Evanston reported its highest daily count of COVID-19 cases today, with 19 new cases, bringing the city’s total to 357. The state also set a record, with 3,137 new cases for a total of 56,055.

Chicago reported 1,227 new cases for a total of 22,718.

Evanston’s death toll remained unchanged at 10 today. Chicago reported 51 new deaths for a total of 945. Statewide there were 102 more deaths for a total of 2,457.

As hundreds of people protested outside the Thompson Center demanding an end to his stay-at-home order, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced plans for an expanded contact tracing effort to try to reduce the spread of the disease.

He introduced Dr. Wayne Duffus, an infectious disease specialist hired by the state to ramp up tracing efforts in Illinois.

Duffus said the state will need to hire about 3,800 temporary workers to conduct the contact tracing work to supplement similar work already being done by county and local health departments.

He said he hopes to be able to launch the expanded tracing program by the end of this month.

Pritzker said the program was likely to cost the state $80 million.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. With more testing, the

    With more testing, the positive cases will continue to go up – which is consistent with what we’ve been told about how many people are actually infected. Hopefully, this means we’ll creep closer to what the actual mortality rate of COVID-19 (less than 1%, most likely). 

    We need daily reporting of nursing home cases at the state and local levels. Kudos to the city of Chicago for reporting the percentage of deaths involving persons with underyling health conditions (93%). 

    Today, Indiana released its very sensible 5-phase plan. Meanwhile, we have Gov. Pritzker wielding power, unchecked and without the imput of the legislature (i.e., the people).

    The General Assembly needs to meet. Any number of venues can provide the social distancing needed. 

    1. Indiana plan

      Hi J. Ann,

      I’ve found two different accounts of the new Indiana plan online:

      While the plan those reports present definitely provides a more detailed list of what would happen at each “stage” than we’ve seen here, the actual progression to each new stage is conditioned on 14 days of declining hospitalizations, plus sufficient hospital bed, testing and contact tracing capacity.

      Since Illinois hasn’t yet met any of those conditions (except possibly sufficient hospital capacity, depending on how you define “sufficient”) it’s not clear to me that the Indiana plan would lead to any further relaxation of conditions here before the end of the current Illinois stay-at-home order on May 30.

      The stories also do not mention any involvement by the Indiana legislature in developing Indiana’s plan. If you can provide more information about that, it would be helpful.

      — Bill

      1. Hi Bill. Yes, I’d seen those

        Hi Bill. Yes, I’d seen those presentations of the Indiana (draft?) plan and am aware that the progressions are conditional. Several counties would apparently be on delayed timelines, which makes sense if their respective case counts are higher and/or hospital resources more strained. Indiana’s Stage 2 (slated for May 4?) looks more expansive than what the Illinois situation is presumed to be til May 30.

        But here’s the thing: there IS a plan – one that conveys HOPE. Our leaders in Illinois have severely misjudged the need to give people hope. I understand Governor Pritzker and Mayor Lightfoot’s concerns about large parties, etc. However, at this point, bringing the “heat” without turning on some “light” makes them look like power-drunk despots in the making. If they continue to fail to balance their scolding and thratening with concrete details and specifics about where, exactly, we are headed next, they are going to face a very, very difficult summer. Because unemployment + nothing else to do + hot weather + lack of hopeful visioncasting buttressed by specifics = crime & civil unrest.

        Per Illinois state senator Dan McConchie’s recent op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, Illinois is one of 19 states in which “[the governor’s] emergency declaration that closes private business, restricts commerce and limits the free movement of residents has no limits at all.” As far as I can tell, Indiana is also one such state. But, that governor evidently has a detailed, aspirational plan, so bravo. Still, I’m not okay with the impotence of the legislative branch in emergencies like this.

  2. Coronavirus statistics

    Would it be possible for you to add Coronavirus hospitalizations into your graphs?  These might be an interesting addition to the nice statistics I have previously complimented you for.

    1. Hi Frankie,

      Hi Frankie,

      You can find hospitalization data, with charts, here:

      The most granular data available is by region. Evanston is in the Northeast Suburbs region — which runs from the Chicago border to the Wisconsin state line. I wasn’t able to spot time-series data by region for hospital utilization, so I likely would not be able to produce charts for hospitalizations in our region that match the ones I’ve been doing for cases and testing.

      FWIW, our region currently has 88% ICU bed utilization — the highest in the state — but 31% ventilator utilization — which is the lowest in the Chicago metro area.

      — Bill

  3. Record Number of new Covid-19 cases in Illinois

    I am inclined to agree with J Ann’s comments.  And not to enable expanded tracing until the end of May is a joke; the numbers will continue to climb.  The whole point of tracing is to get us back to Living again not keep us home for 5 weeks in May and then who knows how long in June.  We don’t hear of any plan for what businesses need for opening.  And yet Evanston City Council is paranoid they will lose power and pass a City Ordinance without proper proceedure to fine anyone not wearing a mask.  They have no faith in the citizens who have tolerated this lockdown for weeks on end, that we would continue to do the right thing and wear masks.  We are not stupid but I resent the fact that they rushed through a vote without following proper proceedure, and I resent having been lied to and not given all the facts and the endless games going on.  Why do I have to stay home but the Govneror’s family can go down to Florida breaking the stay at home rule?  I’ve been inside for 7 weeks and 5 more is feeling like an eternity, while the numbers didn’t go down they went up–more sick, more dead, it isn’t working we are just infecting ourselves by staying inside and at home with the same infected people.  There has to be a better way.  Our sanity, our economy, our county can’t take any more of this!

    1. Not sure why the location of
      Not sure why the location of Pritzker’s family is at all Germaine. You can go to Florida, too. Or anywhere else you like. So stop kavetching and start packing! Feel better now?

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