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

B-N Hospital Capacity Shrinks; Arena To Host Vaccinations

Grossinger Motors Arena box office
Eric Stock
Grossinger Motors Arena will be used as a site for community vaccination clinics.

Hospital beds in Bloomington-Normal have reached 92% capacity, even as the number of McLean County residents hospitalized due to coronavirus complications has remained stable.According to the McLean County Health Department (MCHD), 43 people are hospitalized for COVID-19 in McLean County, including 34 McLean County residents. That’s one higher than Monday. The department said 73% of ICU beds are in use.

MCHD announced 72 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, bringing the county’s total of probable and confirmed cases to 12,711 since March. 

Since Monday, 336 COVID additional patients have completed their time in quarantine and are considered recovered. The total of 892 county residents who are isolating at home is the county’s lowest total since Nov. 6.

The county’s COVID death toll remain 131, including 30 deaths reported so far  in January.

The county’s seven-day testing positivity rate fell to 9%, while the cumulative positivity rate remains 6.7% based on more than 190,700 tests conducted since the start of the pandemic.

COVID vaccination site

Bloomington City Manager Tim Gleason said during Monday’s city council meeting that Grossinger Motors Arena will serve as a community COVID vaccination site as the county moves through each of its vaccination priority groups. 

He didn’t have a specific timeline, but said he and the health department expects vaccinations will continue over “the next six months and possibly beyond.”

MCHD administrator Jessica McKnight has said the county will likely be vaccinating health care workers and nursing home residents for several more weeks before they can move on to those in the Phase 1b group--essential workers and people 65 and older.

“We have seen our number of cases decreasing and the vaccine is here, but we still have a long way to go before the fight is over,” McKnight said “It will take several months before the vaccine is readily available to the public.“

Gleason added Bloomington Fire Department paramedics have received their first vaccine doses.

Coronavirus In McLean County
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Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.