Evanston RoundTable
Erick Robles, Abraham Ruvalcaba and Jordan Morales had their masks on while walking outdoors on May 16. (Photo by Heidi Randhava)

Good morning, Evanston.

Yesterday the Illinois State Board of Education adopted a resolution that all schools must resume fully in-person learning next school year for all student attendance days. Remote learning is allowed on a very limited basis. District 65’s Return to School Plan announced at Monday night’s Board meeting anticipated this resolution would be adopted.  

More immediately, the City of Evanston’s Health & Human Services Department announced it will no longer require fully vaccinated people to wear face coverings or practice social distancing in most indoor and outdoor settings in Evanston.

Face coverings continue to be required, however, “for all individuals regardless of vaccination status in health care settings, schools and daycare centers, congregate settings, and on public transportation,” as well as “for all patrons at City facilities, community centers and Evanston Public Library locations until further notice, as well as at City of Evanston events and festivals, including the Downtown Evanston Farmers’ Market,” said the City.

Community members who are not fully vaccinated must continue to wear a face covering in public settings when maintaining a six-foot distance from others is not practical. 

Lakshmi K. said wearing a mask is not much different than wearing sunglasses. (Photo by Heidi Randhava)

Evanstonians respond to mask guidance that relies on the honor system. Evanston’s new mask guidelines came almost a week after the May 13 announcement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks in most settings. Some community members stopped to talk with the RoundTable in the days that followed the new recommendations by the CDC. Most expressed surprise, caution, and patience in response to the new CDC guidelines. For some, the change is long overdue. For others, the abrupt policy shift feels premature and puts the onus on individuals and businesses to implement the new guidelines.

Akasha-Shani Terrier and her son, Daryl Harmon III, wore masks while grocery shopping. (Photo by Heidi Randhava)

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

  • Seven cases were reported yesterday in Evanston; the seven-day average is four.
  • The number of cases per 100,000 population over the past seven days is 38 in Evanston, 86 in suburban Cook County, and 76 in Illinois.
  • Our City’s seven-day positive test rate is 0.6%. In suburban Cook County it is 3.5% and in Illinois it is 2.1%.
  • Some 4.9 million or 38.4% of all Illinois residents are fully vaccinated.

Evanston Vax Facts: According to City figures, 79% of Evanston residents 12 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 63% of residents 12 and older are fully vaccinated and nearly 100% of residents 65 and older have received at least one dose and 96% are fully vaccinated. More details are available on the City’s Vaccine Dashboard.

ETHS Wins Gold at U.S. Junior Chess Congress. In April the ETHS chess team took first place in the 18 & under division of the U.S. Junior Chess Congress, a U.S Chess national event with competition in five different age divisions. Take a look at how top ETHS scorer Elie Platnick outplayed his higher-rated opponent on the white side of a French Defense.

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