There have been three cases of COVID-19 identified in Lincoln County residents in the past two weeks.
Out of 238 tests performed from June 21-27, no new cases of the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus were identified through LincolnHealth’s Respiratory Care Clinic on the Miles Campus in Damariscotta since Monday, June 14.
“June continues to be a good month when it comes to the number of COVID-positive cases at LincolnHealth,” John Martins, spokesperson for the hospital said by email on Tuesday, June 29.
LincolnHealth continues a push to vaccinate more people through “pop-up” clinics and hosted a clinic on the Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library lawn on Tuesday.
The hospital’s clinic at the Watson Center on the Miles Campus continues to be open for walk-in inoculations and delivered 83 total doses last week, 28 of those first doses and 24 of those walk-ins.
The clinic is open on Wednesday, June 30 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3-7 p.m. and Thursday, July 1 and Friday, July 2 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Martins said the Watson Center clinic is “winding down,” however, and that vaccine doses will be available in primary care offices starting Monday, July 5.
LincolnHealth has also loosened its restricted visitation policy that has been in place since March 15, 2020, when COVID-19 first arrived in Lincoln County.
Effective Monday, June 28, two visitors are now allowed in obstetrics, pediatrics, and the emergency department for patients under the age of 18. Two visitors are now allowed for those staying in the hospital and visitation is capped at three hours. One visitor is allowed in primary care and specialists’ offices and the emergency department “as space permits.” The Miles Cafe continues to be closed to the public.
All visitors must answer three screening questions and wear a surgical mask provided by the hospital.
“The number of COVID cases presenting at LincolnHealth during the last three weeks has been the lowest since the pandemic began,’’ said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Timothy Fox in a news release. “While we are not out of the woods yet, we can lessen the restrictions on patients and visitors with confidence.”
Martins also said volunteers are “coming back into the fold” at LincolnHealth.
“As long as they are fully vaccinated, we’re happy to have them back on board,” Martins wrote.
According to Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention data current as of Tuesday, June 29, since COVID-19 arrived in Lincoln County, 1,081 residents have had the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus — 892 confirmed cases and 189 probable.
There have been 25 hospitalizations and three residents have died — unchanged from last week.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging people to get vaccinated as soon as possible to limit the spread of COVID-19 variants of concern. The agency’s website says that variants of COVID-19 result from the coronavirus constantly “changing through mutation.”
Variants of concern “have the potential to spread more easily and quickly than other variants, which could lead to more cases of COVID-19,” according to the website.
According to Maine CDC data current as of Tuesday, Lincoln County has a “moderate” rate of vaccine doses administered per 100,000 residents relative to other counties in the state at 142,482.98. 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, 21,660, or 62.54%, have received their first dose of the vaccine and 22,297, or 64.38%, have received the second and final dose, according to the agency’s data. A total of 43,957 doses of vaccine have been administered. 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.
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 Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center, the seven-day average positivity rate for Maine is 1.18%, down from 1.23% last week.
According to the U.S. CDC, the seven-day average positivity rate for this past week is 1.7%, down from 1.8% last week.
State COVID-19 numbers
According to data current as of Tuesday, the Maine CDC has reported 69,033 COVID-19 cases in Maine, an increase of 156 from the week before. Of those cases, 18,546 are probable.
There have been 2,077 hospitalizations in the state. There have been 858 deaths so far from COVID-19 in Maine, including two reported in the last week. The statewide case rate is 515.8 per 10,000 people, up from 514.6 last week.
The number of new cases identified in the past two weeks is 350, down from 493 last week and 803 the week before.