State health officials announced six more Granite Staters died of COVID-19 over the weekend, including five on Saturday — the most deaths announced in New Hampshire in a single day since late June.
The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services also said a person confirmed to have COVID-19 may have exposed bar patrons to the virus at Jumpin’ Jay’s Fish Cafe in Portsmouth.
DHHS announced 123 new confirmed cases Saturday, the most new cases announced in a single day in New Hampshire since May 20. Health officials added another 55 new cases on Sunday, putting the overall total number of cases in the Granite State at 9,143.
The five deaths are the most announced in the state in a single day since June 26, when eight people lost their lives. There have been 456 deaths attributed to COVID-19 in New Hampshire since the pandemic began.
DHHS said the latest victims were three men and two women from Hillsborough County and one man from Belknap County, all 60 or older. Four of the deaths were associated with a long-term care facility, officials said in a news release.
Of the 178 new confirmed cases over the weekend, 34 involved people under 18, and 35 of the new cases are associated with an outbreak at a long-term care facility, DHHS announced.
According to state health officials, 134 of the new cases were confirmed by PCR tests, while another 44 were confirmed through rapid antigen tests. The daily PCR test positivity rate was 0.8%.
There are 685 active COVID-19 cases in New Hampshire.
Two more individuals were hospitalized for COVID-19, putting the number of people currently hospitalized for the coronavirus in the state at 22.
The new cases reported over the weekend are in Merrimack County (45), Rockingham County (38), Strafford County (15), Belknap County (2), Hillsborough County other than Manchester and Nashua (32), Sullivan County (1) and Grafton County (5), and in Nashua (19) and Manchester (14). The county of residence is being determined for three new cases.
Health officials issued a warning Sunday to anyone who sat at Jumpin’ Jay’s Fish Cafe’s bar on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 between 5-9 p.m., Oct. 2 and 3 between 5-10 p.m. and Oct. 4 between 5-9 p.m. Patrons may have been exposed and should call DHHS at 603-271-4496 for further guidance, the department said in a news release.
DHHS said it has conducted a contact investigation and notified known close contacts directly.
“As you may know, Jumpin’ Jay’s is temporarily closed due to Covid-19 exposure among our staff despite carefully following the Governor’s Universal Guidelines for restaurants,” restaurant management said in a statement.
“We have been testing and quarantining our entire team while working closely with DHHS to conduct contact tracing as necessary. Please know that we have met or exceeded state and CDC guidelines in our quick and independent decision to close, test and quarantine as the safety of our staff and guests is our top priority. Our facility has been professionally cleaned and we will not reopen until it is safe and prudent to do so.”
COVID-19 has infected more than 37.3 million people and killed at least 1.07 million worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The United States now has at least 214,000 reported coronavirus deaths and at least 7.75 million cases of the virus, according to a tally from the university.
COVID-19 can trigger a wide range of symptoms including fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, runny nose, nasal congestion, sore throat, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or loss of taste or smell.
Anyone who develops new symptoms should stay home, limit contact with others, immediately contact their health care provider and get tested for COVID-19, health officials said.