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Spike in coronavirus cases in Central Illinois: New cases reported in McLean, Tazewell, Livingston, Piatt, LaSalle, Ford, Macon counties
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Spike in coronavirus cases in Central Illinois: New cases reported in McLean, Tazewell, Livingston, Piatt, LaSalle, Ford, Macon counties

BLOOMINGTON — The nationwide spike in coronavirus cases expected this week hit Central Illinois on Monday with new cases reported in McLean, Tazewell, Livingston, Piatt, LaSalle, Ford and Macon counties.

In McLean County, health department Administrator Jessica McKnight reported four more people tested positive, bringing to 48 the number of people who have been diagnosed.

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Meanwhile, Sara Sparkman of the Tazewell County Health Department confirmed the COVID-19-related death of a man in his 80s. The man had been a resident of Generations at Riverview Senior Living, an independent and assisted living facility in East Peoria, which has an outbreak of four confirmed cases and two pending cases.

"The majority (of the 48 McLean County residents) don't have any known exposure" to someone previously diagnosed with COVID-19, said Melissa Graven, county health department communicable disease supervisor, confirming again that there is "community transmission" of the virus.

Among the McLean County cases is an employee of YWCA McLean County, confirmed Christy Germanis of YWCA.

Jessica McKnight

McKnight

Dion McNeal, McLean County communications specialist, expects numbers to increase as testing criteria is loosened.

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 criteria expanded during the weekend to include critical infrastructure workers (including utility workers) with COVID-19 symptoms, any health care facility worker and first responder, and anyone experiencing mild symptoms and who live in communities experiencing a high number of coronavirus hospitalizations.

Symptoms are fever, cough, sore throat and shortness of breath.


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Since testing began at the fairgrounds on March 28 and through Sunday, 868 people have been tested. The test site is open to Illinois residents, not just McLean County residents.

Of the 48 McLean County cases, 12 people are in their 60s, nine in their 70s, eight in their 50s, six in their 20s, six in their 30s, five in their 40s and two in their 80s. Two-thirds of the cases are female, and about half of the overall cases are white. Of the rest, 17 are black, seven are "unknown" and one is "other," according to the health department website.

By ZIP code, 17 are from 61701 (central Bloomington), 14 are from 61761 (Normal), seven are from 61704 (east and south Bloomington), three each are from 61726 (Chenoa) and 61705 (west, south and east Bloomington), two are from 61745 (Heyworth) and one each are from 61753 (Lexington) and 61737 (Ellsworth).

Of the 48 people in McLean County, five are hospitalized, 28 are at home in isolation and 12 have recovered. Lost to the disease were a man in his 70s and a woman in her 70s, as previously reported. 

Graven estimated that more than 500 McLean County residents have been tested for coronavirus.

YWCA is temporarily closing its building and its Young Wonders child care program for five days to ensure a 14-day quarantine since the last day the individual who tested positive was on site, Germanis said.

During the closure, the building is being cleaned, ventilated and sanitized and anyone who came in contact with the employee has been notified. Young Wonders child care is scheduled to reopen on April 13; meanwhile, other YWCA programs are running, Germanis said.

'Working around the clock'

With the four new cases, Tazewell County now has 14 confirmed positives.

A statement from Andrew Mack, representing Riverview Senior Living, said, in part, "We take the threat of infection extremely seriously and we are working around the clock to protect residents and staff from this threat."

Elsewhere in Central Illinois, Livingston County Health Department reported three more residents have tested positive, bringing that county's total to 10 confirmed cases. The new patients are a woman in her 30s who is hospitalized, and a man in his 20s and a woman in her 40s who are recovering at home in isolation, according to Erin Fogarty of the Livingston County Health Department.

LaSalle County Health Department announced that county's 11th case, a woman in her 20s who is recovering at home in isolation.

Piatt County has two more cases, bringing that county's total to three, said David Remmert, administrator of the DeWitt-Piatt Bi-County Health Department. One is a 47-year-old woman who tested positive at a Chicago hospital; the second is a 32-year-old woman who works at a Champaign hospital, Remmert said.

"She is recovering at home and she and all household members are currently quarantined," Remmert said. "Contact tracing is currently ongoing and her workplace has been notified."

Ford County Public Health Department announced that county's second positive case, a man in his 80s who is hospitalized, said Danielle Walls of the county health department.

Other Central Illinois counties with cases include Peoria (12 people, one death), Woodford (six), Champaign (62), Sangamon (31, two deaths), Christian (22, two deaths), Douglas and Macon (10 each), Iroquois (six), DeWitt (three), and the following counties with one case each: Logan, Marshall, Moultrie and Cumberland.

Statewide deaths at 307

Statewide, Illinois Department of Public Health announced 1,066 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday and 33 additional deaths, bringing the new totals to 12,262 cases, including 307 deaths.

People are asked to reduce their risk of spreading COVID-19 by staying home as much as they can; keeping at least a six-foot distance from other people; wearing a mask when you are with other people, such as at the grocery store; avoiding gatherings of 10 or more people; washing their hands frequently; covering coughs and sneezes; avoiding touching their eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands; and sterilizing frequently used surfaces.

People who experience COVID-19 symptoms are advised to stay home, then call their health care provider if their symptoms worsen. About 80 percent of people with COVID-19 experience mild to moderate symptoms and recover after about two weeks of home isolation and treating their symptoms.

Kevin Barlow contributed to this report.


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

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