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

McLean County To Resume First-Dose COVID Vaccinations

microscopic image of COVID-19
McLean County announced 30 new COVID-19 cases on Friday.

UPDATED 4:55 P.M. | The McLean County Health Department (MCHD) plans to resume some first-dose vaccinations next week.Recently, the county has devoted most of its vaccine supply to ensuring people can get their second dose.

Health department public affairs coordinator Marianne Manko said the county expects to get 1,600 doses from the state next week. She said 400 of those doses will be available as part of its vaccination clinic on Thursday, March 4 at Grossinger Motors Arena in downtown Bloomington.

Manko added the county isn't ready to expand eligibility to 1B-Plusto cover people under age 65 with underlying medical conditions. She said it's not clear when that will happen.

“We’re not seeing the vaccine increase in the numbers that we need to have, and we really do need to focus on that 1A and 1B non-expanded right now,” Manko said.

Noting that some people have had to travel to Springfield and other communities outside McLean County to schedule an appointment, Manko said it’s not clear why the county isn't getting more vaccine doses.

“In an ideal world, every county should be able to take care of their individual county numbers, but we’re not seeing an equal number of vaccines coming in based on population,” Manko said.

Some pharmacies plan to have the vaccine available for those in Phase 1B-Plus who have underlying health conditions, but appointments are limited.

McLean County still tops the state average for its percentage of fully vaccinated at 6.2%.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) reports 33,406 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in McLean County, while 10,789 people have received both doses.

Hospital capacity limited

Meanwhile, Bloomington-Normal hospitals continue to draw closer to full capacity even as coronavirus cases have leveled off.

According to MCHD, 94% of hospitals beds in the Twin Cities are occupied. That’s the most capacity has been limited since Dec. 2. Only 15% of intensive care beds remain available.

The county announced 30 new confirmed or probable coronavirus cases on Friday. The county has had 185 new cases reported in the last week.

Twenty-one McLean County residents are hospitalized with COVID-19--unchanged since last week. The county reports 204 patients are isolating at home and 14,079 people have completed their time in quarantine and are considered recovered.

The county’s seven-day testing positivity rate dipped to 2.3%, while the county’s cumulative positivity rate held at 6%, based on more than 242,200 tests that have been conducted since the start of the pandemic.

McLean County has not reported any new COVID-related deaths this week. The total since the start of the pandemic remains 170.

According to data from MCHD, 60% of the county’s coronavirus cases have been from people under age 40. Those in the 20s have had had the most cases (4,031).

Coronavirus - Testing Positivity Rate
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Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.
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