CONCORD, N.H. — The number of people testing positive for the new coronavirus in New Hampshire has doubled to four, including a man who attended a coffee social and church services last weekend, health officials said.

One of the patients is a Rockingham County man who recently traveled to Italy, according to a Saturday press release from The Department of Health and Human Services. The other is a Grafton County man who had contact with an infected patient at a coffee social and morning worship services at Hope Bible Fellowship church in West Lebanon on March 1.

Services there have been cancelled for Sunday, and health officials are asking anyone who attended the March 1 services or social hour to stay home through March 15 and monitor for symptoms. Those who develop symptoms of fever or respiratory illness should immediately contact the state Bureau of Infectious Disease Control.

The state announced its first case, a Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center employee who had traveled to Italy, on March 2. The state later issued him an official order of isolation after learning he attended a private social event in White River Junction, Vermont, despite being told to stay home. Health officials said a handful of the more than 100 people who attended the party organized by Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business were instructed to self-quarantine because they had close contact with the man.

The second patient also is an employee of the Lebanon hospital who had close contact with the first. Hospital officials have said they do not believe any patients have been exposed.

Worldwide, the virus has infected more than 100,000 people and killed more than 3,400, the vast majority of them in China. Most cases have been mild, and more than half of those infected have recovered.

In the U.S. the number of infections has grown to more than 400.


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