COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) Informational 9/18/2020 udpate

Good Evening, 

  We have received notification from the NH Public Health Laboratory that the resident with the conflicting test results, as well as the roommate, now have a negative PCR test. Both results came to us earlier in the evening. At that time a local hospital was also running a test on the resident; that test was received late tonight and is negative. Both of the residents, as well as all identified close contacts, remain free from symptoms. No further testing related to this case is warranted, per the instruction from NH Public Health. 

With the negative results and absence of symptoms, all precautions and quarantines are discontinued/stopped. Any close contacts that were previously notified to quarantine, no longer require such actions. 

The next routine testing for staff will be Wednesday September 23rd. 

False Positives:

I know it is easy to become cynical and question the validity of any positive test, especially when the clinical presentation does not support the individual being positive. I too question some of the results I see; not only on this complex, but in the community as well. 

I must stress to EVERYONE:

With the current evidence and research available, asymptomatic positive individuals DO occur. Those that are asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic and positive are the most devastating to those around them. Those individuals spread the virus unknowingly. This wreaks havoc on their contacts, especially in congregate settings such as a Nursing Home or Department of Corrections.

It continues to be extremely important that when we have a positive result, even if we don't believe it and all the evidence suggests otherwise; we are to treat it as a positive. Our actions in response to ANY positive result must and will reflect that there is a positive! The only time we will stop treating it as positive is when we have confirming laboratory evidence to support otherwise. 

We have been very fortunate on this complex in the past 6 months. As Administrator Bower always says, "It is a third preparation and work, a third luck, and a third prayer, if you so choose to believe." 

COVID fatigue is real! At this time we need to continue to support one another, as "normal" continues to be so far from sight.

Everyone on this complex, and our support off the complex, continue to do an outstanding job at keeping everyone safe! As always our best tools to prevent COVID are social distancing and hand hygiene!

Thank you all!

Best Wishes and Stay Safe!

Brianna Haskins-Belanger, RN, BSN


COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) Informational Update 09/17/2020

Riverside Rest Home (RRH):


Early this morning the nursing home was notified of a positive rapid antigen test, on a resident that was transported to the acute hospital yesterday for non-covid related concerns. A second rapid antigen test was performed 12 hours later, which was negative.

This resident did have a negative RT-PCR test on 9/13/20, as part of the nursing home surveillance testing. This does not mean that they could not become positive between the tests on 9/13 and 9/17.

This resident, the roommate, other residents on the unit, and all identified close contacts are free from symptoms. This resident remains in isolation, the roommate remains on quarantine.

Further testing is being conducted to validate the conflicting antigen test results. This test was performed by obtaining a Nasopharyngeal Specimen that was driven to the NH Public Health Laboratory (PHL) for priority testing. This resident and roommate both have pending tests at the NH PHL.

At this time all close contacts have been notified. The facility is coordinating efforts with NH DHHS to ensure that all appropriate actions are taken to mitigate any potential spread.

I will be posting updates once they become available. 


September 13, 2020                                                   September 03, 2020

Employees tested: 67, all negative                              Employees tested: 105, all negative   

Residents tested: 19, all negative                               Residents tested: 17, all negative      

Nursing Home Visitations: please see the notice posted on August 14, 2020.

Strafford County Department of Corrections (SCDOC):

These numbers will reflect tests completed throughout the week.

September 8th-14th, 2020                                           September 1st- 7th, 2020        

These numbers are subject to change.

Employees tested: 12, all negative                              Employees tested: 23, all negative                             

Inmates/Detainees tested: 26, all negative                  Inmates/Detainees tested: 29, all negative                 

At this time there are no cases of COVID-19 in the House of Corrections. Should there be a case or an outbreak, we will coordinate with DHHS/DPHS on actions to be implemented. If any positives should occur, the appropriate people will be updated immediately, once those people are informed the website will be updated.

Other Complex Operations:

September 13, 2020 Employees tested (various departments): 19, all negative

September 03, 2020 Employees tested (various departments): 27, all negative

Through offsite testing, an employee within the court house tested positive for COVID-19. This individual and all close contacts have been free from symptoms during their isolation and quarantine time respectively. The individual has since had 2 negative tests and all close contacts have had, at minimum, 1 negative test.  We continue to collaborate with the NH Department of Public Health to ensure that all necessary actions are taken to mitigate any potential spread. It has been established that this individual as well as close contacts, posed no risk of potential transmission to the nursing home or department of corrections.

County buildings continue to remain closed to all non-essential personnel. Screening of all individuals, entering any building, continues across the complex.

Best wishes and stay safe!

Brianna Haskins-Belanger, RN, BSN


Strafford County Employees

Policy and Procedure

Initial Mask Protocol 3/27/2020

Mask On during COVID-19 pandemic updated 4/27/2020

This policy is to be instituted and maintained for the entirety of the COVID-19 pandemic, unless updated.


For the purpose of this policy Strafford County Complex buildings are identified as the House of Corrections, Court House, Riverside Rest Home, and Hyder Building.

POLICY: All individuals entering buildings on the Strafford County Complex will be masked with, at minimum, a re-usable cloth face covering. The person is to remain masked while in the building and within 6 feet of others.

Employees entering the building will be offered the use of a procedure/surgical mask. The employee entering will be afforded the opportunity to choose between the use of a re-usable cloth mask or a disposable procedure/surgical mask.

Non-employees entering the building will be offered the use of a re-usable cloth mask.

Regardless the type of mask chosen, one mask will be provided for the entirety of the shift/time spent in the building. If during the time in the building the mask becomes soiled, wet, or damaged, a new mask will be provided.

INTENT/PURPOSE: The use of face coverings during all time spent in the building is to help prevent and minimize pre-symptomatic transmission of COVID-19 to others (i.e. source control).

