LincolnHealth has seen nearly a doubling of its rate of positive COVID-19 cases in the past two weeks, LincolnHealth spokesperson John Martins said by email on April 26.
From April 18-24, LincolnHealth conducted 432 tests with 70 positives, for a positivity rate of 16.2%. This positivity rate is the highest the hospital has seen since the end of January and it has doubled in the past two weeks, Martins said.
“The circulation of a highly infectious strain of COVID-19 at a time when masking mandates and distancing recommendations are loosening has led to a rise (in) COVID-19 cases and, to a lesser extent, hospitalizations,” Dr. Timothy Fox, chief medical officer for LincolnHealth, said by email.
The hospital continues to encourage everyone eligible to get vaccinated or get a booster shot.
Visit vaccine.mainehealth.org to schedule an appointment. One does not have to be a Lincoln Medical Partners patient to receive any of the vaccine shots, Martins said.
“While there have been (a) high percentage of people who have received the vaccine testing positive, the number drops significantly with a booster shot,” Martins wrote. “Those who are boosted have less of a chance of being hospitalized.”
MaineHealth, the health system of which LincolnHealth belongs to, is maintaining a database of COVID-19 information that can be accessed online here: mainehealth.org/Coronavirus-COVID-19/what-to-do.
The health system also recommends staying home when sick, testing for COVID-19 in the event of symptoms or contact with a COVID-19-positive person, and seeking care when necessary.
According to Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention data through April 26, since COVID-19 arrived in Lincoln County in March 2020, 5,357 residents have had the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus – 4,529 confirmed cases and 828 probable.
Deaths in county residents held steady at 35.
Lincoln County has a “moderate to high” rate of vaccine doses administered per 100,000 residents relative to other counties in the state at 215,738.87.
The number does not represent fully vaccinated individuals and, since the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines both require two doses, the number can be higher than 100,000.
The census data for Lincoln County provided by the Maine CDC lists a population of 34,634. Of those residents, 26,587, or 76.77%, have received their first dose of the vaccine and 27,294, or 78.81%, have received the second and final dose, according to the agency’s data.
A total of 74,719 doses of vaccine have been administered, up 783 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.
There have been 20,838 additional or booster shots given to Lincoln County residents.
The vaccine is being provided through all of LincolnHealth’s primary care practices, as well as a booster of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Call the MaineHealth Vaccine Assistant at 1-877-780-7545 or visit vaccine.mainehealth.org to make an appointment.
According to a database maintained by the Maine CDC, vaccine appointments can be requested at Hannaford in Damariscotta, Walgreens in Damariscotta and Boothbay Harbor, and Wiscasset Family Medicine.
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 Wiscasset Family Medicine, call 207-882-6008.
According to Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center, the seven-day average positivity rate for Maine is 5.92%, up from 4.95% last week.
State COVID-19 numbers
According to data current as of April 19, the Maine CDC has reported 243,128 COVID-19 cases in Maine, an increase of 2,318 from the week before. Of those cases, 66,998 are probable.
There have been 4,696 hospitalizations in the state. There have been 2,282 deaths so far from COVID-19 in Maine, including five reported in the last week. The statewide case rate is 1,816.6 per 10,000 people, up from 1,799.2 last week.