A new surge of COVID-19, which LincolnHealth spokesperson Michelle Lunt says is likely driven by the more contagious Delta variant, continues in Lincoln County, with 32 new cases identified in the past week, up from 24 last week and 21 the week prior.
Lunt said by email on Tuesday, Aug. 17, that LincolnHealth has also seen another jump in the past week in COVID-19 tests performed, total positives, and positivity rate.
LincolnHealth identified 39 positive cases of COVID-19 in the past week, up from 20 the week prior, and seven of those people were vaccinated. Five of the seven are over 60 years old.
“While there are breakthrough cases of COVID-19 in fully vaccinated people, risk continues to be highest in those who are unvaccinated,” Lunt wrote. “In particular, rates of severe symptoms, hospitalization, ICU-level care, and death are dramatically higher in those who remain unvaccinated.”
According to the Maine CDC, there have been 863 validated breakthrough vaccine cases in the state– 2.27% of the 37,993 cases identified since the vaccine first became publically available. Of those breakthrough cases, 35 people had to be hospitalized and 14 have died from complications related to COVID-19.
LincolnHealth is starting employee vaccination clinics for those who are unvaccinated this week. Lunt said that people who get one of the two-shot vaccines, Moderna or Pfizer, need to get the first dose soon in order to meet the state’s Oct. 1 deadline for all healthcare workers to be vaccinated.
“Vaccination and masking in indoor settings are still the two most effective public-health approaches we have to minimizing spread of coronavirus,” Lunt wrote.
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 a graph maintained by the Bangor Daily News, as of Tuesday, Aug. 17, Lincoln and every other county in Maine, except Kennebec, fall into that category for recommended face coverings.
According to Maine CDC data current as of Tuesday, Aug. 10, since COVID-19 arrived in Lincoln County in March 2020, 1,153 residents have had the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus — 945 confirmed cases and 208 probable.
There have been 27 Lincoln County residents hospitalized with the respiratory illness, up one from last week and the first hospitalization in months. 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, 56, up from 45 last week and 32 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 132,491.19. 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, 22,527, or 65.04%, have received their first dose of the vaccine and 23,360, or 67.45%, have received the second and final dose, according to the agency’s data. A total of 45,887 doses of vaccine have been administered, up 330 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 4.69%, up from 3.87% last week.
According to the U.S. CDC, the seven-day average positivity rate for this past week is 9.7%, up from 9.5% last week.
State COVID-19 numbers
According to data current as of Tuesday, the Maine CDC has reported 73,087 COVID-19 cases in Maine, an increase of 2,243 from the week before. Of those cases, 20,035 are probable.
There have been 2,221 hospitalizations in the state. There have been 909 deaths so far from COVID-19 in Maine, including eight reported in the last week. The statewide case rate is 546.1 per 10,000 people, up from 537.1 last week.
The number of new cases identified in the past two weeks is 3,282, up from 1,742 last week and 1,170 the week prior.