The number of COVID-19 tests performed and number of positive cases at LincolnHealth has declined substantially since the beginning of 2022.
In January 2022, the hospital conducted 4,250 tests with 990 positives, for a positivity rate of 23.30%. In December, the hospital performed 994 tests with 58 positives, for a positivity rate of 5.84%.
“The last two months have been the most encouraging, however, with the monthly positivity rate under 6% in both November and December,” LincolnHealth spokesperson John Martins said in an email.
For the week from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, LincolnHealth performed 256 tests with 19 positives, for a positivity rate of 7.42%, up from 4.21% the previous week. This is the 10th consecutive week that the positivity rate has been in single digits.
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 “substantial.” 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 Tuesday, Jan. 3, since COVID-19 arrived in Lincoln County in March 2020, 6,746 residents have had the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus – 5,628 confirmed cases and 1,118 probable. The number of deaths in Lincoln County residents stayed at 42.
The number of residents who have been hospitalized with COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic rose by two to 117.
Lincoln County has a “moderate to high” rate of vaccine doses administered per 100,000 residents relative to other counties in the state at 267,774.44. 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, 27,243, or 78.66%, have received their first dose of the vaccine and 27,970, or 80.76%, have received the second and final dose, according to the agency’s data.
A total of 92,502 doses of vaccine have been administered, up 239 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 37,528 additional or booster shots given to Lincoln County residents.
State COVID-19 numbers
According to data current as of Jan. 3, the Maine CDC has reported 305,984 COVID-19 cases in Maine, an increase of 1,091 from the week before. Of those cases, 86,955 are probable.
There have been 6,553 hospitalizations in the state, including 36 reported in the past week. There have been 2,784 deaths so far from COVID-19 in Maine, including seven reported in the last week. The statewide case rate is 2,294.3 per 10,000 people, up from 2,286.2 last week.