LincolnHealth has seen three consecutive weeks of single-digit positivity rates for COVID-19 cases and had one of the “best weeks in recent months for COVID-19 numbers” this past week, according to hospital spokesperson John Martins.
“It’s encouraging that we’ve seen three consecutive weeks under double-digit percentages of positives, and in that time we’ve averaged about nine cases per week,” Martins wrote by email.
From Nov. 7-13, LincolnHealth performed 145 COVID-19 tests with six positives, for a positivity rate of 4.14%, down from 7.01% last week.
“The percentage positive dropped under 5%, which years ago used to be the threshold guiding community transmission,” Martins wrote.
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, is listed as “moderate,” after having been at “high” for several months and jumping to “substantial” last 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 Monday, Nov. 14, since COVID-19 arrived in Lincoln County in March 2020, 6,589 residents have had the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus – 5,515 confirmed cases and 1,074 probable. This is an increase of nine cases from last week.
The number of deaths in Lincoln County residents stayed at 41.
The number of residents who have been hospitalized with COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic rose by four to 108.
Lincoln County has a “moderate to high” rate of vaccine doses administered per 100,000 residents relative to other counties in the state at 260,622.51. 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, 27,163, or 78.43%, have received their first dose of the vaccine and 27,891, or 80.53%, have received the second and final dose, according to the agency’s data.
A total of 89,536 doses of vaccine have been administered, up 728 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 35,210 additional or booster shots given to Lincoln County residents.
State COVID-19 numbers
According to data current as of Nov. 14, the Maine CDC has reported 299,860 COVID-19 cases in Maine, an increase of 722 from the week before. Of those cases, 84,676 are probable.
There have been 6,259 hospitalizations in the state, including 32 reported in the past week. There have been 2,711 deaths so far from COVID-19 in Maine, including three reported in the last week. The statewide case rate is 2,240.4 per 10,000 people, up from 2,235.0 last week.