Lincoln County saw eight new cases of COVID-19 in the past week, the same number of new cases as last week and the lowest counts since the coronavirus began surging last fall.
The Respiratory Care Clinic on LincolnHealth’s Miles Campus in Damariscotta also saw the lowest positivity rate for COVID-19 tests since the pandemic arrived in Lincoln County in March 2020.
From May 31 to June 6, the clinic conducted 376 tests with three positives, for a positivity rate of 0.8%.
“The data shows an increase in testing and a decrease in positivity rate — under 1(%) for the first time since March of last year,” LincolnHealth spokesperson John Martins said in an email.
Martins said Chase Point, on the hospital’s Miles Campus, is once again open to visitation and new admissions now that “all residents, staff, and vendors have tested negative for COVID-19 in a second round of surveillance testing.” Three Chase Point employees tested positive for COVID-19 at the end of May, constituting an outbreak.
Martins also said that hospital policy has not changed yet but there are plans to lessen restrictions on visitors in the not-too-distant future.
He said that LincolnHealth is also working to have primary care providers supply vaccine doses.
“If anyone is interested in being vaccinated, they should call their primary care provider,” Martins said in an email.
According to Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention data current as of Tuesday, June 15 since COVID-19 arrived in Lincoln County in mid-March 2020, 1,078 residents have had the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus — 890 confirmed cases and 188 probable.
Hospitalizations held at 25 and deaths stayed at three total this week.
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, 16, which is down from 22 last week.
Lincoln County has the sixth-lowest case rate per 10,000 people in the state at 313.9 — after Aroostook, Hancock, Knox, Waldo, and Washington counties.
LincolnHealth is currently running a walk-in vaccine clinic at the Watson Center on the Miles Campus. From June 7-11, 33 first doses and 81 second doses were administered.
The Boothbay Region YMCA’s Marylouise Tandy Cowan Fieldhouse vaccine clinic in Boothbay Harbor closed permanently on Friday, June 4 after delivering an estimated 23,500 doses since opening in January.
“The transition to the Watson Center for second doses has gone well, and we’ve been pleased to see people coming in for first doses,” Martins wrote.
The Watson Center clinic will be open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, June 17. Next week, the clinic will be open Monday-Thursday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and also from 3-7 p.m. on Wednesday.
LincolnHealth also returned to nine schools in the area in the past week to deliver 630 doses of vaccine, most of which were second doses. The hospital will host a clinic again at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Soule-Shuman Memorial Post 4525 on Mill Street in Waldoboro from 2-6 p.m. on Thursday, June 17.
According to Maine CDC data, Lincoln County has a “high” rate of vaccine doses administered per 100,000 residents relative to other counties in the state at 124,192.99. 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, 21,391, or 61.76%, have received their first dose of the vaccine and 21,622, or 62.43%, have received the second and final dose, according to the agency’s data. A total of 43,013 doses of vaccine have been administered. 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.
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.
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 1.5%, down from 2.6% last week.
According to the U.S. CDC, the seven-day average positivity rate for this past week is 1.8%, down from 2.5% last week.
State COVID-19 numbers
According to data current as of Tuesday, the Maine CDC has reported 68,683 COVID-19 cases in Maine, an increase of 299 from the week before. Of those cases, 18,465 are probable.
There have been 2,056 hospitalizations in the state. There have been 853 deaths so far from COVID-19 in Maine, including 10 reported in the last week. The statewide case rate is 513.2 per 10,000 people, up from 510.9 last week.
The number of new cases identified in the past two weeks is 803, down from 1,090 last week.