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Watch now: 2 more COVID deaths reported in McLean County

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An update on COVID cases in McLean County for Thursday, Oct. 14

BLOOMINGTON — For the third time this week, the McLean County Health Department reported a COVID-related death at a local long-term care facility. 

The recent death of a man in his 70s was determined to be COVID-related, MCHD reported Thursday. He was a resident of an unspecified long-term care facility in the county. 

MCHD declined to provide specifics as to which facility the man lived in; in previous instances, the department has said health privacy concerns prevent them from being able to share details beyond age and gender. 

The Illinois Department of Public Health collects COVID data from long-term care facilities across the state and publishes them by county, but their most current data is more than two weeks old, current as of Sept. 26. 

One other death in the county was attributed to COVID-19, MCHD also said Thursday. A woman in her 40s is dead for COVID-related reasons, MCHD reported, bringing the mortality rate to 267 such deaths since last year. 

MCHD spokeswoman Marianne Manko said Wednesday the department is keeping an eye on lagging indicators — such as deaths — that measure how the spread of COVID is affecting the community. 

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Manko also cited the federal  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's community transmission tracker as metrics officials are watching closely: For the third time this week, that number trended downward, falling to an estimated 156 cases per 100,000 people in the county as of Wednesday. 

The percentage of tests returning positive for COVID-19 in the past week also fell slightly, down to 2.2% as of Wednesday. 

Local COVID hospitalizations — another "lagging indicator" of COVID's impact on the area — increased slightly, bumping back up to 28 such patients Thursday.

There have been more than 20 people reported as COVID patients at either Carle BroMenn or OSF St. Joseph medical centers in each of MCHD's daily reports this month. 

Bed capacity remained tight overall on Thursday, with 96% of all total beds reported as in use, MCHD said. Intensive care unit bed availability eased some, falling to 73% occupied from 77% Wednesday. 

The number of hospitalized McLean County residents remained unchanged Thursday, remaining at 17 COVID patients. 

Data from IDPH indicates about 272 COVID vaccine doses were administered in the past day; the percentage of McLean County residents who are fully vaccinated increased slightly to 54.8%. 

MCHD administrator Jessica McKnight said Wednesday that the definition of a fully vaccinated person has not changed at a federal or state level, meaning that as eligible people receive their booster shots, their actions won't be reflected in the fully vaccinated category.