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McLean County sees a 1-day spike in COVID vaccinations as concern grows over the omicron virus

The McLean County Health Department will host a COVID vaccination clinic at Grossinger Motors Arena on Nov. 16 for 5-to-11-year-olds and a clinic on Nov. 18 for eligible adults.
Emily Bollinger
The McLean County Health Department will host a COVID vaccination clinic Dec. 7 at Grossinger Motors Arena for children ages 5-to-11 and on Dec. 9 for anyone 12 or older.

Concerns over the omicron virus may be prompting more people in McLean County to get the COVID vaccine.

Data from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) show more than 1,400 COVID vaccines were put in arms on Thursday. That's the county's highest one-day total since May and nearly triple the county’s daily average over the previous week, according to state data compiled by WGLT.

The McLean County Health Department (MCHD) hosted separate COVID vaccination clinics on Thursday at Grossinger Motors Arena for children ages 5-to-11 and for people 12 and older. Nearly 56.5% of McLean County residents are fully vaccinated. The state vaccination rate is 58.3%.

Active caseload drops

McLean County's active coronavirus caseload dropped slightly on Friday, even as the county announced 135 new daily cases. MCHD said 144 people completed their time in quarantine overnight.

Hospitalizations are up to 23 among McLean County residents. Carle BroMenn and OSF St. Joseph Medical Center have a few ICU beds available, one day after reaching full capacity. The two hospitals report 97% of their beds are occupied.

Carle BroMenn Medical Center president Colleen Kannaday said three of the hospital's 11 intensive care patients are being treated for COVID-19.

“McLean County has seen a noticeable increase in COVID infections and hospitalizations in recent weeks, which is resulting in a steady increase of hospitalizations at Carle BroMenn Medical Center," Kannaday said. "Patients with COVID-19 tend to stay in the ICU for several weeks and use considerably more medical resources."

OSF St. Joseph Medical Center did not provide its ICU data, but president Lynn Fulton said "any spike in COVID patients ... is significant because this an entirely new population of patients we are caring for in addition to the heart attack, stroke, and surgical patients."

MCHD said 859 people are isolating at home after receiving a positive COVID test. The county’s seven-day testing positivity rate dropped to 6.8%, still well above the state average.

McLean County has reported 287 COVID-related deaths since the start of the pandemic.

ISU cases rise

Illinois State University is reporting its highest COVID caseload of the fall semester. One week after the Thanksgiving holiday, ISU reported 60 new cases among students and staff. The university reports its seven-day testing positivity rate is 3.4%, the highest mark of the semester.

According to ISU’s COVID dashboard, 79% of its students are vaccinated, including 87% of its students who live on campus; 93% of ISU faculty and staff are vaccinated.

At Illinois Wesleyan University, 97% of students and 94% of faculty and staff are vaccinated. IWU reported three new weekly coronavirus cases, according to its COVID dashboard.

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