Three years since lockdown: COVID-19 in Evanston, by the numbers

dr Robin Holland, who is part of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign COVID-19 research team, is conducting tests on saliva samples in labs housed at the University of Illinois Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. Credit: RoundTable file photo

As the RoundTable looks back on three years with COVID-19, here are some statistics that illustrate the impact of the pandemic on daily life in Evanston:

  • The city got in touch 19.006 Cases of COVID-19 since March 14, 2020, although public health experts have warned cases are significantly underreported thanks to fewer personal tests and the widespread availability of at-home testing kits.
  • There were 163 Evanstonians who have died since March 14, 2020 after contracting the virus. Total of that 71 of these deaths occurred in the first four months of the pandemic, when vaccines were not yet available and hospitals were overflowing with COVID-19 patients.
Then Superintendent Eric Witherspoon and then Principal Marcus Campbell install a Class of 2020 sign for ETHS senior Kayla Henning. Credit: Steve Johnson
  • Evanston Township High School and District 65 students spent about 235 consecutive school days learning remotely. However, a small percentage of District 65 students returned to face-to-face school for a few days a week as of February 2021. ETHS has also discontinued personal activities for five Days in December 2021 due to the omicron variant wave.
  • residents of Evanston issued 70 just days under a shelter-in-place order issued by Gov. JB Pritzker, which lasted from March 21 to May 29, 2020.
  • The city’s unemployment rate was 11.36% between March and August 2020, compared to one 11.52% Unemployment rate nationwide during this period. By January 2023, Evanston’s unemployment rate had fallen to 3.6%.
A sign at the Old Neighborhood Grill on Central Street, a reminder of pandemic supply chain troubles. Credit: Harvey Moshman
  • In Evanston, 83.11% of residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and 95.97% of residents have received at least one dose of vaccine. The nationwide vaccination rate is fair 68%.
  • The shelter-in-place order has been discontinued 45% by Evanston Company, with dozens forced to close permanently due to financial problems in the months and years since. In a sign of recovery, store openings have surpassed the closures of the past year.
  • Before the outbreak of the pandemic, the city of a 7.77% office vacancy. That rose 13.45% in March 2022 before falling on 11% Today.

Duncan Agnew reports on Evanston Public Schools, Affordable Housing, City Hall and more for the RoundTable. He also writes in-depth research, reports and the morning email newsletter three times a year. More from Duncan Agnew

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