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Suburban Cook County is close to moving to Phase 4 mitigations tomorrow. In the latest three days for which IDPH reports data, its test positivity rate has been 6.6% on Jan. 27, 6.4% on Jan. 28, and 6.1% on Jan. 29. The number of hospitalizations for COVID-19 in the region have declined for 10 days in a row. The capacity of ICU beds in the region has exceeded 25% for 11 days in a row.
The only criteria not met is that Suburban Cook County must have a test positivity rate of less than 6.5% for three days in row. It may meet that criterion tomorrow. Chicago moved to Phase 4 yesterday.
If Suburban Cook County moves to Phase 4, restrictions would ease for indoor seating in restaurants and bars, additional high school sports activities would be allowed, and certain other activities be allowed.
There were 5 new confirmed COVID-19 cases of Evanston residents today, up from the 11 reported yesterday.
The average number of new cases per day in the last seven days is 11.4 down from 12.3 on Jan. 25. For purposes of comparison, on Oct. 12, the seven-day average was 5.6.
Today, the City reported a total of 1,370 tests, with an average of 1,328 tests per day in the last seven days. The high number of tests is likely due to testing of Northwestern University students.
There has been a total of 3,622 COVID-19 cases of Evanston residents during the pandemic, 258 of which are active. An accompanying chart shows the trend.
In the last seven days, there was a total of 79 new COVID-19 cases of Evanstonians. That equates to about 105 new cases per 100,000 people in the seven-day period. IDPH’s target to control community spread is 50.
The case positivity rate over the last seven days is 0.8%.
No Evanstonian died due to COVID-19 in the last 72 hours. The number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at 106.
Impact of Northwestern University. Northwestern University has posted data on its website reporting that between Jan. 25 and 31, there were 33 new confirmed COVID-19 cases of faculty, staff, and students. The number includes those who live outside of Evanston. The City claims it does not know how many of these cases are people who live in Evanston. 
In the State, there were 2,312 new COVID-19 cases reported today.
Statewide, the average number of new cases per day in the last seven days is 3,407. This is the 22nd day in a row that the seven-day average has declined. The seven-day average one week ago, on Jan. 25, was 4,378, so today’s number is a decrease of 22%.
Today’s seven-day average is down from an all-time high of 12,380 on Nov. 17. An accompanying chart shows the trend.
In the seven days ending Feb. 1, the number of new cases per 100,000 people in the State was 188. IDPH’s target is 50 new weekly cases per 100,000. [2, 3]
The seven-day case positivity rate for the State today is 3.9% and the test positivity rate is 4.9%. IDPH’s target to control community spread is 5%. 
An accompanying chart shows that the number of cases per 100,000 people has declined for the week ending Feb. 1 compared to the prior week for Evanston, Suburban Cook County, Chicago, and Illinois. An accompanying chart also shows their test positivity rates, which are down from one week ago.
On a Statewide basis, the number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 was 2,461 as of midnight on Jan. 31. This is down from an all-time high of 6,171 on Nov. 23.
The number of patients using ICU beds is 515, down from 1,195 on Dec. 1. The number of patients on ventilators is 278, down from 724 on Dec. 1.
On a Statewide basis, there were 16 deaths due to COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, which brings the total to 19,259. The was the lowest number in a day since Oct. 12.
For the last seven days, the numbers of deaths in the State are 87, 81, 103, 71, 65, 40, and 16 today. The seven-day average is 66.
A total of 1,829,575 doses of vaccine have been delivered to providers in Illinois, including Chicago and long-term care facilities. IDPH is currently reporting that a total of 996,410 doses of vaccines have been administered. IDPH said the weather impacted the number of vaccines administered yesterday, which totaled 14,422 doses.
1/ Northwestern University COVID-19 Cases. Ike C. Ogbo, Director of Evanston’s Health & Human Services Department, told the RoundTable that the COVID-19 cases reported by the City include cases of faculty, staff, and students attending Northwestern University who live in Evanston. The RoundTable asked the City in an FOIA Request to provide the number of NU students who tested positive for COVID-19 and who live in Evanston. The City refused to provide the data. On Oct. 26, the RoundTable appealed the City’s decision to the Public Access Counselor of the Attorney General’s Office. On Nov. 13, the City filed a response claiming it does not have any records showing the number of NU students who tested positive for COVID-19 and who live in Evanston.
The RoundTable has asked Northwestern University on several occasions to provide information breaking out the number of new COVID-19 cases of its faculty, staff and students by residency in Evanston. NU did not respond.
2/ Number of Cases per 100,000 Population. On July 1, a network of research, policy and public health experts convened by Harvard’s Global Health Institute and Edmond J. Safra Center published a Key Metrics for COVID Suppression framework that provides guidance to policy makers and the public on how to target and suppress COVID-19 more effectively across the nation. The targets for new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people are as follows (these are converted from cases per day to cases per week): a) less than 7 cases: “on track for containment;” b) 7 to 63 cases: “community spread,” rigorous test and trace program advised; c) 70 to 168 cases: “accelerated spread,” stay-at-home orders and/or rigorous test and trace programs advised; and d) 169+: ”tipping point,” stay-at-home orders necessary. The article is available here: https://globalepidemics.org/key-metrics-for-covid-suppression/
IDPH provides these categories and ratings: 1) “minimal” – fewer than 50 cases per 100,000 in a week; 2) “moderate” – between 50 and 100 cases per week; and 3) “substantial” more than 100 cases per 100,000 in a week. In its Metrics for School Determination of Community Spread, IDPH says the “target” is 50 cases per week per 100,000 people.
3/ Calculations. The RoundTable calculates the number of cases per 100,000 using case data provided by IDPH and assuming that the population of Suburban Cook County is 2.469 million, that the population of Chicago is 2.710 million, and that the population of Illinois is 12.671 million.
4/ The Test Positivity Rate. On May 26, Johns Hopkins University & Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center said on its website that “the World Health Organization (WHO) advised governments [on May 15] that before reopening, rates of positivity in testing (i.e., out of all tests conducted, how many came back positive for COVID-19) should remain at 5% or lower for at least 14 days.” Link: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/testing/testing-positivity
The Harvard Global Health Institute (HGHI) says, “A network of research, policy, and public health organizations convened by Harvard and MIT called the TTSI Collaborative has agreed on a 3% test positive rate or below as a key indicator of progress towards suppression level testing.”
IDPH says the test positivity target is 5% or less. IDPH provides these categories and ratings: 1) “Minimal” – test positivity rate is equal to or less than 5%: 2) “Moderate” – test positivity rate is between 5% and 8%; and 3) “Substantial” – test positivity rate is over 8%. In its Metrics for School Determination of Community Spread, IDPH says the target is 5%.