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New Hampshire: State-by-State COVID-19 Guidance

NEW HAMPSHIRE

February 15, 2021:

On February 12, 2021, the Governor issued Executive Order 2021-02, which renewed the Declaration of a State of Emergency and extended the State of Emergency declared in Executive Order 2020-04 for a period of 21 days.

February 10, 2021:

(Concord): New Hampshire is going to resume its contact tracing and monitoring efforts again after pausing in December because of the high daily infection rates. Health officials are now looking to move from mitigation to containment. According to Dr. Benjamin Chan, the state epidemiologist, numbers have dropped from an average of 800-900 new infections per day to 300-400 per day, so the state is “looking to transition back to public health investigating each and every person diagnosed with COVID-19.”

February 9, 2021:

(Concord): Walgreens stores will be offering COVID-19 vaccine appointments in New Hampshire beginning Friday, February 12, 2021. As a result, the state’s call center will begin contacting some residents to move up their appointments. These doses are separate from the state’s weekly allotment. Residents 65 and older, medically vulnerable people with two or more conditions, and certain other groups are currently eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in New Hampshire. The call centers will also contact people who have not yet scheduled appointments because they either had incomplete registration data or have not finished the final step of the process. Use this link to see if you qualify or need to register.

February 4, 2021:

On February 3, 2021, Beth Daly, the state’s Chief of the Bureau of Infectious Disease Control, announced that the state is working to launch a new vaccination management system in the next few weeks that will only require a single step to register and schedule an appointment.

That same day, following comments from Biden’s Director for the Centers for Disease Control that schools can reopen safely, Governor Chris Sununu issued a statement of agreement.

February 1, 2021:

On January 28, 2021, the state of New Hampshire distributed emails and text messages to the more than 300,000 individuals who have registered for a COVID-19 vaccination or whose medical provider has submitted information referring them as an eligible recipient in Phase 1B. The communication was intended to help identify individuals who may require additional information or assistance in scheduling a vaccine appointment. Those who did not visit the distributed link within the 24-hour time window should contact covidvaccine@dhhs.nh.gov for scheduling assistance.

On January 29, 2021, the state of New Hampshire announced an extension of the suspension of interstate youth hockey competitions for public and private schools and youth hockey leagues through at least March 31, 2021. The prohibition will not impact interstate collegiate, professional, or U.S. national team hockey activities, which will remain subject to existing health and safety protocols and/or restrictions.

(Concord and Londonderry): On February 1, 2021, Jake Leon, a spokesperson for the New Hampshire Department of Health, announced that some state-run COVID-19 vaccination and testing sites will be closed Tuesday in anticipation of a major snowstorm expected to migrate through the state starting Monday afternoon. Those who were not available for their vaccination on Monday were offered an appointment at another date and time.

January 26, 2021:

On January 25, 2021, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services changed their policy, which originally let non-New Hampshire residents that owned land in New Hampshire sign up for the vaccine. Now, only New Hampshire residents are eligible to receive the vaccine in the state.

On January 22, 2021, Phase 1B scheduling began at 8:00 a.m. and vaccinations started on January 26, 2021. An estimated 300,000 individuals are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination with Phase 1B of the state’s distribution plan. To see if you qualify, visit the New Hampshire COVID-19 Vaccine Phases Website or call 2-1-1. You can also call 2-1-1 if you have questions about the vaccine or the registration process.

January 25, 2021:

On January 22, Governor Sununu issued Executive Order 2021-1 extending the State of Emergency declared in Executive Order 2020-04 and Emergency Order #83 regarding temporary provisions to respond to timing challenges related to the enactment of Senate Bill 2 in the 2021 Legislative Session, as part of the state’s efforts to combat COVID-19.

