Brookfield saw the fewest number of new cases of COVID-19 during a one-week period since mid-September 2020, according to the latest figures from the Cook County Department of Public Health as of the morning of Feb. 9.
After seeking new cases skyrocket weekly to triple digits through much of November and remain near or above 80 per week through December and into January, the number of people who were either confirmed or probably positive for COVID-19 in the past week plummeted to 13.
That’s the lowest one week total since the period between Sept. 8-15, according to county data, and one the two lowest weekly totals since mid-July 2020.
Just a week earlier, Brookfield had seen its COVID-19 cases numbers increase to 34, but the decline in the most recent week-long period also tracked with a corresponding drop in positivity rates, according to the online COVID dashboard maintained by the Northwestern University School of Medicine.
According to that database, which compiles publicly available resources, the rolling seven-day positivity rate for Brookfield as of Feb. 8 was 2.08 percent, down from the 14-day average of 3.7 percent.
Since Cook County began tracking COVID-19 data online last March, 12 Brookfield residents have reportedly died from the disease. There were no additional fatalities last week. The last Brookfield resident to have died from COVID-19, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner, was on Jan. 22.
Riverside also saw its one-week total of new COVID-19 cases fall by the morning of Feb. 9 to its lowest level since October. In the past week, 12 residents of Riverside were either confirmed or probable for COVID-19, continuing a three-week trend of declining numbers of new cases.
The village has not seen so few cases in a one-week period since the week of Oct. 6-13, 2020, when there were 10 new cases reported. Three Riverside residents have died from COVID-19; the most recent fatality was reported Dec. 17.
However, that decline in new cases in Riverside is not reflected in the ZIP code’s seven-day rolling positivity rate, because numbers of new cases in North Riverside have not declined as steadily.
For the week-long period ending the morning of Feb. 9, there were 18 new North Riverside residents either confirmed or probable for COVID-19, up from 13 the prior week.
As a result, the seven-day rolling positivity rate for the 60546 ZIP code, which includes both Riverside and North Riverside, was 4.59 as of Feb. 8, according to Northwestern’s online dashboard, slightly higher than the 14-day rolling average of 4.32.
Four North Riverside residents have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began last March, with the most recent fatality reported on Jan. 11.
Since the pandemic began COVID-19 case totals in each village, as of the morning of Feb. 9, stood at 1,569 in Brookfield, 794 in Riverside and 497 in North Riverside.
State vaccine rollout questioned
The state administered 64,469 COVID-19 vaccinations statewide over the weekend following a single-day record for vaccinations on Friday. As of Monday, the state had issued over 1.3 million doses, with 2.3 percent of the population having been fully vaccinated.
Illinois has ranked near the bottom of all 50 states in vaccines administered thus far, according to a New York Times database, leading some state lawmakers to call for increased transparency and a more effective process for allowing eligible residents to receive vaccines.
On Monday, Senator Julie Morrison, D-Lake Forest, announced that the Senate Health Committee will hold a special hearing on Feb. 11 regarding the state’s COVID-19 vaccination plan.
“The COVID-19 vaccine is the greatest line of defense we have against the pandemic,” Morrison said in a news release. “Unfortunately, many people across the state who are eligible for the vaccine haven’t been able to get their dose – and that’s disheartening.”
The virtual hearing, scheduled for noon on Thursday, will feature Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike, as well as representatives from the Chicago and Sangamon County Health Departments.
The hearing will also include Walgreens and CVS pharmacies, the two companies responsible for issuing COVID-19 vaccines at long-term care facilities through the federal government’s Pharmacy Partnership Program. So far, 212,256 doses out of 496,100 allocated vaccines have been issued at long-term care facilities.
According to the news release, the subject matter hearing will focus on frequently asked questions and concerns regarding the rollout and supply of the COVID-19 vaccine, and aims to “help vaccine distribution become more convenient and readily available.”
The hearing will be streamed on the General Assembly’s website, ilga.gov. The Senate is also accepting written testimony from members of the public.
Tim Kirsininkas of Capitol News Illinois contributed to this report.