Message from NH Department of Public Health and Services
From DHHS: Commissioner Lori Shibinette (dated March 9, 2020)
As I’m sure you are aware, our colleagues in the Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) Public Health Laboratories have begun to identify the State’s first presumptive positive test results for the new coronavirus, COVID-19. There are many questions and concerns related to COVID-19 activity in New Hampshire, and it can be difficult to sort out what information pertains to our team. This situation is constantly evolving, which is why we want to have open and regular communication with our team.
The very best source of accurate, up to date information from the Department and the CDC is on the DHHS COVID-19 webpage. Please check the content frequently to stay informed of new developments. The Department is also releasing COVID-19 daily updates, which can be found here.
Because the root of our work is interacting with individuals, we know you may have concerns around the risk of being exposed to the virus. While the presence of the virus in New Hampshire is concerning, it is not unexpected given the spread of the virus globally. DPHS has been working with colleagues at the Departments of Safety and Education, hospitals, healthcare providers and public health partners to prepare our state for the possible presence of COVID-19. All continue to work together to aggressively identify and proactively monitor potential cases.
In the meantime, DPHS has provided tips to prevent the potential spread of the virus. We want you to have the latest possible information to make good choices to protect your health. Because COVID-19, and all respiratory illnesses, are most commonly spread through respiratory droplets, residents should take the same precautions as those recommended to prevent the spread of influenza:
- Stay home and avoid public places when sick (i.e. social distancing)
- Cover mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing
- Wash hands frequently
- Avoid being within 6 feet (close contact) of a person who is sick
- Avoid sharing drinks, smoking/vaping devices, or other utensils or objects that may transmit saliva
- Disinfect frequently touched surfaces