Evanston RoundTable
COVID-19 hospitalizations are at a record high in Evanston. (Graph via Evanston Health and Human Services)

Good Thursday morning, Evanston.

Over the last three weeks, Evanston has seen a staggering surge in COVID-19 cases among residents, far surpassing any previous wave of the pandemic. The highly contagious omicron variant has fueled the increase in positive cases, causing many breakthrough infections for vaccinated individuals.

During the pandemic, NorthShore University Healthsystem has converted its Glenbrook Hospital into the primary location for patients hospitalized with COVID-19. As of Tuesday, Jan. 4, NorthShore Glenbrook had 137 COVID-19 inpatients, a 28% increase in hospitalizations from the 107 COVID-19 patients just four days earlier on Jan. 1. 

Evanston bus shelter. (RoundTable photo)

An often overlooked piece of the city’s infrastructure — bus shelters — may be in line for special attention in 2022. City staff is considering ways to improve the bus shelters’ “livability” for those who use public transportation.

Sebastian Nalls, the 21-year-old Purdue University students whose poise and quick command of issues impressed observers in the 2020-21 mayoral race, has declared his interest in filling the 9th Ward Council seat, expected to be vacated soon. Nalls announced in a press release his interest in succeeding Cicely Fleming as Council member of the far south Evanston ward.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Hip Circle Empowerment Center Core & Cardio class via Zoom. (Photo provided)

Local empowerment center supports women and girls through movement. Hip Circle Empowerment Center is a non-profit belly dance and fitness studio on Howard Street that aims to empower women and girls in their bodies and dispel diet culture.

City Manager finalists introduced at virtual town hall Jan. 9. The two candidates are Michael Jasso, the Assistant City Manager for Sacramento, Cal., and Daniel Ramos, the Deputy Chief of Staff and Deputy City Administrator for Baltimore.

NorthShore, Edward-Elmhurst finalize merger, create third-largest health system in Illinois. The two health-care giants announced the completion of their merger Wednesday.

At this time: 12:39 p.m. Wednesday. The Arrington Lagoon in Dawes Park gets its first coating of ice for the skating season. (Photo by Richard Cahan)

League of Women Voters will host conversation with Judge Lionel Jean-Baptiste. On Tuesday, Jan. 18, former City Council member Judge Lionel Jean-Baptiste, judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, will appear in a live program on Zoom.

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Around the web

Chicago cancels classes Wednesday after teacher vote halts in-person learning. Facing a wave of COVID-19 cases and staff shortages, the Chicago Teachers Union voted for a shift to remote learning until the city meets its demands for more testing and pandemic protections.

COVID Test Shortage Forces Chicagoans To ‘Hell-Hole’ Pop-Up Sites With Unmasked Workers, Missing Results. Governor JB Pritzker recently vowed to crack down on these unapproved testing centers, where residents have reported inaccurate results, long lines and unsanitary conditions.

Northwestern Medicine opens immediate care center on Sherman Avenue. The new clinic officially opened its doors in downtown Evanston on Monday, replacing the Barnes and Noble in downtown Evanston that closed in the spring of 2020.

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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...