The advisory panel to the Food and Drug Administration unanimously voted Thursday to recommend that the FDA approve Moderna booster shots for people who had previously received Moderna’s vaccine. People eligible for the booster shot include people over 65 and other adults who are considered at high risk. The eligible groups are those eligible for the Pfizer booster.

Locally, the number of new COVID-19 cases of Evanstonians dropped from 84 one week ago to 57 in the week ending Oct. 14.

Recent Trends

New Cases: The weekly number of new cases per 100,000 people in Illinois decreased from 157 to 126 in the week ending Oct. 14, a 19% decrease from the prior week. The number of new cases per week in Illinois is now about six times higher than it was on June 10, the day before the state moved to Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois Plan. 

The above chart illustrates that the trends of new cases per week are also lower in suburban Cook County, Chicago and Evanston. The number of new cases per 100,000 for Evanston, suburban Cook County, Chicago and Illinois is: Evanston – 77; suburban Cook County – 108; Chicago – 82; and Illinois – 126.

Under U.S. Centers for Disease Control guidelines, suburban Cook County and Illinois are considered to be areas with “high transmission.” Evanston and Chicago are considered to be areas of “substantial transmission.”  See footnote 2.

Test Positivity Rates: The seven-day test-positivity rates in each region are: Evanston 0.4%; suburban Cook County – 2.1%; Chicago – 1.8%; and Illinois – 2.6%. The test positivity rates are the same or slightly lower than they were one week ago.

Vaccinations: The number of people in the state who are vaccinated continues to grow, but at a very slow pace. As of Oct. 14, 80.9% of Illinois residents who are 12 and older had at least one dose of a vaccine, up from 80.4% on Oct. 7; and 63.4% were fully vaccinated, compared to 62.9% on Oct. 7. These percentages include people who reside in Illinois and have been vaccinated in Illinois or in other states. The seven-day average for vaccinations is 27,559, down from 33,510, one week ago. (Source: CDC and Illinois Department of Public Health.)

As of Oct. 14, 88.9%of Evanston residents 12 and older had received at least one dose of a vaccine; 82% were fully vaccinated. There is a fraction of a percent increase in each number from the prior week. (Source: City of Evanston.)

Evanston – COVID

Evanston reported five new COVID-19 cases of Evanston residents today, compared to 18 yesterday and 13 on Tuesday.

The numbers are higher than one week ago. There has been a total of 57 new COVID-19 cases of Evanston residents in the last seven days, compared to 84 in the prior seven days. In the last week, 12,500 COVID-19 tests were administered.

The seven-day test positivity rate today is 0.4%, compared to 0.5% one week ago.

There has been a total of 5,360 COVID-19 cases of Evanston residents during the pandemic, 101 of which are active.

No Evanstonian has died from to COVID-19 since Sept. 14. The total number of Evanston deaths due to COVID-19 is 121.

Cases at District 65 and ETHS. According to data posted on School District 65’s website, there were five new COVID-19 cases of students at District 65 in the week ending Oct. 12 and 38 students were in quarantine. The data does not indicate if the students were infected at the schools. There were no new cases for teachers and one teacher was in quarantine.

According to data posted on ETHS’s website, for the week ending Oct. 12 there was no new COVID-19 cases of a student at ETHS and six were in quarantine. For staff, there were two new cases, and two staff members were in quarantine The data does not indicate if the students were infected at the schools.

Impact of Northwestern University. The most recent data on Northwestern University’s website reports that between Oct. 8 and Oct. 14 there were 40 new confirmed COVID-19 cases of an NU faculty member, staff member or student. If the faculty member, staff member or student resides in Evanston, the case or cases would be included in the City’s numbers.

FOOTNOTES

1/ The state moved to Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois Plan on June 11. As of July 1, the RoundTable has been covering COVID-19 metrics once a week on Thursdays.  Specifically, the RoundTable is presenting two charts showing: 1) the trends in the number of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in two recent seven-day periods for Evanston, Chicago, Suburban Cook County, and the State. The chart also shows the weekly numbers of new cases for each region as of June 10 as a baseline to gauge whether cases are going up since the move to Phase 5; and 2) the most recent test positivity rates for these areas.  

As discussed in footnote 3 below, the CDC recommends that these two measures be used to determine the level of risk of transmission.  If we see a surge in new cases or in the test positivity rates, we will consider covering additional metrics.

We will also report the most recent percentages of vaccinated people, 12 years and older, in Evanston and Illinois.

2/ In late July, the CDC, the IDPH and Evanston’s Health & Human Services Department each adopted recommendations that everyone, including fully vaccinated people, wear a mask in a public indoor setting in areas with “substantial” and “high transmission” of new COVID-19 cases. Areas of substantial transmission are considered to be those with between 50 and 99 cases per 100,000 people over a 7-day period. Areas of high transmission are considered to be those with more than 100 cases per 100,000 people over a 7-day period.

They also recommend universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. 

3/ 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 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 COVID tests during the last seven days that were positive. The CDC provides a chart to assess whether the risk of transmission is low, moderate, substantial, or high. If the two indicators suggest different levels of risk, CDC says the higher level of risk should be used. 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

 

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  1. Do the District 65 stats now include cases identified by Shield testing (the routine weekly testing of most students)?