Effective immediately, outdoor activities in New Hampshire may resume with restrictions and in groups of 10 or fewer people, Gov. Chris Sununu announced Monday.
During his news conference, the governor said among the activities and attractions that could resume were biking, canoe and kayak rentals, outdoor driving ranges, outdoor shooting ranges, small fishing charters, paintball, and outdoor guiding services for fishing, hunting or hiking.
Amusement parks, water parks, tourist trains, boat cruises and indoor attractions are not included and will remain closed for now.
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While child care remained open in the Granite State, Sununu said state officials have put together comprehensive guidance for New Hampshire's child care facilities to "ensure the safety and security of children and staff."
Among the guidance included are daily screenings of children and staff, increased hygiene practices, limits on room capacity and staggered drop-off and pickup times.
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No new COVID-19 related deaths were reported Monday leaving the state's death toll at 172, New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services state epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan said at the news conference. There were 57 new positive cases bringing the state's total to 3,652.
Sununu said New Hampshire is making strides in their testing capabilities in response to the coronavirus pandemic. As of Sunday, the state reported 41 positive cases out of 2,400 tests bringing the number of positive cases to below 2%, the governor said.
Chan added that out of the 49,000 people tested so far, 3-4% of antibody tests show exposure to COVID-19 so the need for social distancing is still important.
As of Monday, restaurants in New Hampshire began reopening following the coronavirus shutdowns. As of now, restaurants are only allowed to reopen for outdoor dining, and even then only if they obey strict social distancing guidelines.
Restaurants had previously been allowed to offer only takeout and delivery service.
On Sunday, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services reported 41 new positive coronavirus cases for a total of 3,596. They also reported one additional death, a woman over 60 from Hillsborough County, bringing the statewide total to 172.
Sununu said Friday that more money will be available for New Hampshire’s small businesses and nonprofits in federal coronavirus relief funds than recommended by a legislative advisory board, with a total amount of $595 million going to wide-ranging needs in the state.
The money will come from New Hampshire’s $1.25 billion in relief aid received last month. About $255 million has already been spent. After the latest amount is distributed, about $400 million would be left to use by the rest of the year.
The legislative board of the Governor’s Office for Emergency Relief and Recovery had recommended $100 million for small and medium-size businesses, particularly those that did not receive federal loans to cover payroll during the pandemic. Nonprofit organizations would get $30 million. Sununu upped the amounts to $400 million for businesses, and $60 million for nonprofits. He said the initial plans were to spread out the money over more time, but the decision was made to front load it.
“The apex of need is now,” he said.
Businesses can fill out pre-grant applications now through May 29 online at revenue.nh.gov or goferr.nh.gov. Those that are approved would have to fill out a second application to get final approval.
An additional $50 million was granted to an emergency Health Care Relief Fund, with $30 million being set aside for long-term health care facilities, and $20 million going to hospitals and health care groups. The board had proposed $100 million for hospitals. Sununu noted that hospitals are receiving nearly $500 million in separate federal COVID-19 relief funds.
Money provided for higher education, child care, the New Hampshire Food Bank and agriculture was along the lines of what was proposed.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.