CONWAY — Carroll County has its first presumptive positive case of COVID-19.
The state Department of Health and Human Services said Monday that an individual in Carroll County had tested positive for the coronavirus.
Along with other cases reported in the state Monday, that brings the total number of cases to 17. The new confirmed cases are three men and one girl under the age of 18.
Sixteen of the cases are either travel-related or people who have been in close contact with a person with COVID-19. One person’s risk factors are still under investigation.
All of the 17 patients are isolating at home and household contacts have self-quarantined.
The state announced on Sunday there were six new presumptive positive test results.
Presumptive cases are those positive tests that are sent to the Centers for Disease Control for confirmation.
The cases announced Sunday were four women and two men, all of whom had traveled recently. Five live in Rockingham County and one in Hillsboro County (in Nashua).
In addition to the single case in Carroll County, the statistics are: five cases in Grafton County, 10 in Rockingham County, one in Hillsboro County and one in Carroll County.
One Carroll County health provider, Saco River Medical Group, says it has closed its Glen office to the walk-in clinic but not to scheduled patient visits.
The Conway office is continuing to remain open during normal hours, and providers there are maintainin scheduled visits for routine and chronic disease care.
Practice Manager Jessica Kroski said Saco River Medical has received multiple calls from people concerned they may have the virus, and is following appropriate guidelines for screening and treatment.
“We are handling most patients in our office,” she said and have implemented protocols to limit exposure to any respiratory illness, including COVID-19.
Asked whether a Saco River Medical Group patient had tested positive to the coronavirus, Kroski referred that question to the N.H. Department of Health and Human Services.
Saco River posted a statement on its Facebook page Monday saying it is “working closely with the N.H. Department of Public Health and following CDC guidelines. These continue to change almost daily.
“Our office now is adding additional steps to decrease exposure to respiratory infaction," it said. "All patients needing to be seen with cough, fever, flulike symptoms, travel history outside the U.S. in the past 14 days or exposure to a person diagnosed with COVID-19 are requested to remain in their car while awaiting their appointment.”
White Mountain Community Health Center in Conway announced Monday on Facebook that it would be closed Monday and today as it adjusts staffing plans in light of the school closings and update protocols.
“The health center will be staffed both days and able to refill prescriptions and address some health issues over the phone," it said. "Please don’t hesitate to call us if you have any concerns. We will send out more information shortly.”
MaineHealth has suspended elective procedures and non-urgent office visits at its nine local health facilities, including Memorial Hospital.
Late Monday, Joan Boomsma, MD, chief medical officer of MaineHealth said: “Keeping patients at home who are scheduled for non-urgent services rather than having them come to the hospital or office will help keep them safe and reduce the spread of coronavirus.”
MaineHealth is asking that patients not call to check on the status of a procedure or office visit but await notice from the hospital or practice.
Tim Kershner, communications and public affairs director at Memorial Hospital, said there have not been any positive cases at the hospital and that work is progressing to keep the patients and staff at the hospital safe.
Among changes at the hospital, in-patients will be allowed one visitor per stay who will be screened before being allowed to visit.
Patients are screened through a series of questions to assess their risk of having the virus.
Kershner stressed that people can't walk in off the street and demand a test.
The hospital also is continuing to look at ways to keep patients in the attached Merriman House nursing home safe. As of Friday the Meriman House is not allowing outside visitors, except under limited special circumstances. The hospital is also limiting the visits from hospital staff to the Merriman House; meals are being delivered to the door and picked up there by Merriman House staff.