CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu said Thursday he’s not considering further restrictions or safety measures in response to the rising number of coronavirus cases, but will take targeted action if necessary.
The governors of several New England states have increased restrictions in recent days in response to the pandemic. Maine Gov. Jane Mills on Thursday expanded her state’s mask requirement to include any time someone is in public, not just when they can’t maintain physical distance from others. In Rhode Island, fellow Democrat and Gov. Gina Raimondo went further, requiring masks whenever people are with others that they don’t live with and issuing an advisory aimed at keeping people home late at night.
New Hampshire does not have a general mask mandate other than for those attending events with more than 100 people. Sununu, a Republican, said his approach is to study the data and make more targeted adjustments by region or industry. For example, after 158 people associated with ice hockey tested positive for the virus, the state paused all hockey activities for two weeks and issued new guidance requiring players, coaches, staff and others to be tested before returning to the ice.
“The fact that our contact tracing is so specific allows us to be very surgical, very precise about where we can tighten things up,” he said.
Dr. Ben Chan, the state epidemiologist, said it’s unclear whether the cases associated with hockey were a symptom of growing community transmission of the virus or helped fuel it.
“Likely it was some of both,” he said.