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Get Vaccinations, Wear Masks
Governor JB Pritzker today announced an additional State mass vaccination site in Matteson, Cook County, that will be open to all eligible Illinois residents on Thursday, April 15. “With the State’s seven-day test positivity rate and hospitalizations on the rise, local and State health officials are urging Illinois residents to seek out a vaccination location near them in order to protect themselves and their families from COVID-19,” said the Governor’s Office in a prepared statement today.
“I’m proud to deploy Illinois National Guard teams and additional State resources to Cook County to ensure residents can receive their vaccines as efficiently and equitably as possible,” said Governor Pritzker. “The brave men and women of the Guard have already administered over 1 million vaccine doses to Illinoisans across the State, and as the federal government prepares to increase Illinois’ deliveries to over 100,000 a day in the coming weeks, IDPH [the Illinois Department of Public Health] and our 97 local health departments are prepared to meet the moment. In the meantime, I encourage all Illinoisans to wear their masks and stay vigilant as we power through to the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
To date, there are nearly 1,500 troops assigned to COVID-19 operations in 43 different locations throughout the State.
“In March, we saw COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations increase at an alarming rate,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “There is no doubt that we need to continue to vaccinate as many people as our vaccine supply will allow. I encourage all those who are able to get vaccinated to do so to get us on the other side of this pandemic, allowing us to return to normalcy.”
The J&J Vaccine
An advisory committee for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this afternoon discussed a pause in using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Committee members decided they needed more time to assess the data and that they would not make a recommendation until they met again, which may be in seven to 10 days.
Risk of Community Spread
The charts in the above chart 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, IDPH 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, 3, and 4]
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 six new COVID-19 cases of Evanston residents today, down from 15 yesterday.
The average number of new cases per day in the last seven days is 10.7, down from the seven-day average of 13.6 on April 7.
In the last seven days, there was a total of 75 new COVID-19 cases of Evanstonians. The 75 new cases equate to about 101 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 4,359 COVID-19 cases of Evanston residents during the pandemic, 205 of which are active.
No Evanstonian has died due to COVID-19 since April 10. The number of deaths due to COVID-19 is 116.
Impact of Northwestern University. Northwestern University has posted data on its website reporting that between April 5 and April 11, there were 44 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. 
Illinois – COVID-19
In the State, there were 3,536 new COVID-19 cases reported today, up from 3,193 yesterday.
Statewide, the average number of new cases per day in the last seven days is 3,353. The seven-day average one week ago on April 7 was 2,982, so today’s number is up by 12%. The average number is up 39% 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 more than doubled since then. An accompanying chart shows the trend.
In the seven days ending April 14, the number of new cases per 100,000 people in the State was 185, up from 165 one week ago.
The seven-day case positivity rate for the State today is 4.2% and the test positivity rate is 5.0%.
On a Statewide basis, the number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 was 2,076 as of midnight on April 13. This is up from 1,112 on March 15.
The number of patients using ICU beds is 553, up from 227 on March 15. The number of patients on ventilators is 198, up from 95 on March 15.
On a Statewide basis, there were 30 deaths due to COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, which brings the total to 21,570.
For the last seven days, the numbers of deaths in the State are 34, 21, 13, 16, 18, 17, and 30 today. The seven-day average is 21.
Variants in Illinois
IDPH is reporting a total of 1,051 confirmed cases of COVID-19 variants in the State. Of those 794 are the variant first discovered in the U.K.
Vaccinations in the State
A total of 9,386,135 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 7,482,650 doses of vaccines have been administered. The Illinois National Guard has administered more than 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines at State-supported vaccination sites around the State.
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.
CDC’s guidelines are available here: Operational Strategy for K-12 Schools through Phased Prevention | CDC
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 (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%.
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.