1 in 5 Evanston residents are fully vaccinated, but positivity rates are on the rise

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Daily file photo by Alison Albeda

While Evanston vaccination rates are above state and national averages, Mayor Steve Hagerty advises the community continue adhering to public health measures.

Angeli Mittal, Assistant City Editor

One in five Evanston residents are fully vaccinated, a rate around three and five percent higher than national and state averages, respectively, according to a Wednesday newsletter from Mayor Steve Hagerty. 

While the city celebrates its vaccine rollout, Hagerty said the community must stay vigilant as positivity rates rapidly increase.

As of March 31, the city estimates 91 percent of residents 65 and older have received at least one dose of a vaccine, above the national and state figures of 74 and 70 percent, respectively. Sixty percent of the same age group in the city is fully vaccinated.

The city is focusing on expanding vaccine eligibility to people with disabilities and underlying medical conditions qualifying under Phase 1B+.

Hagerty said 22 percent of Evanston residents 16 and older are fully vaccinated, with 44 percent having received at least one dose. 

The state will expand vaccine eligibility to all Illinois residents over 16 — excluding those who live in Chicago — on April 12. While Hagerty expressed optimism for the rapid increase in rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, he cautioned against complacency.

“With vaccine supplies expected to continue to increase in April and May, and with residents by and large eager to get the vaccine when it’s available to them, we are in a strong position to gradually transition to a ‘new normal” this summer,’” Hagerty said in a news release. “Unfortunately, we’re not there yet.”

As of March 31, the city reported a seven-day average of nearly 14 daily confirmed cases which Hagerty said is more than double the cases from the previous week.

Hagerty also reported a positivity rate of 2.29 percent, nearly a threefold increase from last week’s positivity rate of 0.78.

“As the weather warms, there’s more temptation to let down our guard,” the release said. “We must stay vigilant, mask up, social distance, and continue taking the public health measures proven to reduce the spread of this disease, as we’ve done throughout this pandemic.”

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @amittal27

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