The number of confirmed cases of Evanston residents having COVID-19 grew to 114 as of 3 p.m. today, April 5, according to information provided by the City of Evanston. This is an increase of 6 cases since yesterday, April 4. In the last six days, the increases have been 10, 8, 8, 6, 5, and 5 cases. There is a downward trend.

For Chicago, the COVID-19 cases grew from 4,396 yesterday to 4,614 cases today; the cases grew in Cook County from 7,439 to 8,024, and the cases in Illinois grew from 10,357 to 11,256.  A total of 58,983 people in Illinois have been tested for COVID-19.

According to a study published by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), the number of deaths due to COVID-19 are expected to peak in Illinois at 109 on April 20, and then decline to zero on June 3, and remain at zero through Aug. 4. The study projects there will be a total of 3,386 deaths in Illinois through Aug.4. The study assumes that “full social distancing” will remain in place through May. See “Forecasting COVID-19 impact on hospital bed-days, ICU-days, ventilator days and deaths by US state in the next 4 months,” updated April 1.

Another study, called “Covid Act Now,” by Max Henderson and others, gives much bleaker predictions. The authors say the study was done to “provide decision-makers at the state, local, and federal levels the information they need to advance effective policy responses to COVID-19, including communicating information on the expected impact of implementing social distancing measures to ‘flatten the curve.’’’

The authors caution, “The model and its predictions are not intended to predict the future and should not be used to assume specific numbers of cases, hospitalizations, or deaths.”

They list a number of shortcomings of the model.

Nonetheless, the model does predict the number of hospitalizations due to COVIC-19 in Illinois, using four different assumptions: 1) limited action is taken to limit the spread; 2) three months of poor compliance with stay-at-home orders; 3) three months of strict compliance with stay-at-home orders; and 4) three months of lockdown.

For Illinois, assuming there is “strict compliance” with a stay-at-home order for three months, the study predicts that hospitalizations would grow to 18,549 by June 9, but that the number of patients would not exceed the capacity of hospitals between now and July 4. They estimate there would be 23,000 deaths due to COVID-19, much higher than the IHME study.

Assuming there is only “poor compliance” with the stay-at-home order for three months, the study predicts that on May 10, there would be 27,576 hospitalizations in Illinois due to COVID-19, and that hospitals would be overloaded at that time. They predict that by June 11, there would be 70,426 hospitalizations, and the number of hospitalizations would decline to 47,753 by July 4. They estimate there would be 67,000 deaths.

The authors also posit that if the corona virus is not fully contained after three months, containment measures may need to be extended for 12 to 18 months in order to fully flatten the curve until there was a vaccine, with testing and making quarantines more targeted.

For additional articles that the RoundTable has published on COVID-19, click on the navigation bar “COVID-19.”

Larry Gavin was a co-founder of the Evanston RoundTable in 1998 and assisted in its conversion to a non-profit in 2021. He has received many journalism awards for his articles on education, housing and...