ROCHESTER - Frisbie Memorial Hospital today is putting out an urgent plea to local businesses to contribute any N95 masks they may have in stock to assist them in providing personal protection equipment to doctors, nurses and other frontline personnel.
The request, which comes in advance of a possible surge in coronavirus cases throughout the state, is directed at businesses that stock the masks for routine use in various industries such as house contractors and auto shops.
Anyone who is able to help is asked to contact T.J. Jean at Frisbie Memorial Hospital via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Meanwhile, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Strafford County rose to three over the weekend, with 13 new cases across New Hampshire.
That number brings the number of statewide cases to 78, health officials said on Sunday.
The new cases are all adults, including nine males and four females. The 13 new cases reside in Rockingham (3), Hillsborough County other than Manchester and Nashua (3), Strafford (2), Grafton (1), Manchester (1), Belknap (1), Carroll (1), and Sullivan (1) counties.
Nine new cases are isolating at home, according to health officials. Two of the new cases are currently hospitalized and one was hospitalized and released; thus far, six patients out of the 78 positive cases (8%) have been hospitalized.
Meanwhile, state health officials are now saying the only groups they urge testing for are health care workers and first responders who have symptoms as well as those hospitalized with respiratory issues and/or fever.
Due in part to a shortage of tests people with milder symptoms are urged 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.
"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," State Epidemiologist Benjamin Chan said in a statement.
Also over the weekend Gov. Chris Sununu ordered that only single-use bags be used at supermarkets and all other retail stores.
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.
COVID-19 Safety Tips
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.