January 21, 2021:

On January 19, 2021, Governor Sununu announced that New Hampshire is moving into Phase 1B of New Hampshire’s COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan. Phase 1B includes (1) residents who are medically vulnerable at significant risk – including family caregivers for those under 16; (2) residents with developmental disabilities that receive services in a congregate residential setting, as well as staff in those settings; (3) Corrections officers and staff; and (4) Populations that experience health disparities. Importantly, Phase 1B also includes residents age 65 and older. Originally, Phase 1B included residents age 75 and older. However, last week Governor Sununu extended this population to include people age 65 and older according to recent federal guidance.

Residents can register for vaccine appointments here.

January 7, 2021:

On January 1, Governor Sununu issued Executive Order 2020-25, which is the fourteenth extension to Executive Order 2020-04. Executive Order 2020-04 declared a state of emergency due to Coronavirus (COVID-19). Executive Order 2020-25 extends the state of emergency for a period of 21 days.

January 6, 2021:

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services released New Hampshire’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination Plan. New Hampshire’s distribution plan includes tiered priority groups. Phase 1A, which began in mid-December, includes about three populations: (1) At-risk health Workers; (2) Older Adults in Residential Care Settings; and (3) First Responders (i.e. Fire and emergency medical services (EMS) and law enforcement). Further information about Phase 1A populations can be found here. As of January 5, 2020, approximately 30,000 initial doses have been administered. Phase 1B is expected to begin in Late January and run through March. Phase 1B includes people age 75 and older, as well as people with significant medical conditions that leave them more vulnerable to the coronavirus. Additionally, Phase 1B includes residents and staff of facilities that care for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities, and corrections officers.

January 4, 2021:

On December 30, Governor Sununu issued Emergency Order 78 authorizing certain military service members and emergency medical technicians to temporarily work as licensed nursing assistants during the coronavirus pandemic. This exemption from licensing requirements for military service members will last the duration of New Hampshire’s state of emergency.

December 14, 2020:

On December 11, Governor Sununu issued Executive Order 76 requiring everyone who receives a COVID-19 vaccine to have their immunizations registered with the state. As the only state without a vaccine registry, the Department of Health and Human Services has been tasked with building the new registry, which will require health care providers to report every COVID-19 vaccine. After the pandemic is over, patients may petition the state to have their records removed.

November 18, 2020:

On November 14, Governor Sununu issued Order 72 modifying the state’s travel restrictions. Previously, no formal restrictions were in place for non-employees, although the Governor urged anyone coming into the state from areas outside New England (NH, VT, ME, MA, CT, RI) to self-quarantine for a two-week period. However, the state’s Universal Guidelines, applicable generally to all businesses, required employers to prohibit any employee from entering the workplace prior to completion of a 14-day self-quarantine upon entry or return to New Hampshire from any state outside New England.

Effective November 15, Order 72 extends the Universal Guidelines’ travel restrictions to all New Hampshire residents and travelers/visitors. New Hampshire Public Health Services provided Guidance stating all New Hampshire residents and travelers/visitors need to self-quarantine for 14 days following the last date of any travel internationally (including to/from Canada); on a cruise ship; or domestically outside of the New England states for non-essential purposes. Further guidance on travel restrictions can be found here.

November 2, 2020:

On October 30, Governor Sununu issued an emergency order extending Executive Order 2020-04 for an additional 21 days. Executive Order 2020-04 declared a state of emergency due to Coronavirus (COVID-19).

October 12, 2020:

On October 9, Governor Sununu issued Executive Order 2020-20, which is the Tenth Extension of State of Emergency Declared in Executive Order 2020-04. The Executive Order extends all Emergency Orders and all executive branch actions made pursuant to Executive Order 2020-04 for an additional 21 days.

September 21, 2020:

On September 18, Governor Sununu issued an emergency order extending Executive Order 2020-04 until October 9, 2020. Executive Order 2020-04 declared a state of emergency due to Coronavirus (COVID-19).

September 1, 2020:

On August 31, Governor Sununu issued an emergency order extending Executive Order 2020-04 until September 1, 2020. Executive Order 2020-04 declared a state of emergency due to Coronavirus (COVID-19).

