New COVID-19 cases identified in Lincoln County residents dipped this week to 24, after 57 new cases were identified last week.
One more resident was hospitalized with the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus, for a total of 29 residents hospitalized since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020.
LincolnHealth spokesperson John Martins said by email on Tuesday, Aug. 31 that fewer tests were performed at the hospital this week, but the number of positive results stayed consistent.
From Aug. 23 to 29, LincolnHealth performed 381 COVID-19 tests with 20 positives, for a positivity rate of 5.25%.
Martins said that approximately 30% of the new cases have been breakthrough cases in those who have been vaccinated. Six of the 20 cases were in individuals under the age of 18.
“Many of our cases have been exposures in the household or people who are immune-compromised,” Martins wrote.
Martins urged people who have “non-emergent” needs to contact their primary care provider or visit the urgent care center on the St. Andrews campus in Boothbay Harbor to lessen congestion in the emergency department at the Miles Campus in Damariscotta.
“Our senior living teams continue to be impacted by staffing shortages, our hospital beds are full, and the Emergency Department has been very busy as well,” Martins wrote.
LincolnHealth continues to host clinics for employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. He said that employees have until Sept. 17 to receive the vaccine in order to meet the state deadline for hospital workers to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 1.
“Some team members have been vaccinated in the last few weeks and while we respect our team member’s rights to choose, we will be disappointed to lose them should they not comply with the Oct. 1 deadline,” Martins wrote.
He praised the hospital’s team who continues to “rise to the occasion” and for their continued dedication and hard work.
According to a graph maintained by the Bangor Daily News, as of Wednesday, Sept. 1, masking is recommended in Lincoln County and every other county in Maine.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 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 Tuesday, Aug. 31, since COVID-19 arrived in Lincoln County in March 2020, 1,234 residents have had the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus — 1,015 confirmed cases and 219 probable.
There have been 29 Lincoln County residents hospitalized with COVID-19, up from 28 last week. There have been three deaths since March 2020 — unchanged from last week.
An estimate of the number of people with an active infection of COVID-19 can be made using the number of cases identified in the past two weeks, 81, up from 89 last week and 56 the week prior.
According to Maine CDC data current as of Tuesday, for the total population, Lincoln County has a “high” rate of vaccine doses administered per 100,000 residents relative to other counties in the state at 134,798.18. The number does not represent fully vaccinated individuals and, since the Pfizer 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, 22,869, or 66.03%, have received their first dose of the vaccine and 23,817, or 68.77%, have received the second and final dose, according to the agency’s data. A total of 46,686 doses of vaccine have been administered, up 412 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.
The vaccine is being provided through all of LincolnHealth’s primary care practices.
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 5.72%, up from 3.66% last week.
According to the U.S. CDC, the seven-day average positivity rate for this past week is 10.1%, up from 9.7% last week.
State COVID-19 numbers
According to data current as of Tuesday, the Maine CDC has reported 76,289 COVID-19 cases in Maine, an increase of 1,980 from the week before. Of those cases, 21,266 are probable.
There have been 2,305 hospitalizations in the state. There have been 926 deaths so far from COVID-19 in Maine, including eight reported in the last week. The statewide case rate is 570 per 10,000 people, up from 555.2 last week.
The number of new cases identified in the past two weeks is 3,202, down from 3,465 last week and 3,282 the week prior.