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McLean County Reports New COVID Death, 27 Hospitalized

McLean County Health Department sign
Emily Bollinger
The McLean County Health Department announced 11 new coronavirus cases and one death on Thursday.

McLean County health officials announced a rise in COVID hospitalizations and an additional COVID-related death on the day when Gov. JB Pritzker issued a vaccine requirement for teachers and health care workers and reissued an indoor mask mandate.

The McLean County Health Department (MCHD) reported the death of a man in his 70s. He was not associated with a long-term care facility. That is the county’s first COVID-related death in over two weeks and the 243rd since the start of the pandemic.

McLean County Health Department COVID-19 data
McLean County Health Department
The McLean County Health Department announced 11 new coronavirus cases and one death on Thursday.

McLean County reported 11 new coronavirus cases, the county’s lowest daily total since June 30. The positive tests came from a batch of about 1,500 tests returned overnight.

The county reported three more people hospitalized with COVID-19. There are 27 McLean County residents in the hospital with COVID, while Bloomington-Normal hospitals report they have 41 COVID patients receiving care.

According to MCHD, 428 people are isolating at home, while 42 people have completed their time in quarantine since Wednesday and 19,375 people are considered recovered from COVID-19.

McLean County’s seven-day testing positivity rate dropped to 4.2%, while the county’s cumulative positivity rate remains 4.8% based on more than 423,400 tests conducted since the start of the pandemic.

COVID vaccines

McLean County’s rate of fully vaccinated is 51.9%, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). The statewide average is 52.8%. IDPH data show more than 179,400 COVID vaccines doses have been distributed in McLean County.

“The current percentage of individuals who are fully vaccinated in our county, state, and nation is not enough with emerging and more infectious variants like Delta increasing in prevalence,” MCHD public affairs coordinator Marianne Manko said in response to the governor’s new orders. “We have the tools to slow the spread and prevent COVID-related hospitalizations and death, and at this point we must use all of them.”

Flu vaccines

McLean County health officials are not only pushing COVID vaccines, they also urge people to get their annual flu shot as fall approaches.

MCHD administrator Jessica McKnight said flu vaccines are more critical this year because of the strain COVID already has placed on the health care system.

“Especially because we know that we could be dealing with twin pandemics if we are seeing a severe influenza season and COVID-19, especially with hospitalizations. We want to avoid that,” she said.

Last year's flu season was mild. Health experts have said that was at least partly because of masks and all the COVID restrictions. McKnight said the health department does not have seasonal flu shots yet, but some pharmacies do have them.

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