The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported the first death of a Lincoln County resident from COVID-19 on Tuesday, July 28.
An obituary submitted to The Lincoln County News identified the individual as Bristol retiree Virginia “Ginny” Manning, 72, who died July 26. Manning long worked in human resources at Masters Machine Co. in Round Pond.
The Maine CDC also reported two new cases of the illness and four new recoveries in the county within the past week.
As of Monday, July 27, the Maine CDC has reported 33 cases of the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus since the outbreak began in mid-March, only three of which are active. There have been 27 confirmed cases and six probable cases.
The CDC reported the two new cases, one confirmed and one probable, Friday, July 24.
The probable 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 either had close contact with someone with a confirmed case or became symptomatic.
The case rate for Lincoln County is 9.6 per 10,000 people. Three residents have been hospitalized at some point in their illness, one of whom has died.
There have been 27 recoveries, leaving the three active cases, a number calculated by subtracting recoveries and deaths from the confirmed and probable case total.
Community transmission of the virus has not been detected in Lincoln County, according to the Maine CDC.
According to John Martins, spokesperson for LincolnHealth, between July 20 and 26, the hospital conducted 242 COVID-19 tests, one of which was positive. Of the 242 tests, 90 were clinical, for people exhibiting symptoms; 38 were of patients at either admission or discharge from the hospital; and 114 were preoperative or of people with suspected exposure to COVID-19 who did not have symptoms.
From July 1-26, the hospital performed 847 tests with four positive results, a positivity rate of 0.47%. Maine CDC Director Nirav Shah said Tuesday that Maine’s seven-day positivity rate is 1.08%, down from 1.95% 30 days ago and a fraction of the national rate, 9%.
Martins said LincolnHealth’s Respiratory Care Clinic has seen about five additional patients each day in the past week and has gotten “much busier” with calls. The clinic has averaged about 26 patients per day, according to Martins.
Martins said LincolnHealth’s testing policy has not changed for several weeks.
If someone thinks their symptoms warrant a visit to the urgent care center on the St. Andrews Campus 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 being within 6 feet of someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19 for at least 30 minutes.
Those at an elevated risk of exposure include: people returning from states that have a higher COVID-19 prevalence than Maine; anyone who has attended a large gathering; employees of businesses who have direct, daily contact with members of the public; essential health care workers and first responders; and residents and staff of group living facilities, such as nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
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.
State COVID-19 numbers
The Maine CDC has reported 3,838 COVID-19 cases in Maine as of Monday, July 27, an increase of 115 from the week before. Of those cases, 405 are probable.
There have been 384 hospitalizations and 3,319 people have recovered. There have been 121 deaths so far from COVID-19 in Maine. The statewide case rate is 28.7 per 10,000 people.
The number of active cases, 398, is an increase of 16 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, 405 people have tested positive for antibodies and there have been 8,317 negative results in Maine. Twelve tests were indeterminate.