McLean County health officials on Thursday reported eight new COVID-related deaths—a grim new record that echoed a surge in deaths nationwide.
Six of the new deaths were not tied to a long-term care facility. They were people in their 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s. The two others (men in their 80s and 90s) were linked to long-term care.
There have now been 83 McLean County residents who’ve died after contracting COVID-19. Half of those deaths have happened in just the past five weeks, a troubling acceleration noted this week by the McLean County coroner. There are 11 active outbreaks at local long-term care facilities.
More than 3,600 Americans died Wednesday from complications of the coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking coronavirus infection data. That’s also a record.
Stubborn second wave
Meanwhile, McLean County’s testing positivity rate (7-day average) ticked up to 9.6%. That’s in contrast to the statewide and regional averages that have consistently fallen since a mid-November peak. The statewide positivity rate is now 8.6%; the regional rate is 10%.
McLean County’s stubborn second wave is ongoing. There have been more than 1,000 active cases here every day since Nov. 10. New state restrictions went into effect here Nov. 4.
About 88% of Bloomington-Normal’s ICU beds are now in use—the tightest capacity the community has seen in about a week. Overall bed use is now at 78%, a slight improvement from Wednesday.
There are now 24 McLean County residents who are hospitalized. (The two Bloomington-Normal hospitals treat people from other counties, too.)
Eighty-nine new coronavirus cases were reported Thursday in McLean County.
“We continue to urge the public to take steps to protect themselves, their communities, and people who are at increased risk of severe illness,” health department Administrator Jessica McKnight said Thursday.
“The virus spreads at large events, but also at small private gatherings between family and friends. Stay home as much as possible, wear a mask, follow guidance for isolation and quarantine, wash your hands, and practice social distancing.”
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