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Vaccination Progress for Evanstonians
The City’s COVID-19 vaccine dashboard reports that as of April 26, 75.6% of Evanston residents who are 16 and older have received at least one dose of a vaccine to prevent COVID-19, and 48.2% are fully vaccinated. These percentages include people who were vaccinated at City events and through other providers.
This week, the City says it administered approximately 700 doses to people 18 and older on Wednesday; it administered 15 doses on April 29 to people who are homebound; and on April 30, it plans to administer more than 200 second doses. In addition, the City says it has the capacity to administer approximately 350 first doses to people 18 and older who live or work in Evanston. Register for a first dose appointment.
If anyone needs assistance in getting a vaccine, call the toll-free, multilingual Illinois Department of Public Health hotline at 833-621-1284 to book an appointment. Evanston residents may also call/text 847-448-4311 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for questions about vaccine registration in Evanston.
Cases Due to Variants
New cases due to COVID-19 variants are increasing in Illinois. Today, April 29, IDPH posted on its site that there was a cumulative total of 3,137 COVID-19 cases in the State due to variants, up from 1,780 on April 22. So, there was a total of 1,357 new cases due to variants in the week ending April 29. The cumulative total increased by 76% in one week.
The new cases due to variants in the week ending April 22 were about 2.8% of the total of all new cases in that week. The percentage grew to about 7.1% in the week ending April 29.
Risk of Community Spread
The charts in the above chart box show that the seven-day average of new cases in Evanston, suburban Cook County, Chicago, and the State is trending downward. On a Statewide basis, though, IDPH says the 28-day trend of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 in the State is increasing.
For benchmarks used to assess the risk of spread, see footnotes 1–4.
Evanston – COVID
The City reported seven new COVID-19 cases of Evanston residents today, down from 12 yesterday.
The average number of new cases per day in the last seven days is 11, up from the seven-day average of 8.7 on April 22.
In the last seven days, there was a total of 77 new COVID-19 cases of Evanstonians, which equates to about 104 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 4,508 COVID-19 cases of Evanston residents during the pandemic, 193 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 22 and April 28, there were 59 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 3,394 new COVID-19 cases reported today, up from 2,728 yesterday.
Statewide, the average number of new cases per day in the last seven days is 2,732. The seven-day average one week ago on April 21 was 2,887, so today’s number is down by 5%. The downward trend continues, but at a slower pace.
Today’s seven-day average is up from a low this year of 1,513 on March 15. An accompanying chart shows the trend.
In the seven days ending April 29, the number of new cases per 100,000 people in the State was 151, down from 159 one week ago.
The seven-day case positivity rate for the State today is 3.5% and the test positivity rate is 4.0%.
On a Statewide basis, the number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 was 2,115 as of midnight on April 28, about the same as one week ago. This is up from 1,112 on March 15.
IDPH says the 28-day trend in the number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 is “increasing.”
The number of patients using ICU beds is 475, up from 227 on March 15. The number of patients on ventilators is 231, up from 95 on March 15.
On a Statewide basis, there were 38 deaths due to COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, which brings the total to 21,927.
For the last seven days, the numbers of deaths in the State are 22, 25, 24, 10, 29, 33, and 38 today. The seven-day average is 26.
Variants in Illinois
IDPH is reporting a total of 3,137 confirmed cases of COVID-19 variants in the State. Of those, 2,069 are the variant first discovered in the U.K.
Vaccinations in the State
A total of 11,546,345 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 9,155,989 doses of vaccines have been administered.
As of April 28, 79% of the residents of Illinois 65 and older have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine; and 53% of Illinois residents 16 and over have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
1/ On Feb. 12, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 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, 2020, 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, 2020, Johns Hopkins University & Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center said on its website that “the World Health Organization (WHO) advised governments [on May 15, 2020] 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, 2020, 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.