Lincoln County saw only eight new cases of COVID-19 in the past week, the lowest weekly total since the coronavirus began surging last fall.
The Respiratory Care Clinic on LincolnHealth’s Miles Campus in Damariscotta also saw the lowest positivity rate for COVID-19 tests since last October.
From May 31 to June 6, the clinic conducted 288 tests with four positives, for a positivity rate of 1.39%.
“The data shows a significant drop in testing, positive cases and positivity rate,” LincolnHealth spokesperson John Martins wrote in an email.
According to Robert Long, spokesperson for the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there are two open outbreak investigations in Lincoln County — one at Chase Point assisted living in Damariscotta and the other at Medomak Valley High School in Waldoboro.
The CDC defines an outbreak as three or more epidemiologically linked cases within a 14-day period.
Chase Point, on the Miles Campus, had a third employee test positive for COVID-19 on May 27, Martins said. He said the hospital is working closely with the Maine CDC and following mandatory testing protocols.
The facility is closed to visitors and new admissions, but will reopen after two consecutive weeks of negative COVID-19 tests. Martins said this week will be the second week of testing and if there are no positives again, visitors and new admissions will be allowed.
MaineHealth, the parent company of LincolnHealth, does not require employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, although it encourages them to educate themselves and “take advantage of this opportunity to enhance their safety and that of their colleagues and patients.”
“While the COVID-19 vaccine has gone through the trials and steps that would normally be required of any vaccine, and it has been shown to be both safe and effective, as it is a new vaccine, MaineHealth is not requiring care team members to receive it as is the case with flu vaccination,” an FAQ document states.
Martins said that LincolnHealth will host walk-in vaccination clinics at MVHS from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday, June 10, and at Wiscasset Middle High School from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Friday, June 11.
Since the closing of the vaccination clinic at the Boothbay Region YMCA on Friday, June 4, walk-in vaccines are now available at the Watson Center on the Miles Campus.
The clinic will be open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thursday and Friday, June 10 and 11. Next week, the clinic’s hours will be 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. The clinic will be open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3-7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 16.
“The best way for someone to get an appointment is to contact their primary care provider. All of our primary care practices can schedule appointments,” Martins wrote.
He also said that the hospital is working to make vaccine doses readily available at all of LincolnHealth’s primary care offices in the near future.
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.
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 Maine CDC data current as of Tuesday, June 8, since COVID-19 arrived in Lincoln County in mid-March 2020, 1,070 residents have had the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus — 883 confirmed cases and 187 probable.
Hospitalizations held at 25 and deaths stayed at three total this week.
Since the Maine CDC is no longer actively tracking “completed isolations,” an estimate of the number of people currently sick with COVID-19 in Lincoln County can be made using the total number of new cases reported in the past two weeks, 22, which is down from 48 last week.
Lincoln County has the sixth-lowest case rate per 10,000 people in the state at 311.6 — after Aroostook, Hancock, Knox, Waldo, and Washington counties.
According to the Maine CDC data, Lincoln County has a “moderate to high” rate of vaccine doses administered per 100,000 residents relative to other counties in the state at 121,438.47. 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 Long.
The census data for Lincoln County provided by the Maine CDC lists a population of 34,634. Of those residents, 21,214, or 61.25%, have received their first dose of the vaccine and 20,845, or 60.19%, have received the second and final dose, according to the agency’s data. A total of 42,059 doses of vaccine have been administered.
According to Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center, the seven-day average positivity rate for Maine is 2.6%, up from 2.52% last week.
According to the U.S. CDC, the seven-day average positivity rate for this past week is 2.5%, down from 2.6% last week.
State COVID-19 numbers
According to data current as of Tuesday, the Maine CDC has reported 68,384 COVID-19 cases in Maine, an increase of 504 from the week before. Of those cases, 18,363 are probable.
There have been 2,043 hospitalizations in the state. There have been 843 deaths so far from COVID-19 in Maine, including 16 reported in the last week. The statewide case rate is 510.9 per 10,000 people, up from 507.2 last week.
The number of new cases identified in the past two weeks is 1,090, down from 1,565 last week.