McLean County reports 3 more COVID-related deaths as new cases keep falling
New coronavirus cases continue to drop in McLean County, but hospitals remain close to full as they continue to deal fallout from the omicron variant.
The McLean County Health Department (MCHD) on Friday reported three more COVID-related deaths — one man in his 60s and two men in their 70s. One of the men in his 70s was associated with a long-term care facility.
MCHD has reported 10 COVID-related deaths in February and 347 since the start of the pandemic.
COVID hospitalizations are stable, but Bloomington-Normal hospitals are 99% full. Intensive care beds, which had been 100% full the previous two days, are at 92% capacity at Carle BroMenn and OSF St. Joseph medical centers. Their count of 27 COVID patients is unchanged since Tuesday. Twenty-four McLean County residents are hospitalized with COVID-19.
New coronavirus cases continue to drop. The largest group of new cases is among children under age 12, according to MCHD. The county is averaging just over 100 daily cases over the last week — less than one-quarter of the cases the county saw two weeks ago when the omicron variant peaked.
McLean County's COVID testing positivity rate dropped to 3.9%, putting it below the state average and under 4% for the first time since Nov. 21.
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), just under 60% of McLean County residents are fully vaccinated against COVID 19. The statewide rate is 62.9%. In McLean County, 24% of children ages 5-11 are fully vaccinated.
Children younger than 5 will not have access to the COVID vaccine as early as hoped as the Food and Drug Administration announced Friday it was delaying a meeting where it was expected to authorize a smaller dose of the vaccine for younger children.