LincolnHealth has rescheduled some surgeries that could be suspended without a negative impact along with most other hospitals across Maine struggling to preserve bed capacity, according to an email from LincolnHealth spokesperson John Martins.
“We appreciate the flexibility of our patients and recognize this is not ideal for any of us. Our goal is to monitor this closely and complete as many procedures as our bed capacity allows,” Martins said.
LincolnHealth is also back in schools after a break for Thanksgiving and clinics are beginning to offer second doses to 5-11 year olds, with parental consent, per Pfizer recommendations.
On Nov. 2, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11. Pfizer’s vaccine for children is available in a two-dose series, and is administered in a lower dose than the vaccine for adolescents and adults. Just like adults, doses will be administered 21 days apart.
To make an appointment for a child at the Watson Center, call 633-1934.
LincolnHealth is continuing to provide booster shots Monday through Friday in the Watson Health Center. To date, LincolnHealth has delivered 2,555 boosters and is averaging about 185 boosters per day.
Boosters are available by appointment only. Appointments can be made at vaccine.mainehealth.org/booster or by calling 877-780-7545. Those registering will need to provide the date of their final COVID-19 shot.
Anyone age 18 and up can receive a booster. Those who received a Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are eligible for a booster shot six months after their initial series. Those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, booster shots are also recommended for those who were vaccinated two or more months ago.
“Our team continues its tireless efforts to make sure all who want to be vaccinated or receive a booster shot gets it as soon as possible,’’ said LincolnHealth President Cindy Wade. “We are busier than ever across our organization and in the throes of an active COVID surge, yet our teams continue to stay focused on the needs of our patients and residents. It’s amazing, inspiring and I could not be any prouder of the LincolnHealth team.”
During the week of Nov. 22-28, LincolnHealth tested 549 individuals for COVID-19 with 72 positive results, for a positivity rate of 13.1%, up from 10.6% the week prior.
The number of “breakthrough cases” in fully vaccinated individuals dropped to 16, 22% of the total positive cases. Twenty five of the positive results were in people under 18 years of age, holding steady from 25 the week prior.
According to Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention data current as of Tuesday, Nov. 30, since COVID-19 arrived in Lincoln County in March 2020, 2,148 residents have had the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus — 1,773 confirmed cases and 375 probable.
There have been two deaths in Lincoln County related to COVID-19 in the last week, raising the total to 10 COVID-19-related deaths since March 2020.
An estimate of the number of people with an active infection of COVID-19 can be made using the number of cases identified within two weeks from the latest data updated on Nov. 25, 162, up from 151 the prior week and 113 two weeks prior.
According to a graph maintained by the Bangor Daily News, masking is recommended in Lincoln County and every other county in Maine.
The U.S. CDC is recommending that people wear face coverings indoors if there is “substantial transmission” of the coronavirus in a county, defined as a weekly case rate of 50 or more cases per 100,000 people.
According to Maine CDC data current as of Nov. 30, for the total population, Lincoln County has a “moderate to high” rate of vaccine doses administered per 100,000 residents relative to other counties in the state at 180,970.23.
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, 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, 25,081, or 72.42%, have received their first dose of the vaccine and 25,400, or 73.34%, have received the second and final dose, according to the agency’s data.
A total of 59,874 doses of vaccine have been administered, up 1,849 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 9,393 additional or booster shots given to Lincoln County residents, up 7,956 doses from last week.
The vaccine is being provided through all of LincolnHealth’s primary care practices, as well as a booster of the Pfizer-BioNTech 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 or call 1-800-WALGREENS.
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 5.43%, down from 6.89% last week.
State COVID-19 numbers
According to data current as of Tuesday, the Maine CDC has reported 119,662 COVID-19 cases in Maine, an increase of 2,714 from the week before. Of those cases, 34,152 are probable.
There have been 3,116 hospitalizations in the state. There have been 1,324 deaths so far from COVID-19 in Maine, including 24 reported in the last week. The statewide case rate is 894.1 per 10,000 people, up from 873.8 last week.
On Nov. 30, Maine reported 1,173 new cases over the prior five days along with 21 additional deaths.