FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE TO THE RESIDENTS OF LONDONDERRY, NH
ACTIVE CASES OF COVID-19 ARE ON THE RISE IN LONDONDERRY;
TOWN EMD URGES RESIDENTS TO OBSERVE COVID-19 PROTCOLS
For the last several weeks, Londonderry has experienced its highest number of active COVID-19 cases since the first few months of the pandemic, and after Thanksgiving, the numbers have been climbing at a faster rate than ever before. In fact, we have recorded nearly 100 cases since Thanksgiving alone. Currently, we sit at 180 active cases; our town test positivity rate is reported to be 16%, which is significantly higher than that of the state-wide positivity rate (hovering near 10%); and we rank in the “Top 5” for the most active cases in the entire state, even when the cities of Manchester, Nashua and Concord are included. Given these statistics, the prevalent community spread in Londonderry, and the danger that our hospitals and medical facilities could become overwhelmed, it is imperative that we work together to bring these numbers down. In his capacity as Town Emergency Management Director, Fire Chief Darren O’Brien reminds and urges Londonderry residents to re-commit to, and observe, the following COVID-19 protocols:
- Wear a mask or cloth face covering to protect yourself from getting or spreading COVID-19.
Governor Sununu has issued a Mandatory Mask Order (via Emergency Order #74), which requires that all persons over the age of 5 within the State of New Hampshire must wear a mask or cloth face covering over their noses and mouths any time they are in public spaces, indoors or outdoors, where they are unable to or do not consistently maintain a physical distance of at least six feet from persons outside their own households. A mask or cloth face coverings should be two or more layers and should be worn over the nose and mouth. This helps reduce the risk of spread both by close contact and by airborne transmission.
- Maintain physical distance of at least 6’ and do NOT travel or attend or host social gatherings (especially indoors) with those outside of your immediate household members.
As set forth above, we are seeing a significant rise in transmission after the Thanksgiving holiday, when family and friends presumably gathered to celebrate the holiday. As cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continue to increase across the state and the country, the safest way to celebrate the winter holidays is to celebrate at home with the people you live with and virtually with others via Zoom, FaceTime or other electronic means.
If you must attend any sort of social or other gathering, avoid crowded indoor spaces and ensure any indoor spaces are properly ventilated by bringing in outdoor air as much as possible. In general, being outdoors and in spaces with good ventilation reduces the risk of exposure to infectious respiratory droplets.
If you must travel, travel by car is safer than by plane, train or other public conveyance.
Finally, a reminder that wearing a cloth face covering or mask is not a substitute for physical distancing and other prevention measures.
- Observe all relevant isolation and/or quarantine requirements (see attached), whether they be related to symptoms, exposure or travel.
DHHS has now issued a variety of isolation and quarantine requirements related to symptoms, exposures and travel. Please see the attached FAQ document issued by DHHS which contains those guidelines and requirements and follow them so as to stop the spread. Most importantly, any person who is experiencing even mild symptoms of COVID-19 should isolate and be tested. These symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath, fatigue, chills, muscle aches, loss of taste and smell and in severe cases, difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. You can now request to be tested even if you are asymptomatic. To request a test, contact your healthcare professional or find testing options on the state COVID website: https://www.nh.gov/covid19/resources-guidance/testing-guidance.htm.
- Stay at home when at all possible.
The safest place for you, especially during this latest wave of the pandemic, remains at home, with your own household members. Avoid unnecessary errands, social events/gatherings, etc.
- Continue to practice good hand hygiene and regular cleaning. Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
Per Chief O’Brien, “This is all familiar advice; we hear it every day on the news from local, state and federal officials as well as the medical community We as a community need to take care of each other; we’ve all become a bit lax. I’m asking this community to stop ignoring the guidelines and re-commit to these protocols to keep each other safe.”