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McLean County Active COVID Cases Fall To 6-Week Low

Castle Theater marquee
Eric Stock
A sign on the marquee at the Castle Theater in Uptown Normal projects optimism amid the COVID pandemic.
Updated: May 6, 2021 at 3:24 PM CDT
This story has been updated from its original version to include COVID vaccinations coming to doctors' offices and small medical practices in Illinois.

McLean County’s active coronavirus caseload dropped to its lowest level since late March on Thursday, while COVID hospitalizations continue their upswing.

The McLean County Health Department (MCHD) reported 32 new daily coronavirus cases from a batch of about 1,500 tests conducted overnight. The county’s total of confirmed and probable coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic stands at 17,779.

McLean County COVID stats
McLean County Health Department
The McLean County Health Department announced 32 new coronavirus cases on Thursday.

Thirty-one McLean County residents are hospitalized with COVID-19 — up one from Wednesday. Bloomington-Normal hospitals have 46 COVID patients under their care. Capacity remains limited at 94% of beds occupied, and 77% of intensive care beds have someone in them.

The county reports 363 people are isolating at home. The county’s total of 394 active cases is the first time since March 26 that number his dropped below 400, according to data from MCHD. An additional 55 people completed their time in quarantine since Wednesday and are considered recovered.

MCHD indicated McLean County’s seven-day coronavirus testing positivity rate fell to 4.1%, it’s lowest level since March 22. The county’s cumulative positivity rate dropped to 5.4%, based on more than 326,300 tests conducted since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

McLean County’s COVID death toll stands at 221.

COVID vaccines

MCHD continues to push walk-in vaccinations at the daily vaccination clinics at Grossinger Motors Arena as vaccine demand had dropped sharply.

“The MCHD is making it as convenient as ever to get your COVID-19 vaccine with evening hours clinics, weekends, and clinics located in the further reaches of the county. Pre-registration is recommended and helps speed up the process, but not required,” the department said in a news release.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), nearly 124,900 COVID vaccines have been put in arms in McLean County, while 32.2% of its residents have been fully vaccinated, compared with 33.1% of the state population.

Doctors' vaccines

Private doctors' offices and small medical providers in Illinois can now order and administer COVID vaccines under a plan Gov. JB Pritzker announced Thursday.

The governor’s office said medical providers can register with the Illinois Comprehensive Automated Immunization Registry Exchange (I-CARE) to receive vaccines doses. More than 1,000 doctors’ officers in the state already have signed up to administer the COVID vaccines on site, said the office.

Paul Pedersen speaking via video
Facebook/Gov. JB Pritzker
Dr. Paul Pedersen spoke via video link during Governor JB Pritzker's COVID media briefing on Thursday.

Paul Pedersen, chief medical officer at OSF St. Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington, said family physicians can play a key role in helping people overcome vaccine hesitancy.

“We need to address fear and a lack of trust quietly, confidently, and with empathy for those who are hesitant,” Pedersen said via video link during Pritzker's media briefing on Thursday. “We have a unique relationship with our patients and our communities to be able to help dispel the hesitancy.”

According to the governor's office, 60% of Illinois adults have received their first COVID vaccine dose. About 9.6 million doses have been administered statewide, according to IDPH data.

Pritzker also announced the state will move to its bridge phase of reopening on May 14, adding Illinois could fully reopen as part of Phase 5 as early as June 11, unless the COVID indicators take a wrong turn.

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Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.
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