LANCASTER — Town officials have urged caution amid a COVID-19 spike.
Town Manager Ben Gaetjens-Oleson this week asked residents to follow public health recommendations in order to combat a substantial increase in COVID cases over the past month.
“Please wear a mask, especially when in public places where social distancing is not possible. If you have not received a vaccine but wish to get one then contact your local hospital or your Town’s emergency response personnel for more information on how to get one,” wrote Gaetjens-Oleson in a COVID update on Tuesday.
Lancaster had the highest case rate per 100,000 residents and the 16th highest total case count (49) in New Hampshire as of Oct. 13.
The rise in cases can be traced to specific groups, Gaetjens-Oleson said.
He wrote in Tuesday’s COVID update, “Although these numbers are higher than we have seen in several months it does not appear to be caused by any widespread, community outbreak. More than half are located within one facility and another large percentage has been identified in a particular cohort where measures are being taken to mitigate any further spread.”
Gaetjens-Oleson, also the town’s Emergency Management Director, said that vaccinated individuals have presented milder symptoms, and are less likely to be admitted into a hospital.
Six hospitals in northern New Hampshire reported 16 hospitalizations and 43% ICU bed availability as of Oct. 13.
“Reducing severe COVID infections will ensure our hospitals are not overwhelmed and are able to take other emergent cases that have otherwise had to be transferred out to hospitals much further away,” wrote Gaetjens-Oleson in the COVID update.
He added, “There is no question we will continue to face this public health issue for many more months. While we do this I hope we can do it as a community, with respect for each other and the goal to come out of this stronger than we went in. Please do your part to keep yourselves, your families and your neighbors safe and healthy.”
Overall New Hampshire has 4,218 active cases with 510 new cases reported on Oct. 13. The state’s 7-day rolling average is 527 new cases per day.
In other local communities, Berlin had 101 cases, Gorham had 32 and Littleton had 25. Other communities are as follows: Colebrook 16, Lincoln 14, Haverhill 13, Stratford 13, Northumberland 9, Jefferson 8, Stewartstown 7, Bethlehem 7, and under 5 in Bath, Carroll, Columbia, Dalton, Franconia, Lisbon, Monroe, Pittsburg, Sugar Hill, Warren and Whitefield.
For schools, there were active cases reported at Lancaster Elementary (3) Colebrook Academy (2), Littleton High (1),