The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported Lincoln County’s first new case of COVID-19 in 22 days on Saturday, Aug. 29.
Saturday’s was the only new case reported in the last week.
As of Monday, Aug. 31, the Maine CDC has reported 36 cases of the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus in Lincoln County since the outbreak began in mid-March — three of which are active. There have been 31 confirmed cases and five probable cases.
The case rate for Lincoln County is 10.5 per 10,000 people. Three residents have been hospitalized at some point in their illness, one of whom has died.
There have been 32 recoveries, leaving the three active cases, a number calculated by subtracting recoveries and deaths from the confirmed and probable case total.
Community transmission of the virus has not been detected in Lincoln County, according to the Maine CDC.
According to Nicole Feleo, development officer at LincolnHealth, from Aug. 24-30, 273 COVID-19 tests were performed through the hospital’s testing system, with no positives.
Of the 273 tests performed in the past week, 82 were clinical, for people exhibiting symptoms; 45 were of patients without symptoms at either admission or discharge from the hospital; and 146 were preoperative or of people with known exposure to COVID-19 who did not exhibit symptoms.
These numbers do not include tests performed through the state-sponsored “swab-and-send” site that opened at LincolnHealth’s Miles Campus last week.
Since the site opened Wednesday, Aug. 26, 10 tests have been run through the swab-and-send program, with no positive results. There are not many swab-and-send tests scheduled for the upcoming week, Feleo said.
The swab-and-send site offers drive-up testing by appointment outside the hospital’s Respiratory Care Clinic, which is behind the emergency department, from 8 a.m. to noon Wednesday and Thursday. To make an appointment, call the clinic at 563-4353.
Tests are free for anyone who believes they have COVID-19 or have been exposed to the coronavirus.
Feleo said the call volume to the Respiratory Care Clinic continues to rise.
In total, since July 13, LincolnHealth has performed 1,844 COVID-19 diagnostic tests, with eight positive results, for a positivity rate of 0.43%.
The seven-day average positivity rate statewide as of Monday was 0.63%.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the nationwide positivity rate for “week 34,” ending Aug. 22, was 5.7%, down from 6.2% for the previous week.
The hospital has also conducted three serology, or antibody, tests since July 13, which were negative. These tests determine if someone has been infected with the coronavirus by detecting antibodies the body deploys to fight the infection. The U.S. CDC states on its website that it is unknown whether antibodies confer immunity from the virus.
“If antibodies do provide immunity, we don’t know how much antibody is protective or how long protection might last. CDC scientists are currently conducting studies to answer these questions,” the site says.
State COVID-19 numbers
The Maine CDC has reported 4,548 COVID-19 cases in Maine as of Monday, an increase of 180 from the week before. Of those cases, 467 are probable.
Many of the new cases, 134 as of Sept. 1, have been linked to an indoor wedding and reception in Millinocket on Aug. 7 that caused two other outbreaks in the state — one at the York County Jail and another at the Maplecrest Rehabilitation and Living Center in Madison.
There have been 421 hospitalizations and 3,945 people have recovered. There have been 132 deaths so far from COVID-19 in Maine. The statewide case rate is 34 per 10,000 people.
The number of active cases, 471, is an increase of 18 from one week before.
The Maine CDC also lists the results of antibody tests. Since May 20, 479 people have tested positive for antibodies and there have been 9,089 negative results. Thirteen tests have been indeterminate.