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

McLean County Adds 6 Coronavirus Cases, Total Reaches 69

Staff working COVID-19 testing site
Flickr/Illinois National Guard
Members of the Illinois National Guard help collect testing samples at the COVID-19 testing clinic in Bloomington.

McLean County has added six more COVID-19 cases on Thursday to bring its total to 69.
The McLean County Health Department reported five more patients have recovered from the coronavirus, while 32 remain in isolation.

COVID-19 testing at the Interstate Center in Bloomington will continue at least through the end of May. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services previously said it would be ending federal support for the community testing sites by the end of the week.

The site can administer up to 250 tests per day, but has been testing at under 50% capacity, even after loosening its eligibility rules.

More Women Cases

An overwhelming majority of COVID-19 patients in McLean County are women. That goes against national and global data.

McLean County Health Department communicable disease supervisor Melissa Graven said she doesn't know why the county is bucking the trend.

“It could just be who is seeking testing,” Graven explained. “I can’t really track the number of men and women that are getting tested overall, but it’s definitely something that has caught my attention and I’m keeping an eye on it.”

Women make up 62% of the COVID-19 cases in McLean County. Globally, men are dying from the coronavirus at much higher rates than women.

Death Rates

County health officials say it's possible COVID-19 deaths have been underreported because some may have died before hardly any testing began.

County Health Department Administrator Jessica McKnight says that would be difficult to track, but it's something they must keep in mind when they assess how COVID-19 has evolved.

“It may be something that we just have to take into account, knowing that we can’t go back and test these individuals now (for) COVID-like illness,” McKnight said. “Were we seeing that earlier this year.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has acknowledged the reported number of COVID-19 cases is artificially low because it only counts deaths in which the coronavirus is confirmed in a laboratory test.

McLean County has had two COVID-19 deaths.

State Tops 500 Deaths 

The state of Illinois has surpassed 500 COVID-19 deaths with 66 more announced on Thursday. The Illinois Department of Public Health has reported 528 deaths and an additional 1,344 cases, bringing that total to 16,422.

COVID-19 cases are now reported in 81 counties, with Hancock, Pulaski and Schuyler counties adding their first cases. 

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.

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