The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention did not report any new cases of COVID-19 in Lincoln County residents this week.
The Maine CDC reported the last new case in Lincoln County on Aug. 29 and the last case prior to that on Aug. 7.
As of Monday, Sept. 7, the Maine CDC has reported 36 cases of the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus in Lincoln County since the outbreak began in mid-March — one of which is active. There have been 31 confirmed cases and five probable cases.
The case rate for Lincoln County is 10.5 per 10,000 people. Three residents have been hospitalized at some point in their illness, one of whom has died.
There have been 34 recoveries, leaving a lone active case. The number of active cases is calculated by subtracting recoveries and deaths from the confirmed and probable case total.
Community transmission of the virus has not been detected in Lincoln County, according to the Maine CDC.
According to John Martins, spokesperson for LincolnHealth, the hospital performed 245 COVID-19 tests between Aug. 31 and Sept. 6, with no positives.
The number does not include tests at the state-sponsored “swab-and-send” testing site on the Miles Campus. Martins said that in the past week, the site performed 23 tests with no positives.
Martins said LincolnHealth will be moving its Respiratory Care Clinic from behind the emergency room to the Webster Van Winkle building, on the hill above Chase Point, with a tentative opening date of Monday, Sept. 14.
Martins said all COVID-19 testing will be conducted there once it is open, including the swab-and-send testing.
The swab-and-send site currently offers drive-up testing by appointment outside the Respiratory Care Clinic, which is behind the emergency department, from 8 a.m. to noon Wednesday and Thursday. To make an appointment, call the clinic at 563-4353.
Of the 245 tests performed in the past week, 89 were clinical, for people exhibiting symptoms; 35 were of patients without symptoms at either admission or discharge from the hospital; and 121 were preoperative or of people with known exposure to COVID-19 who did not exhibit symptoms.
Since July 13, LincolnHealth has conducted 2,089 tests, with eight positives, for a positivity rate of 0.38%.
According to Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center, as of Sept. 8, Maine’s seven-day average positivity rate is 0.5%.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the nationwide positivity rate for “week 35,” ending Aug. 29, was 5.5%.
The hospital has also conducted three serology, or antibody, tests since July 13, which were negative. These tests determine if someone has been infected with the coronavirus by detecting antibodies the body deploys to fight the infection. The U.S. CDC states on its website that it is unknown whether antibodies confer immunity from the virus.
“If antibodies do provide immunity, we don’t know how much antibody is protective or how long protection might last. CDC scientists are currently conducting studies to answer these questions,” the site says.
State COVID-19 numbers
The Maine CDC has reported 4,713 COVID-19 cases in Maine as of Monday, an increase of 165 from the week before. Of those cases, 469 are probable.
There have been 429 hospitalizations and 4,086 people have recovered. There have been 134 deaths so far from COVID-19 in Maine. The statewide case rate is 35.2 per 10,000 people.
The number of active cases, 493, is an increase of 22 from one week before.
The Maine CDC also lists the results of antibody tests. Since May 20, 499 people have tested positive for antibodies and there have been 9,394 negative results. Thirteen tests have been indeterminate.