August 24, 2020:

On August 24, Governor Sununu announced that all restaurants are now able to open at 100% capacity, as long as they continue to follow state reopening guidelines, including social distancing between parties and wearing masks in public areas. Prior to Governor Sununu’s Friday announcement, restaurants in six northern New Hampshire counties were able to operate at 100% capacity, but the southern counties (which had higher rates of COVID-19) were restricted to 50%.

August 17, 2020:

On August 13, Governor Sununu issued two emergency orders. First, Emergency Order #64 states that school districts who have selected a remote model for their general education population shall not exclude in-person services from consideration for students with disabilities. Further, in-person services should be provided if they are needed for the student’s individualized needs and consistent with the health and safety needs of the child, teachers, and child’s family.

Second, Emergency Order #65 states that any business, organization, entity, property owner, facility owner, organizer or individual who recklessly violates any Emergency Order, rule, or regulation issued under the current State of Emergency is subject to a civil penalty of up to $1,000 per violation or per day that a violation continues. Moreover, a failure to comply with an Emergency Order, rule, or regulation issued under the current State of Emergency and enforced by the Division of Public Health (DPH) will be a fine of $2,000 per day; a failure to cooperate in an investigation of a potential Emergency Order violation will be a fine of $1,000 per day; a failure to cease operation after DPH told you to, will be a fine of $1,000 per day; and failure to comply with DPH instructions after getting a positive COVID-19 test result, will be a fine of $1,000 per day.

August 12, 2020:

On August 11, Governor Sununu issued Emergency Order 63, requiring face coverings for all persons who attend or are present at scheduled gatherings of 100 people or more for social, spiritual, and recreational activities, including, but not limited to, community, civic, public, private, leisure, faith based, political, or sporting events; parades; concerts; festivals; conventions; fundraisers; and similar activities; where individuals are gathered in the same place at the same time.

This requirement does not apply to: (1) gatherings where attendees are seated and separated by at least 6 feet except those that are members of the same household, party, or assigned to the same table–people subject to this exception must wear face covering when entering and exiting the gathering and while moving to and from their seats; (2) day-to-day operation for for-profit or not-for-profit organizations and state and local governments, including K-12 schools, where 100 or more people may be present at the facility. (3) Children under the age of 2. 

Any entity, property owner, facility owner, or person that organizes or allows its property or facility to be used shall make reasonable efforts to comply with this Order. It is a violation of this Order if any entity, property owner, facility owner, or person knowingly violates this Order, or refuses to comply with a prior warning about the requirements.

August 10, 2020:

On August 7, Governor Sununu issued an executive order, extending the State of Emergency declared in Executive Order 2020-04 in full force and effect for 21 days.

August 3, 2020:

On July 31, Governor Sununu issued an emergency order extending Executive Order 2020-04 until September 1, 2020. Executive Order 2020-04 declared a state of emergency due to Coronavirus (COVID-19).

July 6, 2020:

On July 2, Governor Sununu announced that individuals traveling from the New England states, Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, are no longer required to have self-quarantined for two weeks prior to staying at a New Hampshire lodging facility. The updated safer at home guidance for lodging facilities can be found here.

June 29, 2020:

On June 26, Governor Sununu extended New Hampshire’s State of Emergency originally declared in Executive Order 2020-04. Additionally, certain businesses may begin reopening under the state’s Stay at Home 2.0 plan. Beginning on June 28, overnight camps are permitted to operate under the new, flexed guidelines. On June 29, adult day services, amusement parks, arts and music education, and performing arts venues are permitted to operate under flexed guidance as well. All operating guidelines can be found here.

June 22, 2020:

Beginning on June 22, New Hampshire’s “Safer-at-Home Advisory” allows for summer day camps and playground programs offered by municipalities, private day camp providers, and youth serving organizations are permitted to operate under new, flexed guidance. Day camp staff and attendees must be either New Hampshire residents or must meet a 14-day quarantine requirement. The complete reopening guidance for New Hampshire day camps can be found here.

