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Evanston reported 16 new COVID-19 cases today, raising its total number of cases to 304. And, for the second day in a row, it reported one additional death, raising the death toll here from the pandemic to 10.

Statewide 2,119 new cases were reported, for a total of 41,777. Seventy-nine more people died across the state bringing that toll to 708.

Of the new cases statewide, 997 were reported in Chicago, raising that city’s total to 17,109.

Skokie reported 26 new cases today for a total of 397. Skokie’s death toll remained unchanged today at 16.

This was the second day in which the state exceeded Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s long-time goal of testing more than 10,000 people a day for the coronavirus.

With 11,985 tests reported today, 17.7% returned positive results. That’s up from 16.7% positive results on Friday when 16,316 tests were reported. Previously, with less than 10,000 tests being conducted per day the positive rate had been running from 20% to 24% in recent days.

At the governor’s daily news conference, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, the state public health director, said there’s been an increase in calls to the state’s poison control hotline since President Trump earlier this week suggested ingesting household disinfectants as a potential treatment for COVID-19.

Ezike strongly cautioned resident against doing that, saying ingesting, injecting or snorting disinfections is dangerous and potentially deadly.

“Listen to scientists and health experts,” she urged residents.

She said that as of midnight last night 4,699 Illinois residents were hospitalized with COVID-19 symptoms with 1,244 in intensive care units and 763 on ventilators.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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6 Comments

  1. Definition
    How is “long-term care facility” defined by the Illinois Department of Public Health that publishes the data? Nursing homes? Retirement communities?

    1. Long-term-care facilities

      Hi Mark,

      Here are some references for what’s a long-term-care facility

      https://www.dph.illinois.gov/sites/default/files/forms/ltclicensureinfo.pdf

      https://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/health-care-regulation/nursing-homes

      So… yes, nursing homes, yes, retirement communities, also facilities caring for the developmentally disabled or persons under 22-years-of-age.

      My impression is that apartment buildings that cater to the 55-plus set but do not offer any form of assisted living or nursing care would not be included.

      — Bill

  2. Thanks for a better

    Thanks for a better statistical presentation than the Trib, where they don’t even bother to give the number of tests most days.  It’s tough to know what to make of “more than 2,000 new cases for the third day in a row!” if you don’t know the number of tests over those three days.

    You had reported a large number of new nursing home cases in Evanston over the last week, which is interesting and concerning.  But I draw the implication that as testing capacity grew, there was an emphasis on more complete testing in those homes, so we’re really just getting a more complete picture.  Does that seem accurate?  Or is there a way to ask that question of the Evanston Dept. of Public Health?

    It also seems to imply the number of new cases in the rest of the community has been heading down, which is what you might hope, given that Evanston does seem to have good compliance with the stay-at-home order across all demographics, as far as I can tell. The weeks may not match up perfectly, but if I understood, there were about 82 new cases last week, and 64 of them were in nursing homes, leaving only 18, or 2.5/day, in the wider community. 

    Obviously there are other cases in the community, untested.  But that was true in previous weeks, so the 2.5 cases/day seems to be a significant downward trend compared to previous weeks.

    There’s probably lots of noise in the data, but it’s interesting to me to try to sort out what’s happening.  Thanks for giving more pieces of the puzzle than other outlets usually do.

    1. COVID cases

      Hi Wilson,

      The count of cases at long-term-care facilities don’t match up with the city’s count, because, as I noted in the story, the LTC count includes employees as well as residents of the facility, and many of the employees are not Evanston residents and so won’t show up in the city’s case count. In addition most of the employees are presumably considerably younger than the residents of the retirement communities, so you can’t do much to draw conclusions about the number of elderly people who are COVID-positive from the LTC numbers.

      The IDPH does offer a tally of cases by the patients’ ZIP Codes, which provides a breakdown by age, gender and race — which may provide some of the answers you’re looking for.

      — Bill

      1. Thanks for the reply. I

        Thanks for the reply. I should have read rhe original more closely.  If even half the long-term care cases are residents, it cuts the outside rate substantially.

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