A Cheshire County resident has tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19, New Hampshire health officials announced Friday evening, along with 10 other additional cases in the state.
The update — marking New Hampshire's first diagnosed case in a Cheshire County resident —comes one day after the Keene branch of the plumbing and heating supply company The Granite Group closed until at least next week when one of its employees tested positive for the contagious respiratory disease, the company said in a news release. The company did not say where the employee lived, and state officials have declined to give information about specific cases, citing privacy laws.
The Granite Group did say in Thursday's release that the employee was "recovering well" while in quarantine at home.
As in three of the other New Hampshire cases announced Friday, the Cheshire County patient had no identifiable risk factor for COVID-19, according to a news release from the state health department. This, along with the lack of clear risk factors in new cases in Manchester and in Rockingham and Merrimack counties, indicates "additional community-based transmission of COVID-19 in New Hampshire," the release says. Community-based transmission has also been identified in Carroll and Grafton counties.
Meanwhile, Vermont announced that a Windham County resident in his 40s has also tested positive for COVID-19. The man is not hospitalized, according to the Vermont Department of Health.
Although Friday's release from the Vermont agency doesn't indicate whether the man had any risk factors for COVID-19, it does note the following: "Vermont is now experiencing community spread of COVID-19, which is why everyone is being encouraged to engage in their activities while keeping a safe distance from others — or to stay home when possible — to help slow the spread of the virus and protect our vulnerable populations."
With Friday's announcement, New Hampshire has tallied 55 diagnosed COVID-19 cases, while Vermont has recorded 29. Two of the Vermont patients — both over the age of 80 — died Thursday.