Brookfield, Riverside and North Riverside saw their numbers of new cases of COVID-19 fall across the board in the past week, with none of the villages hitting double digits in the six-day period ending the morning of June 8.
While the past week’s figures were one day short due to the Cook County Department of Public Health not updating its numbers on Memorial Day, the county’s data also shows that in Brookfield and North Riverside the recent percent change of new cases — comparing counts from the past 14 days to the 14 days preceding that – was down by 68 percent and 67 percent, respectively.
Brookfield’s eight new cases were the lowest since the week-long period (also a holiday shortened time frame) ending Feb. 23. In contrast to the past two weeks, where a total of 18 new cases were reported in Brookfield, the village was recording between 25 and 48 new cases a week through April and May.
Positivity rates in the village also remain low, with the seven-day rolling rate as of June 7 in Brookfield at 2.68 percent, according to the Northwestern University School of Medicine online database. In the 60546 ZIP code, which includes both Riverside and North Riverside, the seven-day rolling positivity rate was 3.27.
Vaccination rates in the villages also continue to rise steadily. In Brookfield, 61.6 percent of residents have had at least one dose of the vaccine, with 49.2 percent fully vaccinated, according to the Cook County Department of Health.
In Riverside, according to the county, 69.9 percent of residents have been fully vaccinated, with 87.4 percent having received at least one dose. North Riverside trails those villages with a reported 31.9 percent fully vaccinated and 40.2 percent having had at least one dose.
However, it is unclear whether Riverside numbers may be slightly inflated or North Riverside’s slightly deflated since the two villages share the same ZIP code and the county has been known to misreport COVID information, including fatalities within the ZIP code.
No local resident has died as a result of COVID-19 since March 24, when the 13th Brookfield resident was reported to have died from the disease. The Landmark has determined that at least three Riverside and four North Riverside residents have died from the disease.
State positivity rates fall as state eyes Friday reopen
The state’s COVID-19 metrics continued to improve Monday ahead of the planned statewide reopening on June 11.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office confirmed last week that Phase 5 will begin Friday, essentially lifting all of the COVID-19 capacity restrictions that have been in place for over one year. That means businesses, large-scale events, conventions, amusement parks and seated-spectator venues can all return to full capacity beginning June 11.
That announcement came as the state’s COVID-19 case positivity rate – a disease spread indicator that has been widely used to determine what level of restrictions would be in place throughout the pandemic – continued to plummet, hitting a new low of 1.1 percent on June 7.
That’s far from the recent 4.4 percent peak from April 12 and well below its 13.2 percent height since June 2020, when testing became more widespread.
“After a tremendously challenging year, Illinois has now reached a defining moment in our efforts to defeat COVID-19,” Pritzker said in a news release. “Thanks to the hard work of residents across the state, Illinois will soon resume life as we knew it before – returning to events, gatherings, and a fully reopened economy, with some of the safety guidelines we’ve adopted still in place.”
While businesses will still be allowed to have stricter masking and social distancing policies than the state, the new guidance follows the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation that face coverings are not needed indoors for vaccinated individuals.
Masks are still “recommended” for unvaccinated individuals, according to the governor’s office.
Masks will still be required for people traveling on public transportation, in congregate settings, in health care settings, as well as in schools, day cares and educational institutions, according to the governor’s office.
“The vaccine is giving us our freedoms back and allowing us to move to Phase 5,” Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in a news release. “Let’s keep the vaccination momentum going so we can put this pandemic in the rearview mirror and not look back.”
According to IDPH, more than 11.6 million vaccine doses have been administered in the state, with 50.3 percent of the state’s aged-12-and-older population having been fully vaccinated. About 60 percent of those 12 and older have received at least one dose, while that number increases to 62.5 percent for those 18 and older and 82 percent for those 65 and over.
However, about 38,975 vaccines were administered as of June 7, meaning the pace of those being vaccinated has slowed substantially. That number was over 130,000 in mid-April and over 86,000 in early May.
Jerry Nowicki of Capitol News Illinois contributed to this report.