Evanston’s Vaccine Update

To date, the City has administered or distributed more than 23,000 total COVID-19 vaccine doses. As of tomorrow, all Evanston residents eligible as part of Phases 1A, 1B and 1B+ will have had the opportunity to receive at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. This includes individuals 65 and older, essential workers, and individuals 16 or older with pre-existing health conditions as defined by the State, said the City in an update this evening.

As of April 6, 93% of Evanston residents 65 and older have received at least their first dose of vaccination, and 65% have been fully vaccinated, either at an event sponsored by the City or through another provider.

All Evanston and Illinois residents 16 and older will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine starting April 12. The City is encouraging Evanston residents 16 and older to register for a vaccination through multiple providers, including:

Earlier today, Governor J.B. Pritzker announced that 150,000 vaccination appointments will be available on Monday, April 12 at State-run mass vaccination sites in the Chicago suburbs, including Cook County mass vaccination sites, and at area pharmacies.

The City’s goal is for residents to be vaccinated as quickly as possible from any trusted provider, whether it is the City, County, or a local pharmacy. Appointments will become more widely available through all of these sources as vaccine supplies increase, and residents are encouraged to seek them out.

The City says it will continue to host multiple vaccination events each week to administer doses received from the State. Registration for these events will continue to be prioritized by age, from oldest to youngest, starting with those 60 and older. If appointment slots are still available after individuals in the targeted age group have had a chance to register, the City will expand registration to the next age group.

Risk of Community Spread

The charts in the above box show that new cases are continuing to rise in suburban Cook County, Chicago, and Illinois.

For total cases in the last seven days per 100,000 people, the Illinois Department of Public Health says that more than 100 cases indicates a risk of “substantial spread.”  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that more than 100 cases indicates a risk of “high transmission.” [1, 2 and 3]

For test positivity in the last seven days, IDPH uses a target of 5%. The CDC says between 5% and 7.9% represents a “moderate” risk of transmission. [1, 2 and 3]

Evanston – COVID

The City reported 18 new COVID-19 cases of Evanston residents today, up from 17 yesterday.  

The average number of new cases per day in the last seven days is 12.7, down from the seven-day average of 16.3 on April 1.

In the last seven days, there was a total of 89 new COVID-19 cases of Evanstonians. The 89 new cases equate to about 120 new cases per 100,000 people in the seven-day period.

Evanston’s case positivity rate for the last seven days is 1.2%.  

There has been a total of 4,302 COVID-19 cases of Evanston residents during the pandemic, 209 of which are active. 

One Evanstonian died due to COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, the first COVID death in the City since March 4. The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 is 115.

Impact of Northwestern University. Northwestern University has posted data on its website reporting that between April 1 and April 7,  there were 45 new confirmed COVID-19 cases of NU faculty, staff, and students. If the faculty, staff or students reside in Evanston, they are included in the City’s numbers. The number reported by NU, though, includes people who live outside of Evanston. [5]

Illinois – COVID

In the State, there were 3,739 new COVID-19 cases reported today, down from 3,790 yesterday. The last time new cases exceeded 3,700 in a single day was Jan. 29.

Statewide, the average number of new cases per day in the last seven days is 3,012. The seven-day average one week ago on April 1 was 2,495, so today’s number is up by 21%. The average number is up 54% in the last two weeks.

Today’s seven-day average is up from a low this year of 1,513 on March 15. Cases have almost doubled since then. An accompanying chart shows the trend.

In the seven days ending April 7, the number of new cases per 100,000 people in the State was 166, up from 143 one week ago.

The seven-day case positivity rate for the State today is 4.2% and the test positivity rate is 4.8%.

On a Statewide basis, the number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 was 1,798 as of midnight on April 7. This is up from 1,112 on March 15.

The number of patients using ICU beds is 351, up from 227 on March 15. The number of patients on ventilators is 151, up from 95 on March 15.

On a Statewide basis, there were 34 deaths due to COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, which brings the total to 21,457.

For the last seven days, the numbers of deaths in the State are 24, 11, 14, 11, 13, 28, and 34 today. The seven-day average is 19.

Variants in Illinois

IDPH is reporting a total of 704 confirmed cases of COVID-19 variants in the State. Of those 552 are the variant first discovered in the U.K.

Vaccinations in the State

A total of 8,642,545 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 6,707,183 doses of vaccines have been administered.


1/ On Feb. 12, the CDC issued a “K-12 School Operational Strategy.” As part of that strategy, the report says, “CDC recommends the use of two measures of community burden to determine the level of risk of transmission: 1) the total number of new cases per 100,000 persons in the past 7 days; and 2) the percentage of nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs), including RT-PCR tests that are positive during the last 7 days. The two measures of community burden should be used to assess the incidence and spread of SARS-CoV-2 in the surrounding community (e.g., county) and not in the schools themselves.” The CDC provides a chart to assess whether the risk of transmission is low, moderate, substantial, or high. The CDC recommends different types of mitigations depending on the risk level. If the two indicators suggest different levels of risk, the mitigations recommended in the higher level of risk should be implemented, says CDC. The table below, reprinted from CDC’s report, provides CDC’s Indicators and Thresholds for Community Transmission of COVID-219.

 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/ The Test Positivity Rate. In addition, 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 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%.

4/ 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.

5/ 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.

Larry Gavin

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...