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20 new COVID cases in Evanston, state preps for vaccine

State officials expressed optimism about COVID-19 vaccines today, but urged residents to avoid Thanksgiving gatherings and travel to reduce the the pandemic death toll.

Evanston health officials reported 20 new COVID-19 cases among Evanston residents today, compared to 53 reported by the city on Monday.

Statewide there were 9,469 new cases, up from 8,322 on Monday, and the state reported 125 more deaths, up from 46 Monday, for a new total of 11,677.

The state reported 97,323 COVID-19 tests today, up from 91,562 on Monday.

The seven-day positive test rate statewide was 10.4% today. That’s down from 12.7% a week ago.

The seven-day positive test rate in suburban Cook County is now at 10.6%, down from 12.8% a week ago.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported tests of 660 Evanston residents today. It found 17 positive cases for a daily positive rate of 2.6%. The seven-day positive rate here is now 3.1%, compared to 3.4% a week ago.

At a news conference this afternoon State Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said state officials are excited about the prospect of soon having vaccines for the coronavirus disease.

But she said the federal government’s distribution plans keep changing and while there previously had been an expectation that the state might receive an initial allocation of 400,000 dozes, that now has been “downgraded to something like 80,000.”

Ezike and Gov. J.B. Pritzker urged residents to cancel plans for Thanksgiving gatherings. This year get together by Zoom, Pritzker said, “It will certainly be much safer for you.”

“And, the governor added, with the expected arrival of vaccines, “I believe this is the only year you’re going to have to do this.”

The state now says Evanston has had a total of 2,239 cases.

Evanston’s health department today said the city has had a total of 2,197 cases and its death toll remained unchanged at 84.

Here are the latest seven-day positive rates for some neighboring communities:

  • Chicago 10.2%, down from 12.8% a week ago.
  • Skokie 8.6%, down from 10.8% a week ago.
  • Wilmette 6.5%, down from 6.6% a week ago.

Chicago reported 1,537 new cases today for a total of 152,310. Its coronavirus death toll increased by 23 today to 3,377.

Suburban Cook County reported 1,370 more cases today for a total of 134,814 and 21 more deaths for a total of 2,806.

Those who died in Cook County today included two women and one man in their 30s, one man in his 40s, two women in their 50s, one woman and four men in their 60s, six women and seven men in their 70s, six women and five men in their 80s and three woman and five men in their 90s.

The state now has had 674,089 COVID-19 cases.

As of last night, 6,134 people in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 1,203 patients were in the ICU and 668 of those were on ventilators.

The latest COVID-19 charts for Evanston and Illinois

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