In the past week, 57 more Lincoln County residents have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and one more resident has been hospitalized—the fifth straight weekly increase in case counts and up from 32 last week and 24 the week prior.
LincolnHealth spokesperson John Martins has said the surge in cases is likely driven by the more contagious Delta variant that is spreading rapidly across Maine and the country.
LincolnHealth performed fewer COVID-19 tests and saw fewer positive results than in the previous week. From Aug. 16 to 22, the hospital performed 456 tests with 21 positives, for a positivity rate of 4.61%, down from 7.59% last week.
“We continue to see our share of ‘breakthrough cases,’ defined as those who are fully vaccinated testing positive for COVID-19, with (five) of this past week’s 21 positive cases falling into that category,” Martins wrote.
Martins said that during the last four weeks, roughly one in four cases was a breakthrough case. He said that the majority of those individuals had risk factors like household exposure to COVID-19, out-of-state travel, or are immune-compromised.
“In our area, people over age 60 with risk factors have made up most of our breakthrough cases,” Martins wrote.
He also said that one out of every four cases in the past four weeks have involved individuals under the age of 18. He said is uncertain of their vaccination status.
“Vaccination and masking in indoor settings are still the two most effective public-health approaches we have to minimizing spread of coronavirus,” LincolnHealth spokesperson Michelle Lunt has said.
According to a graph maintained by the Bangor Daily News, as of Tuesday, Aug. 24, masking continues to be recommended in Lincoln County and every other county in Maine except Androscoggin and Sagadahoc counties.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that people wear face coverings indoors if there is “substantial transmission” of the coronavirus in a county, defined as a weekly case rate of 50 or more cases per 100,000 people.
According to Maine CDC data current as of Tuesday, Aug. 24, since COVID-19 arrived in Lincoln County in March 2020, 1,210 residents have had the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus — 994 confirmed cases and 216 probable.
There have been 28 Lincoln County residents hospitalized with COVID-19, up from 27 last week. There have been three deaths since March 2020 — unchanged from last week.
An estimate of the number of people with an active infection of COVID-19 can be made using the number of cases identified in the past two weeks, 89, up from 56 last week and 45 the week prior.
According to Maine CDC data current as of Tuesday, for the total population, Lincoln County has a “moderate” rate of vaccine doses administered per 100,000 residents relative to other counties in the state at 133,608.59. The number does not represent fully vaccinated individuals and, since the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines both require two doses, the number can be higher than 100,000, according to Robert Long, spokesperson for the Maine CDC.
The census data for Lincoln County provided by the Maine CDC lists a population of 34,634. Of those residents, 22,698, or 65.54%, have received their first dose of the vaccine and 23,576, or 68.07%, have received the second and final dose, according to the agency’s data. A total of 46,274 doses of vaccine have been administered, up 387 doses from last week. Those counted in the final dose category have either received the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the single shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The vaccine is being provided through all of LincolnHealth’s primary care practices.
According to a database maintained by the Maine CDC, vaccine appointments can be requested at Hannaford in Damariscotta, Walgreens in Damariscotta and Boothbay Harbor, Nathan’s Pharmacy in Boothbay Harbor, and Community Pharmacy in Waldoboro.
Patients of Sheepscot Valley Health Center in Coopers Mills can call 549-7581 to make an appointment for a vaccine.
To schedule an appointment at Hannaford, go to hannaford.com/pharmacy/covid-19-vaccine.
To schedule an appointment at Walgreens, go to walgreens.com/schedulevaccine or call 1-800-WALGREENS.
To schedule an appointment at Community Pharmacy, go to communityrx.com/covid-19.
To schedule an appointment at Nathan’s Pharmacy, call 315-2280.
According to Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center, the seven-day average positivity rate for Maine is 3.66%, down from 4.69% last week.
According to the U.S. CDC, the seven-day average positivity rate for this past week is 9.7%, the same as last week.
State COVID-19 numbers
According to data current as of Tuesday, the Maine CDC has reported 74,309 COVID-19 cases in Maine, an increase of 1,222 from the week before. Of those cases, 20,478 are probable.
There have been 2,259 hospitalizations in the state. There have been 926 deaths so far from COVID-19 in Maine, including 17 reported in the last week. The statewide case rate is 555.2 per 10,000 people, up from 546.1 last week.
The number of new cases identified in the past two weeks is 3,465, up from 3,282 last week and 1,742 the week prior.