CONCORD, N.H. — In the 24 hours since New Hampshire launched an online portal for requesting COVID-19 testing, more than 2,000 people have submitted requests, according to the N.H. Dept. of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
N.H. DHHS says all requests have been accommodated so far.
N.H. residents with COVID-19 symptoms, underlying health conditions, are over the age of 60, or who are health care workers can request testing through the online portal, in addition to requesting testing through a health care provider or by calling the COVID-19 Coordinating Office at 603-271-5980.
“We created the COVID-19 Community-Based Testing Program to expand testing statewide, and the online registration portal will make it easier than ever for residents to be tested,” N.H. DHHS Commissioner Lori Shibinette said. “Our goal is to ensure that COVID-19 testing remains easy and accessible for everyone, so anyone who needs a test will get one.”
Gov. Chris Sununu said ramping up testing capabilities is one of the State's top priorities.
"We're making huge strides every day," Sununu said.
On Thursday the U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H) and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H) and U.S. Reps. Annie Kuster (N.H.-02) and Chris Pappas (N.H.-01) announced more than $2.4 million will go towards expanding testing capabilities for community health centers throughout N.H.
The funding was awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and is part of $583 million that has been distributed nationally to community health centers as part of funds appropriated by the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act that was passed by Congress and signed into law in last month.
“Expanding the availability of reliable COVID-19 testing is key to combating this public health crisis,” Kuster said. “This funding will enable Granite State community health centers, which play a vital role in protecting vulnerable populations, to increase their testing capacity while also keeping patients and staff safe.
In Maine, Gov. Janet Mills announced the State is partnering with IDEXX to expand testing capabilities. Taken in combination with Maine CDC’s current capacity of 2,000 tests per week, the partnership with IDEXX more than triples the State of Maine’s testing capacity.
"This changes everything,” Mills said. “Acquiring this testing capacity is a major breakthrough for all the people of Maine."
Requests for testing through New Hampshire's new portal are processed by the COVID-19 Coordinating Office. N.H. DHHS says that due to the heavy volume of requests, the COVID-19 Coordinating Office anticipates requests for a testing appointment will be scheduled within 24 hours.
The most recent numbers out of New Hampshire, which were updated on Thursday, show the state has 2,843 total confirmed cases of COVID-19; 1,564 current cases. There are 114 deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the Granite State.
At NEWS CENTER Maine, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus
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