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

Testing Positivity Rate Drops; County Logs 47th COVID Death

Emily Bollinger

McLean County’s testing positivity rate dropped to 11.3% on Thursday, down more than 3 percentage points from the day before.

That’s below the statewide average of 11.9%, but still above the national rate of 10%. It’s the first time this week McLean County has trailed Illinois’ rate.

The McLean County Health Department (MCHD) reported 166 new confirmed cases overnight. Those cases were returned from a batch of more than 2,000 test results.

The county also saw its 47th COVID-related death—a man in his 80s who lived in a long-term care facility. His death is the ninth so far this month; two-thirds have been residents of  long-term care facilities.

The number of hospitalized patients also dropped, to 17, down from 22 the day before. Another 1,535 people are isolating at home. An additional 51 people are now considered recovered.

Hospitals remain busy with 75% of intensive care beds in use. The total number of available hospital beds dropped one percentage point to 21%.

MCHD Administrator Jessica McKnight said hospitalizations are a lagging indicator, making this moment in the second COVID surge especially worrisome.

"I'm concerned about what we will see in a couple weeks. Increased hospitalizations and then increased deaths, after that, to follow," McKnight said Thursday at a McLean County Chamber of Commerce online event.


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