UPDATED 11:55 a.m. | A 23rd person from McLean County has died after contracting COVID-19, the health department reported Saturday.
The man in his 80s had underlying health conditions, the health department said. Seven people have died in just over three weeks in McLean County.
There are now eight people from McLean County hospitalized (down from 10 on Friday), including one in intensive care. There are 194 other people isolating at home.
The county's testing positivity rate (7-day average) fell to 3%. That's the lowest it's been since Aug. 18, when college students began their fall semester in Bloomington-Normal. A surge in COVID-19 cases and positivity rates followed shortly thereafter. The college surge has since subsided.
Just four new cases were reported Saturday in McLean County.
The health department noted Saturday that "McLean County has seen a slight decrease in testing," and reiterated that testing is an important piece of the toolkit to address COVID.
Testing peaked in McLean County during the week ending Sept. 7, when 9,504 people were tested. That's about 5.5% of the county's population getting tested in a single week. Part of that spike in testing is likely attributed to newly established on-campus testing programs at Illinois State and Illinois Wesleyan universities, which both saw outbreaks.
For the week ending Sept. 21, around 5,959 people were tested—down 37% from that peak.
ISU has tested 1,010 students in the past week. That's short of its 1,500-student weekly goal.
ISU now requires students living on-campus to be tested—a shift in strategy that epidemiologists say is key to catching the coronavirus early. Starting next week, ISU also will "strongly encourage" students enrolled in face-to-face and hybrid courses to be tested through a random selection process.
Editor's Note: This story has been updated from its original version to clarify that ISU indeed now requires students living on campus to be tested.
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