Surge In COVID Cases Lands McLean County On NYT 'Bad News Ahead' List
The Bloomington-Normal area is the No. 3 metro area in the country, per capita, for where new COVID-19 cases are increasing the fastest, according to a New York Times analysis.
McLean County has added about 1,400 new cases in the past week, according to Illinois Department of Public Health data. That's enough to land Bloomington-Normal in the No. 3 spot The New York Times' list of metro areas where new cases are rising the fastest, on a population-adjusted basis. The list is called "Where There May Be Bad News Ahead."
Several downstate metro areas in Illinois are on the list, including Springfield and the Ottawa-Peru area. This week Illinois (and McLean County) began reporting both confirmed cases and probable cases combined, citing new guidance from the CDC. It's unclear if that changed affected The New York Times ranking.
Meanwhile, COVID-19 spread is increasing at Illinois State University.
ISU has reported 136 new COVID-positive students in the past week, including 35 more on Wednesday alone. ISU's on-campus testing positivity rate has climbed to 8.2%.
ISU is, however, meeting its 1,500-student weekly testing goal. It's tested 1,655 students in the past week.
The McLean County Health Department (MCHD) did not release new COVID-19 data on Wednesday, citing the Veterans Day holiday.
State data suggests a 42nd COVID-related death has occurred in McLean County. Details are expected to be released by MCHD on Thursday.
The county's testing positivity rate (7-day average) is also rising fast, hitting 9.2% as of Monday (last data available). That's despite McLean County testing, on average, over 1,300 people per day over the past week, mostly at the busy Interstate Center in west Bloomington. That location is now averaging a record 986 people per day.