McLean County has reached a new record with 13 COVID-19 hospitalizations, up two from Thursday.
The McLean County Health Department (MCHD) said Friday two of the patients are in intensive care.
The county announced 24 new coronavirus cases while seven people have recovered in the last 24 hours.
MCHD Administrator Jessica McKnight said she's not surprised to see a rise in COVID hospitalizations weeks after a surge in cases, because hospitalizations are typically a lagging indicator.
“If we see a spike in cases, we wouldn’t necessarily see an immediate spike in our hospitalizations,” McKnight said.
The late summer surge was due largely to college-aged people contracting the virus. New coronavirus cases this week show a slight majority of the county’s 119 cases involved people aged 40 and under, but 23 of them are 60 or older.
McKnight added hospital bed capacity in Bloomington-Normal remains good, but she expects demand will increase.
“Looking ahead at the flu season, we know this is going to be a difficult fall and winter for our community, for our state and for our nation,” McKnight said.
According to the latest data from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), McLean County has 42% of ICU beds available, which is better than the state's 20% target.
McLean County’s testing positivity rate dropped to 2.4% over the last week, while its cumulative testing rate is 4.4% based on more than 75,400 tests conducted since the start of the pandemic.
Illinois State University announced one new coronavirus case on Friday. It’s active case total dropped to 17. The campus seven-day testing positivity rate fell to 1%.
Also, IDPH named Livingston, DeWitt and 26 other Illinois counties Friday to the state’s COVID-19 warning list.
The designation is meant to raise awareness to local health and government authorities to consider mitigations.
Bloomington and Normal have discouraged trick-or-treating this year because of the pandemic, but McKnight said there are several things people should do if they take part in the Halloween tradition.
“Understanding that holidays are very important to us,” McKnight said, “how can we adapt and do things as safely as possible.”
She said families should avoid walking neighborhoods in groups outside their immediate family.
“The more we can limit our contact going out trick-or-treating with just the members of our immediate household that does help,” McKnight said. “You are cohorting with them already.”
Many Halloween costumes come with their own masks, but McKnight said trick-or-treaters need to have the proper face covering.
The Illinois Department of Public Health also recommends anyone giving out candy to leave it on a table, walkway or some other outdoor space to limit contact.
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