BERLIN — COVID-19 cases are still lingering in the Androscoggin Valley and while numbers are low here, health-care providers note the state overall is seeing an increase in cases.

The state reported an average of 361 active cases for the period from Aug. 23-29, an increase of 20 percent over the previous week. Numbers from the New Hampshire Hospital Association have been higher.

At the COVID-19 community group meeting Thursday, Androscoggin Valley Hospital Senior Director of Patient Experience and Marketing James Patry said the N.H. Hospital Association reported over 500 new cases statewide the day before.

“So fortunately, we have not seen that here. But we know how this works, sometimes, where the North Country is the last to see it. But we're prepared — staffing levels are relatively good,” he said.

Patry reported AVH has not had anyone hospitalized for COVID-19 or the flu for several days and only one COVID patient had come though the emergency room. He said staffing was steady with only a few employees out with COVID. Patry reported the cafeteria and gift shop are back open to visitors.

Coos County Family Health Services reported eight positive COVID cases over the past three weeks out of 80 tests performed. CCFHS staff will visit St. Regis House this week to offer booster vaccines and will be at other Berlin Housing Authority sites this month.

In her weekly report Friday, Coos County Nursing Home Administrator Lynn Beede said there are no positive cases among the residents but 11 employees at the Berlin facility have active COVID infections. She said all employees and residents will be tested twice this week.

Beede said COVID symptoms for some people can be very subtle and what they think is a cold or allergy symptoms turns out to be COVID-19. For those in high risk categories, however, Beede said the symptoms can be severe and even fatal.

“We are able to reduce our risk for serious illness by keeping up to date with recommended vaccines,” she said.

With the state numbers on the rise, the group decided it will continue to meet and set the next Zoom meeting for May 19.

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