COVID by the Numbers—January 17 Edition
Unfortunately, being #1 is not always a Good Thing. Until very recently, Cheshire County had a very low rate of COVID infection as expressed as a rate of cases per 100,000 population. As of January 1, the rate per 100,000 in Cheshire County was 22.5, third lowest in the state. As of today, just 17 days later, it is 64.0, the highest in the state. Currently, the state average is 53.3.
Here in Walpole, we started 2021 with 6 active cases in town, and a cumulative total of 37 cases in Walpole since the start of the pandemic. On January 17, there are 21currently active cases in town, and the cumulative total has rocketed up to 84. The total number of cases in Walpole has more than doubled in 17 days, with 47 new cases in town since the beginning of the year. Nearly 56% of the total cases in Walpole have been reported in the last 17 days. So what happened? Well, presumably, Christmas happened, and family gatherings. The good news? There is some—the 21 currently active cases is actually down from a high of 30 cases on January 12.
Countywide, we went from 142 active cases on January 1 to 425 active cases on January 17. The cumulative total of Cheshire County cases was 1,263 at the beginning of the year; now the cumulative total is 1,910. Nearly 34% of the total cases in Cheshire County have been reported since the beginning of he year.
Statewide, the numbers are not going up as fast as they are in Walpole or in Cheshire County. The active cases rose from 5.919 to 6,387. The total number of cases statewide went from 44,028 to 56,864. Just over 22% of the statewide cases have been reported since the beginning of the year. The statewide hospitalization numbers are actually coming down. There were 317 in hospital on January 1, and after reaching an all-time high of 335 on January 2, we are back down to 243 as January 17.
The number of lives lost to COVID in New Hampshire went from 759 to 933, so over 18% of the total deaths statewide have come in the last 17 days. 2 souls have just left us from Cheshire County.
There is hope on the horizon, with vaccines scheduled to become available to new groups of people. However, as we await the start of phase 1-b, remember that realistically, there will still be a long wait for some of those newly eligible. The NH Department of Health and Human Services estimates that there are 300,000 people in phase 1-b. As of the Thursday press conference, we were told that NH was receiving an average of 17,500 doses of vaccine each week. With each person needing two doses, at this rate it is going to take a long time to vaccinate all those eligible who want to receive the vaccine. My post of January 14 outlines what we know as of now about the rollout of phase 1-b.
So please keep on taking good care of yourselves. Redouble your efforts. Wear your masks. Keep your distance. Wash your hands. Avoid large groups. Avoid close contact in small groups of those not in your household. Be careful out there, now more than ever.
~Representative Lucy Weber