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ISU is ending SHIELD testing for COVID-19; McLean County remains at medium level

Sign for COVID-19 testing
Eric Stock
Illinois State University plans to end its SHIELD Illinois testing program for COVID-19 on July 5.

Illinois State University announced Friday it will shut down its COVID-19 saliva-based testing sites starting on July 5.

The university said in a campus-wide email that students, faculty and staff who are not fully vaccinated will still have access to nasal swab self-tests. They are required to provide a negative test every seven days to remain on campus. ISU said it will have more details about that next week.

The university opened its SHIELD Illinois testing sites last June. The university said students who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should contact Student Health Services.

McLean County still at medium

Meanwhile, McLean County remains under a medium level of coronavirus spread, according to data submitted to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

For communities at medium level of COVID spread, the CDC recommends people who are considered high risk or live with people who are considered high risk of COVID complications should consider wearing a mask in indoor public places.

DeWitt and Woodford counties also are at medium. Logan, Tazewell and Peoria counties are at the CDC's high level. Livingston County is considered at low COVID spread.

New cases dropped in McLean County this week, but hospitalizations increased. The McLean County Health Department (MCHD) reported 403 new cases. The largest share is among young adults ages 20 to 39. The county reported 15 new COVID hospital admissions in the last week (8.9 per 100,000 residents). That’s up from 12 the previous week.

The county also reported one COVID-related death — a woman in her 70s, who was not associated with a long-term care facility. There have been 381 COVID-related deaths in McLean County since the start of the pandemic in 2020.

McLean County’s rate of fully vaccinated is 62.9% according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. The statewide rate is 65.2%.

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