COVID-19 tests performed at LincolnHealth declined for the fourth week in a row, while positive tests stayed about the same, according to hospital spokesperson John Martins.
Martins said it is difficult to say if the decrease in tests is due to at-home COVID-19 testing “since people have been testing at home for quite some time.”
From Jan. 16-22, LincolnHealth performed 113 tests with 11 positives, for a positivity rate of 10%. This is up slightly from a positivity rate of 9.63% last week.
LincolnHealth offers the COVID-19 vaccine to anyone 6 months and older.
Martins has urged people to get their flu shot and bivalent COVID-19 booster shot, which contains components of the original COVID-19 strain as well as the omicron variant.
For more information, people can contact their primary care physician or visit vaccine.mainehealth.org.
Community transmission, which is defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and describes the amount of COVID-19 spread in a community, has been upgraded from “moderate” to “substantial” this week. This metric is used by healthcare facilities to determine infection control intervention, Martins has said.
The community level, which describes the impact of COVID-19 on communities, is “low” for Lincoln County and has stayed there since the levels were first determined. Community levels are calculated using the number of new COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 population in the past seven days, the percentage of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients, and total new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population in the past seven days.
MaineHealth is maintaining a database of COVID-19 information that can be accessed at 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 current through Tuesday, Jan. 24, since COVID-19 arrived in Lincoln County in March 2020, 6,800 residents have had the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus – 5,676 confirmed cases and 1,124 probable. The number of deaths in Lincoln County residents stayed at 42.
The number of residents who have been hospitalized with COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic rose by one to 118.
Lincoln County has a “moderate to high” rate of vaccine doses administered per 100,000 residents relative to other counties in the state at 269,148.81. 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, 27,255, or 78.69%, have received their first dose of the vaccine and 27,987, or 80.81%, have received the second and final dose, according to the agency’s data.
A total of 93,217 doses of vaccine have been administered, up 121 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 37,975 additional or booster shots given to Lincoln County residents.
State COVID-19 numbers
According to data current as of Jan. 24, the Maine CDC has reported 309,680 COVID-19 cases in Maine, an increase of 1,222 from the week before. Of those cases, 88,415 are probable.
There have been 6,745 hospitalizations in the state, including 49 reported in the past week. There have been 2,858 deaths so far from COVID-19 in Maine, including five reported in the last week. The statewide case rate is 2,322.9 per 10,000 people, up from 2,313.8 last week.