June 17, 2020:

On June 16, Governor Sununu announced that New Hampshire’s stay-at-home order has expired and the state has transitioned to the new “Safer-at-Home Advisory.” The advisory encourages elderly individuals and individuals with underlying health conditions to stay at home to protect their health. Many businesses may maintain or begin operations so long as the business complies with the standards and guidelines approved by the New Hampshire Public Health. A complete list of businesses and the flexed guidance for each type of business can be found here.  

June 15, 2020:

On June 11, Governor Sununu announced plans to let New Hampshire's current stay-at-home order expire on June 15 and transition to a "safer at home advisory." The move on June 15 means several sectors of the economy can reopen and the cap on scheduled gatherings of 10 or less will be removed. Among the businesses that could reopen on June 15 are gyms, pools, road races, funeral homes, tourist trains and charitable gaming — each with restrictions and guidelines. A complete list of businesses that can begin reopening (and related restrictions and guidelines) can be found here.

Besides lifting the stay-at-home order and business reopening, Governor Sununu issued an order lifting a current moratorium on rental evictions and housing mortgage foreclosures.

June 8, 2020:

On June 4, Governor Sununu announced that that starting June 15, restaurants can begin serving customers indoors. However, in the four counties hardest hit by COVID-19 – Rockingham, Hillsborough, Strafford and Merrimack – capacity will be limited to 50%. Wedding reception guidance was also released Friday. For post-wedding receptions and events, occupancy must be limited to 50 percent capacity for facilities, tables limited to six people, and dancing within 6 feet of another person is discouraged, except for family members and people from the same household. Further information on Stay-at-Home 2.0 guidelines can be found here.

June 1, 2020:

On May 29, Governor Sununu issued an Order extending New Hampshire’s stay-at-home order until June 15, 2020. The May 29 Order also modifies guidelines for houses of worship, hotels, and day camps. In particular, the Governor’s Order Allows:

  • Larger, in-person religious services to resume immediately, with a 40 percent occupancy limit in houses of worship, with physically distancing;
  • Resumption of behind-the-wheel driver's education courses;
  • Re-opening of day camps beginning June 22;
  • Resumption of hotels and short-term rentals beginning June 5; and
  • Reservations for Hotels and related businesses can begin June 5 (note that hotels and inns with fewer than 20 rooms can rent out at full capacity, however, those with more than 20 rooms are required to limit occupancy to 50 percent).

May 4, 2020:

Governor Sununu announced Stay at Home 2.0 extending a modified stay-at-home order until May 31, 2020. Stay at Home 2.0 also includes a plan to gradually and safely restart New Hampshire’s economy. The plan establishes four dates of re-opening for certain businesses, the first of which begins May 1st. All businesses that are open or may be re-opening must meet the health and safety standards established by Department of Public of Health Universal Guidance. Additionally, certain industries must meet industry-specific standards found here.

Subject to health and safety standards mentioned above, the industries able to immediately phase-in services on May 1 are public and private parks, campgrounds, and manufacturing businesses. On May 4, 2020, phase-in may begin for certain health care operations, including elective and non-urgent procedures. On May 11, 2020, phase-in may begin for drive-in movie theaters, public and private golf courses, and barber/hair salons. On May 18, 2020, phase-in may begin for dine-in restaurants.

May 1, 2020:

Governor Sununu announced Stay at Home 2.0 extending a modified stay-at-home order until May 31, 2020. Stay at Home 2.0 also includes a plan to gradually and safely restart New Hampshire’s economy. The plan establishes four dates of re-opening for certain businesses, the first of which begins May 1st. All businesses that are open or may be re-opening must meet the health and safety standards established by Department of Public of Health Universal Guidance. Additionally, certain industries must meet industry-specific standards found here.

