The total number of new cases of COVID-19 in Evanston was 289 for the week ending July 13, compared to 223 for the week ending July 7. The number of new cases in the state increased by about 27%. Hospitalizations in the state increased by 10%.

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

The number of new cases reported is significantly lower than the actual number of new cases contracted because many new cases are not reported. [1] Some researchers estimate the actual number of new cases is between six and 10 times higher than the number being reported.

Change in vaccine requirements, new vaccine

Governor J.B. Pritzker yesterday amended testing requirements for some unvaccinated health care employees and removed mandates for some other industries.

The governor’s office said, “Vaccine mandates for higher education employees and students and emergency medical service providers will not be reissued. Vaccination mandates will remain in place in K-12 schools, daycares, state-run 24/7 congregate care facilities, and any health care facilities not covered under the federal CMS vaccine mandate (including independent doctors’ offices, dental offices, urgent care facilities, and outpatient facilities).”

“We continue to remind everyone in Illinois that the most important step they can take to protect themselves, their loved ones and friends and colleagues is to remain up-to-date on vaccinations and booster shots,” said acting Illinois Department of Public Health Director Amaal Tokars. “This is especially important for those who are vulnerable to serious outcomes. We urge everyone to take advantage of the current availability of vaccines for the sake of their children, as well as getting up-to-date as a parent, guardian or grandparent.”

“Vaccination continues to be the number one tool we have to fight COVID-19,” Pritzker said. “I continue to urge all Illinoisans to make sure they’re up to date on their COVID-19 vaccine to ensure the most at-risk populations and those unable to be vaccinated are protected from the serious side effects of this disease.”  

On July 13, the Food and Drug Administration authorized a COVID-19 vaccine developed by Novavax. The Novavax vaccine operates differently from the mRNA vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. The Novavax vaccine is a protein-based vaccine, and it uses a technology that has been used for influenza and shingles for many years.

Trends of new cases in Illinois, Evanston

Illinois:  On July 14, the number of new cases in the state was 5,318.

 The seven-day average of new cases in Illinois on July 14 was 4,837 up from 3,815 on July 7, a 27% increase. The chart below shows the trend.   

Evanston: The city reported 33 new COVID-19 cases of residents on July 13.  (Evanston is reporting COVID-19 data with a one-day delay.)

There was a total of 289 new COVID-19 cases of Evanston residents in the week ending July 13, compared to 223 new cases in the week ending July 6, an increase of about 30%.   

 The chart below shows the trend.

One Evanstonian died due to COVID-19 during the week ending July 13. The total number of Evanston deaths due to COVID-19 is now 153.  

Northwestern University. The latest data on NU’s website is that between July 1 and July 7 there were 99 new COVID-19 cases of faculty, staff or students. Cases of Evanston residents 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 266 in the seven days ending July 14.

As of July 13, the weekly number of new cases per 100,000 people in Evanston was 390. As of July 14, the number was 226 for Chicago and 276 for suburban Cook County. An accompanying chart shows the trend.


There were 1,376 hospitalizations in Illinois due to COVID-19 on July 13, about 7% 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 two hospitals serving Evanston residents.

Cook County, Evanston in medium risk level

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and IDPH 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 the total number of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in the last seven days, the new COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 in the last seven days and the percent of staffed inpatient hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients. [2]

The City of Evanston reported July 14 that Evanston is in the medium risk category. IDPH reported today that Cook County, including Chicago, is in the medium risk category.

While Evanston has more than 200 new cases per 100,000 people, the city reported this evening that it has a seven-day total of 6.4 new hospital admissions per 100,000 people, and that it has 2.2% staffed inpatient hospital beds that are occupied by COVID patients (using a seven-day average).

The city has not said which hospitals or how many hospitals it is considering in making its analysis of community risk.

The CDC and IDPH recommend that people in a community with a “medium” transmission rate should take the following precautions:

  • “If you are immunocompromised or at high risk for severe disease, talk to your healthcare provider about whether you need to wear a mask and take other precautions (e.g., testing)
  • “If you have household or social contact with someone high risk for severe disease, consider self-testing to detect infection before contact, and 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
  • “If you are immunocompromised or high risk for severe disease
  • Have a plan for rapid testing if needed (e.g., having home tests or access to testing)
  • Talk to your healthcare provider about whether you are a candidate for treatments like oral antivirals, PrEP, and monoclonal antibodies


1/The City of Evanston says that the state, the county and the city do not have a mechanism to report, verify or track at home test results. Because a positive at home test is regarded as highly accurate, most people who test positive in an at home test do not get a second test outside the home that is reported to government officials. The number of new COVID-19 cases reported by IDPH and the city thus significantly understates the actual number of new cases that are contracted. Some studies estimate the cases are underestimated by 600% or more.

2/ 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 seven days; 2) new COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 population in the last seven days; and 3) the percent of staffed inpatient beds occupied by patients with confirmed COVID-19 (seven-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 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...

One reply on “COVID-19 update as of July 14: Cook County drops to ‘medium’ community risk level, Evanston remains ‘medium’”

  1. Larry –
    Couple of questions regarding these statistics if you know the answers or the RoundTable could inquire from Mr. Ogbo:
    1) At prior points in the pandemic, NorthShore was diverting Covid cases to NorthShore Skokie or Glenview rather than treating them at Evanston. Is that still a policy? The exclusion of the non-Evanston hospital from the stats happened a few months back, but it was unclear what drove that decision. Are Evanston residents being sent out of the city for Covid treatment and is that having an impact on our statistics?
    2) You have noted that Northwestern students who are residents of Evanston are included in the Evanston numbers. Does that include all students currently residing in Evanston or only those with permanent residency in Evanston? I ask because college students are often considered non-residents if they maintain that their parent’s home is the primary resident.

    Chris VanAvermaete

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