FDA Approves Pfizer Vaccine for 12-15 Year Olds
The Food and Drug Administration today authorized using the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds in the United States. An advisory panel of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to meet soon and make recommendations for the vaccine’s use for this age group.
Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D, said. “Today’s action allows for a younger population to be protected from COVID-19, bringing us closer to returning to a sense of normalcy and to ending the pandemic. Parents and guardians can rest assured that the agency undertook a rigorous and thorough review of all available data, as we have with all of our COVID-19 vaccine emergency use authorizations.”
The FDA’s news release is available here.
Vaccines to Be Offered at Workplaces
Governor JB Pritzker launched a new program today that offers building workers and returning office staff a chance to get a vaccination at work.
“Having vaccine available where you work makes getting vaccinated very convenient,” said Gov. Pritzker. “SEIU and other area unions, local businesses, and the building managers have worked hand in hand with IDPH to make this as easy as possible. … More vaccinations will mean more of a return to normal for everyone.”
The effort launches with 10 sites in Chicago, Schaumburg, and Rockford. “The State is partnering with the Building Owners and Managers Association and local unions to encourage front desk staff, custodial workers, security, building engineers, and other employees to sign up for an appointment in advance, and outreach will be conducted to neighboring buildings as well. The clinics offer two-dose vaccinations and will also take walk-ins,” said the Governor’s Office.
“Illinois is also supporting vaccination clinics for community organizations across the State such as churches and other religious organizations, neighborhood associations, mutual aid groups, nonprofits, immigrant service providers, and the like. Interested community organizations can sign up to host a clinic at no cost to them and IDPH [the Illinois Department of Public Health] will provide the staff and supplies.”
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 four new COVID-19 cases of Evanston residents today, compared to six yesterday and six on Saturday.
The average number of new cases per day in the last seven days is 6.7, down from the seven-day average of 8.4 on May 3.
In the last seven days, there was a total of 47 new COVID-19 cases of Evanstonians, which equates to about 63 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 4,583 COVID-19 cases of Evanston residents during the pandemic, 162 of which are active.
No Evanstonian has died due to COVID-19 since May 6. 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 May 3 and May 9, there were 10 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 1,424 new COVID-19 cases reported today, down from 1,741 yesterday.
Statewide, the average number of new cases per day in the last seven days is 2,087. The seven-day average one week ago on May 3 was 2,658, so today’s number is down by 21%. 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 10, 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 1,906 as of midnight on May 9. The number is up from 1,112 on March 15.
IDPH said today that the trends in new hospital admissions and total patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 has been “decreasing” in the last 28 days.
The number of patients using ICU beds is 473, up from 227 on March 15. The number of patients on ventilators is 274, 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 described the trend in the mortality rate as “increasing, but not significant” in the last 28 days.
For the last seven days, the numbers of deaths in the State are 19, 30, 40, 36, 22, 20, and 12 today. The seven-day average is about 25.
Variants in Illinois
IDPH is reporting a combined total of 4,751 confirmed cases of COVID-19 variants in the State. Of those, 3,170 are the variant first discovered in the U.K.
Vaccinations in the State
A total of 9,978,915 doses of vaccine have been administered in Illinois. As of May 10, 80.56% of Illinois residents 65 and older have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 56.85% of residents 16 and older 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: 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.
Bridge phase A Bridge to Phase 5 (illinois.gov)