Evanston RoundTable

Good morning, Evanston.

The first likely case of spread of COVID-19 in a District 65 building was between staff members, Devon Horton, Superintendent of School District 65, advised the District 65 community in a letter on Friday. Dr. Horton said, “Since the start of hybrid learning over eight weeks ago, we are reporting our first likely case of spread within a building between two staff members this week. “Those within the classroom and any close contacts have already been notified. We are working alongside the health department and will continue to monitor the situation.”

Vivian Killebrew in her shop, Stepping Out on Faith (Photo by Adina Keeling)

Even through the pandemic, shop owner Vivian Killebrew is continuing to step out on faith. Ms. Killebrew always dreamed of owning her own shop. When her husband fell sick, he urged her to follow through with the dream. “You gotta step out on faith,” he told her. On Oct. 16, 2009, 10 months after her husband’s death, Ms. Killebrew’s shop opened its doors for the first time. Located at 1632 Orrington Ave., her store, Stepping Out on Faith, sells clothing, shoes, jewelry, and accessories for men and women. Like many other small businesses, Stepping Out on Faith has struggled financially due to the pandemic, but Ms. Killebrew plans to continue to do what she loves as long as possible.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable Website

Pink supermoon on April 26 (RoundTable photo)

The warm evening and the opportunity to see the full moon drew many to the lakefront on April 26. At Lighthouse Beach, children dug in the sand and threw stones into the lake, while adults chatted in small groups – on the beach, along the riprap, around a fire in the council ring, and in the dunes.

Black Families with Ancestral Connection to Evanston Receive First Payments From Evanston Equitable Recovery Fund. More than two dozen families selected to receive $3,000 through the Evanston Equitable Recovery Fund have received their first of 10 $300 monthly payments. The fund was created by the national nonprofit Family Independence Initiative (FII), which has invested in families and communities across the country for 20 years.

ETHS Chess Team Wins Gold Medal at National Tournament. The Evanston Township High School Chess Team took first place in the 18-and-under age division of the U.S. Junior Chess Congress. The national online event, sponsored by the U.S. Chess Federation, had more than 800 competitors across five age divisions. 

Evanston Township High School student Kristen Stocks’ award-winning sculpture (Image from ETHS)

ETHS Students’ Artwork Showcased at Art ConnectED Exhibition. Artwork by 11 Evanston Township High School students has been selected for a virtual showcase in the 2021 General Exhibition of the Art ConnectED Exhibition. The Art ConnectED General Exhibition is one of Illinois’ premier high school art exhibitions featuring student visual artworks from more than 100 public and private high schools.

Masked Moms: Kirsten Coleman, Seren Payne, and Bridget Reyes.

Masked People of the Day: Washington School Moms. President Joe Biden has said he will ask everyone to wear a mask for the first 100 days of his administration to help reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Kirsten Coleman, Seren Payne, and Bridget Reyes were waiting to greet their second graders outside of Washington School on April 23, a glorious spring day.

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

  • Ten new cases were reported yesterday in Evanston; the seven-day average is eleven.
  • Cases are on the rise at Northwestern University. NU reported 61 new cases for the seven days ending April 25. Northwestern students, staff, and professors living in Evanston are included in City test and case counts. 
  • Evanston School District 65 reported no new cases among students and four new cases among staff members. The number of students in quarantine increased to 72 from 59 the prior week. 
  • There were no fatalities reported yesterday. Evanston has lost 116 residents to the pandemic.
  • Our City’s positive test rate for the past seven days is 1.2%; in suburban Cook County it is 5.7%, and in Illinois it is 3.5%. 
  • The number of cases per 100,000 population over the past seven days is 105 in Evanston, 170 in suburban Cook County, and 149 in Illinois.
  • The Illinois Department of Public Health announced it will resume use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine following the announcement by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that they have lifted the previously recommended pause on the J&J vaccine.
  • Illinois received 982,400 doses and used 741,100 doses of vaccine in the past seven days and has about 923,000 doses, about one week of supply, in inventory. Illinois has used 81% of the 10.9 million doses received to date.
  • Some 3.8 million or 29.9% of total Illinois residents are fully vaccinated, including 425,700 in the past seven days.

Variants: IDPH now reports 2,542 cases of more infectious COVID-19 variants including 1,705 cases of variant B.1.1.7 (U.K.), 524 cases of P.1 (Brazil) and 285 cases of B.1.427/429 (California). 

Evanston Vax Facts: According to City figures, 76% of Evanston residents 16 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 48% of residents 16 and older are fully vaccinated. Nearly 100% of residents 65 and older have received at least one dose and 89% are fully vaccinated.  More details are available on the City’s Vaccine Dashboard.

When will the majority of Illinois residents be vaccinated?  If current vaccination rates persist, half of all Illinois residents will be fully vaccinated by early June and 70%, the threshold at which some experts believe herd immunity is achieved for COVID-19, by mid-July.

Vaccination has opened up in Illinois: Everyone 16 and older is eligible for vaccination in the State of Illinois. Given the limited supply of vaccines the City of Evanston is receiving, you may be able to schedule an appointment earlier at vaccination sites in suburban Cook County, the State of Illinois, or Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sites. 

The FEMA drive-through site in Gary, Indiana has appointments available. The site is located at Roosevelt Park, about a 70-minute drive from Evanston. 

Upcoming Events

Downtown Evanston Announces April 29 Ribbon-Cutting Ceremonies. Downtown Evanston and the Evanston Chamber of Commerce invite the Evanston community to celebrate the official opening of two new businesses on April 29. Mayor Stephen Hagerty, City staff, and community members will participate in ribbon-cutting ceremonies for Urban Athlete at 4 p.m. and Madison Grace at 5 p.m. Urban Athlete opened its second location on April 19 at 1026 Davis St.

Art Encounter Hosts Virtual Benefit. At 7 p.m. on April 29, Art Encounter will celebrate 43 years of bringing people to art and art to people with its free online benefit, Kaleidoscope. The program will showcase Art Encounter’s history, its broad range of programs, and its impact across the communities it serves.

Voices in Clay exhibition (Image from Space 900)

New Exhibit Coming to Space 900. Space 900, 816 Dempster St, is back with a full calendar of events. The upcoming exhibition, Voices in Clay, begins April 30. The show will be up for only 10 days, until Mother’s Day. For the May 1 First Saturdays event, Space 900 will be open noon-6 p.m. Other gallery hours are 2-5 p.m. April 30; and 1-5 p.m. May 6, 7, and 8.

Nature Week. During the fourth week of Earth Month, residents are encouraged to visit the City of Evanston’s Instagram story daily for pictures and fun facts about different flora and fauna living throughout Evanston. Other fun community events and activities happening this week:
Why Preserve Native Trees and Shrubs, and Plant More Thursday, April 29, 6:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.  
Building an All-Electric Home Friday, April 30, 1 p.m. until 2 p.m.

Around the Web

Illinois loses one congressional seat: Census figures show Illinois is one of three states to see population drop in the last decade, costing it one congressional seat and some clout in Washington

Humanities faculty, students react to STEM-heavy search committee for next University president. The Daily Northwestern reports that only two of the nine faculty and students on the committee come from non-STEM backgrounds, and the remaining members of the 36-member search committee are current or former Board of Trustees members, alumni leadership, or staff. 

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