New Hampshire is seeing rising COVID-19 cases, and state officials are urging people to get vaccinated before an anticipated fall surge.
"The vaccine is a way out. You've gotta get the vaccine," Gov. Chris Sununu said at a news conference Thursday.
Sununu said officials are looking at what's going on in other parts of the country, such as in Florida, which is experiencing a high hospitalization and death rate. He said people in New Hampshire "still have time" to get the vaccine to make sure those high rates don't reach the state.
He said the surge in New Hampshire, expected in November and December, "could be as bad as anything we've seen."
As of Thursday, 822,000 residents had received at least a first dose of the vaccine, and 752,000 people were fully vaccinated, or 53.8%. About 1,000 people are getting vaccinated each week.
Sununu said communities, schools, and businesses should plan for the long term in thinking of their efforts and methods to prevent the spread of the virus.
"But whatever those decisions are today, understand they may be in place for quite some time," he said.
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He added, "We're not just putting mitigation efforts in our communities, in our places of work for the next month or two hoping that COVID will be gone by Christmas. It is not going to be gone by Christmas, not by any means."