New COVID cases steady since last week, but hospitalizations keep rising in NH

Paul Cuno-Booth, The Keene Sentinel, N.H.
·2 min read

Apr. 17—New Hampshire is adding new COVID-19 cases at roughly the same rate as a week ago, averaging 425 positives per day over the past week.

But hospitalizations have continued to climb, with Granite State hospitals holding 132 COVID-19 patients as of Friday morning. That's up from 100 a week earlier.

Starting in January, COVID cases in New Hampshire dropped sharply from their winter peak of more than 800 per day. But the rate of new cases has risen again over the past several weeks, from a recent low of 239 per day for the week ending March 6.

The hospitalization level Friday was up from 66 a month ago, and is higher than the spring 2020 peak of 126 — but well below the record 335 patients who were in hospitals on Jan. 2, at the height of the winter surge.

With many of the most vulnerable people vaccinated, far fewer have been dying than in the winter, when the state sometimes averaged 10 deaths per day. The state averaged one death per day in the week ending Tuesday, according to state data.

Local scene

Cheshire County has seen 187 new cases over the past two weeks and had 125 active cases as of Friday. The county's test positivity rate for the past seven days was 1.5 percent — significantly lower than the state as a whole, at 5.3 percent.

The following communities in The Sentinel's coverage area had known active cases as of Friday, according to the N.H. Department of Health and Human Services: Keene (47), Jaffrey (16), Rindge (9), Hinsdale (9), Swanzey (8), Antrim (6), Peterborough (5), Dublin (5), Charlestown (5), Westmoreland (5), and Alstead, Chesterfield, Greenfield, Fitzwilliam, Hancock, Harrisville, Langdon, Nelson, Stoddard, Troy, Walpole, Westmoreland and Winchester, all with one to four cases each.

Statewide data

New Hampshire averaged 425 new cases per day over the week ending Friday. That includes the 423 new cases announced Friday, at least 20 of which were in Cheshire County.

The state announced 13 deaths over the past week, three of which occurred earlier but were only recently confirmed as related to COVID-19. None of the deaths involved Cheshire County residents.

As of Friday, the state had about 3,750 known active cases. There have been more than 90,900 total cases and 1,266 total COVID-related deaths in New Hampshire since the pandemic began.

Paul Cuno-Booth can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1409, or pbooth@keenesentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter @PCunoBoothKS