McLean County Health Waits For IDPH Guidance On COVID Boosters – WGLT

It’s not clear yet when the McLean County Health Department (MCHD) will make the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine booster shots available to certain populations.

The Centers for Disease Control approved boosters for certain groups after six months of becoming fully vaccinated. It’s for people with underlying health conditions and frontline workers who could be at greater risk of contracting the coronavirus.

“The MCHD is awaiting further guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). When booster doses are available, the McLean County Health Department will share information on our website, social media outlets, and through our local media partners,” public affairs coordinator Marianne Manko said in a news release.

IDPH issued a news release Friday afternoon indicating it backs the CDC’s recommendation for booster shots.

“While the vaccines continue to be highly effective at preventing severe illnesses, hospitalization, death, as we learn more about COVID-19 and the science evolves, so too must our recommendations,” said IDPH Director Ngozi Ezike in a news release.

She added there is no guidance for additional doses of Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine at this time.

COVID death

McLean County also announced the COVID-related death of a woman in her 60s. That’s the 11th death tied to COVID-19 in McLean County this month. There have been 256 COVID-related deaths in McLean County since the start of the pandemic.

McLean County Health Department COVID-19 data

McLean County Health Department

The McLean County Health Department announced 59 new coronavirus cases and one death on Friday.

Thirty-one McLean County residents are hospitalized with COVID-19; that’s down two from Thursday. Carle BroMenn Medical Center and OSF St. Joseph Medical Center report 96% of the hospitals beds and intensive care beds are occupied. Thirty of those hospital beds are being used by a COVID patient.

Carle Health and OSF HealthCare have indicated over 80% of their COVID patients are unvaccinated.

McLean County announced 59 daily coronavirus cases out of a batch of about 2,900 tests returned overnight. MCHD said 432 people are isolating at home and 97 people were released from quarantine overnight and 21,133 people are considered recovered out of a total county caseload of 21,852.

McLean County’s seven-day testing positivity rate inched up to 2.9%, while the county’s cumulative positivity rate is 4.5% based on more than 485,100 tests conducted since March 2020.

Risk alert

McLean County remains under a risk alert by IDPH. The alert applies to any county that shows some combination of rising coronavirus cases, testing positivity rate, hospitalizations and deaths.

McLean County data shows new coronavirus cases above the state threshold of 50 per 100,000 residents. McLean County reported 261 new cases per 100,000 residents from Sept. 12-18. McLean County also had 16% ICU bed capacity, below the state target of 20%.

Only 11 Illinois counties are not under a risk alert. Most of those counties are in southwestern Illinois.

COVID vaccines

Data from IDPH show nearly 185,000 COVID vaccine doses have been distributed in McLean County. While the county’s rate of fully vaccinated residents (53.8%) is lower than the state average of 54.8%, it is the eighth highest among Illinois’ 102 counties, trailing only Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, Sangamon and Will counties.

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