4th Coronavirus Death Reported in NH as Cases Increase to 415

More than 6,400 people have been tested for COVID-19, according to the state's epidemiologist

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A fourth death related to the novel coronavirus has been confirmed in New Hampshire as officials with the state Department of Health and Human Services investigate others that may be linked to the virus, authorities announced Wednesday.

During a news conference with Gov. Chris Sununu, state epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan said there are now 415 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state, up 48 from the day before. Chan said 59 patients have been hospitalized.

More than 6,400 people have been tested for COVID-19, according to Chan.

"We are aware of additional people who are hospitalized or who have died and are undergoing further investigation for COVID-19 so these numbers are likely to increase in the coming days," Chan said.

The Crotched Mountain Foundation in Greenfield said Wednesday that the man had had significant disabilities and a history of respiratory complications.

The new death comes as a group home in New Hampshire announced the death of a 46-year-old man over the weekend.

During the news conference, the doctor reiterated the need for people to stay 6 feet away from one another when they are out in public.

"It's very difficult to predict how a pandemic is going to precede. We understand the difficulties this outbreak is causing people and families but it's important not to become complacent in our measures around social distancing," Chan said.

New Hampshire is set to issue a stay-at-home order and directing non-essential businesses to end in-person operations by midnight on Friday, March 27.

Both Chan and the governor said the virus is expected to be with us for many more weeks and possibly months.

During the news conference, Sununu announced he was signing two executive orders to provide protection and relief funds for victims of domestic violence and vulnerable children.

"We know that calls to law enforcement reporting domestic violence are down during this pandemic. We know that reporting of child abuse is down. What is not down is the actual instances of the occurrence," Sununu said.

Community-based transmission continues to increase in the state and has been identified in all counties with cases, health officials said. Most of the remaining cases either traveled to domestic or international locations or had close contact with a person with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis.

Sununu announced a statewide stay-at-home order last week. The order, along with statewide school closures, runs through May 4.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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