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

Positivity Rate, Cases Climb Again As McLean County Sets New Records

Masked students walk the Quad
Emily Bollinger
Illinois State University is now offering COVID-19 testing to asymptomatic students at two locations, including one on the Quad and another near Cardinal Court.

UPDATED 3:20 p.m. | The number of Illinois State University students who've tested positive for COVID-19 climbed to 70 on Friday, as McLean County's testing positivity rate continued to rise.

At least 16 additional ISU students have tested positive since Thursday, when the number was 54, based on WGLT analysis. ISU still does not have a public, online dashboard for reporting tests and positive cases, although a university spokesperson says one is in development and is expected to launch soon.

On-campus testing is now available at ISU for both symptomatic and asymptomatic students, but not for faculty or staff. There have been 611 student tests administered this week. It's unclear how many of the 70 students are considered active cases or if any of them have recovered.

Meanwhile, the McLean County Health Department reported 21 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday. There have been 114 new cases in just the past three days, and seven of 10 of those patients have been in their teens and 20s.

The county’s testing positivity rate (seven-day average) climbed Friday to 3.6%, the highest it's been in recent months. It is now approaching the statewide average of 4.4%.

There are a record 205 active COVID-19 cases in McLean County, including three people hospitalized (none in intensive care) and 202 others isolating at home.

McLean County has seen a surge in cases over the past week, as college students returned to Bloomington-Normal from summer break. Both Illinois State and Illinois Wesleyan universities opted to conduct some classes in-person this fall, and many students are living in McLean County even if their classes are online.

IWU said Thursday that 29 of its students have tested positive for COVID-19.


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Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.