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Governor bans reusable shopping bags; 10 new coronavirus cases reported in NH

WMUR Manchester logo WMUR Manchester 3/21/2020
Coronavirus © Provided by WPTZ Plattsburgh-Burlington Coronavirus

Gov. Chris Sununu on Saturday issued an order prohibiting reusable shopping bags at stores in the state, saying that they pose a risk of spreading the coronavirus.

The emergency order applies to grocery stores, supermarkets, convenience stores and other retail establishments.

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“Our grocery store workers are on the front lines of COVID-19, working around the clock to keep New Hampshire families fed,” Sununu said in a statement. “With identified community transmission, it is important that shoppers keep their reusable bags at home given the potential risk to baggers, grocers and customers. This Emergency Order directs all grocers and retail stores in the state to temporarily transition to only use new paper or plastic grocery bags provided by stores as soon as feasibly possible.”

The order came as state officials announced that 10 more people in New Hampshire tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in the state to 65.

The latest numbers include the first case in Strafford County. In addition, five cases are in Rockingham County, one in Grafton County, one in Manchester, one in a town in Hillsborough County, and one in Merrimack County.

All of the new cases are in adults -- five men and five women. Six of them are believed to have contracted the virus through domestic or international travel or through close contact with someone who had previously tested positive. The other four, including those in Rockingham and Hillsborough counties, are believed to have contracted the virus through community spread.

One newly diagnosed person is being hospitalized; the other nine are isolating at home.

Test results are still pending for 959, and 750 people are being monitored for the virus.

On Saturday, Democratic state Sen. Martha Fuller Clark of Portsmouth announced that her husband has tested positive for the coronavirus. Those who were in close contact with Fuller Clark between March 7 and March 15 are asked to follow guidelines on self-observation and self-quarantine.

“While my husband is feeling under the weather, his symptoms are not critical and we have been in self-isolation since Tuesday," Fuller Clark said in a statement.

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