An update from the Yarmouth Community COVID-19 Task Force. Buckle up, it’s a long one, including information on where you can find COVID testing and COVID vaccinations.
A QUICK OVERVIEW OF THE SITUATION IN THE STATE THAT WE RECEIVED WEDNESDAY 15th
Cases were 1383 the day before with 9 deaths, and today +1570 reported; Hospitalization rates are at all-time high; FEMA has been called in to help with 3 hospitals and help with vaccine centers; Very worried about Omicron – still waiting to detect Omicron in Maine but sequencing is limited; spiking volumes before Omicron and the holiday bode ill for the likely peak after the start of the new year; 8 new outbreaks.
IF THERE WAS A GRAPHIC FOR YARMOUTH’S CURRENT COVID-19 RISK, WE WOULD BE AT “YIKES!!!”
Despite our high vaccination rate in Yarmouth, we see signs that our infection rate is as high as during last year’s surge. The Maine CDC numbers for our town are relatively low, but their backlogged cases mask the true number and who knows what home test results they are actually seeing. However, there are other indicators of widespread disease in town:
Yarmouth’s wastewater is tested each week. After a summer hiatus, the virus levels have been climbing. We recently had one of the highest virus readings since testing began over a year ago. See https://www.bewellyarmouth.org/updated-wastewater-testing-results-2/
For the first time, there were positive results in pooled testing in all four schools in Yarmouth. As of December 16, there were 22 active Covid cases in the schools. That brings the total of all cases this school year up to 70. Last year’s total was only 48 for the entire year.
The free testing clinic run by the Yarmouth Community Coronavirus Task Force each Monday had an 8.9% positivity rate last week. That means that seven of the 79 people tested on December 13 were positive. That’s really high.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
We need to be vigilant, especially around this holiday period. You know the drill. That means:
GETTING TESTED FREQUENTLY.
- Westbrook Public Safety has a new PCR test using saliva instead of swabs. Find more info at https://www.westbrookmaine.com/685/Community-COVID-19-Resources and click to register. If you’re asked for an agency code use WestbrookPS.
- The Portland Jetport now has rapid PCR tests through Curative.com. Current tip – if you don’t have an appointment, try going to the Jetport, scan the QR code on the sign at the airport, you’ll then be directed to a registration page that you complete online. You’ll then get another QR code showing that you are registered with an appointment. Show that QR code at the desk and you will be tested – this is a rapid PCR test. This situation may change in the future but it was working at the start of Jan 22.
- Check Walgreens, Walmart or online sources for home tests. Yes, they are reliable! Walgreens, Walmart, CVS, and other pharmacies sell home tests – their stock varies. Often checking on local Facebook groups can help you find where they are currently in stock. There’s a variety of home tests on sale, you don’t just have to get BinaxNow.
- Walmart offers BinaxNow packs online for $14 (if they show out of stock online, come back an hour later and refresh your browser).
- The Yarmouth Covid Task Force runs tests Mondays 8-10am at the Dept of Public Works on North Road.
- And while you may need to drive a bit, you can schedule tests on Walgreens.com and CVS.com, although usually not the same day.
- Check the Maine CDC website to find more testing locations.
AVOID LARGE INDOOR GATHERINGS. Yes, again. We all want this to be over, but we do know how to do it. Hopefully, your bubble is larger this year.
WEAR MASKS OR FACE COVERINGS when indoors with others.
SOCIALLY DISTANCE when possible.
WASH YOUR HANDS, especially after eating or drinking.
GET A BOOSTER… BUT WHERE?
- Vaccination clinics are being set up by the CDC and other organisations pretty regularly right now. Go to https://www.maine.gov/covid19/vaccines/vaccination-sites and look for options in your area. Keep an eye on Facebook. This is a constantly-changing situation. Being willing to drive up to an hour will greatly increase the options available to you.
- Central Maine Healthcare is running a vaccination clinic at the Auburn Mall on Tuesdays – Fridays from 8-5. They take walk-ins but you can make an appointment here:
- The CDC/National Guard are running a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Augusta Armory, 179 Western Avenue. The hours vary by week – check the latest by going to https://www.maine.gov/covid19/vaccines/vaccination-sites , and searching for ‘augusta armory’ or call 207-816-1259.
- MaineHealth runs clinics – check at https://www.mainehealth.org/Coronavirus-COVID-19/Walk-In-COVID-19-Vaccination for the latest information.
DRIVE-THRU RAPID COVID TESTING CONTINUES MONDAYS 8–10AM
There will be rapid COVID Testing in Yarmouth every Monday through to and including Jan 31st. We welcome anyone who is looking for a test, and we provide results within an hour or two if needed, or by the end of the day if there is less of a hurry.
It’s drive-thru, so you don’t even have to get out of your car.
PLEASE FILL IN THE PAPERWORK BEFOREHAND to speed up the process. You can download it and print it at: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ieskJh90Fi_gn9rSYdeWY-2opcYduXl6/export?format=pdf
Call us on 603-252-5921 if you need transportation or to be tested at home.