Sunday, November 8, 2020 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
The 7-day rolling average number of positive of COVID-19 tests across the nine Proviso Township suburbs that Village Free Press covers was 17.27 percent, as of Nov. 7, according to Northwestern University’s online COVID-19 dashboard.
The dashboard provides localized data estimates and calculations based on publicly available data from the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Unlike the IDPH data website, Northwestern’s dashboard allows users to enter multiple zip codes into a search, so that they can see an aggregated portrait of COVID-19 data for multiple suburbs.
Village Free Press serves nine suburbs, which are broken down into three different coverage pods, each of which contains three suburbs that share similar geographies, demographics, boundaries and other characteristics.
Pod 1 includes Bellwood, Broadview and Maywood. Pod 2 includes Berkeley, Hillside and Westchester. Pod 3 includes Melrose Park, Northlake and Stone Park.
The rolling average number of people tested per day in those nine suburbs, for the 7-day period before Nov. 7 was 651.9. The rolling average number of positive COVID-19 tests per day was 112.6. The rolling average COVID-19 positive rate was 17.27 percent. And the number of new cases (7-day) per 100,000 population in those nine suburbs was 599.5.
As of Nov. 7, the 14-day rolling average COVID-19 positivity rate for those nine suburbs was 15.29 percent and the number of new cases (14-day) per 100,000 population was 1002.7, according to Northwestern’s calculations.
Among suburbs in Pod 1, Broadview had the highest 7-day rolling average COVID-19 positivity rate (16.67 percent) and the highest number of new cases per 100,000 population in the seven days leading to Nov. 7 (495.5).
Among suburbs in Pod 2, Berkeley had the highest 7-day rolling average COVID19 positivity rate (19.15 percent) while Hillside had the highest number of new cases per 100,000 population in the seven days leading to Nov. 7 (559.1).
In Pod 3, Stone Park had the highest 7-day rolling average COVID-19 positivity rate (25.47 percent) while Melrose Park and Northlake combined had the highest number of new cases per 100,000 population in the seven days leading to Nov. 7 (672.7).
A chart showing data from Northwestern University’s COVID dashboard for the nine Proviso Township suburbs in the Village Free Press coverage area. | Village Free Press/Northwestern/IDPH
When the COVID-19 pandemic rocked the state in March, Gov. J.B. Pritzker took a series of measures to prevent the spread of the virus, including dividing the state into 11 regions. The state monitors the rate of spread in each region and if certain numbers, such as the 7-day rolling positivity rate, hit a certain threshold, then state and local officials are encouraged to take a variety of “resurgence mitigations” in order to slow the spread.
According to the Restore Illinois plan to prevent the spread of COVID-19, new mitigations will be applied “if a region’s positivity rate averages greater than or equal to 8 percent for three consecutive days, or if a region experiences a sustained increase in the positivity rate (increases in 7 out of 10 days) AND sustained increase in hospital admissions for a COVID-19 like illness or reduction in hospital capacity that threatens surge capabilities (availability of ICU or med/surgical beds under 20 percent).”
Proviso Township falls within Region 10, which contains suburban Cook County. As of Nov. 5, Region 10 was experiencing a 7-day rolling average of roughly 12 percent while the statewide 7-day rolling average was roughly 10 percent — lower than the roughly 17 percent positivity rate in VFP’s nine-suburb coverage area, but higher than the 8 percent threshold.
A graph by Northwestern University showing the weekly new case rate per 100,000 population, from Sept. 8 through Nov. 7. The dark bold line hovering above both of the two underneath represents the rate for nine suburbs in Proviso Township. The line with the long dashes represents the rate for the state and the line with the short dashes represents the rate for Region 10. The graph shows that the rate for Proviso Township is higher than the rate for the state and region. | Northwestern University
Last last month, in response to rising infection rates, Pritzker announced that he was re-instituting a state order to close indoor dining in Region 10, but not all businesses and municipalities in the suburbs have enforced the order.