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Grim milestone: McLean County reports 300th COVID-related death; 100,000 are fully vaccinated

Testing swab
Ryan Denham
The COVID testing site at the Interstate Center in Bloomington is averaging 351 daily tests in the last month.

McLean County has reached another grim milestone in the ongoing fight against COVID-19.

The McLean County Health Department (MCHD) on Wednesday reported the county's 300th COVID-related death since the start of the pandemic. It was a woman in her 70s, who was not associated with long-term care. The county has reported 13 COVID-related deaths in December.

MCHD also reported 915 weekly coronavirus cases. That marks a 17% increase over the previous week and is the county’s second-highest total of the year. People in their 20s (197) and their 30s (175) make up the largest share of new cases.

Hospitalizations are steady, but bed capacity remains limited in Bloomington-Normal. Thirty-one McLean County residents are in the hospital with COVID-19. That’s down one from Tuesday. Carle BroMenn Medical Center and OSF St. Joseph Medical Center report they have 45 COVID-19 patients.

The two Bloomington-Normal hospitals say 94% of their beds are occupied and 88% of intensive care beds are full. Children’s Hospital of Illinois in Peoria has six inpatient COVID-positive cases.

MCHD said 1,137 people are isolating at home. The county’s seven-day testing positivity rate dropped to 6.6%.

McLean County has recorded 27,990 coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic. Of those, 26,522 people are considered recovered.

100,000 vaccinated

McLean County has reached 100,000 people fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). That accounts for 57.9% of the county’s population. Close to 38,000 McLean County residents have received a COVID booster shot.

COVID testing

Meanwhile, about 2,600 daily COVID tests have been conducted over the last week in McLean County, but the wider availability of tests has prevented long lines at the IDPH's community-based testing site at the Interstate Center in Bloomington. Some areas in the United States have reported long lines as people want to get tested before the holidays.

Cathy Beck, acting director of the McLean County Emergency Management Agency, said the testing site has conducted an average of 351 daily tests since Thanksgiving, as COVID cases have surged.

The testing site is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday The site will be closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. MCHD lists other testing locations on its website.

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