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

McLean County Hits New Highs For COVID Hospitalizations, Positivity Rate

Workers preparing COVID tests at drive-thru site
Reditus Labs
The McLean County Emergency Management Agency said some people are getting multiple COVID tests daily at multiple sites.

McLean County's testing positivity rate rose to a record 14.9% on Wednesday as the county surpassed 7,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and reached a new high for hospitalizations.

Nearly half of the confirmed cases (46%) have come in the last month as the state of Illinois remains under COVID-19 mitigations that are set to expand on Friday.

The McLean County Health Department (MCHD) announced 122 new confirmed coronavirus cases Wednesday and the county’s 46th COVID-related death. The department said a man in his 60s died; he was not associated with a long-term care facility.

The county reported 22 McLean County residents are hospitalized due to COVID. MCHD said 22% of all hospital beds are available, including 28% of intensive care beds. The department said 22% of beds currently in use are for COVID patients.

The county said 1,516 COVID patients are isolating at home, and 5,424 people have been released from quarantine and are considered recovered.

McLean County’s seven-day testing positivity rate remains higher than state and national averages, but below the 17% rate for Illinois’ Region 2. That rate held steady Tuesday for the first time in weeks.

The county’s cumulative positivity rate stands at 5.7%, based on more than 122,300 tests conducted since the start of the pandemic.

Illinois State University

Meanwhile, Illinois State University's testing positivity rate continues to fall, as more students get swabbed.

ISU's positivity rate is now 4%, less than half what it was a week ago. That comes as ISU tests more and more students. It's tested nearly 2,000 students in the past week. Its weekly goal is 1,500.

ISU reported 18 new student cases on Wednesday. So far this semester, 1,735 students have tested positive. That's about 8% of the student body.


Repeat testing

The McLean County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) posted on its Facebook page Wednesday that Reditus Labs, the Pekin company that’s running the COVID testing site at the Interstate Center in Bloomington, has reported some people are seeking tests at more than one site per day.

“This must end,” the post stated. “Not only does it take away resources from others and causes long lines, it has the potential to skew the statistics. If you know someone that does this please ask them to stop.”

Officials from Reditus Labs have not yet responded to a request for comment.

McLean County EMA reported 811 people were tested at the Interstate Center site on Tuesday. The site is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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