Cook County’s Department of Public Health has started releasing a breakdown of the number of COVID-19 cases by community, which shows that the highest case rate in the north suburbs is in Kenilworth where among just over 2,500 people there are 10 cases.

Previously only the five Cook County communities with their own health departments — Chicago, Evanston, Oak Park, Skokie and Stickney Township — had data available at the municipal level.

The image above, captured from the county’s new online map shows case rates per 100,000 people for communities in northeastern Cook County for which the county is providing data.

After Kenilworth, the next highest rate is in Winnetka, with 40 cases and a rate of 328.2 per 100,000.

Other towns with case rates higher than Evanston’s include Glenview, with 84 cases and a rate of 188; Wilmette, with 41 cases and a rate of 151.4; Glencoe, with 12 cases and a rate of 137.6; Skokie, with 86 cases and a rate of 134.4; Lincolnwood, with 14 cases and a rate of 111.2; and Northfield, with 6 cases and a rate of 110.7.

Reasons for the wide variations in case rates are not entirely clear. However, the Wilmette Beacon has reported that a parent of a student at the A Joyful Noise Preschool in Kenilworth tested positive for COVID-19 last month.

And the Journal & Topics newspaper reports that part of the outbreak in Glenview has been linked to The Life Church of Glenview which held a worship service with an out-of-town pastor who later tested positive for the disease.

The county’s data also indicates that officials have only been able to trace the exposure source of about 20 percent of the cases to either travel or close contacts — leaving the rest of the cases as “potentially community acquired.”

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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