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COVID hospitalizations climb to 50 people in Bloomington-Normal, with nearly 2,600 active cases

The McLean County Health Department reported three more COVID-related deaths on Friday.
Eric Stock
The McLean County Health Department reported two more COVID-related deaths over the New Year's weekend.

Two more people have died and more than 1,400 new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in McLean County since Dec. 30, according to a Monday update from the McLean County Health Department (MCHD).

Of the 308 deaths related to COVID-19 in McLean County, the majority have involved older adults: The two announced Monday were two men in their 60s, neither of which were in long-term care facilities, according to MCHD.

With the 1,434 COVID cases confirmed over the weekend, there have now been 31,513 since the pandemic's onset in March 2020. MCHD reports 28,614 of those people are considered "recovered."

As COVID patients continue to fill hospital beds in McLean County, the number of patients split between Carle BroMenn and OSF St. Joseph medical centers is quickly approaching a peak not seen since last year.

MCHD reported Monday that 50 people are hospitalized between the county's two hospitals — 10 people short of a record 60 COVID patients admitted in April 2021.

Data from an internal dashboard maintained by Carle Health indicated that 30 of those patients are at its hospital in Normal; of those, four people are in the intensive care unit (ICU).

Nearly all staffed hospital beds in the county were reported as full (97%), along with 81% of all staffed ICU beds.

Thirty-four McLean County residents also were reported as hospitalized due to COVID-related illness, although MCHD noted that some may be hospitalized in locations outside of the county.

Including the hospitalized residents and the 2,557 people isolating at home due to exposure, there are about 2,591 active COVID cases in McLean County.

According to data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are about 853 COVID cases per 100,000 people in the county as of Wednesday, Dec. 29.

McLean County's seven-day testing positivity rate dropped to 15.6%, following last week's record high of 17.4%.

Testing delayed

Meanwhile, COVID-19 testing at the Interstate Center in Bloomington was delayed for a brief time on Monday due to technical issues with the online portal that Pekin-based Reditus Labs uses to schedule tests.

A Reditus spokesperson said visitors were asked to fill out paper forms during the brief shutdown.

The Interstate Center site has seen heavy traffic in recent weeks as coronavirus cases have spiked. Reditus conducted more than 3,400 tests at the site last week.

According to MCHD, the percentage of tests that have returned positive for COVID in the past seven days is 15.2% as of Sunday.

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Lyndsay Jones is a reporter at WGLT. She joined the station in 2021. You can reach her at lljone3@ilstu.edu.
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