Today’s update from Governor Sununu and team included information regarding the distribution of 40 million dollars from the Federal Cares Act money. It’s to be used for first responders, cleaning, social services, telework and childcare and how this takes some of the pressure off the state and towns.
Questions about what it would take for him to reconsider all of the Stay at Home 2.0 plans to slowly reopen the state came from the audience. Governor Sununu mentioned that they are constantly reevaluating: the capacity of hospital beds available, testing capability, which is getting stronger, and the number of positive cases. He mentioned that the reopening of some sectors will continue to be looked at as they happen and the team can see how it affects the population of New Hampshire.
Someone asked about a mandate for masks when in public places. Governor Sununu said that constituents are doing a great job policing themselves and that at this time there’s not a need to go to that length.
Are there worries about stay at home fatigue and people moving about more freely without consequence? Sununu was proud of the job citizens are doing social distancing, wearing masks when they should and that the biggest concern was people traveling up from Massachusetts to the Seabrook and Hampton areas. He said this is not the time to vacation or recreate and that to keep the spread of the virus down, people need to abide by their stay at home orders and that’s why we cannot open state attractions and public places that extensively right now.
There was a brief mention of agricultural relief efforts as well as long term care testing in the works.
There was a call with Vice President Pence recently that our governor was a part of and during those discussions they spoke about: increased capacity for testing, direct shipments of PPE to long term care facilities and how New Hampshire designed their guidelines for the initial efforts to get more surgeries and procedures happening at hospitals.
A question about dentists came up and the governor spoke about his works with the industry to reopen their practices safely. The discussion was based around the invasive nature of the dentistry business and PPE for everyone involved. Many practices gave hospitals and doctor’s offices their PPE during the initial wave of COVID-19. The guidelines are being worked on now in a very team driven manner.
State constituents were reminded of our at-risk groups, the older and compromised. The need to protect these individuals is important and the need to remember social distancing, hand washing and wearing masks in public so they don’t get sick, hospitalized or expire.
The subject of pets being able to transmit COVID-19 was broached. The suggestion is that pets remain leashed when in public and interaction with other pets and people be avoided.
A caller asked if Stay at Home 2.0 is mandatory or suggestive. Governor Sununu made it clear that this is mandatory: that he feels good about the progress that’s been made because it was a cooperative effort with each industry to make sure that they were involved in the process and willing to uphold their suggestions that would become mandated. Will police be used to enforce these mandates? If necessary, police will look at violations on a case by case basis.
How will we continue to open up if the cases of infection level off or drop? How soon do we open more? The Governor said that there were two ways to look at it: one, geographically, and the other demographically. Each of these has their drawbacks and it’s hard to enforce but both ways were doable when and if the decision has to be made. He’ll continue to work with the Attorney General and the DPH to evaluate how to move forward safely. The concern right now is how the current projected openings go and then take it day by day, week by week and see how that goes.
For more information on the above and the detailed guidelines, please visit NH.gov.