The McLean County Health Department (MCHD) has announced its first Spanish-language virtual town hall to address COVID vaccine hesitancy.
The forum will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 20, on Zoom.
“The goal is to discuss the science behind the vaccine, dispel myths and rumors, and assist members of the Hispanic/Latino community in overcoming any hesitancy they may have to get the vaccine,” the health department said in a news release.
McLean County worked with Western Avenue Community Center to develop the online forum. Participants will be able to submit written questions in Spanish to Dr. Gustavo Galue from OSF HealthCare and Dr. Liza Yambay from Carle Health.
According to data from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the Hispanic and Latino population make up about 2.8% of the county’s vaccinations, but they make up over 5% of the county’s population.
McLean County has surpassed 100,000 COVID vaccines distributed, according to IDPH. Just under 25% of county residents are fully vaccinated, while a quarter of the state’s population is considered fully vaccinated.
McLean County reported 95 new coronavirus cases on Friday, while hospitalizations and active cases continue to climb. Those positive tests came from a batch of about 2,400 tests conducted since Thursday.
According to MCHD, 644 people are isolating at home and 15,730 people have been released from isolation and are considered recovered since the start of the pandemic.
The 482 new cases reported this week mark the highest weekly total since Jan. 15.
A record 54 McLean County residents are hospitalized with COVID-19; there have been 214 COVID-related deaths since the start of the pandemic.
Hospital capacity eased in Bloomington-Normal over the last 24 hours — 7% of hospital beds are available, up from 5%, while 81% of intensive care beds are in use. That’s down from 88% on Thursday.
Carle BroMenn Medical Center and OSF St. Joseph Medical Center have 60 COVID patients under their care.
The county’s seven-day testing positivity rate dipped to 5.3%, while its cumulative positivity rate stands at 5.6% based on more than 299,400 tests conducted since the start of the pandemic.
McLean County health officials will have more details at a Friday afternoon news conference.
WGLT will update this story.
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