McLean County reports 85% of ICU beds in use, offers Thanksgiving guidance

Coronavirus

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — On Wednesday, the McLean County Health Department reported 77 new cases of coronavirus in the area.

The report showed 1,279 people are isolating at home and 19 McLean County residents are hospitalized. 6,538 people have been released from isolation and are considered recovered.

Health Department Administrator Jessica McKnight said local hospitals reported 85% of ICU beds in use and 85% of total beds in use.

Collectively, the county reported a total of 7,886 confirmed and probable cases with 50 deaths.

Due to the holidays around the corner, the McLean County Health Department will be closed Nov. 26 and 27, meaning there will not be a COVID-19 update on Thursday.

McKnight offered advice on how to safely celebrate the upcoming holidays.

“The safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is to celebrate with your immediate family, household contacts,” McKnight said.

“If you do plan to spend Thanksgiving with people outside your household, follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to make your celebration safer such as staying home if you are sick, quarantined, or are isolating because you have tested positive for COVID-19, wearing a mask around people from outside your household, maintaining at least 6 feet of distance between you and others who do not live with you, and washing your hands often with soap and water, or using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. “

McKnight offered a list of suggestions for those attending a Thanksgiving gathering:

  • Bring your own food, drinks, plates, cups, and utensils.
  • Wear a mask, and safely store your mask while eating and drinking.
  • Avoid going in and out of the areas where food is being prepared or handled, such as in the kitchen.
  • Use single-use options, like salad dressing and condiment packets, and disposable items like food containers, plates, and utensils.

If having guests to your home, other steps you can take include:

  • Have a small outdoor meal with family and friends who live in your community.
  • Limit the number of guests.
  • Have conversations with guests ahead of time to set expectations for celebrating together.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items between use.
  • If celebrating indoors, make sure to open windows.
  • Limit the number of people in food preparation areas.
  • Have guests bring their own food and drink.
  • If sharing food, have one person serve food and use single-use options, like plastic utensils.

Travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others.  If you choose to travel, the following are steps you should take:

  • Check travel restrictions before you go.
  • Get your flu shot before you travel.
  • Always wear a mask in public settings and on public transportation.
  • Stay at least 6 feet apart from anyone who is not in your household.
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your mask, eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Bring extra supplies, such as masks and hand sanitizer.

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