The number of people in New Hampshire who have died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, increased by three on Thursday, according to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services.
The deaths bring the total number in the Granite State to 21. There are now 819 confirmed coronavirus cases, an increase of 31 from Wednesday, Dr. Benjamin Chan, State Epidemiologist for the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services said at a Thursday news conference with Gov. Chris Sununu.
About half the deaths in the last few days have been associated with long-term healthcare facilities in the state.
"This is exactly the population that we're trying to protect," Chan said.
On Wednesday, health officials announced five new deaths from the pandemic, including three fatal cases who were residents of long-term health care facilities.
The facilities include Hanover Hill Health Care Center in Manchester, the Huntington at Nashua and Crotched Mountain Rehabilitation Center in Greenfield.
At each of the facilities, both residents and staff members have been infected with COVID-19. There have also been outbreaks at more than 10 other long-term care facilities in New Hampshire, health officials said.
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Chan released a new model Thursday showing the number of New Hampshire deaths, infections and hospitalizations and said the state appears to be doing a good job "flattening the curve" when compared to neighboring states. He said it's likely the state will experience a peak within the next few weeks, however.
Although the coronavirus pandemic is expected to last many more weeks, both Chan and the governor said the stay-at-home order appears to be working in keeping down the number of those infected.
During the news conference, Sununu announced that Banking Commissioner Jerry Little will serve as Executive Director of the Governor's Office for Emergency Recovery and Relief.
The office will monitor the disbursement of federal aid during the coronavirus crisis.