McLean County health officials announced four more deaths related to COVID-19 on Wednesday, pushing the county’s death toll since the start of the pandemic to 101.
More than half of those deaths have been reported since Nov. 30.
According to the McLean County Health Department (MCHD), the latest deaths involved a woman in her 80s, a man in his 70s and two men in their 90s. The department said all four were associated with long-term care facilities.
Bloomington-Normal hospitals did see increased capacity as intensive care beds are 69% occupied, down from 92% since Tuesday, while 86% of all beds are in use. Twenty-six McLean County residents are hospitalized with COVID-19 symptoms. That’s down from 29 on Tuesday.
The county announced 124 new confirmed and probable coronavirus cases, bringing the county’s total to 11,479. Currently, 949 patients are isolating at home, while 10,403 people have been released from quarantine and are considered recovered.
McLean County’s seven-day testing positivity rate rose to 10.2%, reaching double digits for the first time since Dec. 3.
“We continue to urge the public to take steps to protect themselves, their communities, and people who are at increased risk of severe illness,” MCHD Administrator Jessica McKnight said. “The virus spreads at large events, but also within households or at small private gatherings between family and friends.
So far, McKnight said about 1,600 frontline health care workers in McLean County have received their first vaccine dose, but added it will likely take several more weeks before everyone included in Phase 1A (frontline health care workers and long-term care residents) receives the vaccine and “possibly months before the vaccine is more widely available in the community.”
“Weekly shipments of vaccine are expected to continue, but the vaccine is still very limited at this time.” she said.
She added the county will follow Illinois Department of Public Health and federal guideline for vaccine prioritization. Phase 1b includes first responders and essential frontline workers. Phase 1c will include people who have high-risk medical conditions, and adults over age 65.
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