NH health workers worry about looming COVID-19 wave

The New Hampshire Medical Society said Monday there are first signs of a COVID-19 surge as the colder weather arrives. The group’s latest COVID-19 update points to an increase in cases in the United States and the United Kingdom. Frontline health workers said they were concerned this could be a difficult season for COVID-19 and flu. Health officials said the good news is that there are vaccines for both. “We’re seeing a lot of activity right now, especially an increase in interest in the new, updated booster,” said Brenden Rock, Rite-Aid district manager. 151 for the week ending last Friday, 30 more than the week before. There were also 12 COVID-19 related deaths. State data on new cases is not as useful as it used to be because so many people test at home. Instead, communities like Portsmouth are part of the state’s wastewater monitoring program that started in June. The levels of the virus in the wastewater peaked in late August and are now almost back to that point, an early predictor of the virus spreading. ‘ said Rock. “Especially this year, communities are fully opening up and travel is taking place again, which is different from past years.” The latest COVID-19 booster, which has been updated for the currently circulating strains, is now available for people 12 years and older who had the original vaccine series. Pharmacies make appointments online. “You can receive your flu vaccine and the new COVID-19 updated booster vaccine at the same time, and it can also be given along with one of our other vaccines,” Rock said. He said there is also a good supply of COVID-19 home testing kits at pharmacies. The insurance covers the cost of up to eight tests per month.

The New Hampshire Medical Society said Monday there are first signs of a COVID-19 surge as the colder weather arrives.

The group’s latest COVID-19 update points to an increase in cases in the United States and the United Kingdom. Frontline health workers said they were concerned this could be a difficult season for COVID-19 and flu.

Health officials said the good news is that there are vaccines for both.

“We’re seeing a lot of activity right now, especially rising interest in the new, updated booster,” said Brenden Rock, Rite-Aid district manager.

According to the Medical Society, COVID-19-related hospital admissions reached 151 for the week ending last Friday, up 30 from the week before. There were also 12 COVID-19 related deaths.

State data on new cases isn’t as useful as it used to be, because so many people test at home. Instead, communities like Portsmouth are part of the state’s wastewater monitoring program that started in June.

The levels of the virus in the wastewater peaked in late August and are now almost back to that point, an early predictor of the virus spreading.

“We could have a very potentially severe flu season combined with COVID still spreading,” Rock said. “Especially this year, communities are fully opening up and travel is taking place again, which is different from past years.”

The latest COVID-19 booster, which has been updated for the currently circulating strains, is now available for people 12 years and older who had the original vaccine series. Pharmacies make appointments online.

“You can get your flu vaccine and the new, updated booster vaccine for COVID-19 at the same time, and it can also be given at the same time as one of our other vaccines,” Rock said.

He said there is also a good supply of COVID-19 home testing kits at pharmacies. The insurance covers the cost of up to eight tests per month.

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