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

McLean County Sees 1st COVID-19 Hospitalization In Weeks; Site Reaches 10,000 Tests

Car driving up to COVID-19 testing site
ReditusLabs took over COVID-19 testing at the Interstate Center in Bloomington on May 23.

McLean County health officials on Friday announced the county’s first hospitalization related to the coronavirus since June 8.

McLean County COVID-19 data
Credit McLean County Health Department
The McLean County Health Department announced two new COVID-19 cases on Friday.

The McLean County Health Department reported two additional cases and three more recoveries on Friday. The county has 256 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Of those, 91% have recovered. Nine people are currently isolating at home. Thirteen patients have died.

Health Department Administrator Jessica McKnight said the county’s seven-day rolling positivity rate is 0.5%, compared to the county’s overall positivity rate of 2.1% based on more than 12,000 tests.

Testing milestone

The community-based COVID-19 testing site at the Interstate Center in Bloomington has surpassed 10,000 tests since it opened on March 28.

The facility has averaged 114 tests per day, according to data provided by the McLean County Emergency Management Agency and compiled by WGLT.

Use of the site has ebbed and flowed amid changes in guidelines and operations.

During the first month, when testing was limited mostly to first responders and people displaying symptoms, the site averaged about 97 tests per day.

After the Illinois Department of Public Health announced it was expanding testing to include all critical infrastructure workers, daily testing rose to 125 per day from April 29 to May 11.

Testing rates accelerated to nearly 200 per day from May 12-22 after the state announced it was closing the site and moving it to Peoria, citing a lack of use. Over the next 11 days, testing rose to 197 per day.

After the state announced the site would remain open and that Pekin-based Reditus would take over the site indefinitely, testing rates waned again. The site administered an average of 76 tests per day from May 23 to June 7.

Testing rose again in the following weeks. There may not be a clear reason why, but McLean County and Illinois health officials have called for everyone to who attended a racial justice rally or other type of large gathering to get tested within six days after the event. Since June 8, testing has increased to 111 per day. Also, Connect Transit began a shuttle to the testing site from the Bloomington Walmart on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturday, starting June 2. On those days, the site averages 99 daily tests, four more than the average the site has seen since Reditus took over.

The site has roven to be more popular during the week, too, averaging 130 tests Monday through Friday compared to 72 daily tests on weekends.

Despite the increased testing, COVID-19 infection rates have remained low. McLean County’s 10 active cases marks its lowest total since the early days of the pandemic.

IDPH has said the site will remain open as long as it is needed.

The testing site will be closed July 4-5 for the July 4 holiday.

Testing also recently began on a limited basis from 7 to 9 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the Walmart in Normal.

According to IDPH, 12,465 McLean County residents have been tested for COVID-19. That’s 7.3% of the population.


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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