Evanston’s COVID-19 case numbers have been low so far this summer, thanks to high vaccination rates here, officials say, but elsewhere in northern Illinois many people are more reluctant to get vaccinated.

Survey data from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation indicates that just 3.52% of residents of Evanston’s 60201 ZIP code and 4.27% of residents in 60202 were vaccine hesitant.

In the survey’s terms that means they responded “Yes, probably” “No, probably not” or “No, definitely not” to the question “If a vaccine to prevent COVID-19 were offered to you today, would you choose to get vaccinated.”

In addition to Evanston, vaccine hesitancy was at the low end of the scale in several North Shore and Chicago lakefront ZIP codes, but increased substantially in much of the rest of northern Illinois — especially outside the Chicago metro area.

Evanston reported just one new COVID-19 case today, but the seven-day average case count has risen in recent days and now stands at 2.3, compared to 2.9 on this date a year ago — during the summer lull between the two big COVID case peaks.

As of now 77.5% of Evanston residents over the age of 12 have been fully vaccinated and 84.1% have received at least one dose.

Evanston has had 118 deaths from COVID during the pandemic so far, with the most recent death occurring on May 31.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.