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The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced today that Region 10, Suburban Cook County, is moving to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan effective today. This will loosen up some of the restrictions that were in place under the Tier 1 mitigations. A summary of IDPH’s guidelines that are applicable in Phase 4 are available here.

In announcing the change, IDPH summarizing some of the changes as follows:  

Restaurants and Bars: Indoor dining and drinking now permitted for parties of up to 10 people. Seated areas should be arranged so that tables allow for 6 feet between parties; impermeable barriers may be installed between booths which are less than 6 feet apart.

Retail and Service Counter: Continue capacity limit of no more than 50% occupancy.

Personal Care: Continue capacity limit of no more than 50% occupancy.

Indoor/Outdoor Recreation: Reopening select indoor recreation facilities (e.g., bowling alleys, skating rinks); indoor playgrounds and trampoline parks should remain closed. Indoor recreation to operate at lesser of 50 customers or 50% of facility capacity.

Youth and Recreational Sports: Competitive gameplay and tournaments permitted for moderate and lower risk sports. Intra-team scrimmages for higher risk sports

Museums: Capacity limit of no more than 25% occupancy. Guided tours should be limited to 50 or fewer people per group.

Meetings and Social Events: Limit to the lesser of 50 people or 50% of room capacity. Multiple groups may meet in the same facility if they are socially distanced and in separate rooms.

Evanston

There were 6 new confirmed COVID-19 cases of Evanston residents today, up from 5 yesterday.

The average number of new cases per day in the last seven days is 10.9, slightly up from the seven-day average of 10.8 on Jan. 26.  For purposes of comparison, on Oct. 12, the seven-day average was 5.6.

Today, the City reported a total of 199 tests, with an average of 1,319 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 3,628 COVID-19 cases of Evanston residents during the pandemic, 252 of which are active. An accompanying chart shows the trend.

In the last seven days, there was a total of 76 new COVID-19 cases of Evanstonians. That equates to about 101 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 four days. 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. [1]

Illinois

 In the State, there were 2,304 new COVID-19 cases reported today.    

Statewide, the average number of new cases per day in the last seven days is 3,212. This is the 23rd day in a row that the seven-day average has declined. The seven-day average one week ago, on Jan. 26, was 4,285, so today’s number is a decrease of 25%.  

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. 2, the number of new cases per 100,000 people in the State was 177. 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%. [4]

An accompanying chart shows that the number of cases per 100,000 people has declined for the week ending Feb. 2 compared to the prior week for 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 2,447 as of midnight on Feb. 1. This is down from an all-time high of 6,171 on Nov. 23.

The number of patients using ICU beds is 533, down from 1,195 on Dec. 1. The number of patients on ventilators is 265, down from 724 on Dec.  1.

On a Statewide basis, there were 47 deaths due to COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, which brings the total to 19,306.

For the last seven days, the numbers of deaths in the State are 81, 103, 71, 65, 40, 16, and 47 today.  The seven-day average is 60.

Vaccines

A total of 1,951,925 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 1,028,969 doses of vaccines have been administered.  

FOOTNOTES 

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%.