COVID-19 update as of June 23: Evanston and Cook County each rated in the “medium” community risk level
The total number of new cases of COVID-19 in Evanston was 215 for the week ending June 22, 6% higher than the week ending June 16. The number of new cases in the State decreased by about 16%. Hospitalizations remained at about the same level.
Cook County, including Chicago, is in the “medium” community risk level. City officials say Evanston is also in the “medium” risk level.
The City of Evanston says that the State, the County and the City do not have a mechanism to report, verify or track at home test results. Because a positive at home test is regarded as highly accurate, most people who test positive in an at home test do not get a second test outside the home that is reported to government officials. The number of new COVID-19 cases reported by IDPH and the City thus significantly understates the actual number of new cases that are contracted.
COVID Vaccines for Under 5
Last week the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control approved the use of Moderna’s vaccine for children 6 months through 5 years old and Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine for children 6 months through 4 years old.
Moderna’s vaccine contemplates two doses given four weeks apart. Pfifzer’s vaccine contemplates three doses, with the second dose given three weeks after the first, and the third two months after the second.
Both vaccines are currently available in Illinois this week. The Illinois Department of Public Health recommends that people find their nearest vaccination location at vaccines.gov.
Trends of New Cases in Illinois and Evanston
Illinois: On June 23, the number of new cases in the state was 3,493.
The seven-day average of new cases in Illinois on June 23 was 3,575 down from 4,251 on June 16, a 16% decrease. The chart below shows the trend.
Evanston: Evanston reported there were 42 new COVID-19 cases of Evanston residents on June 22. (Evanston is reporting COVID-19 data with a one-day delay.)
There was a total of 215 new COVID-19 cases of Evanston residents in the week ending June 22, compared to 203 new cases in the week ending June 16, an increase of about 6%.
The chart below shows the trend.
One Evanstonian died due to COVID-19 during the week ending June 22. The number of deaths due to COVID-19 increased to 150.
Northwestern University. The latest data reported on NU’s website is that between June 10 and June 16 there were 106 new COVID-19 cases of faculty, staff or students. If the cases are of an Evanston resident, they are included in Evanston’s data for the relevant period, Ike Ogbo, Director of Evanston’s Department of Health and Human Services, told the RoundTable. NU will update its data tomorrow.
Cases Per 100,000
The weekly number of new cases per 100,000 people in Illinois is 196 in the seven days ending June 23.
As of June 22, the weekly number of new cases per 100,000 people in Evanston was 290. As of June 23, the number was 164 for Chicago, and 206 for Suburban Cook County. An accompanying chart shows the trend.
Hospitalizations in Illinois due to COVID-19 have stayed about the same in the last three weeks. They were 1,129 on June 22, about 60 fewer than one week ago.
The chart below, prepared by the City of Evanston, shows the trends in hospitalizations due to COVID-19 at the closest three hospitals serving Evanston residents.
Cook County and Evanston are in the Medium Risk Level
The CDC and IDPH look at the combination of three metrics to determine whether a community level of risk for COVID-19 is low, medium, or high. They are: 1) the total number of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in the last 7 days; 2) the new COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 in the last 7 days; and 3) the percent of staffed inpatient hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients. 
The City of Evanston reported this evening, June 23, that Evanston is in the medium risk category. IDPH reported today that Cook County, including Chicago, is in the medium risk category.
While Evanston has more than 200 new cases per 100,000 people, the City reported this evening that the City has a 7-day total of 6.4new hospital admissions per 100,000 people, and that it has 2.2% staffed inpatient hospital beds that are occupied by COVID patients (using a 7-day average).
The City has not said which hospitals or how many hospitals it is considering in making its analysis of community risk.
The CDC and IDPH recommend that people in a community with a “medium” transmission rate should take the following precautions:
- “If you are immunocompromised or high risk for severe disease, talk to your healthcare provider about whether you need to wear a mask and take other precautions (eg, testing)
- “If you have household or social contact with someone at high risk for severe disease, consider self-testing to detect infection before contact, and consider wearing a mask when indoors with them
- “Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and boosters
- “Maintain improved ventilation throughout indoor spaces when possible
- “Follow CDC recommendations for isolation and quarantine, including getting tested if you are exposed to COVID-19 or have symptoms of COVID-19
- “If you are immunocompromised or at high risk for severe disease
- Have a plan for rapid testing if needed (eg, having home tests or access to testing)
- Talk to your healthcare provider about whether you are a candidate for treatments like oral antivirals, PrEP, and monoclonal antibodies
1/ CDC recommends the use of three indicators to measure COVID-19 Community Levels: 1) new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population in the last 7 days; 2) new COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 population in the last 7 days; and 3) the percent of staffed inpatient beds occupied by patients with confirmed COVID-19 (7-day average).
The chart below illustrates how these indicators are combined to determine whether COVID-19 Community Levels are low, medium, or high. The CDC provides many recommendations depending on whether the COVID-19 Community Level is low, medium, or high.