The total number of new cases of COVID-19 in Evanston was 53 for the week ending Sept. 14, compared to 55 for the week ending Sept. 8, a decrease of 3.6%. The seven-day average of new cases in the state decreased by 2.6%; hospitalizations decreased by 2.9%.   

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

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 that the actual number of new cases is between six and 10 times higher than the number being reported.

IDPH encourages use of therapeutic treatments

The Illinois Department of Public Health released data on Sept. 9 showing that the therapeutic COVID-19 treatments helped to avert approximately 8,600 hospitalizations in Illinois in the last four months.

“The therapeutic treatments that are available for COVID-19 work,” said IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra. “The data from Illinois that IDPH released today show just how effective these treatments can be at protecting people who contract COVID-19 from being hospitalized and severe outcomes. These treatments are especially recommended for individuals over 50 and those with underlying medical conditions. The key is to start these medications quickly, within the first five days. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, please test and get treated right away.

“Vaccines continue to be the most effective tools for preventing the most severe symptoms of COVID-19,” Vohra added, stating that the new booster shots offer extra protection against the omicron variants. “Getting up to date is especially important for those who are most at risk of serious outcomes.  We encourage everyone who is eligible to get up to date with these new boosters as soon as possible.”

Trends of New Cases in Illinois and Evanston

Illinois: The seven-day average of new cases in Illinois on Sept. 14 was 2,769, down from 2,982 on Sept. 8, a 7% decrease. The chart below shows the trend.   

Evanston: There was a total of 53 new COVID-19 cases of Evanston residents in the week ending Sept. 14, compared to 55 new cases in the week ending Sept. 8, a 3.6% decrease.  (Evanston is reporting COVID-19 data with a one-day delay.)

 The chart below shows the trend.

One Evanstonian died due to COVID-19 during the week ending Sept. 14. The number of deaths due to COVID-19 is now 156.

Northwestern University. The latest data reported on NU’s website is that between Sept. 2 and Sept. 8, there were 43 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 152 in the seven days ending Sept. 15. The number was 112 for both Chicago and suburban Cook County.

As of Sept. 14, the weekly number of new cases per 100,000 people in Evanston was 72. An accompanying chart shows the trend.

Hospitalizations

There were 1,288 hospitalizations in Illinois due to COVID-19 on Sept. 13, compared to 1,327 one week ago, a decrease of 2.9%.   

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.

The federal Centers for Disease Control 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. [2]

The City of Evanston reported this evening, Sept. 8, that Evanston is in the low risk category. IDPH reported today that Cook County, including Chicago, remains in the medium risk category.

Evanston has fewer than 200 new cases per 100,000 people, and the city reported this evening that it has a seven-day total of 2.56 new hospital admissions per 100,000 people and 2.8% staffed inpatient hospital beds that are occupied by COVID patients (using a seven-day average). These numbers put Evanston in the low risk category.

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 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 and IDPH use 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. 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/science/science-briefs/indicators-monitoring-community-levels.html

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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