ANDROSCOGGIN VALLEY — Here are the key dates of the COVID-19 pandemic, as they occurred, from the first case, to the present, and all the emergency orders in between.

• March 2, 2020: A Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center employee who returned from Italy tests positive for COVID-19, the first novel coronavirus case in New Hampshire.

• March 5, 2020: North Country Healthcare partners take precautions to protect patients, providers, staff, volunteers, and guests from COVID-19. A NCH Incident Command Center has been set up to link the Command Centers of each affiliate hospital: Androscoggin Valley Hospital, Upper Connecticut Valley Hospital, and Weeks Medical Center.

• March 8: The World Health Organization says the global number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has surpassed 100,000.

• March 13: New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association suspends all postseason hockey and basketball games. The Berlin-Gorham hockey team had been scheduled to play Kennett in the state championship game the following day, while the KHS boys’ basketball team was to have met Bow in the state quarterfinals.

• March 15: Calling it “a rapidly evolving” situation, with 13 cases of COVID-19 now in the state, Gov. Chris Sununu orders all public schools to close and go to distance learning for the next three weeks. It is the first of his emergency orders due to the pandemic.

• March 16: • March 16: Gov. Sununu announces the state is prohibiting scheduled public gatherings of more than 50 people in his second emergency order.

• March 16: The NHIAA announces the remainder of the winter sports season is canceled. Kennett and Berlin-Gorham are named co-champions in boys’ hockey, Berlin-Gorham and Concord are co-champions in girls’ hockey, and Berlin and Exeter unified basketball teams are co-champions.

• March 16: Berlin City Council closes library and recreation center and city hall will conduct business only through teller windows. Fire Chief James Watkins will oversee the response as chair of the Public Safety Task Force.

• March 16: Berlin Superintendent of Schools reports to council that staff is working hard to move to remote learning and to prepare and deliver free bagged lunches to all students.

• March 16: Gorham Town Manager Denise Vallee said starting March 18, town hall will be closed but Gorham will operate a virtual town hall.

• March 17: Gov. Sununu issued three emergency orders: one to prohibit utility companies from disconnecting or discontinuing service for non-payments for the duration of the state of emergency; one, to prohibit landlords from starting eviction proceedings for those unable to pay due to their financial situations; and one to allow individuals who are unable to work or who have reduced hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic to have immediate access to unemployment benefits.

• March 19: Gorham Paper and Tissue delivers trailer loads of White Mountain toilet paper to local stores to make sure the locals have a supply of the in-demand item.

• March 23: State officials announce the first COVID-related death in the state, a man in his 60s from Hillsborough County who was living in a long-term care facility. Gov. Sununu limits gatherings of more than 10 people.

• March 23: Gorham Public Works Director Buddy Holmes reports transfer station overwhelmed as residents apparently clean house while furloughed at home.

• March 24: Berlin uses mass phone call to warn residents to take precautions to reduce risk of coronavirus.

• March 27: Gov. Sununu issued his Stay-at-Home order and closes state beaches on the Seacoast. He also extends public school closures until May 4. “We cannot stress this enough. You should stay in your house unless absolutely necessary,” Sununu says.

• March 30: Gov. Sununu announces increased help for unemployed people, businesses and hospitals to get through the COVID-19 crisis, saying the federal CARES Act will mean $1.25 billion to help New Hampshire.

• The USDA Forest Service announces an official closure order for Tuckerman and Huntington Ravine as well as for the Gulf of Slides, Appalachian Mountain Club Visitors Center grounds, parking lots and facilities at Pinkham Notch.

• Gov. Sununu announces he is shutting down hotels, motels and short-term home rentals except for essential workers and vulnerable populations.

• Superintendents of School Julie King and David Backler set up a weekly conference call with Coos County Family Health Services CEO Ken Gordon to discuss ways to obtain supplies and share resources. Others join the conference call and gradually it evolves into the Androscoggin Valley COVID Community Working Group. Hospital and nursing home administrators, municipal officials, chamber of commerce director, prison representatives, and representatives from the state’s Congressional delegation join the initial group. The group meets by zoom at least once a week to coordinate the response to current issue and predict future needs.

• April 9: Federal Bureau of Prisons reduces inmate transfers in and out of facilities and quarantines all new inmates into Berlin facility.

