COVID-19 case numbers continue to rapidly decline, Cook County Health offers $100 incentive for vaccinations


Angeli Mittal/Daily Senior Staffer

While COVID-19 positive case numbers have been rapidly decreasing, the speed at which the positivity rates have been declining in the city has slowed. This week, vaccination rates in the city haven’t seen much change, while those in the state as a whole have rapidly increased.

Angeli Mittal, Photo Editor

Confirmed COVID-19 case numbers in Evanston have continued to decline with the city reporting a 35% reduction in positive cases from last week.

The city reported 184 new positive cases in the last seven days compared to last week’s 281 and the prior week’s 477.

The seven-day moving average positivity rate also declined, reaching 1.84% this week compared to last week’s 2.15%. That 0.31 percentage point deduction in positivity rate is less than half the change seen between the two weeks prior, meaning the speed at which the positivity rate drops is slowing.

Cook County and Illinois also saw their positivity rates decline. In Cook County, the test positivity this week was 6.7%, down two percentage points from last week. The state is now at 5.8% test positivity compared to last week’s 8.2%.

Weekly vaccination rates in the city have slowed as more people receive their vaccinations. As of Thursday, 96.7% of Evanston residents ages 5 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, which is a 0.3 percentage point increase from last week. In that age group, 86.6% of residents are fully vaccinated.

Cook County did not see much change in its vaccination rates this week. 77.3% of individuals ages 5 and older have received at least one dose and 69.8% are fully vaccinated. 

The state, by contrast, saw a surge in vaccination rates, with a six percentage point increase to 80.4% among individuals who received at least one dose and a four percentage point increase to 70.8% among individuals who are fully vaccinated.

Until Sunday, individuals aged five or older who obtain a primary series vaccination or booster shot at Cook County Health centers, hospitals or community vaccination sites will receive a $100 Visa gift card, while supplies last.

Gov. J. B. Pritzker announced Wednesday his intention to lift the indoor mask mandate in most public settings on Feb. 28 due to the decline in positive cases and hospitalizations in Illinois.

After Feb. 28, individuals will not be required to wear masks in grocery stores in restaurants. However, masks will still be required in schools, on public transportation services and healthcare facilities, among other specified locations.

Evanston will continue to review its COVID-19 metrics and decide on how to proceed with mask mandates at the end of the month, according to a news release.

The Food and Drug Administration will meet on Feb. 15 to discuss making the first two doses of a three-dose Pfizer primary vaccination series available for children ages 6 months to four years. The vaccine is expected to be available to this age group by the end of the month. 

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @amittal27

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