It was one year ago today, March 2nd, that New Hampshire announced its first case of what was simply known as a novel coronavirus. Since then, we’ve seen COVID-19 close businesses, threaten our healthcare system, push our schools to remote learning and force us to suffer the losses of loved ones.
The last 365 days have presented seemingly insurmountable challenges for our state, our businesses, our communities, and our healthcare system, but New Hampshire has already shown unprecedented perseverance and strength throughout this pandemic. And while the COVID-19 public health crisis has tested our healthcare system like never before, New Hampshire hospitals have continued to be on the front lines, demonstrating their unwavering resolve, heroic sacrifice and absolute commitment to delivering the critical care patients need and deserve.
Working together with hospitals across the state, as well as partners at the state and federal levels, we’ve made incredible progress in the fight against COVID-19 with testing, new treatments, and vaccinating New Hampshire residents, but we must remain vigilant. It remains critical that Granite Staters continue to practice the safe behaviors like washing hands, wearing masks and social distancing that have helped us to see the dramatic reduction in new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths from COVID-19.
And, ongoing efforts to administer the vaccine are being bolstered with the recent authorization of a third vaccine, an increase in doses being sent to the state and additional sites where every Granite Stater who wants one can get a vaccine. As in past public health crises like smallpox or polio, a safe and effective vaccine is what will lead us out of the pandemic.
New Hampshire hospitals and health systems took unprecedented actions to respond to the pandemic on behalf of their patients and communities. As we continue to make our way through this public health crisis, we remain inspired by their dedication as they continue to rise to meet the challenges of their COVID-19 response and recovery. From the physicians and nurses on the front lines, to the administrative, nutrition, facility and other staff supporting their institutions during this unprecedented time, it is our privilege to extend our deepest appreciation to New Hampshire’s healthcare heroes for their perseverance and strength in the fight against COVID-19.
By Steve Ahnen, President, New Hampshire Hospital Association