• April 9: SAU 20 and SAU 3 announce the spring school vacation week will be shorten to two days to allow future flexibility with the schedule. Lunches will be delivered all five days.

• April 9: Androscoggin Valley Hospital receives one of the 18 Abbott rapid testing machines the state has received from the federal government. The machine will serve all three hospitals in Coos County.

• April 11: N.H. Department of Health and Human Services reports the Androscoggin Valley has its first COVID case when a Randolph resident tests positive.

• April 16: Gov. Sununu says remote learning will continue for the remainder of 2019-20 school year. He called the decision “heartbreaking.”

• April 16: The NHIAA announces the cancellation of spring high school sports.

• April 16: Bagpiper Tom Childs begins nightly performances on the pedestrian bridge in Berlin to lift spirits during the dark days of the pandemic.

• April 20: New Hampshire's congressional delegation says New Hampshire will receive $11.7 million in additional funding to assist the state’s homeless population and to address other local needs during the pandemic.

• April 24: The White Mountain National Forest shuts down several high-use trailheads, day-use areas and dispersed recreation facilities until further notice.

• May 1: Gov. Sununu reopens campgrounds to state residents and campground members, expands some procedures in hospitals for time-sensitive illness, manufacturing and interior state parks and other guidelines giving more flexibility, calling it Stay-at-Home 2.0.

• May 1: The National Forest reopens several trailheads.

• May 4: New Hampshire municipalities get $40 million from the state, businesses get free masks and first responders see an extra $300 a week in their paychecks, Gov. Chris Sununu and health leaders announce.

• May 11: In 24 hours after Gov. Sununu and Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Lori Shibinette announce New Hampshire’s new online COVID-19 testing registration portal, more than 2,200 residents sign up.

• May 14: The Jericho ATV Festival, scheduled for July 31-Aug. 1, was cancelled by the Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Androscoggin Valley ATV Club.

• May 22: Gov. Sununu says beginning June 1 Hampton Beach and the other ocean beaches may reopen for exercise-only, no sunbathing. Softball and baseball practice and yard sales can restart immediately. The following week, Sununu says yoga and Zumba classes may begin at the gym, along with personal care businesses like tattoo, massage, nails and tanning, although with restrictions.

• May 29: Gov. Sununu lightens restrictions for lodgings — hotels, motels, inns and Airbnb rentals. In addition, he “loosens the clamps” on day camps, overnight camps and houses of worship in the state for June.

• June 5: Gorham High School seniors hold an in-person graduation ceremony at Great Glen.

• June 5: Gov. Sununu announced that starting June 15, restaurants could begin serving customers indoors. But in the four New Hampshire counties hardest hit by COVID-19 — Rockingham, Hillsborough, Strafford and Merrimack — capacity is limited to 50 percent. All restaurants across the state must ensure that parties weren't seated closer than 6 feet apart.

• June 10: The SAU 9 Re-Entry Committee, featuring roughly 50 citizens from school administrators to nurses, family liaisons, teachers and school board members, meets for the first time to develop a plan for a safe return to schools in the fall.

• June 11: Gov. Sununu allows the state’s stay-at-home order to expire, replacing it with an advisory and lifting entirely the maximum group gatherings of 10 or fewer.

• June 12: Berlin High School seniors hold an in-person graduation ceremony on Gaydo Field.

• June 18: Coos County Nursing Home allowing outdoor visits and St. Vincent de Paul Nursing Home follows suit on June 19.

• July: More than 60 small businesses in the Androscoggin Valley have received money from the state’s Main Street Relief Fund totally over $3.7 million.

• July 4: The annual Gorham Fourth of July festivities are cancelled.

• July 17: Gov. Sununu signs House Bill 1266, which allows voting by mail in the fall state primary and the presidential election.

• Aug. 6: Berlin School Board approved hybrid reopening plan for September with most students in-school and about 30 percent remote. The opening was also phased-in. SAU 20 also approved a hybrid reopening with most students in-class and some taught remote.

• Aug. 11: Gov. Sununu announced masks are required for any gatherings of 100 or more people in New Hampshire effective immediately.

• Sept. 8: Students return to school in both SAUs and everyone reported the reopening went smooth.

• Sept. 25: Gov. Sununu announces restaurants can seat guests at tables that may be fewer than 6 feet apart as of Oct. 1, provided there are barriers.

• Sept. 26: White Mountains Community College holds its outdoor graduation ceremony. The ceremony was postponed from its usually May date and attendance was limited.

