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WGLT's reporting on the coronavirus pandemic, which began in McLean County in March 2020.

Second Person Dies From COVID-19 In McLean County

McLean County Health Department sign

UPDATED 4 p.m. | A second person from McLean County has died after contracting COVID-19, the county's health department said Tuesday.

The individual was a man in his 70s who tested positive for COVID-19 in early March with no history of travel or exposure. His name was not released.

“We are saddened to report that another member of our community has died as a result of this virus. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends,” McLean County Health Department Administrator Jessica McKnight said in a statement. “We remain dedicated to working closely with our local health care partners in response to the pandemic, and encourage the public to do their part to lessen the spread by observing the stay-at-home order.”

McLean County now has 18 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The newest person, announced Tuesday, is a woman in her 80s who is hospitalized.

Meanwhile, officials said that over 170 tests were completed Monday at the new drive-up testing site in Bloomington. That's up from 80 and 107 tests performed in the site's first two days open. The testing site is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day. It's available to symptomatic health care workers, first responders, seniors, and those with underlying conditions.

Here is each McLean County confirmed case and his or her status when they were announced:

  1. male, 70s, hospitalized in good condition
  2. male, 40s
  3. male, 20s
  4. female, 70s
  5. female, 20s, self-isolating at home
  6. female, 70s, hospitalized in intensive care (underlying health conditions)
  7. male, 50s, self-isolating at home (history of international travel)
  8. female, 60s, hospitalized in good condition
  9. female, 60s, hospitalized in ICU
  10. female, 80s, hospitalized in ICU
  11. female, 70s, self-isolating at home
  12. male, 70s, self-isolating at home
  13. female, 30s, self-isolating at home
  14. male, 40s, self-isolating at home
  15. male, 40s, self-isolating at home
  16. female, 70s, hospitalized
  17. female, 70s, hospitalized in ICU
  18. female, 80s, hospitalized

There were 937 new COVID-19 cases reported in Illinois on Tuesday. There have been 99 deaths reported statewide, and 5,994 cases in 54 counties.

Gov. JB Pritzker said Tuesday nearly one-third of intensive care unit (ICU) hospital beds in Illinois are already occupied by COVID-19 patients. And the state is not near the peak of the pandemic surge. Overall, the state still has 41% capacity in its ICU supply. Prizker said the risk of being overrun is not now, but weeks from now.

Mental Health

Staying healthy during the coronavirus pandemic is about more than just washing your hands, according to counselors who say you have to take care of your mental health during times of stress.

Amy Hancock, behavioral health program manager for the McLean County Health Department, said it helps to stay active and find ways to stay in touch with friends even if you can't be with them in person.

“Social distancing doesn’t mean you should not stay socially connected,” Hancock said. “You just practice other means of communicating with your loved ones, whether through that’s some type of technology, or Skype, just make sure that you are staying connected or reconnect with an old friend.”

Hancock added laughter is also important for your mental health.

“It makes us feel good and it also help us connect in relationships,” Hancock said.

Children are generally at lower risk for contracting COVID-19, but helping kids understand the health risks and all the life changes the pandemic has caused can present its own challenges.

Trisha Malott, supervisor of the McLean County Behavioral Health Coordinating Council, advised parents to keep their children focused on what they can do to stay healthy and help others.

“When we think of anxiety and it being the fear of the unknown and something in the future, it’s so often tied to a desire to control something and frequently something we don’t have nay ability to control,” Malott said.

Malott said it helps to give children structure, and if you are working from home, try to align your schedule so you can be free at the same time.

Malott added since the new McLean County Triage Center started offering temporary support to first responders and health care workersfor psychological fatigue, stress or anxiety, there haven’t been any takers.

Coronavirus in McLean County

We’re living in unprecedented times when information changes by the minute. WGLT will continue to be here for you, keeping you up-to-date with the live, local and trusted news you need. Help ensure WGLT can continue with its in-depth and comprehensive COVID-19 coverage as the situation evolves by making a contribution.

Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.
Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.
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