Who can get a COVID vaccine?

Anyone 5 years or older is eligible to be vaccinated in New Hampshire, and people aged 5 through 17 years old must have parent/guardian consent in-person at the time of vaccination or documented in the VINI appointment system. Anyone 12 years or older is eligible for a booster 6 months after finishing their initial vaccination series.

Where can I get a COVID vaccine?

Keene vaccine site

27 Key Road, Keene. Open seven days, 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. No appointment needed.

Claremont site

367 Washington St., Open Monday-Saturday, 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. No appointment needed.

Local pop-up vaccination clinics

Below is a list of locations and dates of upcoming pop-up clinics hosted by the Greater Monadnock Public Health Network.

No appointment is needed. All walk-in clinics are while supplies last. Find more information on these clinics

Friday, February 25, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Wednesday March 23, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Keene State College, 1st Floor of the L.P. Young Student Center in the Flag Room

Tuesday, March 1, 3:30-6:30 p.m.

Ingalls Memorial Library, 203 Main St., Rindge

Saturday, March 19, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (hosted by the state health department)

Hancock Fire Department (park at Moose Brook Recreation Fields, 40 Bennington Road)

Are you homebound?

If you are homebound and need a vaccination shot, call New Hampshire DHHS Homebound Call Center at 603-338-9292, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or fill out the online form.

Local pharmacies are also providing COVID-19 vaccines.

CVS Pharmacy in Keene (both on West Street and at Target) and Peterborough.

Schedule an appointment online by answering a short questionnaire, and then choosing the time and the location most convenient for you. Vaccine availability varies by location and thus a specific vaccine is not guaranteed.

Hannaford Pharmacy locations in Keene and Rindge are offering COVID-19 vaccines by appointment.

Walgreens in Keene and Walpole are offering COVID-19 vaccines. You can schedule an appointment online. It's recommended to call the pharmacy location of your choice ahead of scheduling your appointment to confirm the types of vaccines and the dosages available, as they can vary.

Rite-Aid in Keene, Jaffrey, Peterborough and Winchester are all offering COVID-19 vaccines by appointment.

What’s the difference between a PCR test and an at-home COVID test?

PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests for COVID are highly sensitive.

Samples are taken via a nasal or throat swab, or a saliva sample. They detect viral RNA, and results can take up to several days. If coronavirus RNA is found in the sample, it's converted into DNA and copied a number of times to produce a result that's measurable, according to Harvard Health. .

At-home COVID tests, which are available over the counter at pharmacies, are antigen tests. They detect antibodies reacting to an active COVID-19 virus and, according to Harvard Health, results typically come back in under 45 minutes. Rapid antigen tests can only detect when significant amounts of active viruses are present via a nasal swab or saliva sample. Typically, if an antigen test comes back positive, "it is almost certain that the person is infected," says Harvard Health. "If you have a negative result on an antigen test, your doctor may order a PCR test or recommend a second rapid antigen test to confirm the result."

Cheshire Medical discusses when to use an antigen test and when to get a PCR test.

Where can I get an at-home test?

Anyone with a physical address is eligible to receive 4 free at-home tests (delivered by the post office) by filling out the form here.

If you have health insurance, you may be able to get tests from your insurer for free.

Local pharmacies are selling at-home tests; however, supply is dependent on demand and is limited.

Where can I get a COVID PCR test?

CLOSES 3/15/22: Testing site located at 62 Maple Ave., Keene. Open seven days a week, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. No appointment necessary. Testing is FREE.

The NH Department of Health has provided a master list of PCR testing locations, as well as rapid antigen testing throughout the state.

Cheshire Medical Center provides PCR testing by appointment through myD-H. Information on scheduling can be found here.

ConvenientMD is providing PCR and rapid COVID tests. Information on scheduling an appointment can be found here.

Walgreens provides drive-through testing. An appointment is required and can be scheduled here.

Rite Aid provides drive-through testing. An appointment is required and can be scheduled here.

CVS provides PCR and rapid COVID tests. An appointment is required and can be scheduled here.

I’ve tested positive for COVID. Now what?

This guidance only applies to the general public, including workplaces and K-12 schools. This does not apply to healthcare settings, correctional institutions, or homeless shelters.

According to the state health department, If you tested positive for COVID-19, or have symptoms, regardless of vaccination status you must stay at home for at least 5 days and isolate from others in your home.

If you have symptoms, isolation can end after 5 days if you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and your symptoms are improving. Monitor your symptoms, and if they worsen seek emergency medical care immediately such as trouble breathing.

The CDC has provided further details on what to do if you are sick.

If you do not have symptoms, you can end isolation at least 5 full days after your positive test. For 10 days after your positive test, you should take precautions to prevent spread by wearing a well-fitted mask any time you are around others inside your home or in public. Avoid travel and avoid being around immunocompromised individuals or those who are at high risk for disease for those 10 days. If you develop symptoms after testing positive during isolation, your 5-day isolation period should start over. "Day 0" is the first day of your symptoms.

Other information

Resources from the NH health department

The CDC's coronavirus self-checker

Looking for other information? Email us here!

The Sentinel is providing free access to our local coronavirus coverage.
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I was exposed or in close contact with someone with COVID-19

Cheshire Medical Center provides a resource on the differences between “close contact” and “exposure” for COVID-19.

If you are unvaccinated or have not received all the recommended COVID-19 vaccine doses, you should stay home and quarantine for 5 days after the last exposure, according to the state health department. Watch for symptoms for 10 days after your exposure and get tested if symptoms develop. After 5 days, get tested even if no symptoms develop. If you test positive at any point, move to isolation (see "I’ve tested positive for COVID. Now what?” for isolation guidelines).

For 10 days, wear a well-fitting face mask when around others. Avoid immunocompromised individuals or at high-risk for severe disease. Avoid travel unless absolutely necessary.

If you have received all recommended COVID-19 vaccinations, have a lower-risk exposure in a community setting (such as contact with someone not in your household), or the non-household contact(s) are within 90 days of testing positive for COVID-19 by antigen or PCR-based testing, you should wear a well-fitting face mask around other people for 10 days after exposure, especially in indoor settings.

Even if you do not have symptoms, the state health department recommends you quarantine and schedule a test 3-5 days after exposure. If symptoms develop at any point during quarantine, get tested. If your test comes back positive at any point, refer to “I’ve tested positive for COVID. Now what?” above for isolation guidelines.

I’m struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. What resources are available to help?

A list of statewide resources for New Hampshire residents can be found here.

If you are concerned about the costs related to COVID-19 testing, vaccines and/or treatment and are uninsured, you can find the NH Medicaid flier on assistance here.

If you are experiencing a medical emergency or are in danger, dial 9-1-1.

If you are struggling with mental health, there are both local and national resources that can help.

Monadnock Family Services: 603-357-4400

Samaritans NH Crisis Hotlines:

Toll Free in NH: 866-457-2910

Local: 603-357-5505

HowRightNow: A free resource from the CDC that provides assistance organized by how you’re feeling, such as how to cope with stress or grief related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

If you are experiencing domestic violence, there are confidential resources available.

Monadnock Center for Violence Prevention (MCVP) Crisis Hotlines:

Toll Free in NH: 1-888-511-MCVP (6287)

Local: 603-352-3782

National Domestic Violence Helpline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

You can also text "START" to 88788 or access an online chat here.