The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention has reported one more confirmed case of COVID-19 in Lincoln County over the last week, the fifth case reported since May 23.
According to data current as of Monday, July 6, 22 Lincoln County residents have had a confirmed positive test for COVID-19 and there have been three “probable cases.” The newest case was reported Saturday, July 4.
The probable case category includes people who are close contacts of someone with a confirmed case and become symptomatic or someone who has had a confirmed antibody test and had close contact with a confirmed case or became symptomatic.
The case rate for Lincoln County is reported as 7.3 per 10,000 people. Two residents have been hospitalized at some point in their illness for COVID-19. There have been 21 recoveries, leaving a total of four active cases.
Community transmission of the virus has not been detected in Lincoln County, according to the Maine CDC.
LincolnHealth saw one new confirmed case of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus, on July 3, the second case confirmed through the hospital since May.
No one has been hospitalized for COVID-19 at LincolnHealth.
John Martins, spokesperson for LincolnHealth, said by email that between July 1 and July 5, the hospital conducted 87 tests for COVID-19. This includes clinical tests as well as tests done on patients before admission or surgery.
In total, as of June 28, LincolnHealth has performed 1,367 COVID-19 tests, with 12 positives and 1,355 negative results. More up-to-date data was not available.
Martins said that for the past several weeks, calls to LincolnHealth’s Respiratory Care Clinic at the Miles Campus in Damariscotta, formerly the COVID-19 clinic, have been increasing. He said this is due to confusion about who can receive testing at the hospital.
For the most part, LincolnHealth continues to require patients to receive a physician’s referral to receive a test and does not currently offer a “COVID passport” test, such as a test for out-of-state residents or visitors not traveling from exempted states who wish to avoid a 14-day quarantine.
The list of states exempted from visitor restrictions now include Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont.
Tests recommended by a physician take place at the Respiratory Care Clinic.
LincolnHealth did begin relaxing testing guidelines somewhat beginning last week.
If someone feels symptoms warrant a visit to the urgent care center in Boothbay Harbor or the emergency department at the Miles Campus in Damariscotta, they can receive a test there after first calling ahead and registering as a patient.
For people with an established relationship with MaineHealth or LincolnHealth, testing may be available without symptoms if the individual has had known exposure or is at elevated risk of exposure.
LincolnHealth defines known exposure as someone who has been within 6 feet of another person who has a confirmed case of COVID-19 for at least 30 minutes.
Martins said arrangements for testing can be made by calling one of LincolnHealth’s primary care offices. If a test is deemed necessary, the individual will be referred to a testing location.
Martins also said the hospital’s supplies of COVID-19 test kits and personal protective equipment are still very good.
Martins said the hospital has been busier recently, working to catch up on a backlog of diagnostic tests and surgeries that were postponed due to the COVID-19 emergency.
“We have significantly reduced the backlog in mammography and colonoscopies for example,” Martins wrote.
State COVID-19 numbers
The Maine CDC reports that 3,440 people have or had COVID-19 in Maine as of Monday, July 6, an increase of 146 from the week before. Of these cases, 390 are probable cases.
There have been 360 hospitalizations and 2,816 people have recovered. There have been 110 deaths so far from COVID-19 in Maine. The statewide case rate is 25.7 per 10,000 people.
The number of active cases, 514 – calculated by subtracting recoveries and deaths from the confirmed and probable case total – is an increase of four from one week before.
The Maine CDC also lists the results of antibody tests, which are intended to detect whether someone has had COVID-19 and recovered from it. It is not yet known if testing positive for coronavirus antibodies confers immunity from COVID-19.
Since May 20, 359 people have tested positive for antibodies and there have been 7,375 negative results in Maine. Nine tests were indeterminate.