Health and Safety | WGLT

Health and Safety


Heart disease and cancer usually top the list of the reasons people die each year in central Illinois and throughout the state.  The numbers tell a grim story: 48 weeks into the pandemic, you can add COVID-19 to the list.

COVID-19 is the third leading cause of death statewide and in most central Illinois counties, including McLean, Peoria, Woodford, and Tazewell.

A COVID-19 outbreak at Heritage Health in Normal has become the deadliest such event at a long-term care facility in McLean County.

Notes posted onto board about mental health
Rick Bowmer / AP

Suicide rates didn't change much in McLean and Peoria counties this year, despite a pandemic that caused hardship for many.

COVID testing on the Quad
Emily Bollinger / WGLT

UPDATED 12:20 p.m. | McLean County health officials say the rate of new coronavirus cases has dropped in recent weeks, but they are calling for more vigilance as another holiday approaches.

Kristen Weikle

The Unit 5 school district said it is seeking guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education before deciding whether to require vaccinations for staff and students.

Aperion Care
Eric Stock / WGLT

The rapid rise in COVID-19 cases in McLean County before Thanksgiving is now tracking through to a rise in deaths among older residents.

Heroes sign outside Carle Bromenn
Mike McCurdy / WGLT

The strain on Bloomington-Normal’s hospital capacity eased slightly Wednesday as more intensive care beds became available. But capacity still remains below targets the state of Illinois has set for the coronavirus pandemic.

Drive-through virus testing
Lynne Sladky / AP

With plans for saliva-based testing held up at the federal level, Illinois State University will begin in-house rapid antigen testing in January.

encased emergency defibrillator
Seth Perlman / AP

A non-profit that has provided defibrillators to schools, churches and businesses in McLean County for two decades is shutting down at the end of the year.

Staff / WGLT

Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner is isolating at home after receiving a positive test for the coronavirus on Tuesday. Renner said he immediately sought a test after his son tested positive.

Renner told WGLT in an interview Tuesday evening he "sort of lost his voice" the day before Thanksgiving and had some upper respiratory symptoms six days later.

Drive-through virus testing
Lynne Sladky / AP

Illinois State University plans up to 20,000 rapid coronavirus tests per week with the help of a new lab.

Advocate Bromenn Hospital
Emma Shores / WGLT

COVID-19 has created a health care logjam as new cases rise, but hospitals aren't the only ones strained for space and staffing." class="wysiwyg-break drupal-content" src="/sites/all/modules/contrib/wysiwyg/plugins/break/images/spacer.gif" title="<--break-->">

Heroes sign outside Carle Bromenn
Mike McCurdy / WGLT

The head of OSF St. Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington says staffing remains "solid" despite the need for increased personnel to care for more coronavirus patients.

Exterior of NCHS signage
Staff / WGLT

UPDATED 5:35 p.m. | Unit 5 schools will move to all-remote learning starting next Wednesday because of rising coronavirus infection numbers.

Sign requiring facemasks
Eric Stock / WGLT

McLean County health officials announced 167 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday as the county topped 1,000 active cases for the first time since September, following outbreaks on the Illinois State University campus after students returned to campus.

image of State Senator Bill brady
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Bloomington state Sen. Bill Brady is calling again for Senate hearings on mitigation rules as coronavirus positivity rates spike statewide.

COVID testing on the Quad
Emily Bollinger / WGLT

UPDATED 4:45 p.m. | McLean County reported two more COVID-related deaths of nursing home residents on Friday, bringing the county’s death toll from the coronavirus to 33.

Vehicles parked at COVD-19 testing facility
Reditus Labs

McLean County’s COVID-19 testing positivity rate has stabilized after a late summer spike, but the rate for the 20-county region is approaching a level that could lead to restrictions.

Larry Dietz at news conference
Illinois State University

Illinois State University's president does not have too much concern about a potential spike in COVID-19 cases to start the second semester.

Emily Bollinger / WGLT

A woman in her 90s has become the latest COVID-related death in McLean County. Her death marks the county's 31st fatality caused by the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.

Carle BroMenn hospital
WGLT file photo / WGLT

McLean County saw an increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations on Thursday as its rate of new cases and positive testing dipped.

Watterson Towers residence hall at ISU

Illinois State University trustees will consider a contract to use space in two hotels to house any potential overflow of students who become sick, or who have come in close contact with someone who tests positive for the coronavirus.

Workers preparing COVID tests at drive-thru site
Reditus Labs

McLean County health officials announced 44 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday as the county’s seven-day testing positivity rate reached its highest level in five weeks.

McLean County Jail
Eric Stock / WGLT

The rights of a McLean County jail inmate were violated after medical staff failed to give him medication  needed for his epilepsy, according to a substantiated complaint filed with the Regional Human Rights Authority (HRA) of the Illinois Guardianship and Advocacy Commission.

microscopic image of COVID-19

McLean County health officials announced eight new confirmed coronavirus cases Tuesday as the county’s seven-day testing positivity rate increased to 2.8%, still below state and national rates.

Chipped paint on porch
Eric Stock / WGLT

The Cty of Bloomington is getting $2 million from the federal government to remove lead from 92 housing units.

Man wearing mask leaning into vehicle to speak with driver

McLean County health officials reported 19 new confirmed coronavirus cases Friday as the number of active cases and positivity rate continue to drop.

College buildings
Lincoln College

Lincoln College will go back to hybrid learning Monday after a two-week quarantine and virtual learning period.

Heritage/Eli Lilly

A health care company based in Bloomington is part of a new clinical trial of a drug to prevent COVID-19.

Social distancing sign
Eric Stock / WGLT

UPDATED 4:50 p.m. | McLean County health officials announced 105 new confirmed coronavirus cases Friday as the county and Illinois State University’s seven-day positivity rates both dipped below 10%.