LincolnHealth is currently planning vaccination clinics in Lincoln County schools following state and federal approval of the Pfizer vaccine for ages 12 and up.
LincolnHealth spokesperson John Martins said by email that the clinics will likely begin on Monday, May 17 but “many of the logistics are still being ironed out” with the schools.
“The schools will be communicating to parents regarding the clinics and locations, so parents should be on the lookout for additional information,” Martins said.
Lincoln Academy in Newcastle announced plans for an on-campus clinic in a newsletter on Tuesday, May 11. Registration forms would be available for parents to consent for their children to receive a vaccine. Young people do not have to attend the school to be eligible for the clinic, Head of School Jeffrey Burroughs said in the newsletter.
Because of a decrease in demand for new doses of the vaccine, the hospital’s clinic at the Boothbay Region YMCA’s Marylouise Tandy Cowan Fieldhouse in Boothbay Harbor will close on Friday, June 4. The clinic has administered over 20,000 doses of vaccine since opening in January.
“We are extremely grateful for the support of the Boothbay Region Y,” Martins said in an email. The clinic has run very smoothly due, in part, to the marvelous space made available to us.”
Martins said that anyone who has an appointment for the first dose of the Moderna vaccine between Tuesday, May 11 and June 4 will receive the second dose at the Watson Center at LincolnHealth’s Miles Campus in Damariscotta.
“It is our hope that there is enough demand to continue first dose vaccination at the Watson Center in June, but those details have yet to be finalized,” Martins said.
All people over the age of 12, including out-of-state residents, can now register for a vaccine appointment by visiting vaccine.mainehealth.org or calling 1-877-780-7545. There are no out-of-pocket costs for getting the vaccine.
Cases of COVID-19 in Lincoln County residents continue to increase week-to-week, with 59 new cases identified this week.
According to Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention data current as of Tuesday, May 4, since COVID-19 arrived in Lincoln County in mid-March 2020, 973 residents have had the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus — 806 confirmed cases and 167 probable.
Hospitalizations increased from 21 to 22 and deaths held at two total.
Since the Maine CDC is no longer actively tracking “completed isolations,” an estimate of the number of people currently sick with COVID-19 in Lincoln County can be made using the total number of new cases reported in the past two weeks, 122, unchanged from last week.
Lincoln County has the sixth-lowest case rate per 10,000 people in the state at 283.3 — after Aroostook, Hancock, Knox, Waldo, and Washington counties.
LincolnHealth also continues to see high positivity rates at its Respiratory Care Clinic on the Miles Campus. The clinic conducted 462 tests for COVID-19 from May 3-9, with 36 positives and a positivity rate of 7.79%.
“The common thread remains the lack of full vaccination in those testing positive,” Martins said.
The state’s swab-and-send site on LincolnHealth’s Miles Campus in Damariscotta offers drive-up COVID-19 testing by appointment from 8 a.m. to noon Wednesday and Thursday. To make an appointment, call the clinic at 563-4353.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that the three COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the country “have been shown to be safe and effective at preventing COVID-19.” The agency also said the vaccines are only approved if they make it “substantially less likely you will get COVID-19” and vaccines “may also protect people around you.”
Maine CDC spokesperson Robert Long said by email that there are no new COVID-19 outbreaks in Lincoln County. He said the outbreak investigation at Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset is ongoing, with nine new cases being identified in the past week. The outbreak is the largest in Lincoln County to date.
As of Monday, May 10, the case count associated with the facility is 39 — 34 inmates and five staff members.
According to Maine CDC data current as of Tuesday, Lincoln County has a “moderate to high” rate of doses administered per 100,000 residents relative to other counties in the state at 106,386.79.
Long has said the number does not represent fully vaccinated individuals and that since the Pfizer 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, 19,557, or 56.47%, have received their first dose of the vaccine and 17,289, or 49.92%, have received the second and final dose, according to the agency’s data. A total of 36,846 doses of vaccine have been administered.
According to a database maintained by the Maine CDC, vaccine appointments can be requested at Hannaford in Damariscotta, Walgreens locations in Damariscotta and Boothbay Harbor, Nathan’s Pharmacy in Boothbay Harbor, and Community Pharmacy in Waldoboro.
Appointments are also available at Walmart, Sam’s Club, and Shaw’s locations, all outside Lincoln County.
Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies also started offering walk-in vaccination appointments on Tuesday, May 4.
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 Shaw’s, go to shaws.com/covid-19.
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 3.79%, up from 3.65% last week.
According to the U.S. CDC, the seven-day average positivity rate for this past week is 4%, down from 4.5% last week.
State COVID-19 numbers
According to data current as of Tuesday, the Maine CDC has reported 64,446 COVID-19 cases in Maine, an increase of 1,589 from the week before. Of those cases, 16,832 are probable.
There have been 1,906 hospitalizations in the state. There have been 797 deaths so far from COVID-19 in Maine, including six in the last week. The statewide case rate is 481.5 per 10,000 people, up from 469.6 last week.
The number of new cases identified in the past two weeks is 3,755, down from 4,392 last week.