On September 11, Devon Horton, superintendent of school district 65, said the district had plans to begin testing students for COVID-19 from September 13. However, he said the tests were delayed because “the district is 100”. % ready to begin testing and have taken all necessary action on our part, SHIELD needs a little more time to finalize the test plans and assign the staff.
“With the Illinois Department of Health’s announcement to subsidize SHIELD testing costs for school districts across Illinois, this has undoubtedly increased the demand and need for additional resources to ensure the company can handle the influx of inquiries. Fortunately, the district was proactive in talking to SHIELD earlier this summer and was already at the top of the list. “
SHIELD tests were developed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Students spit into a test tube and the saliva is tested in the SHIELD labs, with results typically being available within 24 hours. About 450 school districts in the state have signed up for testing with SHIELD, but only about 80 have reportedly started testing.
Dr. Horton said, “We anticipate the delay will be minimal and remain optimistic that testing will begin the week of September 20th.”
With most K-8 students under the age of 12 and not qualifying for any vaccinations, regular testing for COVID-19 is an important part of the containment strategy.
New Cases: The weekly number of new cases per 100,000 Illinois population increased from 211 to 218 for the week ended September 16, a 3% increase from the week ended September 9. The number of new cases per week in the state is now about 8.5 times higher than it was on June 10, the day before the state moved into Phase 5 of the Illinois Recovery Plan.
The graph above shows that weekly new cases trends are also higher in Suburban Cook County, but lower in Evanston and Chicago. The number of new cases per 100,000 for Evanston, Suburban Cook County, Chicago, and Illinois is listed below:
Evanston – 65
Suburb Cook County – 151
Chicago – 126
Illinois – 218
Evanston is classified as a “significant carry over” area under CDC guidelines. Suburbs of Cook County, Chicago, and Illinois are considered “high transmission” areas. See footnote 2.
Test Positive Rates: The seven day test positive rates in each region are as follows: Evanston 1.4%; Suburb of Cook County – 3.7%; Chicago – 3.2%; and Illinois – 4.6%. The test positive rates in each region are slightly lower than they were a week ago. See footnotes 2 and 3.
Vaccinations: The number of people vaccinated in the state continues to grow, but only very slowly. As of September 16, 78.5% of Illinois residents who are 12 and older had at least one dose of a vaccine, up from 77.8% on September 9; and 61.1% were fully vaccinated compared with 60.5% on August 26th. These percentages include people who reside in Illinois who have been vaccinated in Illinois or other states. The 7-day average for vaccinations is 20,648, up from 21,005 a week ago. Source CDC and IDPH.
By September 16, 87.6% of residents of Evanston 12 and older had received at least one dose of a vaccine; 80.9% were fully vaccinated. Each number has increased by a fraction of a percentage point compared to the previous week. Source city of Evanston.
Delta Variant: According to data released by IDPH, there have been 982 new cases of the Delta variant in Illinois in the past seven days, accounting for less than 4% of all new cases in the state over the same period. Why this percentage is so much lower than at the national level is not clear.
Nationwide, around 80% of the new COVID-19 cases can be traced back to the delta variant.
Evanston – COVID
Evanston today reported 9 new COVID-19 cases from Evanston residents, compared with 4 yesterday and 4 on Tuesday.
The numbers are better than a week ago. There have been a total of 48 new Covid-19 cases among Evanston residents in the past seven days, compared to 61 in the previous seven days.
The 7-day test positive rate is 1.4% today, compared to 1.6% a week ago.
There were a total of 5,081 COVID-19 cases from Evanston residents during the pandemic, of which 55 are active.
An Evanstonian died of COVID-19 last week, and that was September 14th. The number of deaths from COVID-19 is 121.
Cases at D65 and ETHS. According to data posted on the School District 65 website, there were 3 new cases of COVID-19 from students in District 65 in the week ended September 10, and 66 students were in quarantine. On September 11th, Dr. Horton: “At this point in time there is no evidence of the spread of COVID-19 between students or employees.”
According to the data published on the ETHS website, there were 2 new cases of COVID-19 from students at ETHS and 5 were in quarantine in the week leading up to September 10. There was one new case and one in quarantine among employees. The data does not indicate whether the students at the schools were infected.
Northwestern University influence. The latest data on Northwestern University’s website reports that there were 30 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 from a faculty member, employee or student at NU between September 3 and September 9. If the faculty member, staff member, or student resides in Evanston, the case or cases will be included in the city’s numbers.
1 / The state moved into Phase 5 of the Illinois Recovery Plan on June 11th. Since July 1, the RoundTable has been dealing with the COVID-19 key figures once a week on Thursdays. Specifically, the RoundTable presents two charts showing: 1) the trends in the number of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in the two most recent seven-day periods for Evanston, Chicago, Suburban Cook County and the state. The graph also shows the weekly number of new cases for each region as of June 10 as a base to measure whether cases have increased since moving to Phase 5. and 2) the latest test positive rates for these areas.
As explained in footnote 3 below, the CDC recommends using these two measures to determine risk of transmission. If we see an increase in new cases or in test positive rates, we consider covering additional metrics.
We’ll also be reporting the latest percentages of people 12 and over vaccinated in Evanston and Illinois.
2 / In late July, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and Evanston’s Health & Human Services Dept. Recommendations, respectively, that everyone, including those who are fully vaccinated, should wear a mask in a public interior in areas with “significant” and “high transmission” of new COVID-19 cases. Areas with significant transmission are those with 50 to 99 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over a period of 7 days. Areas with high transmission are those with more than 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over a period of 7 days.
They also recommend universal internal masking for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.
3 / On February 12, the CDC published a K-12 school operations strategy. As part of this strategy, the CDC recommends two measures to determine the risk of transmission, according to the report: 1) the total number of new cases per 100,000 people in the last 7 days; and 2) the percentage of COVID tests in the past seven days that were positive. The CDC provides a graph to help assess whether the risk of transmission is low, moderate, significant, or high. If the two indicators indicate different levels of risk, the CDC says the higher level of risk should be used. The following table, reprinted from the CDC report, sets out the CDC’s indicators and thresholds for the transmission of COVID-219 in the community.
The CDC guidelines are available here: Operational Strategy for K-12 Schools through Gradual Prevention | CDC