The City of Evanston said late on May 6 that the FDA is expected to approve the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 12 to 15 within the next few weeks. The City encouraged all households to fill out the City’s COVID-19 Vaccination Contact Form (español) for children 12 to 15 in their household, so the City can contact them as soon as the vaccine is available.

Governor JB Pritzker announced on May 6 that COVID-19 vaccines will be made available to physicians offices across the State, and doctors are encouraged to enroll to begin administering the vaccine to their patients. More than 1,050 physician offices are already registered to administer the COVID-19 vaccine in their offices.

“The days of vaccine scarcity are over,” Gov. Pritzker said.

If anyone needs assistance in getting a vaccine, the City recommends calling the Illinois Department of Public Health hotline, 833-621-1284, to book an appointment. Evanston residents may also call or text 847-448-4311 or email for questions about vaccine registration in Evanston.

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.

For benchmarks used to assess the risk of spread, see footnotes 1–4.

Evanston – COVID

The City reported two new COVID-19 cases of Evanston residents today, compared to six yesterday.   

The average number of new cases per day in the last seven days is 6.9, down from the seven-day average of 12.1 on April 30.

In the last seven days, there was a total of 48 new COVID-19 cases of Evanstonians, which equates to about 65 new cases per 100,000 people in the seven-day period.

Evanston’s case positivity rate for the last seven days is 0.8%. 

There has been a total of 4,567 COVID-19 cases of Evanston residents during the pandemic, 165 of which are active. 

No Evanstonian died due to COVID-19 in the last 24 hours. The number of deaths due to COVID-19 is 117.

Impact of Northwestern University. Northwestern University has posted data on its website reporting that between April 30 and May 6, there were 18 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-19

In the State, there were 3,321 new COVID-19 cases reported today, up from 1,778 yesterday.     

Statewide, the average number of new cases per day in the last seven days is 2,349. The seven-day average one week ago on April 30 was 2,709, so today’s number is down by 13%. The downward trend continues.  

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 May 7, the number of new cases per 100,000 people in the State was 130, down from 150 one week ago.

The seven-day case positivity rate for the State today is 3.1% and the test positivity rate is 3.7%.

On a Statewide basis, the number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 was 1,927 as of midnight on May 6. The number is up from 1,112 on March 15.

IDPH said today, though, that there has been “no significant change” in the trend of total hospitalizations due to COVID-19 in the last 28 days.

The number of patients using ICU beds is 74, up from 227 on March 15. The number of patients on ventilators is 239, up from 95 on March 15.

On a Statewide basis, there were 36 deaths due to COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, which brings the total to 22,171. IDPH said today the trend in the mortality rate has been “increasing” in the last 28 days.  

For the last seven days, the numbers of deaths in the State are 32, 27, 28, 19, 30, 40, and 36 today.

Variants in Illinois

IDPH is reporting a combined total of 4,749 confirmed cases of COVID-19 variants in the State.  Of those, 3,161 are the variant first discovered in the U.K.  In the

Vaccinations in the State

A total of 9,719,958 doses of vaccine have been administered in Illinois. As of May 7, 80.14% of the residents of Illinois who are 65 and older have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 55.95% of Illinois residents 16 and over have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.


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, 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:

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:

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.

Bridge phase A Bridge to Phase 5 (

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...