N.H. positive COVID test rate up 480% in November, infections up 383%, deaths flat


New Hampshire’s COVID-19 test positivity rate rose by 480% in November, indicating rapidly increasing community transmission, state data show.

The test positivity rate, including tests from the University of New Hampshire, rose from a 7-day average of 1.5% on November 1st to a 7-day average of 6.8% on November 30th, according to data from the state’s COVID-19 dashboard.

The state recorded 10,545 new infections in November, according to daily data drawn from the state’s COVID-19 dashboard. (The dashboard numbers are different than the numbers reported in the daily press releases.)

That’s a 383% increase from the month before and a 94% increase over the previous eight months combined.

Cumulative infections for March through the end of October totaled 11,189.

Hospitalizations rose at a much slower rate than infections throughout the month, and deaths remained flat.

The state recorded 60 new hospitalizations in November, up from 36 in October, for a 166% increase. But that monthly total remains less than half the total in July (128) and just 28% of April’s high (213).

The state recorded 43 new COVID-19 deaths in November, the same number as in October, for no increase. Deaths were higher in April (69), May (176), June (136) and July (44) despite each of those months recording only a small fraction of November’s infections.

That deaths remained flat from October to November despite a 377% increase in infections was unexpectedly good news.

However, December’s early death numbers are very high and caution against assuming that fatalities are under control. The state recorded 18 deaths through December 3, representing 42% of November’s total in just three days.

Every death in November was a person age 60 or older. Every death so far in December also has been a person age 60 or older.

Through December 3, just 19 of the state’s 544 deaths have been people under the age of 60. Only one person under age 40 has died of COVID-19 in New Hampshire. That person was between the ages of 20 and 29. Nearly 81% of all New Hampshire COVID-19 deaths (80.9%) have been residents of long-term care facilities.