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

MCHD Reports 12 More COVID Deaths; 299 New Cases

Staff / WGLT
Carle Bromenn and OSF St. Joesph Medical Center are currently caring for 63 COVID-19 patients. Eighteen people from McLean County are currently hospitalized with the novel coronavirus, down from 24 last week.

The McLean County Health Department is reporting 12 more COVID-19 related deaths and 299 new confirmed cases over the holiday weekend.

This brings the county’s death toll since the start of the pandemic to 113.

All of the deaths reported Monday were older adults between the ages of 60 and 100. Eight of the 12 were residents of long-term care facilities.

McLean County’s testing positivity rate, hospitalizations and total bed capacity has improved since Thursday, Dec. 31, the last time data was reported.

Currently, there are  18 people from McLean County hospitalized with COVID-19. More than one in four hospital beds are currently open. Intensive care bed capacity tightened: 85% are now in use, up from 73% last week.

Overall, Bloomington-Normal hospitals are caring for 63 total COVID patients, according to the health department.

An additional 994 people are isolating at home. The county’s active caseload is now 1,012. The testing positivity rate fell by more than a percentage point, to 9.6%.

McLean County Health Department Administrator Jessica McKnight cautions community spread is still significant.

The county is considered at “orange” status, based on Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) metrics.

IDPH’s most recent weekly report, from Dec. 20 to Dec. 26, shows McLean County’s testing positivity rate was 8.2%--slightly above the goal of 8% or lower. There were 275 new positive COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population. The target is 50 cases per 100,000.

Region 2, the medical area that includes McLean County, checks two out of three boxes required to roll back Tier 3 mitigations. The region maintained a testing positivity rate consistently below 12% and declining hospitalizations. However, the region still does not have the necessary hospital bed capacity.

COVID Deaths
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Dana Vollmer is a reporter with WGLT. Dana previously covered the state Capitol for NPR Illinois and Peoria for WCBU.