CONCORD — The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services reported a number of new COVID-19 cases and four new deaths over the weekend.
DHHS announced 59 new positive test results in the state on Friday (including two in Carroll County), 45 on Saturday, 23 on Sunday and seven new positive test results for COVID-19 on Monday (including two more in Carroll County, one of them in Conway).
Two deaths were reported last Friday, July 24: a woman in Hillsboro County and a man in Rockingham County; and two more on Saturday, July 25: a woman in Merrimack County and a man in Hillsboro County.
There have now been 6,441 cases of COVID-19 diagnosed in New Hampshire, with most being in Hillsborough and Rockingham County. There have been 81 cases in Carroll County, including 22 in Conway; 16 cases in Coos County and 101 in Grafton County.
A total of 409 people in New Hampshire (6 percent of the total cases) have died from COVID-19, and 689 (11 percent) have been hospitalized with the disease.
As of Sunday, there were 589 current cases in the state, including 19 current infections in Carroll County, four in Coos County and eight in Grafton County.
In 84 percent of the cases (5,625) in New Hampshire, the individuals were listed as recovered from the infection.
In response to a question from the Sun about how the decision is made to report someone is recovered from the virus, State Joint Information Center Manager Paul D. Raymond Jr. said: “An individual is considered recovered based on the progression of their health during ongoing one-on-one conversations with contact investigators. Additional context is from CDC guidance that provides a framework for decision-making regarding when to list a person as recovered from their illness and able to leave isolation.”
The Centers for Disease Control lists guidance for discontinuing isolation for people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 at tinyurl.com/rkr8m3j.
The guidance varies based on the severity of illness, need for hospitalization and how severely compromised a person’s immune system is. That criteria has evolved over the months since the pandemic began.
Under current CDC guidelines, people who have mild to moderate illness are considered recovered and may discontinue isolation after at least 10 days have passed since they first had symptoms and at least 24 hours have passed without a fever (without the use of fever-reducing medications), if other symptoms have improved.
If someone has tested positive for the virus but had no COVID-19 symptoms, they may discontinue isolation and other precautions after 10 days following the date of their first positive test.
For people who have a severe or critical COVID-19 illness and those who have severely compromised immune systems (whether or not they show any symptoms), the time period is extended to 20 days since the first symptoms appeared or the first positive test.
With the latest updates as of July 20, the CDC no longer recommends a negative coronavirus test result as criteria to discontinue isolation in most circumstances “because, in the majority of cases, it results in prolonged isolation of patients who continue to shed detectable SARS-CoV-2 RNA but are no longer infectious,” it said.