McLean County health officials report a drop in COVID-19 hospitalizations and in the testing positivity rate as a holiday approaches that they fear will lead to more outbreaks.
The McLean County Health Department (MCHD) announced 77 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Wednesday. The number of McLean County residents hospitalized due to COVID dropped to 19, down four from Tuesday.
Bloomington-Normal hospitals said 85% of all beds, including intensive care beds, are occupied.
McLean County’s seven-day testing positivity rate dropped to 7.5%, falling below 8% for the first time since Nov. 5. The county’s cumulative testing positivity rate is 5.8% based on more than 134,900 tests performed since the start of the pandemic.
MCHD reported 1,279 patients are isolating at home and 6,538 people have been released from isolation and are considered recovered.
The county has reported 50 COVID-related deaths.
MCHD Administrator Jessica McKnight again is urging the public to limit the size of holiday gatherings to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
“While large gatherings are known to be high-risk, small gatherings with people outside your household also pose a risk for spreading the virus,” McKnight said. “Traditional Thanksgiving gatherings with family and friends can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19, or the flu."
McKnight noted guidance from the Centers for Disease Control that recommends a series of safety tips at holiday gatherings:
- Have a small outdoor meal with family and friends who live in the community
- Limit the number of guests
- Have conversations with guests ahead of time to set expectations for celebrating together
- Clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces and items between use
- If celebrating indoors, make sure to open windows
- Limit the number of people in food preparation areas
- Have guests bring their own food and drinks
- If sharing food, have one person serve food and use single-use options, like plastic utensils.
The COVID-19 testing site at the Interstate Center in Bloomington will be closed on Thanksgiving day, but will reopen Friday. It’s generally open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Staff from Reditus Labs conducted 802 tests at the site on Tuesday.
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