Subject to health and safety standards mentioned above, the industries able to immediately phase-in services on May 1 are public and private parks, campgrounds, and manufacturing businesses. On May 4, 2020, phase-in may begin for certain health care operations, including elective and non-urgent procedures. On May 11, 2020, phase-in may begin for drive-in movie theaters, public and private golf courses, and barber/hair salons. On May 18, 2020, phase-in may begin for dine-in restaurants.

April 26, 2020:

The Stay At Home Order in New Hampshire is currently set to expire on May 4. That Order closes all non-essential businesses and requires all residents to stay at home except for non-essential activities. On April 22, Governor Chris Sununu formed the Governor's Economic Re-Opening Task Force, which will develop a plan and oversee the state and private-sector actions needed to reopen New Hampshire's economy while minimizing the adverse impact on public health. The Task Force will meet daily and its schedule can be found here. In its next few meetings, the task force will hear from industries including food service, retail trade, manufacturing, recreation, health care and education. Further and up to date information on all orders in place in New Hampshire can be accessed here.

April 10, 2020:

On March 23, 2020, Governor Sununu issued an Executive Order allowing remote notarization if: (1) the principal and the notary can communicate simultaneously through sight and sound; (2) the notary reasonably identifies the principal; (3) the notary either directly or through an agent creates an audio and visual recording of the performance of the notarization and retains such recording. Additionally, the Order allows remote notarization for parties located outside of the state if the record relates to a matter before a court, governmental entity, public official, or other entity subject to the jurisdiction of the state or involves property located within the state.

April 7, 2020:

Governor Sununu issued an Executive Order suspending all non-essential accommodations for hotels and short-term rentals in New Hampshire.

April 5, 2020:

Governor Sununu issued an Executive Order extending three previous executive orders relating to the operations of restaurants, limitations on gatherings during the COVID-19 outbreak, and a prohibition of gatherings of 10 or more people. All three orders have been extended until May 4, 2020.

Governor Sununu also issued an Executive Order renewing the Declaration of a State of Emergency and extending the State of Emergency declared in Executive Order 2020-04 for a period of 21 days. This Order also extends all emergency orders issued pursuant to Executive Order 2020-04.

March 31, 2020:

Governor Sununu has opened an appeal process for businesses whose functions are not listed as essential. If a business disagrees with its designation as non-essential, it may request designation as an essential business. Requests by businesses to be designated an essential function should only be made if they are NOT covered by the guidance. These requests should be submitted to essential@nheconomy.com and include basic contact information and a brief justification.

March 27, 2020:

Governor Chris Sununu issued a stay at home order starting at 11:59 p.m. on March 27. The list of exempt “Essential Services” includes law enforcement, food and agriculture, healthcare operations, essential infrastructure (electric, petroleum, natural gas, waste and wastewater, and steam), transportation and logistics, among others. The order is in effect through May 4.

March 17, 2020:

Governor Chris Sununu issued an Executive Order saying that landlords will not be allowed to start eviction proceedings for any tenant unable to pay due to the impact of the coronavirus and that foreclosures will also be frozen.

March 13, 2020:

Governor Sununu, through Executive Order 2020-04, declared a state of emergency due to COVID-19 on March 13, 2020. Since then, he has issued multiple Emergency Orders pursuant to Executive Order 2020-04. Under Emergency Order 2, effective March 16th, Gov. Sununu prohibited gatherings of 50 people or greater for social, spiritual, and recreational activities and restricted food and beverage sales to carry-out, delivery, pick up, and drive through only.

Gov. Sununu’s Emergency Order 4 prohibits landlords from starting eviction proceedings against those unable to pay due to their financial situation. The order also places a moratorium on all judicial and non-judicial foreclosure actions. Both prohibitions will remain in effect during the state of emergency. Any establishment offering groceries for sale must “transition” to exclusive use of store provided single use plastic or paper bags when bagging groceries or other products for customers.

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