Over the past week, Evanston has experienced a dramatic increase in the number of daily confirmed COVID-19 cases, prompting new mitigation recommendations from the City’s Health & Human Services Department to slow the spread of the disease.
On Friday, Evanston reported 161 confirmed COVID-19 cases, the highest number of daily cases since the start of the pandemic. As of Monday, December 20, the City’s seven-day moving average of daily confirmed cases is 93.57, compared to 28.14 on December 13. Hospitalizations have also increased, with Illinois Region 10 (suburban Cook County) reporting 9 percent of ICU beds currently available.
Evanston – and all of Illinois – is currently considered to be an area of high transmission by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). Although the omicron variant has not yet been detected in Evanston, confirmed omicron cases have been identified in Cook County and Chicago. The City’s Health & Human Services Department expects the number of daily confirmed cases to remain elevated in the near future.
“As COVID-19 cases increase substantially in Evanston and throughout the region, I strongly encourage all community members to remain vigilant and follow public health guidance to slow the spread of COVID-19 and avoid overwhelming healthcare systems,” said Evanston Health & Human Services Director Ike Ogbo. “With life-saving vaccines widely available, we have the tools necessary to prevent severe illness and hospitalization from COVID-19. If you’re not yet vaccinated or haven’t received your booster shot, don’t wait. Get vaccinated and boosted as soon as possible to protect yourself and your loved ones.”
With the increase in local COVID-19 cases, the City’s Health & Human Services Department is encouraging community members, organizations and businesses to adhere to the following mitigation measures:
Guidance for Individuals
Get vaccinated and get a booster dose when you’re eligible. Vaccination is the best protection against severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19, including the delta and omicron variants. The CDC recommends that everyone 18 years and older receive a booster dose. Those 16 or 17 years old can also receive a booster dose. Visit vaccines.gov or call 1-800-232-0233 to find and schedule a vaccine appointment. Community members can also complete the City’s vaccine booster survey if they’d like to receive their booster dose from the City of Evanston.
Get tested if you’re exposed to a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infected individual. Stay home and isolate if you test positive, and quarantine if you are a confirmed close contact. View a list of Illinois testing locations.
Wear a mask to protect yourself and others. The City of Evanston and the State of Illinois mask mandate remains in effect for public indoor places. All people age two or older who are able to medically tolerate a mask must wear one in indoor public settings.
Maintain a social distance of six feet from those outside of your household.
Wash hands frequently and thoroughly.
If you’re not fully vaccinated, avoid large gatherings. Individuals who are not fully vaccinated are encouraged to avoid large gatherings with others outside their households.
The CDC has provided guidelines for safer holiday celebrations, which all community members are encouraged to review.
Guidance for Businesses and Organizations
Avoid holding large indoor gatherings of employees and other groups of people. Workplaces and community centers are strongly encouraged to hold meetings and events virtually until further notice. Those who attend a large gathering, such as a sporting event, concert or conference, are encouraged to get tested five to seven days after the event.
Verify patrons’ proof of vaccination. Business establishments are encouraged to require and verify proof of full vaccination for patrons upon entry and/or provide proof of a negative test result within 24 hours of entry.
For more information about COVID-19 and to get weekly COVID-19 updates, please visit the City’s website at cityofevanston.org/covid19.