North Country Health Consortium

COVID19 FAQ for the North Country

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions for Northern NH

Updated as of 5/7/2020*

Who can get tested?

Residents with COVID-19 symptoms, with underlying health conditions, over the age of 60, or who are healthcare workers. 

How can I get tested?

To request a test: 

I don’t have a healthcare provider or insurance, can I get tested?

Yes. To request a test: 

  • Register for testing at a COVID-19 testing clinic through a fixed or mobile site:
  • Call ConvenientMD: (833)263-0131

Can I open my window for fresh air? Go for a walk outside?

Getting fresh air and going for a walk outside are healthy activities and recommended. When outside in public spaces, follow social distancing guidelines (stay 6 feet apart from others, wear a mask).

Can I get together with two friends?

Limiting face-to-face contact with others is the best way to reduce the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Stay connected while staying away. It is very important to stay in touch with friends and family that don’t live in your home. Call, video chat, or stay connected using social media. Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations and having to socially distance yourself from someone you love can be difficult. Read tips for stress and coping.

Should I cancel my outdoor wedding ?

The CDC recommends consulting with local public health officials and continually assess, based on current conditions, whether to postpone, cancel, or significantly reduce the number of attendees (if possible) at an event or gathering. When determining if you should postpone or cancel a gathering or event, consider the:

  • Overall number of attendees or crowd size.
  • Number of attendees who are at higher risk of developing serious illness from COVID-19. This includes older adults and people with underlying health problems such as lung or heart disease and diabetes.
  • How close together attendees will be at the event.
  • Potential ways to minimize economic impact to attendees, staff, and the local community.
  • Amount of spread in local community and the communities from where your attendees are likely to travel.
  • Needs and capacity of the local community to host or participate in your event.


Who should wear a mask and when?

If you need to leave your home, wear a cloth face covering.The NH Department of Health and Human Services recommends all residents to wear cloth face coverings when outside of the home to help slow the spread of COVID19. This advice is based on new data about how COVID-19 can spread before a person has any symptoms. A mask helps protect others around you if you are infected and don’t know it.

A cloth face covering is one more precaution we can take to help slow the spread of COVID-19 – and is not a substitute for physical distancing and other prevention measures. You still need to stay at least 6 feet away from people, even when wearing a face covering.https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/covid19/covid-mask-guidance.pdf

Why isn’t everyone wearing a mask? (in public, working at the stores)? What should I do if I see a large groups of 10+?

Wearing a face covering when outside the home is a recommendation, not a mandate. Individuals are advised to take personal precautions when out in public spaces, including keeping at least 6 feet away from others and avoiding crowds, while wearing a cloth face covering.

Is there a shelter-in-place order/ total lockdown in NH?

There is currently a stay-at-home order in NH. On May 1, 2020, Governor Sununu announced he is implementing a new, modified Stay-at-Home Order. "Stay at Home 2.0" is in effect until May 31st. 

Why are there so many hikers with out-of-state plates?

According to USDA Forrest Service: There have been unseasonably high numbers of visitors to the National Forest resulting in increased potential for exposure to Coronavirus where visitors are not able or willing to follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or with current federal, state and local guidance for physical distancing. In order to ensure such guidance from experts at the CDC, state and local for physical distancing, the White Mountain National Forest has shut down some recreation sites and trailheads. Trails would remain open, but only accessible by foot traffic in order to discourage long distance travel and to adhere to the State’s Stay Safe at Home orders. 

View the interactive map available here for details of trailheads impacted.

Is it okay to drive across state borders [e.g. to VT, NY, NJ, ME, MA, CT] for work? To provide care for someone? For a doctor’s appointment? Will I be pulled over and require documentation? Are there any travel restriction for my parents coming back to NH from Florida?

There is no prohibition against traveling between bordering states, e.g. New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine, or any other state. While the CDC recommends you stay home as much as possible, especially if your trip is not essential, some travel— like driving necessary for a job considered an essential service, or to go see someone for whom you are a caregiver— are considered essential travel.

As the CDC advises against traveling if you are sick or traveling with someone who is sick, for medical appointments, you should talk to your healthcare provider to determine your options and if an in-office visit is advisable. While traveling between states is not prohibited, you should be aware of any restrictions in place at the state(s) to which you’re traveling,  — including things like limits on crowd sizes and restrictions on eating in restaurants.

Who should self-quarantine? When?

Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Someone in self-quarantine stays separated from others, and they limit movement outside of their home or current place. A person may have been exposed to the virus without knowing it (for example, when traveling or out in the community), or they could have the virus without feeling symptoms. Quarantine helps limit further spread of COVID-19.

If I’m traveling from another state or moving to NH from out of state, do I have to self-quarantine?

NH Governor Chris Sununu urges out-of-state visitors coming to New Hampshire for an extended period of time to voluntarily self-quarantine amid concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.

If you have been identified as a contact to someone diagnosed with COVID-19 or you have just arrived to New Hampshire, follow these guidelines for 14 days from your last potential exposure to COVID-19: https://www.nh.gov/covid19/resources-guidance/documents/self-quarantine-covid.pdf

Just returned from cruise/vacation, should I self-quarantine?

The CDC recommends self-quarantine If you have recently traveled from somewhere outside the U.S. or on a cruise ship or river boat.

Someone from my spouse's work tested positive, should my spouse self-quarantine? 

If you think you or someone in your home might have been exposed to COVID-19, read about symptoms. Take steps to self-monitor. Be alert for symptoms, watching for fever, cough, or shortness of break.

  • Take your temperature if symptoms develop
  • Practice social distancing. Maintain 6 feet of distance from others, and stay out of crowded places.
  • Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop

Refer to this resource for guidance to self-quanrantine: 

What should I do if I’ve had contact with someone who has had contact with a COVID positive person?

If you think you or someone you have been in contact with might have been exposed to COVID-19, read about symptoms. Take steps to self-monitor. Be alert for symptoms, watching for fever, cough, or shortness of break.

  • Take your temperature if symptoms develop
  • Practice social distancing. Maintain 6 feet of distance from others, and stay out of crowded places.
  • Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop

I’m looking for resources, such as childcare, home health services, and food, where should I look?

For resources in the North Country, call or email AskPETRA at: (603)259-1729 and AskPETRA@NCHCNH.org, Monday – Friday, 8:00 am - 4:30 pm. (During off hours, callers can leave a message and get a response during regular operating hours).  You can also call 211. 

How do I get my Stimulus Check?

Retired? Receive SSDI? Haven’t filed taxes? To find out if you are eligible to receive the coronavirus stimulus payment, and if and how you need to claim it, you can refer to this flyer from NH Pro Bono Low-Income Taxpayer Project.

Which towns have confirmed cases? How do I find out more?

The NH Department of Health and Human Services provides daily update on confirmed cases of COVID-19 each day: https://www.nh.gov/covid19/

Can I take my medication if I come down with COVID?

Contact your healthcare provider to discuss your medical needs. If you do not have a provider, call 211.

How long does COVID-19 live on surfaces? What about bringing groceries in? Plastic bags? Boxes?

Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person to person through respiratory droplets. Currently, there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food. Before preparing or eating food it is important to always wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds for general food safety. Throughout the day use a tissue to cover your coughing or sneezing, and wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, or going to the bathroom.

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object, like a packaging container, that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from food products or packaging.

Although the virus can survive for a short period on some surfaces, it is unlikely to be spread from domestic or international mail, products or packaging. However, it may be possible that people can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Learn more about safe handling of deliveries and mail.

Is COVID heat-resistant? Would steam cleaning kill virus? Does vacuuming make it worse? Should I use regular cleaning supplies/protocol?

Generally coronaviruses survive for shorter periods at higher temperatures and higher humidity than in cooler or dryer environments. However, we don’t have direct data for this virus, nor do we have direct data for a temperature-based cutoff for inactivation at this point. The necessary temperature would also be based on the materials of the surface, the environment, etc. Regardless of temperature please follow CDC’s guidance for cleaning and disinfection.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.  If surfaces are dirty, clean them using detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. To disinfect, most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work. See CDC’s recommendations for household cleaning and disinfection.

Is there a vaccination?

There is currently no specific treatment for or vaccine to prevent COVID-19.  The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

Can kids get COVID-19?

Based on available evidence, children do not appear to be at higher risk for COVID-19 than adults. You can learn more about who is at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 at People who are at higher risk for severe illness.

I have severe asthma and my 7 year old daughter also has asthma. Should we not be leaving our house?

Limit leaving house and take precautions. 

Although most COVID-19 cases in children are not severe, serious illness that needs to be treated at the hospital still happens.

What can I do if I have a small business?

Refer to this resource for more information: https://www.biaofnh.com/covid19.html


*The North Country Public Health Network has worked to collate resources for our area. The landscape is changing quickly. Please reference original sources for the most up to date information.

Preparedness and Response Public Health Advisory Council
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