Story at a glance
- New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) declared face coverings to be mandatory for residents over the age of 5.
- He has also reactivated a support system for long-term care patients.
Facing skyrocketing new COVID-19 cases among its residents, New Hampshire has instituted a public mask mandate beginning on Friday, Nov. 20, CNN reports.
Gov. Chris Sununu (R) said that all state residents above the age of 5 must wear a face mask when they cannot maintain a 6-foot distance from others in both indoor and outdoor locations.
The New Hampshire Health Department counts 16,277 total infections since the start of the pandemic, with 98 patients currently hospitalized.
Aggregated data reports a staggering 170 percent increase in new COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks, followed by a 1755 percent increase in deaths and 96 percent increase in hospitalizations.
On Nov. 19, the Granite State saw its highest new case count, with 528 new cases reported in a single day.
In addition to the formal mask mandate, New Hampshire’s Long Term Care Stabilization Program has also been reactivated due to staffing issues among frontline medical workers. The program will guarantee a $300 weekly stipend for full-time health care workers and a $150 stipend for part time employees.
Within the state’s population, elderly individuals are particularly at risk, with people older than 80 composing the majority of deaths recorded in the state.
“The State of New Hampshire remains committed to ensuring that long term care facilities have the resources needed to confront the COVID-19 pandemic,” Sununu said in prepared comments. "Due to the rise in cases in New Hampshire, there remains an acute need to retain our health care workforce, and today’s announcement will help make sure we continue to have the system in place for those who rely on this care.”