An official at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Manchester said receiving the facility's first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines was “like having hope delivered.”

Mary Jane Kellermann, chief of pharmacy services, said vaccinations would begin Monday. The facility was among 113 VA medical centers across the nation that were provided with the Moderna vaccine by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“VA Manchester is eager to offer the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to health care personnel and community living center residents,” said Kellermann. ”As vaccine supplies increase, our ultimate goal is to offer COVID-19 vaccination to all veterans and employees who want to be vaccinated.”

U.S. Rep. Chris Pappas, a Democrat who serves on the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, praised the VA for including Manchester on its list for initial distribution.

“It is critically important that VA health care workers and veterans in long-term care units are able to receive the vaccine to keep themselves, their families and their communities safe," Pappas said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the state veterans home in Tilton continues to face an outbreak of the virus. As of Thursday, 92 residents and 98 staff had been infected, and 31 people had died.

In other coronavirus developments:

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IN CONGRESS

New Hampshire's U.S. senators say they are relieved Congress has finally agreed on a COVID-19 emergency relief package.

Votes are expected Monday in the House and Senate on the bill, which would pump $900 billion into relief efforts, including individual payments reaching $600 for most Americans and an extra $300 a week in unemployment benefits. Among those getting help are hard-hit businesses, schools, health care providers and renters facing eviction.

Democratic Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan issued a statement with several of their colleagues, saying their consensus bill was the foundation for the final package and applauding Congressional leadership for “finishing what we started.”

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THE NUMBERS

A total of more than 37,000 people have tested positive for the virus in New Hampshire, with 847 cases announced Monday that included results from several days previous days. The number of deaths stood at 656.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in New Hampshire has risen over the past two weeks from 613 new cases per day on Dec. 6 to 798 new cases per day on Dec. 20.