CONCORD — Thirteen additional New Hampshire residents have tested positive for COVID-19 — including the first in Sullivan County — pushing the total number of confirmed cases in the state to 78, health officials said Sunday.
The new confirmed cases are all adults, nine men and four women. Three live in Rockingham County, four in Hillsborough County (one in Manchester and three in communities outside of Nashua and Manchester), two in Strafford County, and one each in Grafton, Belknap, Carroll and Sullivan counties.
Five of the new cases can’t be linked to known risk factors.
“Community-based transmission has been identified in the majority of the counties in the state,” health officials said in a statement Sunday.
Officials said six of the 78 positive cases in the state have been hospitalized. Nine of the new cases are “isolating at home,” health officials said in a news release. Two of the new cases are currently hospitalized, and one was hospitalized and released.
The remaining 37 individuals are isolating at home.
Cases of COVID-19 have now been confirmed in all but one county in New Hampshire — Coos County. State health officials said Sunday a case announced Friday involving a Coos County resident incorrectly identified the person’s county of residence. The individual actually lives in Grafton County, officials said Sunday.
State health officials have downplayed the need for widespread testing, saying the only groups recommended for testing now are health care workers and first responders with symptoms, and people who are being hospitalized for respiratory illness and fever.
State epidemiologist Benjamin Chan said over the weekend that due to a shortage of supplies, testing generally will be limited to people being hospitalized for fevers and respiratory illnesses, and health care workers with fevers and coughs.
People with milder symptoms will not have ready access to tests, and are advised to just stay home if they feel sick.
Older adults and people with compromised immune systems will be asked to quarantine themselves at home if they get mildly sick, rather than requesting a test.
“But as COVID-19 becomes more common in our communities, confirming infection for every patient presenting with fever and respiratory symptoms becomes impractical and does not change how a person’s illness is managed,” Chan said in a statement.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever and respiratory symptoms, such as a cough. Early mild symptoms can include fatigue, headache, muscle aches, and chills. Fever may not develop until several days into illness, or not at all, but people can still transmit the coronavirus, officials said.
State health officials recommend people continue to take the following precautions to protect themselves and combat additional community spread:
Stay home and avoid public places when sick (i.e. social distancing);
Cover mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing and wash hands frequently;
Avoid being within 6 feet of someone who is sick;
Avoid sharing drinks, smoking/vaping devices, or other utensils or objects that may transmit saliva;
Disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
Anyone who develops fever or respiratory symptoms, such as a cough and shortness of breath, should stay home and seek health advice by phone from a health care provider to discuss symptoms and any risk factors for COVID-19. Anyone who shows symptoms but does not have a health care provider should contact DHHS at 271-4496.
Health officials said anyone returning from Europe should immediately comply with CDC recommendations to self-quarantine. People who have returned from any other travel setting with cases, such as other states, should watch for possible symptoms.