On March30th, Nashua Mayor and Rotarian, Jim Donchess, addressed the Rotary Club of Nashua regarding local efforts to combat the Coronavirus. The Mayor is incredibly proud of the efforts of all to keep our residents as safe as possible. Director of Public Health Bagley is taking the lead on the health front, along with 6 public health nurses who are in constant contact with those who have tested positive for the virus. They are working very closely with the hospitals. Nashua is preparing an alternative care site (Nashua South High School) if hospitals need overflow space. This would be for less acute care patients. The state and National Guard have been very helpful in getting this set up. Nashua’s Emergency Management has done a great job with daily conference calls and keeping everyone up to speed on the latest developments. City Hall has been closed to the public for nearly two weeks. All work is being done remotely, except for Police, Fire, and garbage pick-up. The Mayor is thankful that the Aldermen appropriated funds for more cleaning and cleaning supplies. There are currently 22 documented cases of Coronavirus in Nashua, and more presumptive positives at the hospitals. This number will rise, he noted.
He shared that the number of volunteers is incredible. The United Way has created a $100,000 fund. The Nashua Public Works Department has gathered a lot of essential items to share with non-profits, through the United Way. Schools are underway with remote learning. If students have the ability to connect online, they are doing that. If not, there are paper assignments being given out at the schools by teachers, effectively keeping children learning.
Mayor Donchess said: Be proud of our community. There are many heroes working everyday including our Police, Fire, and everyone working in the hospitals. There are a lot of heroes in our city. It’s a 7-day a week effort.
There was a question about students getting credit for their work at home. The Mayor believes they will get credit for this learning.
There was another question about any drive-through testing sites for the Coronavirus. The Mayor said the Southern NH Health has a tent now. The Mayor believes it is useful to test broadly, but there are strict criteria directly who is tested and tests are limited. The state medical lab is running all tests. All local swabs go to Concord. 500 tests per day is the capacity at this moment and there has been a backlog.
Ann Bellamy noted that 500 police officers in NYC have tested positive for Coronavirus. She inquired about Nashua police officers. The Mayor stated that 3 officers have exhibited symptoms. They are in quarantine and are not working.
Dr. Ollindick noted that only those with a fever of 105 degrees, a cough, and known exposure are being tested.
Paul Hebert asked when the surge in patients is expected in Nashua. The Mayor said that is not known, but possibly April 23 to mid-May.
Mike thanked Mayor Donchess for the update.
Mindy Abodeely mentioned that Nashua’s Make It Labs is doing incredible work in PPE (personal protective equipment) efforts. Follow them on Facebook for information.