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

McLean County COVID-19 Testing Site Seeks State Help After Feds Pull Support

Inside Interstate Center
Ryan Denham
COVID-19 testing continues daily at the Interstate Center in Bloomington.

UPDATED 4:30 p.m. | The underutilized COVID-19 testing site at the Interstate Center in Bloomington could be gone after this week unless the state takes it over.
The federal government's funding for the mobile clinics ends on Friday.

“The Illinois Department of Public Health wants to be able to continue these community-based testing sites like the one here at the (McLean County) Fairgrounds,” McLean County Health Department administrator Jessica McKnight said Wednesday during a conference call with reporters.

“We should know more in the next couple of days if that will continue and how that would continue, what it would look like," she said.

The clinic can test up to 250 people per day but has never come close to that in the nearly two weeks it has been open, even after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services expanded who could get tested.

The county health department reports 148 tests were given Monday and another 114 on Tuesday at the drive-up testing site.

The Illinois Department of Public Health said in an email to WGLT "the state stands ready to support this initiative and is working around the clock to meet the supply chain needs." 

The state of llinois hasn't made an official announcement about plans for the Bloomington site. 

COVID-19 Cases

The county added one COVID-19 case on Wednesday, after its largest single-day increase in cases the day before.

The McLean County Health Department now reports 63 confirmed cases; 25 patients have recovered, 30 remain in quarantine and six are hospitalized, including three in intensive care. Two patients have died.

The county added 14 new cases on Tuesday.

McKnight added the fluctuation of cases isn’t a reflection of any trend, but rather the timing of when testing results are reported.

“We are actually in the acceleration phase, so we are approaching the peak of the (epidemic) curve at this moment in the next couple of weeks,” she said.  

The state of Illinois surpassed the 15,000 mark in COVID-19 cases on Wednesday with the addition of 1,529 more. The state recorded 82 deaths, pushing that total to 462. The deaths include a Tazewell County woman in her 80s.

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