LincolnHealth reported 45 new cases of COVID-19 from 551 tests for the week of Sept. 27. Testing was down significantly and cases slightly compared to the previous week’s 859 tests and 57 positive cases. The difference was a rise by about 1.5% from 6.64% to 8.17%.
Positivity rates for breakthrough cases, those who have contracted the virus after vaccination, continue to hover around 30% since the last week of August, said LincolnHealth Communications Director John Martins. Of the 45 cases, 17 were 18 and under or about 38% and many cases are “known exposures” often involving several family members, Martins said.
“It’s encouraging to see two successive weeks with the number of cases dropping, but it remains a little early to call the drop in numbers a trend. As we have seen throughout this pandemic, trends situations can change rapidly.”
Hospital beds continue to stay full and swing patients, those awaiting placement in other services like nursing care or group homes, account for many of those, said Martins. Admitting new patients has been a struggle as swing patients await placement and it has been an issue across all of Maine’s state health systems, he said.
Moderna booster vaccines have not yet arrived, but the LincolnHealth staff continues to prepare for them and is working on a schedule with room to adjust as needed, said Martins.
“The number of unvaccinated people in the hospital with COVID-19 may seem to be high, but as vaccination rates rise, the possibility (that) shows in the data also rises … One thing we do know is COVID remains a disease of the unvaccinated, especially in rural areas across the country.”