NPR from Illinois State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
WGLT's reporting on the coronavirus pandemic, which began in McLean County in March 2020.

New Deadliest Outbreak At McLean County Long-Term Care Facility


A COVID-19 outbreak at Heritage Health in Normal has become the deadliest such event at a long-term care facility in McLean County.

Data from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) indicates the outbreak there has resulted in the deaths of 15 people with 108 becoming ill. Four Heritage Health-Normal residents have died in the last week.

IDPH keeps outbreak listings open if there has been a case at a facility within in the last 28 days, so some of the 108 cases may be older than that.

As of Friday, there were 14 open outbreaks at long-term care facilities in McLean County connected to 57 deaths and 791 cases. In the last week, the state has reported the deaths of 26 residents of long-term care facilities in the county.

Eight other outbreaks have been closed; they involved 161 cases and 21 deaths, dating back to the start of the pandemic.

The deadliest open outbreaks are at Heritage Health-Normal and at the McLean County Nursing Home.

Numbers at the county facility have not changed in a week, and county officials have disputed the death toll there -- though they declined to do an interview laying out the reasons for their assertion that COVID was a connected factor, but not the primary cause of death, in some cases. Two other long-term care facilities have told WGLT the state numbers have generally been reliable.

Arcadia Care of Bloomington/Aperion is third on the list of sizeable open outbreaks with 74 cases and five deaths. After that comes the Sugar Creek Alzheimer’s Unit, the Lofts Rehabilitation and Nursing Unit of Normal, the Villas of Holly Brook Fox Creek, and Westminster Village -- each with 40 or more cases of COVID-19.

The McLean County Health Department said Friday 772 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported since Dec. 31; 222 of the cases were reported on Friday, a one-day record.

COVID Deaths
There's no subscription fee to listen or read our stories. Everyone can access this essential public service thanks to community support. Donate now, and help fund your public media.

WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.
Related Content