COVID-19 cases are trending up in the southern Midcoast — specifically in Lincoln and Sagadahoc counties — as the state’s vaccination efforts press on.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported 78 positive and probable new cases of COVID-19 in Lincoln County between April 27 and May 3 — the highest seven-day average of new cases the county has ever seen.

At least 30 of the active cases can be attributed to Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset. Last week, the facility reported that 27 residents and three staff members had contracted COVID-19, leading the Maine CDC to declare an outbreak at the facility.

In Sagadahoc County, the Maine CDC reported 76 new cases during the same seven-day span, averaging just under 11 new cases a day.

COVID-19 outbreaks have also been identified at Morse High School in Bath and Bath Middle School in the past month. The schools are part of Regional School Unit 1, which serves Bath, Arrowsic, Phippsburg and Georgetown.

Lincoln County’s 7-day new case average hovered between two to four throughout March. Although the average increased to about five in mid-April the daily new case average jumped to about 11 in under two weeks.

Similarly, Sagadahoc County’s 7-day new case average remained under six in March, but began to rise in April.

Lincoln County maintained a 3% positivity rate throughout most of April but then rose to 3.7% in the last two weeks, according to Maine CDC data. Sagadahoc’s 3.4% positivity rate fell slightly to 2.8% within the last two weeks.

As of Tuesday, 903 people from Lincoln County have contracted COVID-19 and two individuals have died. Another 1,314 people from Sagadahoc County have tested positive for COVID-19 with 10 deaths.

Nearly 52% of the eligible people in Lincoln County are fully vaccinated, according to the Maine CDC. In Sagadahoc County, just below 50% of the eligible population have received both vaccine doses.

Statewide, new COVID cases appear to be declining. The Portland Press Herald reported Tuesday 417 new cases, the second time in four days cases have risen above 400, although not all of them were from the previous 24-hour period. Of the new cases, 271, or 65 percent, were among individuals younger than 40.

The Press Herald noted that, prior to Tuesday, new daily cases had dropped below 300 in seven of the last nine days. Since the pandemic began, there have been 62,509 confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 and 790 deaths, according to the paper.

Also on Tuesday, the Associated Press reported President Joe Biden on Tuesday set a new vaccination goal to deliver at least one vaccine shot to 70% of adult Americans by July 4.

About 40 percent of Mainers are now fully vaccinated.

While the number of vaccinations have been declining in Maine and the U.S., the AP reports that more than 56% of American adults have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and nearly 105 million are fully vaccinated.  The U.S. is currently administering first doses at a rate of about 965,000 per day — half the rate of three weeks ago, according to the AP.

There have been about 32.5 million COVID cases in the U.S. since the start of the pandemic, with more than 577,000 deaths.

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