Frisbie among 13 hospitals to get promising COVID drug to treat severely ill patients

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Frisbie Memorial Hospital was one of 13 across the state to get the remdesivir for COVID patients in serious condition. (Rochester Voice photo)

CONCORD - Frisbie Memorial and Wentworth Douglass hospitals are among 13 across the state to receive a promising new antiviral medication shown in clinical trials to reduce recovery time for seriously ill COVID-19 patients, state DHHS Commissioner Lori Shibinette said on Wednesday.

Some 400 vials of remdesivir, produced by Gilead Sciences, were sent out to treat patients in advanced stages of the disease, Shibinette said.

Supplies of the drug are lagging, but production is now stepping up after the FDA approved the drug on May 1. New Hampshire is one of just 13 states to have received a supply.

Meanwhile, with the deluge of data coming out daily, Shibinette said the two most important data points she looks at are hospitalization rate and the percentage of daily testing that comes back positive.

She said currently the hospitalization rate is 10 percent and continues to trend downward, a good sign. As of Wednesday 128 remained hospitalized.

On testing she said the state is averaging 1,478 daily tests and the average positive rate is 5.5 percent.

"That's a good number, and that should also be trending down," she said.

Wednesday's numbers showed 63 new positive test results on a day that saw more than 1,900 COVID-19 tests reported. Two new cases were reported in Strafford County.

Seven new hospitalized cases were also identified.

DHHS also announced eight additional deaths related to COVID-19, all from Hillsborough, Rockingham and Merrimack counties.

Gov. Chris Sununu again said they are not yet ready to open the state's beaches despite some cities and towns in both Maine and Massachusetts already doing so.

"Look, we just had snow a few days ago, so this gives us time to wait and see what the effects of those openings are," he said. "We'll be closely watching that."

He also said the state will continue to flex its reopening in slow and incremental steps like with the outside dining options that begin on Monday.

Governor's Inn and The Garage co-owner Herman Ejarque said that come Monday they'll have four different seating areas at the two venues, where patrons will be able to enjoy a meal, a snack or an adult beverage.

But no live music, he said on Wednesday.

That's one thing that's not on the table, at least not yet.

More NH COVID numbers

NH Persons with COVID-19 3,299

Recovered 1,236 (37%)

Deaths Attributed to COVID-19 150 (4.5%)

Total Current COVID-19 Cases 1,913

Persons Who Have Been Hospitalized for COVID-19 326 (10%)

Current Hospitalizations 126

Persons Being Monitored in NH (approximate point in time) 3,375

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