Bloomington Nursing Home Resident Gets COVID; No Symptoms | WGLT

Bloomington Nursing Home Resident Gets COVID; No Symptoms

Jun 16, 2020

UPDATED 3:45 p.m. | Gov. JB Pritzker's mandate that nursing homes test all residents and staff for COVID-19 has produced at least one positive case in Bloomington.

McLean County Health Department Administrator Jessica McKnight said Tuesday a resident of Martin Health Center at Westminster Village tested positive for the coronavirus. She noted the resident wasn’t showing symptoms.

“This case was only known and detected during the mandatory testing that the facility did of all residents and staff,” said McKnight, adding all other tests of residents and staff at the facility came back negative.

She said Westminster already has tested all residents and staff and other long-term care facilities are in the process.

“We have heard back from many that have completed the mandatory, baseline testing of all of their residents and staff," McKnight said. "If there are any that has not completed it yet, there are working on completing that this week.”

Westminster has placed its COVID-19 patient in its isolation wing.

The McLean County Health Department announced one new COVID-19 case on Tuesday.
Credit McLean County Health Department

It has been the only positive COVID-19 test reported to the health department this week. According to the health agency, the county’s number of active cases has dropped to 13 as two more patients have recovered. Nearly 90% of the county’s 242 COVID-19 patients have recovered. None are currently hospitalized, while 13 have died.

McKnight said previously she anticipated a rise in COVID-19 cases following the large-scale racial justice rallies that have been staged in Bloomington-Normal in recent weeks. She said Tuesday the county hasn’t confirmed any cases related to the rallies.

The county has sent out public health guidance to local community organizations planning these rallies to help prevent a COVID-19 outbreak.

Testing has seen an increase over the last week at the community-based testing site at the Interstate Center in Bloomington. The site, run by Pekin-based Reditus, has averaged 108 tests per day since June 8. The site is open to the general public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Walmart in Normal also has started COVID-19 testing from 7 to 9 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Complaints

Tom Anderson, the health department’s environmental health division director, said the county hasn’t issued any cease-and-desist orders against any establishments that have violated the state’s Restore Illinois plan, but he said the county has received complaints about three restaurants that have opened for indoor dining ahead of schedule.

WGLT reported last week Pizza Ranch in Bloomington opened indoor dining. Anderson said previously the matter has been referred to the McLean County State’s Attorney’s office. He did not disclose the other two businesses that opened prematurely.

All four regions of Illinois are on target to move to Phase 4 on June 26. That would allow bars and restaurants, schools and child care centers to reopen.

Anderson said a bulk of the COVID-19 complaints the health department has received are related to social-distancing violations and people not wearing facial coverings.

McKnight said despite a recent slowing of new cases, it’s too soon to become complacent.

“We’re not out of the woods yet, the virus is still here,” McKnight said. “We look for people to still minimize their risk for exposure.”

Positivity rate

McKnight said the county’s COVID-19 positivity rate over the last seven days stands at 2.6%. That’s up slightly from the rolling average of 2.3% reported Monday. The health department said the rate was 2.6% last week. She said testing rate provides a more accurate picture of the coronavirus’ spread than showing raw totals.

“That’s what we are looking at more is how are we doing currently rather than the larger picture of our positive rate from the start of when we gathered the data,” she said.

The testing rate is one of several metrics the state is using in deciding when to reopen the economy.

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