Coronavirus

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Gov. Chris Sununu on Saturday ordered New Hampshire stores to temporarily transition to single-use plastic or paper bags, citing the risk of transmitting the novel coronavirus.

“With identified community transmission, it is important that shoppers keep their reusable bags at home given the potential risk to baggers, grocers and customers," Sununu said in a statement.

The order applies to any establishment that sells groceries.

Meanwhile, the N.H. Department of Health and Human Services announced that it has identified 10 more cases of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the virus.

None of the new cases announced Saturday were in Cheshire County residents, according to a news release from the department. The state announced the first Cheshire County resident to test positive Friday.

Five of the new cases are from Rockingham County; two from Hillsborough County, including one in Manchester; and one each in Grafton, Merrimack and Strafford counties. 

With Strafford's first identified case, every New Hampshire county but Sullivan has had at least one resident test positive.

Evidence of community-based transmission — someone who contracts the disease without a known risk factor, such as travel or close contact with another infected person — has been found in at least six counties, including Cheshire, according to the department's news release.

New Hampshire has announced 65 cases to date.

The Vermont Department of Health announced that it had confirmed 20 new cases Friday and early Saturday, including the second Windham County resident to test positive — a woman in her 50s hospitalized at Cheshire Medical Center in Keene, according to a news release.

Vermont's total as of Saturday afternoon was 49, including two fatalities. Both were older than 80.

Earlier Saturday, N.H. Sen. Martha Fuller Clark, D-Portsmouth, announced that her husband had tested positive for COVID-19. 

“While my husband is feeling under the weather, his symptoms are not critical and we have been in self-isolation since Tuesday," Fuller Clark said in a statement. "After my husband received the positive test result today, we felt it was our responsibility to inform the public so that others may take the necessary precautions to self-observe and self-quarantine as necessary."

She said she had not experienced any symptoms herself. She urged any members of the public in "close contact" with her between March 7 and March 15 to follow state guidelines on self-observation or self-quarantine.

Also on Saturday, the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript reported that a New Ipswich man, Jalen Rines, is among those who have tested positive.

Paul Cuno-Booth can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1409, or pbooth@keenesentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter @PCunoBoothKS