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

McLean County Adds 10 COVID Deaths; Positivity Rate Drops

sign at vaccination clinic
Emily Bollinger
Grossinger Motors Arena is hosting vaccination clinics for Phase 1a and 1b priority groups.

UPDATED 9:45 P.M. | McLean County health officials announced 10 new COVID-related deaths Friday, marking the largest single-day increase since the start of the pandemic.

McLean County COVID-19 data
Credit McLean County Health Department
The McLean County Health Department announced 92 new coronavirus cases on Friday.

According to the McLean County Health Department (MCHD), seven of the ten deaths are tied to long-term care facilities, including five women in their 80s, a female in her 90s and a male in his 90s. Those not tied to long-term care facilities include a female in her 60s, a male in his 70s and a male in his 80s.

Previous one-day totals that were higher than 10 included multiple days, including weekends and holidays. 

The county reported 92 new coronavirus cases Friday, to bring the county’s total of probable and confirmed cases to 13,402.

County data show 582 people are isolating at home and 100 people have competed their time in quarantine since Thursday, while 12,653 McLean County residents are considered recovered.

The health department said 85% of Bloomington-Normal hospital beds are in use, including 77% of intensive care beds. Both are increases over the last 24 hours. Twenty-five people are hospitalized for COVID-19 in the county, including 21 McLean County residents.

The county’s testing positivity rate over the last week dropped to 6.3%, it’s lowest mark since Nov. 3. The cumulative testing positivity rate is 6.6%, based on more than 201,900 tests conducted since the start of the pandemic.

MCHD reported 427 new coronavirus cases over the last week. People in their 20s had the largest percentage of new cases at 28%. More than half of the new cases were among people under age 40.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 7.042 new probable and confirmed coronavirus cases and 95 additional deaths on Friday. Those deaths include a Woodford County man in his 70s and a Piatt County man in his 90s.

Illinois State University has surpassed 2,000 coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic. The university reported 18 new coronavirus cases on Thursday to bring its total to 2,003. The campus has had 35 new cases in the last week. It’s seven-day positivity rate is 3%.

The university plans to launch a saliva-based COVID-19 test on campus around Feb. 1, pending federal approval.

MCHD administrator Jessica McKnight said about 7,500 COVID vaccine doses have been administered in McLean County so far. The county started vaccinating the Phase 1b population including essential workers and people 65 and older on Monday. A limited supply of vaccines went quickly.

McKnight has said it will take months to vaccinate everyone who wants the COVID vaccine.

Phase 4 mitigations

Region 2, which includes McLean and 19 other central and western Illinois counties, has seen a steady drop in positivity rate. A continued decline could enable the region to move to Phase 4 mitigations. That would lead to more relaxed mitigations, including gatherings of up to 50 people being allowed.

The region’s rolling testing positivity rate is 6.6%. It would need to fall to 6.5% or below for three consecutive days.

The region currently meets the mark for ICU bed availability. It’s 29% currently and has remained above the 20% threshold for 11 consecutive days.

The region has also had 10 consecutive days of COVID patient decreases. The Illinois Department of Public Health calls for no sustained increase in hospitalizations for seven out of 10 days.

Regions 3, 5 and 6 in Illinois recently moved to Phase 4. Region 6 includes DeWitt, Ford, Piatt, Champaign and 17 other east central Illinois counties.


Coronavirus In McLean County
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