McLean County reports nine total COVID-19 cases; drive-thru testing opening in Bloomington

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BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (NEXSTAR) — Another person has tested positive for COVID-19 in McLean County, bringing the total number of people up to nine, health officials said Friday.

The McLean County Health Department said three people are being hospitalized. Additionally, 134 tests were provided in total and 104 came back negative. Thirty-seven results are pending.

Additionally, the MCHD announced it is participating in a pilot program with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to offer COVID-19 testing to individuals who meet specific criteria from 9 a.m to 5 p.m. out of the McLean County Fairgrounds, or until the daily allotment of tests has been exhausted. HHS will provide staff from the United States Public Health Service to operate the site, with assistance from the Illinois National Guard, state and local emergency management and public health officials.

“We see so much value in being able to increase testing capacity in Central Illinois through testing sites like this one,” said Jessica McKnight, McLean Health Department Administrator. “We know that access to testing in our area and across the country has been a source of frustration and confusion. And while testing will not be an instant solution for COVID-19, we hope it will allow us to have a more accurate picture of what is happening in our community and help us in our fight to stop the spread of this virus.”

The MCHD provided more information:

As a reminder, testing is only available for those who meet the specific criteria. Due to the demand for this service, we anticipate there could be significant wait times associated with these drive-thru community-based testing sites. Please be patient. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, you are urged to call your doctor or Emergency Department to seek immediate care and instructions. If you are 65 and older, with a fever and mild symptoms, you should limit the number of people in your vehicle following proper social distancing guidance.

The State of Illinois has determined that the following individuals will receive priority for COVID-19 testing under the HHS community-based testing site program:

  • Healthcare workers with respiratory symptoms and a temperature of 100.4 or greater
  • First responders with respiratory symptoms and a temperature of 100.4 or greater
  • Seniors (65+) with respiratory symptoms and a temperature of 100.4 or greater
  • Patients with underlying medical conditions with respiratory symptoms and a temperature of 100.4 or greater

Upon arrival, individuals will be required to remain in their vehicles at all times. Testing is limited to four people per vehicle, and those individuals must be seated at a seat with a working window. They will be required to show photo identification and healthcare facility employee or first responder ID/badge. Personnel in full medical protective gear will check the person’s temperature with a no-touch thermometer and use a swab to obtain the necessary sample from the individual’s nose.

The drive-thru sites will not be able to accommodate walk-up individuals for the safety of the testing personnel; Individuals must arrive in a vehicle.

The first death related to the virus, a woman in her 70s, was reported on March 22.

For more information about COVID-19, please visit coronavirus.illinois.gov or https://health.mcleancountyil.gov.

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