New Hampshire is now averaging more than 340 new COVID-19 cases per day after a sharp rise in recent weeks.
And the state announced 11 COVID-related deaths in the past week, including three residents of Cheshire County.
The seven-day average of new cases as of Friday — 344 per day — rose 21 percent in the past week. It’s up from 112 per day a month ago and just 23 per day for the week ending July 1.
The rate of new cases was low as summer began, after the winter surge receded and vaccinations rolled out. But the virus has spread rapidly since July due to the more-infectious delta strain taking hold as large parts of the population remain unvaccinated.
In New Hampshire, 54.1 percent of residents are considered fully vaccinated, and 59.1 percent have had at least one shot.
As of Friday morning, 129 confirmed COVID patients were in Granite State hospitals, roughly what it was one week earlier.
All of New Hampshire is experiencing “substantial” transmission, according to the N.H. Department of Health and Human Services — the highest of three tiers the state health department uses. Similarly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rates every New Hampshire county but Sullivan as having “high” transmission, the highest of its four categories. (Sullivan County is in the next-highest category, “substantial.”)
Cheshire County has seen 240 new cases over the past 14 days, and currently has 163 known active cases.
Most communities in The Sentinel’s coverage area had one or more active case as of Friday, led by Keene with 57.
Swanzey had 15; Winchester 14; Rindge and Jaffrey 13 each; Charlestown 12; Walpole nine; Richmond eight; Greenfield seven; Chesterfield, Marlborough and Fitzwilliam six each; and Troy five. Multiple other area towns had between one and four.