A statewide mask mandate will be in place in New Hampshire starting Friday, Gov. Chris Sununu announced Thursday.
All residents above the age of five will be required to wear a face covering when unable to keep at least six feet of distance in both indoor or outdoor public spaces, according to a release from the governor’s office.
The decision comes as the state has experienced a 100% increase in its hospitalization rate over the past two weeks, the governor said.
More than 70% of New Hampshire’s hospitals and long-term care facilities are experiencing some sort of “staffing crunch,” Sununu said.
Dr. Benjamin Chan, an epidemiologist for the state's Department Health and Human Services, announced 529 new Covid-19 cases and two additional coronavirus-related deaths. That brings the statewide total to 15,749 cases and 504 deaths, according New Hampshire’s Covid-19 dashboard.
Note: These numbers were released by the state’s public health agency, and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.