(The Center Square) – New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu issued three new emergency orders addressing the coronavirus outbreak Wednesday as lawmakers announced they would be in recess until April 10.
The decision to suspend legislative session closes the state capital building to lawmakers, staff and visitors.
Sununu expanded telehealth access temporarily to keep health care practices open without increasing their exposure to COVID-19
The governor’s sixth emergency order allows restaurants or bars that sell beer or wine to include them with takeout.
“We appreciate the sacrifices many have made throughout COVID-19 developments,” Sununu said. “This emergency order will allow for patrons to also order beer and wine from their favorite restaurants when ordering pickup or delivery.”
Sununu also modified the state’s data and privacy plans to give schools flexibility when developing home learning plans.
“Student privacy is paramount, and all applications and software still must meet rigorous Department of Education privacy standards,” Sununu said.
Earlier this week, Sununu issued emergency orders preventing landlords from evicting tenants and giving workers affected by the pandemic access to unemployment benefits. The governor has also prohibited landlords from evicting tenants. Gatherings of 50 or more people are also restricted.
In other action, Sununu sent a letter to federal health officials asking them to open a 60 to 90 day enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act.
“In light of this outbreak, we must take every opportunity possible to expand health care options and coverage,” Sununu said in a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. “As such, allowing for a special open-enrollment period is a simple step that increases access to quality, affordable healthcare at a time when it is critically needed.”
Sununu has already ordered insurance companies to waive cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and other lawmakers have made similar requests to open the enrollment period.
The governor also closed the Cannon Mountain Ski Resort on Wednesday.
"It has become clear today that large amounts of public congregation is occurring at Cannon Mountain,” the governor said. “With the weekend quickly approaching, I have instructed Cannon management to cease operations by end of business today."
Twenty-six New Hampshire residents have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the latest numbers.