BLOOMINGTON — Under metrics set by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of estimated COVID-19 cases per 100,000 McLean County residents has fallen to a low not seen in more than a month.
The McLean County Health Department began including the CDC's estimate of cases per 100,000 people in its daily COVID update as a way of measuring the impact of the virus's community spread.
As the Delta variant surged across Illinois, so too did cases in McLean County, and the average number of cases per 100,000 pushed past 100 to nearly 300 in mid-August and September.
MCHD's report Thursday shows the CDC estimates about 177 cases per 100,000 people, a low not seen since Aug. 17.
McLean County still remains under a designation of "high" rates of community spread, which is where it's been since early August.
MCHD reported another 50 cases of the virus were confirmed in the past day, bringing the total for October so far to 254. There have been 22,447 cases in the past year, 21,856 of which are considered recovered.
No additional deaths were reported Thursday, leaving that total at 263 deaths.
As of Wednesday, the percentage of tests that returned positive for COVID in the past seven days fell slightly, down to 2.3% from 2.4% on Tuesday.
More than 514,500 tests have been run in the past year, giving the county a cumulative positivity rate of 4.4%.
One McLean County resident was released from a COVID-related hospitalization, bringing the total of county residents considered COVID patients down to 27 from 28 the day before.
Between OSF St. Joseph and Carle BroMenn medical centers, there are now 27 COVID patients, a two-person increase since Wednesday.
MCHD said both hospitals reported 92% of all intensive care beds in use Thursday, along with 90% of all beds in use at both hospitals.