LincolnHealth has begun working with schools to offer vaccinations for children ages 5-11 this week, according to an email from LincolnHealth spokesperson John Martins.
As of Nov. 8, 83 vaccines had been delivered to students in Boothbay area elementary schools’ clinics, Martins said. Vaccinating children and delivering boosters to individuals ages 18 and up will be Lincoln Health’s focus over the next six weeks.
For the remainder of the week, LincolnHealth will be hosting vaccination clinics at Great Salt Bay Community School in Damariscotta and Nobleboro Central School on Wednesday, Nov. 10, at Miller School in Waldoboro on Friday, Nov. 12, and the Herbert and Roberta Watson Health Center at LincolnHealth’s Miles Campus in Damariscotta beginning on Saturday, Nov. 13.
Wiscasset was scheduled to host a clinic this week; however, four individuals in Wiscasset Elementary School tested positive for COVID-19, forcing the school to continue remote learning for the remainder of the week.
The school initially transitioned to remote learning on Nov. 3 after two individuals in the school tested positive for COVID-19.
To make an appointment at the Watson Center for a child, call 633-1934.
On Nov. 2, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11. Pfizer’s vaccine for children is available in a two-dose series, and is administered in a lower dose than the vaccine for adolescents and adults. Just like adults, doses will be administered 21 days apart.
Martins said that parents will be receiving all information about the clinics from their schools, and if parents have questions they should reach out to administrators.
LincolnHealth is also offering COVID-19 boosters by appointment at the Watson Community Center. Boosters are available by appointment only. Appointments can be made at vaccine.mainehealth.org or by calling 877-780-7545. Those registering will need to provide the date of their final COVID-19 shot.
Anyone age 18 and up can receive a booster. Those who received a Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are eligible for a booster shot six months after their initial series. Those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, booster shots are also recommended for those who were vaccinated two or more months ago.
In other public health news, the first case of influenza has been recorded in Maine. Martins recommended that those who have not yet gotten a flu shot do so, and noted that those who have yet to get a COVID-19 vaccine can get their flu shot at the same time.
In terms of COVID-19 case numbers, Martins said that Lincoln Health has seen its highest positivity rate, 9.8%, in 15 weeks due to an increase in positive tests and a decrease in the total number of tests this week.
“We still seem to be in the throes of the delta variant in Maine, with positive cases increasing across the state,” Martins said.
Between Nov. 1 and Nov. 7, LincolnHealth tested 564 individuals for COVID-19 with 55 positive results, for a positivity rate of 9.8%, up from 7.5% last week.
The number of “breakthrough cases” in fully vaccinated individuals dipped to 13, 24% of the total positive cases, and 17 of the positive results were in people under 18 years of age.
According to Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention data current as of Oct. 19, since COVID-19 arrived in Lincoln County in March 2020, 1,939 residents have had the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus — 1,583 confirmed cases and 356 probable.
There has been one death in Lincoln County related to COVID-19 in the last week, bringing the total to seven COVID-19-related deaths since March 2020.
An estimate of the number of people with an active infection of COVID-19 can be made using the number of cases identified within two weeks from the latest data updated on Nov. 4, 128, up from 122 the prior week and 118 two weeks prior.
According to a graph maintained by the Bangor Daily News, as of Oct. 19, masking is recommended in Lincoln County and every other county in Maine.
The U.S. CDC 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 Nov. 2, for the total population, Lincoln County has a “moderate to high” rate of vaccine doses administered per 100,000 residents relative to other counties in the state at 156,929.61.
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, 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, 24,092, or 69.56%, have received their first dose of the vaccine and 26,899, or 77.67%, have received the second and final dose, according to the agency’s data.
A total of 54,351 doses of vaccine have been administered, up 1,799 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 3,360 additional or booster shots given to Lincoln County residents, up 1,661 doses from last week.
The vaccine is being provided through all of LincolnHealth’s primary care practices, as well as a booster of the Pfizer-BioNTech 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 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 15.29%, up from 5.94% last week.
State COVID-19 numbers
According to data current as of Wednesday, the Maine CDC has reported 109,592 COVID-19 cases in Maine, an increase of 3,811 from the week before. Of those cases, 31,388 are probable.
There have been 2,903 hospitalizations in the state. There have been 1,217 deaths so far from COVID-19 in Maine, including 24 reported in the last week. The statewide case rate is 818.8 per 10,000 people, up from 790.4 last week.
On Tuesday, Nov. 9, Maine reported 938 new cases and eight deaths over the last three days.