UPDATED 5:05 P.M. | McLean County surpassed 14,000 coronavirus cases Friday, though the rate of new infections continues to drop.
The McLean County Health Department (MCHD) reported 41 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, bringing the county’s total since the start of the pandemic to 14,018.
The total of 250 cases for the week is the county’s lowest over a seven-day period since Oct. 22.
Despite the decline in new cases, hospital bed capacity remains limited. According to the health department, 91% of Bloomington-Normal hospital beds are occupied, including 77% of intensive care beds.
Seventeen McLean County residents are hospitalized due to COVID--down from 22 on Thursday.
County Health Department administrator Jessica McKnight said those numbers should improve soon based on current trends, since hospitalizations often are a lagging indicator of COVID spread.
“December was still a pretty busy month for COVID so usually we will see increased hospitalizations after a surge in cases,” McKnight said.
The county hasn’t reported any new COVID-related deaths this week. The total number of deaths remains 152.
MCHD indicated 414 people are isolating at home and 13,435 patients have completed their time in quarantine and are considered recovered.
The county’s seven-day coronavirus testing positivity rate fell to 3.7%, its lowest mark since Oct. 20. McLean County’s cumulative testing positivity rate remains 6.4%.
More than half of the COVID cases (54%) reported this week involve people younger than 30.
Livingston County reported two deaths on Friday--a woman in her 80s and a man in his 80s.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced 83 additional COVID-related deaths and 3,660 new coronavirus cases Friday. Illinois has had 19,526 confirmed COVID deaths and 2,077 probable COVID deaths. The state has had 1,141,219 coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic.
So far, more than 17,000 COVID vaccines have been administered in Mclean County. More than 3,300 people have received both vaccine doses. That’s about 1.9% of the county’s population. The statewide average for those fully vaccinated is 2.1%
The state of Illinois plans to deliver about 2,400 COVID vaccines to McLean County next week. The county has been getting fewer than 2,000 doses in recent weeks.
McKnight said the state expects it will soon be able to determine vaccine allotments weeks in advance, adding that would allow the department to schedule more clinics and make it easier for people to get the vaccine.
“We hope our weekly allocations continue to increase,” McKnight said. “We’ve heard (getting vaccination appointments are like) the ‘Hunger Games’ ... so want to be able to make appointments out several weeks in advance.”
MCHD has five vaccination clinics planned over the next week:
- Friday, at the Activity and Recreation Center (ARC) in Normal for McLean County residents age 65+ needing their first dose of vaccine
- Tuesday, Feb. 9, at the Grossinger Motors Arena in Bloomington for those eligible residents due and scheduled for their second dose of vaccine
- Wednesday, Feb. 10, at the Activity and Recreation Center (ARC) in Normal for McLean County residents currently eligible for their first dose of vaccine
- Thursday, Feb. 11, at the Grossinger Motors Arena in Bloomington for those eligible residents due and scheduled for their second dose of vaccine
- Friday, Feb. 12, at the Activity and Recreation Center (ARC) in Normal for McLean County residents currently eligible for their first dose of vaccine
McKnight also said she wants to make sure the Super Bowl this Sunday doesn't become a super-spreader.
“If you are going to watch the game, watch it at home with your immediately family in your household so that we can avoid that super-spreader event,” McKnight advised.
Marianne Manko, MCHD's public affairs coordinator, stressed even people who have previously had COVID-19 and those who have been vaccinated, can still transmit the virus to others.
“A lot of people think, ‘Great, I don’t have to wear the mask,’ but you do,” Manko said. “You can still breathe in the (virus), you just won’t get sick from it and you can still breathe it back out.”
McKnight noted several newer COVID variants have been detected in Illinois and the United States.
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