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The total number of new cases of COVID-19 in Evanston was 202 for the week ending June 15, 12% lower than the week ending June 9. The number of new cases in the state increased by about 2%. Hospitalizations remained at about the same level.

Cook County, including Chicago, is in the “high” community-risk level. City officials say Evanston is in the “medium” risk level.

Researchers estimate that the actual number of new cases is about six or seven times the number being reported, because many people who test positive on tests taken at home are not reporting them.

COVID vaccines for children under 5

On Wednesday, June 15, independent advisors to the Food and Drug Administration unanimously recommended that the FDA approve the use of Moderna’s vaccine for children 6 months through 5 years old and Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine for children 6 months through 4 years old. The FDA is expected to quickly rule on the recommendation.

The next step is for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s panel of independent experts to review the data this Friday and Saturday, June 17 and 18, and make a recommendation. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky will then decide whether or not to accept the recommendation.

Moderna’s vaccine contemplates two doses given four weeks apart. The vaccine has been shown to be 51% effective in preventing illness in children between 6 months and 2 years old and 37% effective for children 2 to 5.

Pfizer’s vaccine contemplates three doses, with the second dose given three weeks after the first, and the third two months after the second. The effective rate is not yet determined, but preliminary data suggests it may be 80% effective against illness.

Trends of new cases in Illinois and Evanston

Illinois:  On Thursday, June 16, the number of new cases in the state was 5,334.

 The seven-day average of new cases in Illinois on Thursday, June 16 was 4,751 down from 4,811 on June 9, a 2% decrease. The chart below shows the trend.   

Evanston: Evanston reported there were 37 new COVID-19 cases of Evanston residents on June 15. (Evanston is reporting COVID-19 data with a one-day delay.)

There was a total of 202 new COVID-19 cases of Evanston residents in the week ending June 15, compared to 240 new cases in the week ending June 9, a decrease of about 12%.   

 The chart below shows the trend.

No Evanstonian died from COVID-19 during the week ending June 15. The total number of Evanston deaths due to COVID-19 remains at 149.

Northwestern University. The latest data reported on NU’s website is that between June 3 and 9 there were 279 new COVID-19 cases of faculty, staff or students. If the cases are of an Evanston resident, they are included in Evanston’s data for the relevant period, Ike Ogbo, Director of Evanston’s Department of Health and Human Services, told the RoundTable. NU will update its data tomorrow.

Cases per 100,000

The weekly number of new cases per 100,000 people in Illinois is 264 in the seven days ending June 16.  

As of June 15, the weekly number of new cases per 100,000 people in Evanston was 273. As of June 16, the number was 217 for Chicago and 321 for suburban Cook County. An accompanying chart shows the trend.

Hospitalizations

Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 have more than doubled in the last seven weeks. They have increased from 517 on April 6 to 1,188 on June 15, a little more than one week ago.

The chart below, prepared by the City of Evanston, shows the trends in hospitalizations due to COVID-19 at the closest three hospitals serving Evanston residents.

Cook County in the High Risk Level

The CDC and Illinois Department of Public Health look at the combination of three metrics to determine whether a community level of risk for COVID-19 is low, medium or high. They are 1) the total number of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in the last 7 days; 2) the new COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 in the last 7 days; and 3) the percent of staffed inpatient hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients. [1]

The City of Evanston reported June 16 that Evanston is in the medium-risk category. IDPH reported that Cook County, including Chicago, is in the high risk category.

While Evanston has more than 200 new cases per 100,000 people, the city reported that there is a 7-day total of 5.12 new hospital admissions per 100,000 people, and that it has 1.98% staffed inpatient hospital beds occupied by COVID patients (using a 7-day average).

The city has not said what hospitals it is considering in making its analysis of community risk.

The CDC and IDPH recommend the following measures for people in areas that are rated at a high community Level for COVID-19 transmission:

  • Wear a well-fitting maskindoors in public, regardless of vaccination status (including in K-12 schools and other indoor community settings)
  • If you are immunocompromised or high risk for severe disease:
    • Wear a mask or respirator that provides you with greater protection.
    • Consider avoiding non-essential indoor activities in public where you could be exposed.
    • Talk to your healthcare provider about whether you need to take other precautions.
    • Have a plan for rapid testing if needed (e.g., having home tests or access to testing).
    • IF YOU TEST POSITIVE: Talk to your healthcare provider about whether you are a candidate for treatments like oral antivirals, and monoclonal antibodies.
  • If you have household or social contact with someone at high risk for severe disease:
    • consider self-testing to detect infection before contact.
    • consider wearing a mask when indoors with them.
  • Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and boosters.
  • Maintain improved ventilation throughout indoor spaces when possible.
  • Follow CDC recommendations for isolation and quarantine, including getting tested if you are exposed to COVID-19 or have symptoms of COVID-19.

At all levels, people can wear a mask based on personal preference, informed by personal level of risk. People with symptoms, a positive test or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask.

FOOTNOTES

1/ CDC recommends the use of three indicators to measure COVID-19 Community Levels: 1) new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population in the last 7 days; 2) new COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 population in the last 7 days; and 3) the percent of staffed inpatient beds occupied by patients with confirmed COVID-19 (7-day average). 

The chart below illustrates how these indicators are combined to determine whether COVID-19 Community Levels are low, medium, or high. The CDC provides many recommendations depending on whether the COVID-19 Community Level is low, medium or high.

Larry Gavin

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...

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