Since February, the Village of Glencoe has been working hand-in-hand with neighboring communities and with Cook County to provide COVID-19 vaccinations at New Trier’s Northfield campus for thousands of people in our region. This partnership between governments that utilized paramedics and administrative staff from 12 communities along with New Trier High School and Cook County staff teams has been hugely successful. What started first with vaccinations for teachers and front-line emergency workers later expanded to restaurant and grocery store employees and other critical front-line employees. Finally, most recently, we have partnered to bring vaccines to the general public. In total, this amazing collaboration has led to the delivery of more than 11,000 doses, and has resulted in over 3,750 of our critical front line employees and area residents that have been fully vaccinated. We’re not done yet, either.
Vaccinations are making a difference in getting us back to normal. Owing in large part to the increasing number of vaccinated persons, this week the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) loosened up its restrictions on when vaccinated people need to wear masks when gathering outdoors. On Thursday, Cook County announced that it too is loosening up restrictions across a number of areas (including restaurant dining and private events) owing to increased numbers of vaccinated people tied with decreasing hospitalizations and declining numbers of positive cases. Cook County is also now reporting on its COVID portal the percentage of residents in a specific community that are vaccinated. As of today, 37.7% of Glencoe’s residents have been fully vaccinated; 56.7% have received at least one dose. While that is great news, we still have a long way to go locally.
Up until this week, demand has far outpaced supply at the vaccination events the Village has hosted with our partners. However, we have seen demand begin to fall off. At a vaccination event we hosted on Wednesday, 900 doses were available, but only 695 were spoken for. Thankfully, Cook County was able to utilize the extra doses at other locations, so nothing was wasted, but those opportunities for vaccines to stay local was lost. Given the statistics I noted above, with still almost two-thirds of our community not fully vaccinated, we remain committed to hosting local vaccination events to make it easier for our community to have access to a COVID-19 vaccine (in fact, there is another on Wednesday, May 5 at New Trier’s Northfield campus – online registration is available here). But to do this, we need your help to spread the news! We encourage you to share the Village’s social media posts and email blasts with friends, family and colleagues that might need a vaccine. Likewise, if you know of someone who might need help getting a vaccine because they are homebound, lack access to technology or otherwise might need assistance, please ask them to reach out to the Village Manager’s Office or Family Service of Glencoe so that we can assist them. Of course, Cook County also has numerous sites elsewhere that are now accepting walk-ins without an appointment. Get more information here.
Things are improving, and we are hopeful that this summer will be much more like 2019 than 2020, owing in large part to the availability of vaccines. Please consider whether getting a vaccine is right for you (here’s info from the CDC on vaccine safety) and avail yourselves of the many local options, especially those that the Village and its partners are hosting. We’re in this together!