Dr. Robin Holland, who is part of the COVID-19 research team for the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, runs tests on saliva samples in labs housed at the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at the University of Illinois. Credit: RoundTable file photo

As the RoundTable looks back on three years living with COVID-19, here are some statistics that illustrate the pandemic’s impact on daily life in Evanston:

  • The city has reported 19,006 cases of COVID-19 since March 14, 2020, though public health experts have warned that cases are significantly underreported thanks to fewer people testing, as well as the widespread availability of at-home test kits.
  • There have been 163 Evanstonians who have died after contracting the virus since March 14, 2020. Of that total, 71 of those deaths occurred during the first four months of the pandemic, when vaccines were not yet available and hospitals were overrun with COVID-19 patients.
Then-Superintendent Eric Witherspoon and then-Principal Marcus Campbell install a Class of 2020 sign for ETHS senior Kayla Henning. Credit: Steve Johnson
  • Evanston Township High School and District 65 students spent approximately 235 consecutive school days learning remotely. A small percentage of District 65 students returned to in-person school for a few days a week starting in February 2021, though. ETHS also shut down in-person activities for five days in December 2021 due to the omicron variant wave.
  • Evanston residents spent 70 straight days living under a shelter-in-place order issued by Gov. JB Pritzker, which lasted from March 21 to May 29, 2020.
  • The city’s unemployment rate was 11.36% between March and August of 2020, compared with an 11.52% unemployment rate nationwide during that time period. In January 2023, Evanston’s unemployment rate was down to 3.6%.
A sign at the Old Neighborhood Grill on Central Street, a reminder of pandemic supply chain problems. Credit: Harvey Moshman
  • In Evanston, 83.11% of residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and 95.97% of residents have received at least one vaccine dose. The nationwide vaccination rate is just 68%.
  • The shelter-in-place order shut down 45% of Evanston businesses, with dozens forced to close permanently due to financial woes in the months and years since then. In a sign of recovery, business openings have outpaced closures over the last year.
  • Before the pandemic hit, the city had a 7.77% office vacancy rate. That rose to 13.45% in March 2022 before falling to 11% today.
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Duncan Agnew

Duncan Agnew covers Evanston public schools, affordable housing, City Hall and more for the RoundTable. He also writes long-form investigations, features and the morning email newsletter three times a...

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