Swan’s Island: Community dealing with uptick in COVID-19 cases

Donna Wiegle provides us with an Island COVID-19 update: “We let our guard down. Summer felt almost normal with greatly reduced numbers of COVID-19 cases in the state and on Swan’s Island, and that felt good. We are now back in the middle of dealing with a growing number of cases of COVID-19 in our community.

Over the past couple of weeks at the Mill Pond Health Center, Laurie Farley and I have conducted COVID testing on many community members. We are only able to test patients with COVID symptoms owing to our limited supply of test kits. Symptoms include fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose.

We are finding that patients with symptoms can test negative one day and then test positive the very next day, so a negative test does not conclusively mean you do not have COVID. It takes several days from the time you were exposed for enough virus to be present in your sample for the rapid antigen test to detect the virus and deliver a positive result. Bottom line – if you get a negative test result but have had close contact with a person who has tested positive, or you have COVID symptoms, you should quarantine. You may also retest in a day or two after receiving a negative result if symptoms continue or worsen.

We are not doing contact tracing, so it is up to you, if you test positive, to reach out to everyone that you have had contact with recently and inform them. Letting others who may have been exposed to you know that you have COVID, or are suspected of having COVID, will help slow the spread.

The U.S. Center for Disease Control recommends if you are not vaccinated, get vaccinated. If you are vaccinated and are eligible for a booster, get your booster. You can accomplish both vaccination or booster at your primary care physician’s office or at Carroll Drug in Southwest Harbor. Always wear a well-fitting mask, not a gaiter or a bandana, when you are out in public. If you develop symptoms, get tested, but remember, a negative test does not mean you don’t have COVID. For more information on what to do if you have tested positive or have had contact with someone who has tested positive, please read over the information from the U.S. CDC website at www.cdc.gov. Thank you for doing your part to keep our community safe.”

Karen Preston Griffin speaks for all islanders in thanking the Versant line crew –Buddy Greenlaw, Paul Verville, Ross Mitchell, Kaleb Foresman and Lucas Potter-Harmon – for bringing power back to Minturn and Jericho Bay on our island this past weekend. Also, we thank the Maine State Ferry Service crew for going above and beyond to help our island.

Jeanne Hoyle shares the titles of many new acquisitions for the library, but two of them – “Border Blackland” by Kaimei Zheng and “The Urchin Diver: A Memoir” by Brian Lyne – have ties to Swan’s Island. Nancy Carter and Gwen May give a thumbs-up for the reads and say that a few names from the past crop up. As always, we thank Jeanne for keeping our library well stocked with mind-provoking and entertaining items. Jeanne reminds us that the winter hours at the library are Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 1-4 p.m. If these hours aren’t convenient, please contact Jeanne and she’ll work something out with you.

Happy birthday to Olivia Joyce, Iver Lofving Jr., Per Lofving, Micah A. May, Caleb MacDonald, Sarah Joyce, Virginia Cesbron, Penny Craig and Desiree Grubbs.  

If you have news to share, please email or call me by Saturday noon if you need it to be included in the following edition. Email me at [email protected] or call me at (207) 526-4488.

Kimberly Haller

Kimberly Haller

If you have news to share, email or call me by Sunday noon if you need it to be included in the following edition. Email me at [email protected]or call me at 526-4488.

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