© 2024 WGLT
A public service of Illinois State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Children Lead In COVID Cases As McLean County Reaches 'High' Transmission

Sign encouraging mask use
Eric Stock
District 87 canceled a special school board meeting on Wednesday after Gov. JB Pritzker issued a statewide mask mandate for schools.

Children make up the largest share of new coronavirus cases in McLean County, according to data from the McLean County Health Department (MCHD).

The data comes as the Centers for Disease Control reclassified McLean County as an area of high COVID transmission.

People age 18 and under make up close to one-third (32%) of coronavirus cases in the last week in the county. Children under age 12 are still not eligible to receive the COVID vaccine.

The health department distributed the data as Gov. JB Pritzker announced Wednesday afternoon that all schools in Illinois will be required to mandate masks for all students and staff. The District 87 school board had scheduled a special meeting for Wednesday to consider a mask requirement, but has since canceled following the governor's mandate.

The county reported 218 coronavirus cases from July 28 to Aug. 4, including 18 new cases on Wednesday. The weekly total includes 58 people ages 1 to 17, three infants under age 1 and seven patients who are 18 years old.

The county’s COVID-19 caseload dropped on Wednesday as 13 McLean County residents are hospitalized with COVID-19. That’s down one from Tuesday. Thirty-three patients were released from quarantine overnight and 191 people are isolating at home.

The county’s COVID death toll remains 241. The county has noT reported any new deaths since last Wednesday.

McLean County’s COVID seven-day testing positivity rate remains 4%. That’s below state and national averages. The county’s cumulative positivity rate is 4.8% based on more than 393,500 tests conducted since the start of the pandemic.

High transmission

McLean County is now considered an area of high COVID transmission, following a jump of coronavirus cases reported in the last week. Close to 70% of Illinois counties, and 61% of all counties nationwide, have high transmission, according to the CDC’s COVID data tracker. The CDC defines high transmission as having 100 or more new coronavirus cases per 100,000 population within the last seven days. McLean County’s rate of new cases has increased to 121 per 100,000 residents.

The rate of U.S. counties experiencing high COVID transmission has increased 15% in the last week.

The CDC issued guidance last week that people — regardless of their vaccination status — should wear masks indoors in counties experiencing substantial or high COVID transmission.

COVID vaccines

Meanwhile, close to 85,000 McLean County residents are considered fully vaccinated, according to data from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). The county’s rate of fully vaccinated is 49.2%. That ranks ninth highest in the state, but trails the state average of 51.2%.

More than 171,700 COVID vaccines have been administered in McLean County.

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