As President Joe Biden of help for New Hampshire hospitals and a ramp up of at-home COVID-19 tests Gov. John Sununu said it's among the steps the state is already doing.

During his speech addressing the Omircon variant's quick rise to being the dominant variant in the United States Biden's main message was to those who are unvaccinated and the danger he said they put themselves and others in.

"You're putting other people at risk -- your loved ones, your friends, neighbors, strangers," Biden said. "You may think you're putting only yourself at risk. But, it's your choice. Your choice is not just about you, it affects other people. You're putting other people at risk. Your loved ones, your friends, neighbors, strangers you run into, and your choice can be the difference between life or death."

Biden even credited the Trump Administration for making the United States the first to have the vaccine available acknowledged that Donald Trump had taken the booster.

"It may be one of the few things he and I agree on," Biden said.

The president mentioned three steps his administration to specifically help New Hampshire and Maine:

  • Deploying Federal Medical Personnel Available to States Immediately: Biden is sending six emergency response teams with more than 100 clinical personnel and paramedics to New Hampshire,Vermont and four other states. This is in addition to 300 federal medical personnel that we have deployed since we learned about Omicron.
  • Ambulances and Emergency Medical Teams to Transport Patients to Open Beds: FEMA is ready to deploy hundreds of ambulances and emergency medical teams so that if one hospital fills up, they can transport patients to open beds in other facilities. 30 paramedics are heading to New Hampshire, 8 to Maine, 30 to Vermont, 20 to Arizona, and 30 ambulances are headed to New York.
  • Ventilators Headed to States: 330 ventilators have already been sent to several states including New Hampshire, Maine, Indiana and Michigan.
National Guard members Master Sergeant Chad Logan (left) and Senior Airman John Hiki with Exeter Hospital food service worker, Lenny Gilmore
National Guard members Master Sergeant Chad Logan (left) and Senior Airman John Hiki with Exeter Hospital food service worker, Lenny Gilmore (Exeter Hospital)
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Sununu Not Sure When Help Arriving

Biden also said that a half billion at home tests would be available to order via a federal website in January.

Sununu in a statement said New Hampshire was the first state to offer at-home tests delivered for free statewide

"Today's announcement by the White House to scale up this successful at-home testing effort to the other 49 states is critical to managing this pandemic," Sununu said in a statement.

The governor also said the White House has yet to confirm when additional FEMA personnel would be in New Hampshire

"We have requested a team dedicated to administering monoclonal antibodies and the state will continue to work with our federal partners to push for as many resources as needed to battle this pandemic," Biden said.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in several tweets was grateful for new resources on their way to New Hampshire.

"I know the surge of COVID as Christmas approaches is heartbreaking for those who want to be w/ family. I urge those gathering to do so safely. Glad the admin is boosting hospital resources & making additional tests available so Americans can celebrate together w/ peace of mind," Shaheen said.

Shaheen also encouraged everyone to get the COVID-19 vaccination and booster.

those most at risk for serious illness from Omicron are unvaccinated. We know vaccines work. We know they are safe. And we know they are central to putting this pandemic behind us. Please get vaccinated or boosted if you haven’t.

A masked up Town of Exeter seal
A masked up Town of Exeter seal (Town of Exeter)
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Exeter Reinstates Mask Mandate

The Exeter Select Board unanimously adopted a mask mandate similar to its earlier policy during Monday's meeting for all buildings within the town. The mandate took effect on Tuesday.

"We need to keep our community safe which is part of our job as a Select Board," chair Niko Papakonstantis said. He said its purpose what not for people from either side of the mask issue to use social media to call out others

The mandate will be in effect until at least the end of March when a federal mandate requiring masks on public transportation expires but could end early if conditions warrant.

"Merry Christmas," several members said during discussion about the resolution.

The COVID-19 Winter Surge continued in New Hampshire with another 561 new positive test results with 437 hospitalizations and 25 deaths. Six of those deaths occurred over two weeks ago and were recently confirmed as COVID-19 related.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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