Evanston RoundTable

Good morning, Evanston.

Evanston reported a continuing decline in new COVID-19 cases yesterday, as Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health confirmed today that the State will move to the “Bridge Phase” of the Restore Illinois reopening plan tomorrow, May 14. The Bridge Phase is the final step before the full reopening of Phase 5.

Under the Bridge Phase, there are expanded capacity limits for businesses, dining, offices, events, conferences, and gatherings. Barring any significant reversals in key COVID-19 statewide indicators, Illinois could enter Phase 5 as soon as June 11.

The State will continue to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance on mask-wearing in Phase 5. If there is a significant increase in deaths, hospitalizations, and the number of people being admitted to the hospital because of COVID-19, the State will remain in the Bridge Phase instead of moving to Phase 5, the Governor’s Office said.

COVID-19 by the numbers: We are checking in with many sources to keep you updated on COVID-19 cases and vaccine information.

  • Two cases were reported yesterday in Evanston. The seven-day average is four.
  • Northwestern University reported eight new cases the seven days ending May 12, down from 53 just two weeks ago. Northwestern students, staff, and professors living in Evanston are included in City test and case counts. 
  • The number of cases per 100,000 population over the past seven days is 42 in Evanston, 116 in suburban Cook County, and 106 in Illinois.
  • Our City’s seven-day positive test rate is 0.5%; the test positive rate in suburban Cook County is 4.2% and in Illinois is 2.7%.
  • Some 4.7 million or 36.5% of total Illinois residents are fully vaccinated.

Foster School, circa 1905 (Shorefront Legacy Center)

Fifth Ward STEM School Plan Promises Equity. The concept of restoring a school to Evanston’s Fifth Ward has surfaced again for what is now the fifth time since King Lab was relocated, this time as a proposal for a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) magnet school that would serve the entire District but likely give some level of preference to students in the neighborhood. A 501-c-3 nonprofit group called STEM School Evanston has come forward with a plan to privately fund a building for a K-8 magnet that the group hopes will open by the 2023-24 school year. District funding likely would be needed for ongoing operations, but after the failure of the 2012 referendum for such a school, the organizers and District agree that another referendum is not on the table.

Just Wanna Watch Netflix and Eat Ice Cream. Dear Gabby: I’ve gone through all the stages of the pandemic: from being obsessed with COVID numbers to appreciating the slower simpler pace, from wearing the same pajama bottoms everyday on all my Zoom calls to going to the drive through at McDonald’s just to see another human being, from being restless, bored, and irritable, to feeling full-on, happy-in-my-complete isolation. How should I start getting ready for the new reemergence, whenever that may happen? Do I have to wear makeup or stylish clothes again? Respond to ANY social overtures when I’d rather just watch Netflix and eat ice cream?

Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre Announces 2021 Season. Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre, a multicultural company that creates new dance and music to explore strong personal narratives, recently announced its new works and its 2021 season.

Support our #SaveChicagoMedia campaign!

The RoundTable recently joined the Chicago Independent Media Alliance (CIMA), which includes nearly 70 outlets covering the African American, Latinx, Asian American, Polish, immigrant, LGBTQ, and other Chicago communities. And, we are participating in CIMA’s annual joint fundraiser, which began this week and runs through June 11—with foundations lined up to match at least the first $40,000 in donations.

CIMA was launched in 2019 by the Chicago Reader. The 68 partners in the alliance include traditional print newspapers, independently produced podcasts, video production studios and nonprofit newsrooms focusing on key issues that affect the fabric of the city. CIMA coordinates revenue projects to assist in strengthening the local media landscape.

You can donate at savechicagomedia.org – the website offers the option to donate one amount to be split evenly among all of the outlets, or donors can select one or more outlets to give a specific amount. We hope you’ll include the RoundTable in your gift.

This is the second annual CIMA joint fundraiser. The 2020 campaign, put together in three weeks, raised more than $160,000 for 43 members, including $60,000 in matching funds from local foundations.

Around the Web