'Substantial Community Spread' As McLean County Sets New COVID Records | WGLT

'Substantial Community Spread' As McLean County Sets New COVID Records

Nov 17, 2020

McLean County public health officials on Tuesday urged people to celebrate Thanksgiving only with those living in their household, as they announced sobering new records for hospitalizations and testing positivity rate.

The McLean County Health Department (MCHD) announced 163 new cases on Tuesday, as the county’s positivity rate (7-day average) hit a record 14.1%. That is higher than the statewide (12.5%) and national averages (10%).

Meanwhile, there are now 18 McLean County residents who are hospitalized—also a new record. At Bloomington-Normal’s two hospitals, about 75% of ICU beds are in use, and 17% of total beds are available. (The two hospitals treat people who live in McLean County and those in other counties.)

“The positivity rate in our county and across our region continues to rise, and we are experiencing substantial community spread,” MCHD Administrator Jessica McKnight said Tuesday. “Everyone should take steps to protect themselves, their communities, and people who are at increased risk of severe illness.”

There have been about 1,211 new cases reported in McLean County over the past week. Here's the age breakdown of those new cases:

  • Children under age 1: +8 cases
  • Children 1 to 17: +139
  • 18: +27
  • 19: +29
  • 20s: +311
  • 30s: +186
  • 40s: +180
  • 50s: +156
  • 60s: +97
  • 70s: +44
  • 80s: +25

The safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is to celebrate with people in your household, McKnight said. If you do plan to spend Thanksgiving with people outside your household, follow recommendations from CDC to make your celebration safer:

  • Stay home if you are sick, quarantined, or are isolating because you have tested positive for COVID-19
  • Wear a mask around people from outside your household
  • Maintain at least 6 feet of distance between you and others who do not live with you
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol

Testing update

McLean County set a record for testing over the past week.

In all, 10,572 tests were done in McLean County over the last seven days. Two-thirds of those tests were done at the Interstate Center in west Bloomington, which is now averaging 1,000 people per day. People going there are encouraged to pre-register to speed things up.

Pekin-based Reditus Labs, which runs the Interstate Center site, has “learned that there are some people that test at more than one site per day,” according to the McLean County Emergency Management Agency.

“This must end. Not only does it take resources away from others and cause longer lines, it has the potential to skew the statistics. If you know someone that does this, please ask them to stop,” McLean County EMA said Tuesday on Facebook.

Coronavirus In McLean County

There's no subscription fee to listen or read our stories. Everyone can access this essential public service thanks to community support. Donate now, and help fund your public media.