State relaxes mask, quarantine guidelines, contact tracing


As COVID-19 cases in New Hampshire continue to decline, state officials relaxed mask guidelines on Thursday, recommending that anyone without symptoms of the virus be able to dispense with masks in most indoor and outdoor locations.

State epidemiologist Dr Benjamin Chan told the state’s weekly press conference that people with compromised immunity should continue to wear a mask when in public and around others. He said people should always follow the requirements set by companies for wearing masks and in healthcare facilities and public transport.

He also said that people who are at increased risk of becoming infected and spreading the virus are recommended to wear masks indoors when there are people and when they cannot maintain the distance. .


The statewide mask mandate implemented in November 2020 expired on April 16.

Beth Daly, head of the state’s Office of Infectious Disease Control, said the state will no longer require people to self-quarantine if they have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 in the past. outside the house. She said quarantine would still be required for people living in the same household as someone infected with the virus.

Daly said contact tracing will no longer be done for community-based exhibits. The state will continue to investigate suspected epidemics.

“Just because we are not conducting contact tracing for potential exposure to the community does not mean that the risk of COVID-19 has been eliminated; it’s recognition that more than half of New Hampshire’s population has been fully vaccinated at this point and our transmission is still low in our communities, ”she said.

In other news related to the coronavirus:

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EMERGENCY CONTROLS

Shortly before announcing that they had reached a deal on the budget on Thursday, lawmakers again changed language in a measure on how Parliament could end the state of emergency or any emergency order issued by the governor.

The Tongue, in an amendment proposed by Sen. Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro, calls on the governor to address a joint session of the Legislature 90 days from the declaration of a state of emergency and all 90 days thereafter. The legislature will then vote on whether to end the state of emergency by a resolution passed by a majority of voting members.

The amendment replaces the one adopted by the conference committee on Wednesday. Bradley said Thursday’s version deals with transparency and provides checks and balances on government.

The changes were discussed after lawmakers were unable to reach agreement on a separate bill aimed at restricting the governor’s authority during future pandemics or other emergencies.

Under current law, the governor can declare a state of emergency and renew it every 21 days as long as he deems necessary to protect public safety and well-being, although the legislature can still vote for end it. Wednesday’s committee had changed that renewal date to 30 days; Thursday’s version reverted to 21.

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STUDENT SCHOLARSHIPS

About $ 2 million in coronavirus relief aid goes to scholarships for qualified students at or below federal poverty or with a disability, New Hampshire Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut said Thursday.

“Some students have thrived in learning during a pandemic, particularly through strong supports at home and exercising greater capacity for individual action in their own education. Other students had difficulty accessing their education, often due to a lack of appropriate resources or a pedagogical model that was not suited to their learning needs, “Edelblut said in a statement. .

The yes! The program will award scholarships ranging from $ 1,000 to $ 5,000.

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LEBANON WITHOUT MASKS

The mask’s mandate in Lebanon will end on June 30, the city council voted.

The ordinance came into effect in August. The Valley News reports that several board members said on Wednesday they wanted to give businesses time to adjust and give people one last chance to get vaccinated before the prescription ends.

Lebanon is the last city in New Hampshire to remove its mask mandate.

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NUMBERS

More than 99,000 people have tested positive for the virus in New Hampshire, including 30 cases announced Thursday. Two new deaths were announced, bringing the total to 1,366.

The seven-day moving average of daily new cases in New Hampshire has declined over the past two weeks, from 46 new cases per day on June 1 to 29 new cases per day on Tuesday.


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