In the past week, 24 more Lincoln County residents tested positive for COVID-19, the same number as last week and down from 57 new cases the week prior.
One more resident has died and two more have been hospitalized, for a total of four deaths and 31 hospitalizations since COVID-19 arrived in March 2020.
John Martins, spokesperson for LincolnHealth, said by email that the number of positive cases identified by the hospital has been steady for the last three weeks, “as the Delta variant continues its surge in Maine.”
From Aug. 30 to Sept. 5, LincolnHealth performed 485 COVID-19 tests with 21 positives, for a positivity rate of 4.33%.
Six of the 21 cases, or 29%, are breakthrough cases in those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
LincolnHealth is currently experiencing staffing shortages that could be exacerbated by the state’s vaccine mandate for health care workers.
Martins said the state will not enforce the mandate until the end of October, giving employees until Oct. 15 to receive the final dose of a two-shot vaccine or the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The hospital continues to host vaccine clinics for employees, although some already resigned because of the mandate, and about 3% indicated they will not take the vaccine.
“We hate to see them go, but we also realize and respect that it’s their choice,” Martins said.
LincolnHealth is cutting back hours for the outpatient labs throughout its health system, but not reducing any services.
“We have not made decisions to reduce any services as this time, though we are evaluating ways to support areas where staffing is needed while identifying priority areas,” Martins said.
According to a graph maintained by the Bangor Daily News, as of Wednesday, Sept. 8, masking is recommended in Lincoln County and every 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, Sept. 7, since COVID-19 arrived in Lincoln County in March 2020, 1,258 residents have had the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus — 1,033 confirmed cases and 225 probable.
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, 48, down from 81 last week and 89 the week prior.
According to Maine CDC data current as of Tuesday, for the total population, Lincoln County has a “moderate” rate of vaccine doses administered per 100,000 residents relative to other counties in the state at 135,768.32. 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, 22,985, or 66.37%, have received their first dose of the vaccine and 24,037, or 69.4%, have received the second and final dose, according to the agency’s data. A total of 47,022 doses of vaccine have been administered, up 336 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 9.3%, up from 5.72% last week.
According to the U.S. CDC, the seven-day average positivity rate for this past week is 9.6%, down from 10.1% last week.
State COVID-19 numbers
According to data current as of Tuesday, the Maine CDC has reported 78,803 COVID-19 cases in Maine, an increase of 2,514 from the week before. Of those cases, 22,187 are probable.
There have been 2,342 hospitalizations in the state. There have been 946 deaths so far from COVID-19 in Maine, including 20 reported in the last week. The statewide case rate is 588.8 per 10,000 people, up from 570 last week.
The number of new cases identified in the past two weeks is 4,494, up from 3,202 last week and 3,465 the week prior.