McLean County Sees 20th COVID Death; Hospitalizations At Highest Point Since May | WGLT

McLean County Sees 20th COVID Death; Hospitalizations At Highest Point Since May

Sep 22, 2020

UPDATED 3:35 p.m. | A 20th person from McLean County has died after contracting COVID-19, the health department said Tuesday.

The man was in his 80s and had underlying health conditions, according to the McLean County Health Department (MCHD).

Meanwhile, the county's testing positivity rate fell again, to 3.9%, after peaking at 12.5% over the Labor Day weekend. It's now below the national average (4.8%) and just above the statewide rate (3.5%). As a result of that falling positivity rate, McLean County has been removed from the Illinois Department of Public Health's warning list.

There are now 10 people hospitalized (three more than on Monday), including one person in intensive care. That's the most people the county has had hospitalized at one time since May 20, at the height of a deadly outbreak at the Bloomington Rehab nursing home.

MCHD Administrator Jessica McKnight on Tuesday cautioned that "even young healthy individuals can have complications from the virus, and some may even need to be hospitalized." Hospitalizations are a lagging indicator, often behind new infections by about a week or more, she said.

"While the total number of new cases of COVID-19 reported in McLean County in the last seven days has been decreasing, we have had 1,408 cases reported so far this month," McKnight said. "Recovery isn’t the same for everyone. The World Health Organization reports the median time for recovery is up to two weeks for those with mild cases, while those with more severe cases can take up to six weeks for symptoms to resolve. Some patients may report lingering symptoms ranging from mild issues, such as continued loss of taste or smell, to more serious ones, such as heart palpitations, chest pain, shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, cognitive difficulties or recurring fevers."

There are now 237 active cases in McLean County (including the 10 hospitalized people and 227 others isolating at home). That's the lowest active case count since Aug. 21, when the return of college students to Bloomington-Normal began to cause a surge in local COVID-19 cases.

Countywide, there were 13 new cases reported on Tuesday. That includes five children (ages 1 to 17).

New ISU dashboard

Illinois State University has launched a new online data dashboard. It now includes employee cases and what percentage of on-campus isolation rooms are being used, among other changes.

ISU reported three new student cases on Tuesday, based on 243 test results. ISU has tested 958 students in the past week, short of its 1,500-student weekly goal. ISU plans to begin requiring on-campus students get tested, which is expected to boost its numbers.

More than 21,000 tests have been conducted from Sept. 1 to Sept. 21 in McLean County, according to IDPH. That's an increase of 37% from the first 21 days of August.

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