Evanston’s COVID-19 new positive cases more than double last week’s number as state no longer tracks positivity rate


Daily file illustration by Olivia Abeyta

Evanston’s COVID-19 new reported positive cases double last week’s number, and the positivity rate reaches a new high after three months.

Angeli Mittal, Creative Director

Evanston reported an increase to 197 new positive cases this week — bringing the number to over two times greater than last week’s 95.

This rise follows a relatively steady increase in positive cases which has persisted for seven weeks, according to the city. Prior to the increase, there was a period of dwindling cases after the peak of the omicron wave earlier this year. During this point, the positivity rate hit its lowest since July 2021 on Mar. 3, coming in at 0.39%. This week’s spike represents the highest positivity rate since Jan. 27.

The city’s positivity rate is now at 2.31%, a 1.38 percentage point increase from last week’s 0.93.

Additionally, as of Tuesday the Illinois Department of Public Health will no longer be tracking daily COVID-19 positivity rates and case counts at the state or county level. 

This update follows new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines released Feb. 25, which encourage localities to emphasize hospitalizations beyond case and test positivity when tracking COVID-19 metrics.

The CDC also approved second COVID-19 booster shots on March 29 for individuals who are over 50 years old or are immunocompromised. Eligible individuals may receive a dose four months after their first booster shot.

Cook County Health’s Community Vaccination Program now has appointments available for second booster shots to these individuals as of Thursday.

State and county positivity rates have also shown a stable rise mirroring those seen in Evanston. As of Apr. 10, the positivity rate at the state level was 2.4%, with the Cook County positivity rate standing at 2.2% on Apr. 13.

Weekly vaccination rates in the city have increased by 0.2 percentage points across the board. As of this week, 97.4% of Evanston residents ages five and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 88% of residents are fully vaccinated.

Cook County and Illinois saw similar trends this week. At the county level, almost 79% of individuals ages five and older have received at least one dose. The number of fully vaccinated individuals decreased by 0.4 percentage points, falling to 72.2%. In Illinois, 81.3% of individuals ages five and older have received at least one dose, while 72.7% have received both doses.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @amittal27

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