Bloomington-Normal hospitals are almost completely out of space for new patients.
Local hospitals are reporting 96% of ICU beds in use and 97% of total beds are occupied, the McLean County Health Department said Wednesday. The hospitals have not been in a worse situation related to capacity since the health department began publicly reporting that data Nov. 13.
There are now 16 McLean County residents hospitalized with COVID-19, although the local hospitals also treat people who live elsewhere. Carle BroMenn Medical Center in Normal is treating 30 COVID patients, including four in the ICU, as of Wednesday. OSF HealthCare does not publicly share precise numbers for St. Joseph Medical Center.
Meanwhile, McLean County's COVID-19 testing positivity rate (7-day average) continues to climb, up to 12.6%. That's higher than statewide and national averages.
One possible factor is that fewer people are being tested in McLean County. More than 9,700 people were tested in the week ending Nov. 30, down 21% from the week before. Some of of that may relate to Illinois State University, which encouraged students to get tested before Thanksgiving break. That may have driven up testing numbers for the week ending Nov. 23.
More deaths reported
Two new deaths were reported Wednesday in McLean County.
They were a man and a woman, both in their 80s, and neither were was associated with a long-term care facility. The county's COVID death toll is now 58.
"We continue to urge the public to take steps to protect themselves, their communities, and people who are at increased risk of severe illness. The virus spreads at large events but also at small private gatherings between family and friends," the health department said in a statement Wednesday. "Stay home as much as possible, wear a mask, follow guidance for isolation and quarantine, wash your hands, and practice social distancing."
There have been about 8,771 confirmed or probable COVID cases in McLean County. That's about 5% of the total population.
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