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

One More COVID-19 Case Brings McLean County To 83

Testing swab
Ryan Denham
/
WGLT
COVID-19 testing is held daily at the McLean County Fairgrounds from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for certain populations.

McLean County health officials announced one more COVID-19 case on Friday, bringing the county’s total to 83.
The rise in cases continues to diminish in recent days. The county has confirmed eight coronavirus cases in the last seven days.

The county reports 68 patients have recovered, while 10 remain in isolation and two are still in the hospital. Three patients have died. The most recent death was announced on Thursday.

According to the McLean County Health Department, residents from Bloomington ZIP codes make up a bulk of the cases with 53. Normal has 18 COVID-19 cases. The remaining 12 are outside of the Twin Cities, including four in Chenoa, three in Heyworth and two in Hudson.

The department said approximately 1,400 McLean County residents have been tested for the coronavirus so far, including those who are testing at the mobile clinic at the McLean County Fairgrounds in Bloomington.

The state of Illinois announced 1,842 cases and 62 deaths on Friday as Gov. JB Pritzker announced he was keeping all schools closed for the rest of the spring. Illinois has had 27,575 COVID-19 cases and 1,134 deaths.

Nursing Homes

McLean County health officials said Friday three of its coronavirus cases work at long-term care facilities, though none of the residents of those facilities have contracted the coronavirus.

County health department communicable disease supervisor Melissa Graven said nursing homes in the county have taken all the necessary steps to keep their residents safe.

“I talked with several of the facilities several times a day before we even had cases in McLean County,” Graven said. “They were on the ball to make sure they could do everything they could. They had the PPEs, they had the infection control measures in place.”

Several Illinois nursing homes have faced COVID-19 outbreaks and deaths, including Decatur.

Graven didn’t say whether any of the McLean County cases were connected, but she added the county hasn’t had any cluster of cases in any health care or residential facility.

“I think it’s just amazing what those facilities have done in a very short amount of time with very limited resources, all while trying to have some sense of normalcy and safety for their residents and their staff,” Graven said.

Mobile Tracking

Graven said mobile tracking, the use of technology to see who may have the coronavirus and who may have immunity, is an idea worth exploring. She said it will require thoughtful discussion.

“There’s a lot of pros to it, there’s a lot of cons to it,” Graven said. “I think at this point in a pandemic response, everything is on the table as a possibility.”

Apple and Google are working on a platform that could greatly expand contact tracing, one of the key tools in containing COVID-19's spread.

“I do believe there’s some countries implementing this and they seem to be having success with it, but that’s one data set we need to look at,” she said. “There’s a lot of different things to take into account.”

Critics have raised privacy concerns and say mobile tracking would require widespread use to be effective. China requires its citizens to use the technology to gain access to certain regions.

Apple and Google have said the platform they are working on would protect users’ privacy.

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