• Oct. 15: Nansen Ski Club, the oldest ski club in the country, announces it is waiving membership fees and inviting the public to use its groomed Nordic trail system at Milan Hill State Park for free.

• Oct. 22: Eight positive COVID cases at the federal prison in the minimum security satellite camp. All inmates in the satellite camp have been quarantined and the entire prison is closed to visitors.

• Oct. 27: U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) announces the two leading vaccines being developed for COVID-19 require being kept at subzero temperatures; local health providers say cold storage equipment will be a challenge for the supply chain. At a virtual meeting with Shaheen, Androscoggin Valley Hospital President Michael Peterson identifies the two pharmaceutical front-runners in the race to develop a vaccine as Pfizer and Moderna.

• Nov. 1: Coos County experiences a surge of positive cases with the state reporting 62 active cases in the northernmost county. Health officials urge people to “Mask Up”.

• Nov. 10: Positive cases in Coos County have reached 102. The Coos County Nursing Hospital in West Stewartstown has been particularly hit hard by the virus with two deaths from the virus. By the time the outbreak at the nursing home closed on Dec. 30, the institution had 134 positive cases between residents and staff and had 15 residents died from the virus.

• Nov. 16: City Council approves mask ordinance.

• Nov. 19: Berlin School Board approved winter sports will be played but with strict procedures in place include masks and limited attendance.

• Nov. 20: With daily cases surging to over 500, Gov. Sununu signs an emergency order instituting a statewide mask mandate, to remain in effect through Jan. 15, 2021.

• Dec. 7: Gov. Sununu announces that New Hampshire’s citizens who are most vulnerable to COVID-19 infection will be able to get the first dose of the vaccine by Christmas.

• Dec. 10: Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald announces that autopsy results for New Hampshire Speaker of the House Dick Hinch of Merrimack, who died Dec. 9 at age 71, showed “the cause of Speaker Hinch’s death was COVID-19.”

• Dec. 22 : N.H. state prison in Berlin reports an outbreak with 75 residents and 5 staffers testing positive. Mayor Grenier expresses worry that it will spread to city’s two nursing homes. A week later the number at the state prison have dropped but the number of active cases in the valley are up to 113.

• Jan. 6: St. Vincent de Paul Rehabilitation and Nursing Center has a staff member test positive and before the surge is over, 34 residents and 15 staff members would test positive for COVID. Two residents would die but all those treated with the antibody would survive.

• Jan. 15: Citing the state's high coronavirus case rates, hospitalizations and fatalities, Gov. Sununu extended the state’s mask-mandated until March 26.

• Jan. 18: The former Brown School in Berlin opens as one of the state’s vaccine sites.

• Jan. 25: Gov. Sununu announces that town meeting deliberative sessions, traditional town meetings and voting days for town meetings can be postponed upon the decision of local officials from the traditional second Tuesday in March to late July.

• Feb. 4: North Country Healthcare CEO Thomas Mee said 1B vaccine vaccination rollout has gone smooth in Coos County.

• March 2: Gov. Sununu announces that the state will host a by-appointment-only mass COVID-19 vaccination site March 6-8 at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. The vaccine given out is the recently approved one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

• March 11: Gov. Sununu announces that domestic travel rules are immediately relaxed, retail stores can operate at 100 percent capacity, and karaoke, pool and darts can resume at restaurants and bars. “The trends are very positive all across the country which gives us some flexibility,” Sununu said. The state will continue the mask mandate, Sununu said.

• March 13: This year the Berlin-Gorham Boys Hockey Team gets to play the final game and brings home the championship.

• March 23: Sununu tells WMUR-Channel 9, he remembers the moment he learned the state has its first death. "It was one of those things I think we all knew was, unfortunately, coming. We had seen it all across other parts of the country," he said. "It hit hard. I remember it was a little bit of a silence on the phone."

Since that day, more than 1,200 people in the Granite State have died.

"Overall in our state, we've done very, very well," Sununu said. "We still have one of the lowest death rates of the entire country. We are all very proud of that. But there are still 1,200 individuals that aren't with us today that were here last year, and you have to remember them, and you have to remember you still have a long way to go."

•As of April 1, the Androscoggin Valley towns collectively have had 819 people who had the coronavirus.

(Conway Daily Sun Reporter Lloyd Jones contributed to this article)

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