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

2 More COVID Deaths In McLean County; Positivity Rate Crosses Warning Line

McLean County Health Department sign

Two more people from McLean County have died from COVID-related complications, as the county’s testing positivity rate climbed to its highest level in almost two months.

The latest deaths were a man in his 50s associated with an assisted/supportive living facility, and a man in his 70s not associated with any long-term care facility. McLean County’s death toll is now 41.

Meanwhile, the county’s testing positivity rate (7-day average) jumped to 8.7%. That’s the highest it’s been since Sept. 11, at the height of the Illinois State University back-to-school outbreaks. The state’s warning level for a county’s positivity rate is 8%, which McLean County now exceeds.

McLean County already is under regional restrictions that include a ban on indoor service at bars and restaurants and room capacity limits. Region 2’s positivity rate is 13.2% and rising.

In McLean County, 260 new coronavirus cases were reported over the weekend. Thirteen people are now hospitalized, unchanged from Friday.

The county’s health department also is now reporting confirmed cases and probable cases combined.

Here are how those are defined:

  • A confirmed case is laboratory confirmed via molecular test.
  • A probable case meets clinical criteria AND is epidemiologically linked or has a positive antigen test.

If a probable case is later confirmed, the case will be deduplicated and will only be counted once.
“We have seen an increase in new cases,” said MCHD Administrator Jessica McKnight. “The McLean County Health Department will continue to work diligently to follow-up with those who test positive, however if you test positive for COVID-19 do not wait to hear from the health department to begin your isolation.”

College cases

Illinois State University also iss facing an uptick in cases.

It’s seen 136 new cases in the past week, as its positivity rate has climbed to 7.1%. So far, 1,623 students have tested positive during the fall semester—the bulk of them in the first few weeks. That’s nearly 8 percent of the student body.

Thirty-nine employees also have self-reported positive tests, including four in the past week.

At Illinois Wesleyan University, 166 students have tested positive this semester.


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