New Hampshire has now surpassed 700 in the number of residents who have died due to COVID-19.
The state Department of Health and Human Services over the weekend announced the deaths of 18 residents. This brings the state’s total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 to 708. They join the more than 330,000 nationwide — and more than 1.7 million worldwide — who have died from COVID-19.
The state also reported 1,922 new positive test results for the coronavirus, including 49 in Cheshire County. The new cases include test results from Dec. 19 through 26, but not all of them. Facing a backlog, the health department said it continues to process test results for those days.
More than 6,000 tests, on average, are being conducted daily, state officials said.
The daily positivity rate stands at 9.1 percent, which is nearly double the 5 percent threshold health agencies consider “too high.”
The COVID-19-related deaths reported Saturday and Sunday include three women and three men from Hillsborough County, three women and one man from Merrimack County, four women and three men from Rockingham County and one woman from Strafford County. All were at least 60 years old.
The two hardest hit counties continue to be Rockingham, which has 518 newly identified cases, and Hillsborough, which has 675, including the cities of Manchester and Nashua. In addition to Cheshire County’s 49 new cases, 177 were reported in Merrimack County, 155 in Strafford, 82 in Belknap, 70 in Coos, 50 in Grafton, 33 in Carroll and seven in Sullivan. The county of residence was still being determined in some of the new cases, state officials said.
Cheshire County now has 204 active cases, according to state statistics. Hillsborough County, outside of the cities of Manchester and Nashua, has 1,047. And Sullivan County has 55.
Keene leads area towns in the number of active cases, with 58 listed as of Sunday. Keene is followed by Peterborough with 33, Swanzey with 24, New Ipswich with 17, Rindge with 16, Hillsborough and Jaffrey with 15 each, Winchester with 14, and Chesterfield and Hinsdale with 10 each.
The only towns in the region listed as having no cases are Acworth, Langdon, Roxbury and Sullivan.
Walpole is listed with nine active cases; Dublin, Marlborough and Troy with six each; and Charlestown and Westmoreland with five each.
Area towns listed as having between one and four cases each include Alstead, Antrim, Fitzwilliam, Gilsum, Greenfield, Hancock, Harrisville, Marlow, Nelson, Richmond, Stoddard and Surry.
Some 270 individuals are being treated in hospitals for COVID-19, the state reported Sunday.
Since the start of the pandemic, New Hampshire has seen a total of 40,809 cases of COVID-19. Two percent of that number, or 895 individuals, have been hospitalized for the disease, 2 percent have died and 81 percent, or 33,107, have recovered.
According to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, 1,763,714 have died globally from COVID-19 — 333,069 in the U.S. alone.