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18th COVID case reported in McLean County, second person dies; Livingston, LaSalle report more cases
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18th COVID case reported in McLean County, second person dies; Livingston, LaSalle report more cases

BLOOMINGTON — A second person in McLean County has died of the new strain of coronavirus as an 18th person has tested positive for COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Livingston County is up to five confirmed cases of COVID-19 and LaSalle County has six, those counties' health departments reported.

McLean County Health Department reported Tuesday that a man in his 70s, who tested positive in early March, had died. The man had no history of travel and his exposure to anyone else with COVID-19 is not known, the health department reported.

The new McLean County case is a woman in her 80s who is hospitalized, bringing to 18 the number of McLean County residents who have tested positive for COVID-19, the health department said.

"We are saddened to report that another member of our community has died as a result of this virus," health department Administrator Jessica McKnight said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends."

"We remain dedicated to working closely with our local health care partners in response to the pandemic and encourage the public to do their part to lessen the spread by observing the stay-at-home order," McKnight said.

Earlier this month, a woman in her 70s became McLean County's first COVID-19 death. That death, reported by the health department on March 22, was of a woman who had tested positive for COVID-19 several days earlier and had been in a hospital intensive care unit.

Of the 16 people in McLean County living with coronavirus, some are hospitalized and some are at home in isolation.

An Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) map released mid-afternoon Tuesday indicated that McLean County had 19 confirmed cases but county communications specialist Dion McNeal said the county health department could confirm 18 cases.

Livingston County Health Department reported Tuesday evening that three more residents had tested positive for the novel strain of coronavirus. That brings that county's number of residents with COVID-19 to five, said Erin Fogarty, health department health education and marketing director.

The three new people who tested positive are a man in his 70s who is hospitalized, a woman in her 80s who is hospitalized and a women in her 50s recovering at home in isolation. The health department is working with IDPH to investigate and notify anyone who has been in close contact with the three people.

The sixth LaSalle County case is a woman in her 30s who is recovering at home in isolation, that county's health department reported Tuesday.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 testing continues 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, until supplies are exhausted, at the McLean County Fairgrounds, 1106 Interstate Drive, Bloomington. Testing is for first responders, health care providers, people 65 and older and people with underlying medical conditions, all of whom also have a fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath.

The number of people being tested grows each day with 78 on Saturday, 108 on Sunday and 182 on Monday, IDPH told The Pantagraph.

IDPH reported Tuesday afternoon another 937 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 26 additional deaths, including the man in McLean County and a man in his 80s in Morgan County.

So far, 5,994 Illinoisans have been diagnosed with the new strain of coronavirus and 99 people have died.

Besides McLean, Livingston and LaSalle, Central Illinois counties with COVID-19 confirmed cases include Iroquois (two), Woodford (three), Peoria (eight), Tazewell (four), Champaign (26). Macon (two), Sangamon (14), Morgan (four), Christian (13), Douglas (three), Montgomery (two), and Ford, Marshall, Menard, Fayette, Cumberland, Clark and Crawford (one each).

People with mild symptoms are asked to stay home and self-isolate and call their health care provider if their symptoms don't improve.

About 80 percent of people with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms and get better after about two weeks of self-isolation and treating their symptoms.

People without symptoms are asked to stay home as much as they can; keep at least a six-foot distance away from other people; avoid gatherings of 10 or more people; wash their hands frequently; cover coughs and sneezes; avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands; and sterilize frequently used surfaces to lessen the spread of COVID-19.

Contact Paul Swiech at 309-820-3275. Follow him on Twitter: @pg_swiech.

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