may come from VAMS (Vaccine Administration Management System) or CDC (Centers for Disease Control.) Be sure to open emails with those headers. When you sign up for a location and time, at the end of the process, you will be asked if you want to bring another eligible person with you. Check that box and give that person’s name if you want to do this. For most people, this process has gone relatively smoothly. If you do not have a computer, call 211 for assistance, and be prepared to stay on hold for a considerable time.
If you are under 65 and have 2 qualifying conditions, or if you are the parent of a child under 16 with 2 qualifying conditions, the process is murkier. DHHS says that you must have your health care provider authorize your vaccine, and then the registry will send you the signup email. Some health care providers, when contacted, have said they have no idea how they are supposed to do this. Other health care providers have spontaneously notified the registry of their patients’ qualification; I have heard of a few people who got the signup email before they ever contacted their provider. Let’s hope everyone gets on the same page soon.
So please keep on taking good care of yourselves. Redouble your efforts. Wear your masks. Keep your distance. Wash your hands. Avoid large groups. Avoid close contact in small groups of those not in your household. Be careful out there, now more than ever.
~Representative Lucy Weber