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VIDEO: McLean County Health Department: Many factors contribute to steady COVID-19 rate
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VIDEO: McLean County Health Department: Many factors contribute to steady COVID-19 rate

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Melissa Graven, communicable disease program supervisor at the McLean County Health Department, is interviewed Wednesday, March 18, 2020.

BLOOMINGTON — McLean County health officials said even though there have been no new reported cases in McLean County for two days, it does not mean the coronavirus has stabilized in the community.

“I believe there are a lot of factors,” said communicable disease supervisor Melissa Graven. “I think we will have a better idea of what impact social distancing is having in a couple of more weeks. I can tell you that testing hasn’t declined any and we are still getting steady numbers for people coming through for tests.”

Graven was one of the guests during a Facebook Live question and answer session hosted by the health department Thursday afternoon.

“I think (the reason for the steady numbers) is probably the criteria for which we are bound to by the Illinois Department of Public Health,” she said. “At this point, you have to be hospitalized with a respiratory issue.”

With commercial labs, there is “a little more wiggle room,” she said, and it is up to the healthcare provider whether to issue a test.

“Because there is no treatment for COVID-19, a positive result will not change the treatment from a negative result, unless you are critically ill,” she said.

As of Thursday afternoon, there had been 130 tests in McLean County, with eight confirmed cases and about 35 tests pending. There have been 80 negative tests. One death has been contributed to COVID-19 and one woman remains at a local hospital in intensive care.

Sandy Colbs, director of student counseling services at Illinois State University, reported that about 200 students remain in campus dormitories because they have no other options for living quarters. Many are international students she said, but are adjusting well.

“They are coping with anxiety and isolation,” she said. “Being away from family is a major factor in raising their anxiety levels. This is a completely different university experience for them.”


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Contact Kevin Barlow at (309) 820-3238. Follow him on Twitter: @pg_barlow

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