On Tuesday, the City of Manchester announced a fourteen day downward trajectory in new cases of COVID-19 for the first time since the pandemic began.
This information (seen below is compiled with guidance developed by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), who are advising State and local communities on the types of data to monitor while reopening services. Known as Gating Criteria, the CDC encourages a phased approach for reopening to allow services and recreation to be accessed and protect high risk groups from becoming sick. The data can also be used to see how effective public health prevention measures have been working, such as wearing masks and social distancing.
The City of Manchester is in the process of creating a Reopening Surveillance Dashboard based on the CDC Gating Criteria. It includes:
● Decreases in newly identified COVID-19 cases;
● Decreases in Emergency Department visits for COVID-like illness
● Decreases in Emergency Department visits for Influenza-like illness
● Treating all patients in local hospitals without crisis care; and
● Ensuring a robust testing program.
All of these measures provide a complete picture of COVID-related activity – symptoms, positive cases, and hospital readiness to respond. While the Surveillance Dashboard is still under development, preliminary data have shown that Manchester has experienced a decrease in new positive cases over the past 14-day period, June 14th through June 27th. This is the first time the City has seen a decrease in new cases since the beginning of the pandemic. Although this is good news for public health prevention, it is important to note that new cases can increase again if we are not able to continue to follow public health recommendations. As of the same 14-day period, 37 states have experienced increases in new cases.
To continue to see decreasing cases of COVID-19, we need everyone to do the following:
● WEAR CLOTH MASKS IN PUBLIC: This is not a substitute for social/physical distancing and other prevention measures. You still need to stay at least 6 feet away from people, even when wearing a face covering.
● STAY HOME IF YOU ARE SICK or NOT FEELING WELL: The best way to stop the spread of any virus is to stay home when you are sick. Also, if you are not feeling well, you should call the doctor first before going to the office to protect others who may be at an increased risk. Call 9-1-1 for medical emergencies, such as shortness of breath.
● GET TESTED: 30% of positive cases do not know that they have the virus. To protect yourself and your loved ones, you are encouraged to get tested. The surveillance data use testing results to predict decreases in COVID-19 activity. For a free testing appointment, call the Manchester COVID-19 Hotline at 603-668-1547.
For Manchester EOC Updates, please visit: http://www.manchesternh.gov/De