Getting your Evanston news from Facebook? Try the Evanston RoundTable’s free daily and weekend email newsletters – sign up now!
Subscribe to the newsletter!
Illinois will move to Phase 5, the final phase of the Restore Illinois Plan, on June 11, the Governor’s Office said today in a prepared statement.
“On Friday, the State will eliminate all capacity limits on businesses, large-scale events, conventions, amusement parks, and all other venues. Mask requirements for vaccinated and non-vaccinated individuals continue to align with CDC guidelines,” said the Governor’s Office.
“A strong economy requires that people not only feel safe, but truly be safe, as they go about their lives as workers, neighbors, consumers, and friends – and thanks to the lifesaving power of vaccinations, that day is finally here for Illinois,” said Governor J.B. Pritzker. “I invite all Illinoisans to feel the hope and joy of this moment while also recognizing that this pandemic is still very present for the world at large – not to mention those here at home who have not been or cannot be vaccinated.”
“It is a very exciting time as we reach the point where businesses can operate without capacity limits and we are seeing the return of large events we’ve enjoyed in the past,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “However, it is important to remember that we are still in a world pandemic and not everyone has the protection of one of the safest and most effective vaccines ever. Currently, there is not a vaccine authorized for children younger than 12 years and some adults have chosen not to be vaccinated. For these reasons, it is important for unvaccinated people to continue to wear masks while in public and to socially distance. The virus can continue to spread among unvaccinated individuals, which could lead to additional mutations and new, more virulent variants.”
The Governor’s Office summarized some of the continuing guidance:
“In accordance with guidance from the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention], fully vaccinated people in Illinois can resume activities without wearing a mask except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.
“Consistent with CDC guidance, fully vaccinated and non-vaccinated persons are required to wear a face covering in certain situations including: 1) on public transportation, planes, buses, trains, and in transportation hubs such as airports and train and bus stations; 2) in congregate facilities such as correctional facilities and homeless shelters; and (3) in health care settings. Individuals in schools and day cares must also continue to wear face coverings per guidance issued by the Illinois State Board of Education, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, and the Illinois Department of Public Health.
“According to the CDC, it is critical that schools use prevention strategies. Schools providing in-person instruction should prioritize two prevention strategies: 1) Universal and correct use of masks should be required; and, 2) Physical distancing should be maximized to the greatest extent possible.
“Municipalities and businesses in most industries may choose to continue to implement public health mitigations as they deem appropriate, including requiring face coverings.”
The Phase 5 Guidelines are available here: Illinois Phase 5 Guidelines.pdf
The Risk of Spread is Declining
The charts in the above chart box show that the weekly number of new cases per 100,000 in Evanston, suburban Cook County, Chicago, and the State are all well below IDPH’s benchmark of 50. The low test positivity rate in each region shows that testing is adequate. The data show that all four regions are controlling the spread of the virus.
The number of people in the State who are being vaccinated continues to grow, but at a much slower pace than in April. Significantly, almost 38% of Illinois residents over 16 have not received a vaccination. As the State moves to Phase 5, vaccinations will be important to suppress the spread.
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, up from one yesterday.
The average number of new cases per day in the last seven days is about 1.7, up from the seven-day average of 0.5 on June 3.
In the last seven days, there was a total of 12 new COVID-19 cases of Evanstonians, which equates to about 16 new cases per 100,000 people in the seven-day period.
Evanston’s case positivity rate for the last seven days is 0.2%.
There has been a total of 4,650 COVID-19 cases of Evanston residents during the pandemic, 15 of which are active.
No Evanstonian has died from COVID-19 since May 31. The number of deaths due to COVID-19 is 118.
Impact of Northwestern University. Northwestern University has posted data on its website reporting that between June 3 and June 9, there was one new confirmed COVID-19 case of an NU student or staff member. If the student or staff member resides in Evanston, the case would be included in the City’s numbers. 
Illinois – COVID-19
In the State, there were 366 new COVID-19 cases reported today, down from yesterday.
Statewide, the average number of new cases per day in the last seven days is 413. The seven-day average one week ago on June 3 was 637, so today’s number is down by 35%. The downward trend continues. An accompanying chart shows the trend.
In the seven days ending June 10, the number of new cases per 100,000 people in the State was 23, down from 35 one week ago.
The seven-day case positivity rate for the State today is 1.0% and the test positivity rate is 1.3%.
On a Statewide basis, the number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 was 764 as of midnight on June 9. The number of patients using ICU beds is 209. The number of patients on ventilators is 103. The trend of each of these is decreasing.
On a Statewide basis, there were 18 deaths due to COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, which brings the total to 23,014. For the last seven days, the number of deaths in the State are 15, 32, 37, 14, 11, 23, and 18 today. The seven-day average is 21.
Variants in Illinois
IDPH is reporting a combined total of 9,156 confirmed cases of COVID-19 variants in the State. The combined total of variants is up 9% from one week ago.
Vaccinations in the State
A total of 11,821,373 doses of vaccine have been administered in Illinois. As of June 10, 82.42% of Illinois residents 65 and older have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 62.32% of the Illinois residents 16 and older have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. These percentages continue to move up very slowly.
In the last seven-days, the average number of vaccinations given to Illinoisans per day was 49,572. On April 21, the seven-day average was 122,842. The pace of vaccinations has slowed down even though there is a larger supply and more places to get a vaccination.
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)