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County Tops 500 Active COVID Cases For First Time Since April

face masks hang from IV pole
Jenny Kane
There are 37 people with COVID being treated at Bloomington-Normal’s two hospitals. (That includes people who don’t live in McLean County.)

There are now 29 McLean County residents hospitalized with COVID-19—a new high for this summer—as public health officials announced another coronavirus-related death.

The 244th death was included in Friday’s data release from the McLean County Health Department, although no details about the person were provided.

But hospitalizations continue to rise. There are 37 people with COVID being treated at Bloomington-Normal’s two hospitals. (That includes people who don’t live in McLean County.) Hospitalizations, which are often considered a lagging indicator of COVID spread, have more than tripled among McLean County residents in the last two weeks.

MCHD said 496 people are isolating at home. The county has more than 500 active COVID cases for the first time since April.

There were 131 new coronavirus cases reported Friday in McLean County. That’s the largest single-day spike in cases since January, although it comes a day after just 11 new cases were reported.

The county’s testing positivity rate is 4.2%, unchanged from Thursday.

At Illinois State University, there have been 96 students and employees have tested positive on-campus since the start of the fall semester, according to ISU’s data dashboard. At this same time a year ago, ISU had already seen nearly 400 students test positive, in an outbreak that only worsened into September.

At ISU, 69% of students and 85% of faculty and staff are vaccinated.

At Illinois Wesleyan University 49 students have tested positive this semester.

COVID vaccines

The full FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine has not apparently led to a quick burst of new vaccinated people in McLean County, at least so far.

About 269 vaccine doses have been administered every day since Monday, when the FDA approval was announced. That’s down from daily averages seen earlier in August, though it’s a slight increase from July’s average (252 per day), according to a WGLT tally.

According to data from the Illinois Department of Public Health, more than 179,700 COVID vaccines have been distributed in McLean County. The county’s rate of fully vaccinated is nearly 52%. The statewide rate is 52.9%. A Bloomington resident was randomly selected Friday as one of two $1 million winners of Illinois’ vaccine lottery, an attempt to coax more people to get jabbed.

Corrected: August 29, 2021 at 8:06 AM CDT
WGLT corrected this story to reflect ISU's vaccination rate among faculty and staff.
Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.
Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.
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