LincolnHealth reported an uptick in COVID-19 testing and positive cases Aug. 3. After a three-week streak of no positive cases ended July 12 with a single case, six more were reported the following week and most recently 11 the week of July 26. This makes percent-positive cases 3%, the highest since the end of May.
LincolnHealth’s John Martins said most cases continue to involve those not fully vaccinated. However, there have been a few breakthrough cases, of people who have contracted COVID-19 after vaccination.
Chief Medical Officer Timothy Fox said Maine can be expected to follow the same trends as the metropolitan areas but on a smaller scale as the pandemic has previously shown.
“What’s concerning is that Maine’s hospitals are experiencing higher than usual non-COVID related patients and a staffing shortage. This leaves little in reserve to care for an influx of COVID patients. My advice is for the unvaccinated to get the vaccine, and for all of us to return to hand-washing, mask-wearing and social distancing.”
Visiting hours were expanded July 28 to the following: From 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. with no more than two visitors of any age at a time. Day surgery patients and outpatients are also being asked to enter the buildings alone for their appointments as visitors have been struggling to adhere to social distancing in the waiting rooms, said Martins in a July 27 update. “People needing special assistance may have one escort, as can expecting mothers. When space allows, pediatric patients may be accompanied by two parents/guardians.”
Lincoln Medical Partners’ practices and the emergency department are asking adult patients to limit themselves to one visitor and pediatric patients to two visitors as space permits.