IWU reports first positive COVID case after six weeks

Katie Fata

Illinois Wesleyan reported their first positive case of COVID since September 14 which brought the five-week streak of zero positive cases to a close on October 22. The positive case was self-reported by the student. 

According to the University, COVID-19 positive students will need to make personal arrangements for isolation off-campus. 

“We encourage students to go home, if possible. We will have a list of available hotels offering a special IWU rate for students for your choosing and at your expense,” Dean Karla Carney-Hall, Vice President for Student Affairs, said. 

In 2020, IWU provided rooms at local hotels for students who tested positive but made the decision to nix those arrangements this year. Students with financial hardship may apply to the Titan Student Emergency Fund for COVID-19 illness expenses.

IWU reported no positives through their weekly surveillance testing which is done at Shirk Center. IWU has determined by positives identified through surveillance testing and symptomatic student testing. Surveillance testing is conducted weekly on Wednesdays for all unvaccinated/partially vaccinated students or in-season student athletes. To encourage students to get tested, students that miss their time for surveillance testing are fined $50. 

The McLean County Health Department (MCHD) reported 37 new cases as of October 28 and 224 individuals have reported to the county that they are isolating at home. As October comes to a close, MCHD reported that the month had brought the most COVID-related deaths since February. Two deaths in the last week brought the total to 15. 

The rolling 7-day positivity rate dropped down to 1.9 percent from the October 13 rate of 2.2 percent. The total amount of county hospital beds in use also dipped from last week’s 96 percent to 89 percent. The total number of patients hospitalized for COVID at McLean County hospitals is 14.

Although the rolling positivity rate has gone down, McLean County is currently experiencing high community transmission based on the 7-day moving average of new cases. After the Halloween weekend, the county will offer vaccination clinics to encourage McLean County residents to get vaccinated. Approximately 195,477 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in McLean County as of October 28. 

Vaccinations clinics will be held onThursday, November 4, from 10am-3pm at Grossinger Motors Arena, in Bloomington and Friday, November 12 from 3pm to 5:30pm at Heartland Head Start, in  Bloomington. As of October 28, MCHD is now offering Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 boosters for all eligible populations at vaccine clinics.