The physician and nurse leaders of hospitals and health care systems in New Hampshire urge continued safety regarding COVID-19. They recognize the pandemic is not over. They hoped the trend of decreasing cases this spring would continue, but are unfortunately watching with concern the number of new infections, hospitalizations and deaths rising in New Hampshire. The public's help is needed to stem this tide and avoid overwhelming hospitals.
Getting the COVID-19 vaccine is recommended. The science and data prove these vaccines are safe and effective. The vast majority of patients hospitalized in New Hampshire with severe COVID-19 are unvaccinated. Reach out to a doctor or other trusted source to get questions answered about the vaccine.
Wearing a mask is recommended. The science and data show that wearing a mask, regardless of vaccination status, is an effective means of preventing the spread of COVID-19. The group encourages the state’s political leaders to consider the adoption of a statement recommending mask use for indoor, congregate settings. A recommendation from the state that is in line with CDC guidelines, even if temporary during this surge, would help dispel the confusion that business, school, and community leaders are currently experiencing.
Community members should stay home if they are not feeling well and get a COVID-19 test if experiencing symptoms.
Frequent hand washing is recommended.
These evidence-based, public health measures are all tools in the fight against COVID-19. There is no single solution that can completely eliminate the risk of spreading COVID-19, but when layered together, these interventions will have a significant impact on the rate of infections, hospitalizations, and deaths in New Hampshire. Each member of the community must do all they can to limit the spread.
Following these prevention measures will reduce the rate of spread and lessen the burden on the health care system so patients may receive the care they need, when and where they need it. If the recent trends in new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue, the clinicians and so many others who have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, will suffer additional stress, potentially putting others at risk, as hospitals reach capacity and are unable to care for patients who need care.
The decision to continue these safety measures is driven by data and guidance from health care experts, not politics. Public health draws on data to chart the future course of action. It keeps hospitals and health care facilities safe places for patients to receive both routine and emergency care as needed. These measures will not only help prevent another surge in hospital admissions and COVID-19 deaths, but they will also help to keep schools and businesses open and the economy thriving.
This message is supported by health care leaders at Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital – Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health, Androscoggin Valley Hospital, Catholic Medical Center, Cheshire Medical Center, Dartmouth-Hitchcock/Keene – Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health, Concord Hospital, Concord Hospital – Laconia/Franklin, Cottage Hospital, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center – Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Southern Region – Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health, Elliot Hospital, Elliot Ambulatory Care Services, Encompass Rehabilitation Hospital, Exeter Hospital, Frisbie Memorial Hospital, Hampstead Hospital, Huggins Hospital, Littleton Regional Healthcare, Memorial Hospital, Monadnock Community Hospital, Mt. Ascutney Hospital & Health Center – Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health, New Hampshire Hospital, New London Hospital – Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health, Northeast Rehabilitation Hospital, Parkland Medical Center, Portsmouth Regional Hospital, Southern New Hampshire Medical Center, Speare Memorial Hospital, St. Joseph Hospital, Upper Connecticut Valley Hospital, Valley Regional Hospital, Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire – Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health, Weeks Medical Center, and Wentworth-Douglass Hospital.