(Bloomberg) — The northern New England states of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, all highly vaccinated, are suffering from surges that are taxing hospitals beset by staff shortages and sicker-than-usual patients.
New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu told reporters Tuesday that the state is seeing its highest level of Covid-19 since the pandemic began, averaging about 1,000 new infections per day. He issued an executive order to help hospitals use their space more flexibly to add capacity.
He also said the state’s residents would soon be able to order about 1 million at-home Covid tests, for free, in part through a partnership between Amazon and the National Institutes of Health. And he announced a “Booster Blitz” for Dec. 11, when 20 sites around the state will offer third doses.
The state, where more than 9% of Covid tests are coming back positive, is in a “hospital capacity emergency,” he said, and with infection rates likely to keep rising for weeks, “it’s going to be a fairly bumpy road.”
All three northern New England states report that hospitalized patients are mainly unvaccinated people from rural areas where vaccination rates are lower.
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