Evanston COVID-19 positive cases sees 35% reduction from last week


Illustration by Janna Lee

The city has seen a declining trend in its COVID-19 positivity rate for the past several weeks, a trend that mirrors its state and national counterparts.

Angeli Mittal, Photo Editor

Evanston saw a decline in its COVID-19 seven-day moving average positivity rate, as positive cases this week were 65% of last week’s total.

The city reported 477 COVID-19 positive cases in the last seven days, compared to last week’s 740 positive cases. The average seven-day positivity rate among residents decreased to 2.9% compared to last week’s 4.16%, continuing the last several weeks’ declining trend. Cook County and Illinois also saw positivity rates decline this week.

The seven-day average test positivity rate this week in Illinois declined 1 percentage point to 13.8%. In Cook County, the test positivity is 7.7% this week — a 5.7 point decrease from the week prior.

As of Thursday, 95.9% of Evanston residents ages 5 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, which represents a 0.5 percentage point increase from last week. 85.6% of residents in that age group are fully vaccinated.

In Illinois, 79.8% of individuals ages 5 and older have received at least one dose — a 0.5 point increase from last week — and 70% are fully vaccinated. In Cook County, these percentages are 76.8% and 68.7%, respectively. 

The federal government announced Jan. 19 that it will make available 400 million N95 respirator masks, which are known to be highly effective given the tight fit and high particle filtration rate. 

Initial distribution began this week — with three free masks available per person — at some health centers and pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens. Distribution in Illinois is expected to begin next week.

As of Jan. 14, the updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines suggest N95 and KN95 masks provide the “highest level of protection.” The CDC had previously discouraged wearing those masks because of storage concerns.

Despite the greater effectiveness of these masks, however, the CDC maintains the best mask is one that’s worn consistently and properly fitted — even if that’s not a respirator mask. Masks are required at all indoor public spaces for individuals ages 2 and older, and proof of vaccination is required to enter Evanston dining, fitness and entertainment venues.

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Twitter: @amittal27

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