These face coverings (masks) are not intended to protect the wearer; they are intended to minimize the risk of transmission.

1. All individuals entering the building will be screened; once screened and entry into the building is granted, they will be offered the use of a mask:
a. Employees: procedure/surgical mask or cloth face covering (mask).
b. Non-employees: cloth face covering
2. One mask will be given per shift/duration of time in the building (up to 12 hours).
3. If any mask becomes soiled, damaged, or wet they may be provided a new mask.
4. The procedure/surgical mask must be discarded when soiled, damaged, wet, and at the end of the shift.
5. If a cloth mask is chosen it must:
a. Fit appropriately over the nose and mouth.
b. Appropriate fit also means that the mask does not require touching or adjustment once donned.
c. Employees must have the ability to wash their own mask between shifts/use.
6. Non-employees are to remove their mask and place it in the bin provided when exiting. These masks will be laundered on the complex.

• N95/KN95 masks/respirators are to be reserved for individuals interacting with a person suspected of or positive with COVID-19.
• A room on precautions requires the use of a different mask; do not take the daily use mask in those rooms.
• These masks are not to be used when interacting with someone suspected of or who is positive for COVID-19.
• If required to use a different mask, place this mask inside of a paper bag clearly labeled with your name and place it in a safe location.
• Wash or sanitize hands prior to donning the mask and after doffing of any mask.
• Do not touch, reach inside, or rub the mask.
• Once donned properly, only touch the mask by the straps.
• The face covering should cover both the nose and mouth of the wearer.
• Remove any mask by only touching the straps/bands.
• Do no lay the mask down on a table, chair, cart, etc.
• The mask is to be worn when you are within 6 feet of others.
• DO NOT share masks that have not been washed between uses.
• DO NOT allow this mask to provide you with a false sense of safety. Proper social distancing (when possible) and proper hand hygiene remain the best defense as decreasing the transmission of COVID-19.



April 21, 2020


We at Strafford County are committed to the safety of those that live, work, and those that have interactions with the public across all our departments. We instituted cloth masks for all employees as well as vendors that enter the Nursing Home and House of Corrections on 3/27/20. On 4/03/20 the Sheriff’s Department also instituted the use of cloth masks to be worn when interacting with the public. With great support from the community we were able to obtain enough masks to ensure that all people who enter the facilities have a cloth mask to wear to assist in decreasing the spread of COVID-19, especially from those that have not yet shown symptoms or symptoms that have not yet been identified.

We have not seen a positive case of COVID-19 in the HOC or Nursing Home. If a case is suspected we have the appropriate PPE available to ensure the safety of the individuals residing in the buildings as well as the staff. We are actively screening all people prior to entry into any facility on the Strafford County complex as well as active screening for those that reside within the buildings. We have been vigilant in keeping people out of the building that have or report any symptoms.

Across all buildings we have developed policies to ensure anyone exposed or directly affected are notified immediately, as well as the resident representatives. In order to offer full disclosure to the public, and to alleviate the concerns for the unknown from families and staff, we are pledging to immediately release numbers of confirmed cases of COVID-19 of our staff, residents and/or detainees/inmates. The information will not include specific names, but will include general methods of treatment and the status of the resident and/or detainee/inmate.

We understand the importance of the psychosocial wellbeing of all individuals during this difficult time; we have taken steps to expanded telehealth as well as video visits for both the HOC and Nursing Home.

At the nursing home we have also welcomed donations of pictures and cards to be provided to our residents to brighten their day; we have also developed a method to ensure that loved ones may deliver/drop off things such as flowers, balloons, cards, etc. Our staff is committed to taking extra steps to ensure that items are sanitized prior to delivery to the resident, to decrease the risk of viral transmission into the facility from the community.

At this time we remain closed to visitors and non-essential business, across the complex. As a commitment to keep everyone informed, and to ensure transparency, we have started a COVID-19 specific section on the Strafford County website. This will be updated at least weekly and more often if the status changes within the building(s).

This information can be found at:

We are truly grateful to everyone in the community that has supported, and continues to support our efforts to keep everyone safe during this unprecedented time.

Best Wishes and stay safe!

Raymond Bower, Administrator

Brianna Haskins-Belanger, RN, BSN, Director of Resident Services




Justice & Administration Building,

259 County Farm Road, Suite 204, Dover, New Hampshire 03820


April 3, 2020

Over the last several days, Governor Chris Sununu and State Epidemiologist, Dr. Benjamin Chan, Department of Health and Human Services, have advised the media/press of clusters of COVID-19 showing up in group living facilities. The Governor and Dr. Chan refused to name the facilities, indicating that it is the individual facility’s obligation to do so.

In Strafford County, we have taken great measures to protect our nursing home residents, detainees/inmates at the House of Corrections, and our employees. These measures include following all Federal and State recommended infection precautions and consist of employee screening prior to entering the work place, the use of masks and other preventative gear (PPE) beyond the basic recommendations, and good hand sanitizing. To date, we have had no cases of COVID-19 for Riverside Rest Home residents or House of Corrections detainees/inmates.

In order to offer full disclosure to the public, and to alleviate the concerns for the unknown from families and staff, we are pledging to immediately release numbers of confirmed cases of COVID-19 of our residents and/or detainees/inmates. The information will not include specific names, but will include general methods of treatment and the status of the resident and/or detainee/inmate.

Please remember to keep all employees who are working hard to keep you and those they serve safe during these challenging times in your thoughts and prayers.

We are in this together and we will get through this together.

                                                       Strafford County Commissioners

                                                          George Maglaras, Chairman

                                                          Robert J. Watson

                                                          Deanna S. Rollo, Clerk