New Hampshire health officials have announced there are two new presumptive positive cases of the novel coronavirus in adult men from Rockingham and Grafton counties, bringing the state total to four.
The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services announced Saturday night that one patient is an adult male from Grafton County who had contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 at Hope Bible Fellowship at 114 Seminary Hill in West Lebanon, New Hampshire, at the morning service on March 1.
The church has cancelled services and is working with officials to advise everyone who attended either a coffee social at 9 a.m. or the worship services on that day to stay home and avoid contact with others through March 15, while monitoring for symptoms of the disease.
Officials say anyone who attended the social or service and has developed symptoms of fever or respiratory illness should immediately stay home and distance themselves from household members and contact the Bureau of Infectious Disease Control at 603-271-4496.
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The second patient presumed to have the virus is an adult male from Rockingham County who officials say traveled to Italy and then began exhibiting symptoms consistent with the virus.
Both patients are isolated at home and being monitored by public health professionals.
Officials are currently working to identify and notify individuals who may have been in close contact with either man.
“These new cases broaden our investigation and our public health team is working to try and prevent further community transmission,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan. “It is important for anybody in our communities who may have fever or other respiratory symptoms to practice social distancing and stay home when ill. We continue to work with hospitals and community organizations to respond to this challenging global COVID-19 outbreak.”
Testing was done for both patients Saturday at the state's public health laboratories. Confirmatory testing will be done by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The state said as of Friday 25 people had been tested for COVID-19. Two Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center employees were the first to test positive for the virus.
The state announced its first coronavirus patient on March 3. The man had attended an event at the White River Junction's Engine Room tied to Dartmouth business school despite advice to remain isolated.
The second positive patient had been in contact with the first patient at the event.
Health officials will hold a press conference on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. to address the two newest cases.