The total number of new cases of COVID-19 in Evanston was 119 for the week ending Aug. 10, compared to 163 for the week ending Aug. 4, a decrease of 27%.  The seven-day average of new cases in the state decreased by 4.7%; hospitalizations, though, increased by 6.3%.

Cook County, including Chicago, remained in the “high” community risk level. City officials say Evanston moved to the “low” risk level. On Aug. 11, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention modified its recommendations on the steps people should take to reduce the risk of infection and the spread of the virus. On the whole, the CDC is reducing the restrictiveness of its prior recommendations.

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

Trends of new cases in Illinois, Evanston

Illinois: On Aug. 11, the number of new cases in the state was 5,727.

 The seven-day average of new cases in Illinois on Aug. 11 was 4,141, down from 4,345 on Aug. 4, a 4.7% decrease. The chart below shows the trend.   

Evanston: Evanston reported there were 30 new COVID-19 cases of Evanston residents on Aug. 10.  (Evanston is reporting COVID-19 data with a one-day delay.)

There was a total of 118 new COVID-19 cases of Evanston residents in the week ending Aug. 10, compared to 163 new cases in the week ending Aug. 4, a decrease of 27%.  

 The chart below shows the trend.

No Evanstonians died due to COVID-19 during the week ending Aug. 10. The total number of Evanston deaths due to COVID-19 remains 155.  

Northwestern University: The latest data reported on NU’s website is that between July 29 and Aug. 4 there were 76 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 227 in the seven days ending Aug. 11.

As of Aug. 10, the weekly number of new cases per 100,000 people in Evanston was 161. As of Aug. 11, the number was 193 for Chicago and 209 for suburban Cook County. An accompanying chart shows the trend.

Hospitalizations

There were 1,506 hospitalizations in Illinois due to COVID-19 on Aug. 3, compared to 1,416 one week ago, an increase of 6.3%.  

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.

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

The City of Evanston reported this evening, Aug. 11, that Evanston is in the low risk category. IDPH reported today that Cook County, including Chicago, is in the high risk category. Lake, DuPage, Will and Kane Counties are also in the high risk category.

Evanston reported this evening that it had 161 new cases per 100,000 people, a seven-day total of 5.12 new hospital admissions per 100,000 people, and 3.03% staffed inpatient hospital beds that are occupied by COVID patients (using a seven-day average), putting it into the low risk category.

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

On Aug. 11, the CDC issued new steps that people should take to minimize the risk of contracting COVID-19 and to reduce the spread. There are six steps that apply to all community risk levels, another two for people in medium and high community risk areas, and two more for people in high community risk areas. The steps are:

At all COVID-19 Community Levels:

When the COVID-19 Community Level is medium or high:

  • If you are at high risk of getting very sick, wear a well-fitting mask or respirator when indoors in public.
  • If you have household or social contact with someone at high risk for getting very sick, consider testing to detect infection before contact and consider wearing a mask when indoors with them.

When the COVID-19 Community Level is high:

  • Wear a well-fitting mask or respirator.
  • If you are at high risk of getting very sick, consider avoiding non-essential indoor activities in public where you could be exposed.

FOOTNOTES

1/The City of Evanston says the state, county and 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 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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