Northwestern’s campus activity level is “Yellow” according to COVID-19 dashboard

Isabelle Sarraf, Campus Editor

Northwestern’s COVID-19 dashboard has been updated with a new framework that monitors the level of campus activity based on factors like positivity rates, growth in cases and testing availability.

The current campus activity level is “yellow,” which means the University is seeing an increase in positive cases, small clusters of positive cases or unfavorable local trends. In response to a “yellow,” the University will see no increases in in-person activity and increased testing or reduced activity for targeted populations.

The University reported 49 new positive cases from Oct. 19 to 25 — the highest ever weekly case count — and a positivity rate of .92 percent. At the bottom of the dashboard, the University notes that confirmed case counts may include the same individuals under more than one category if they have multiple university roles.

Starting Wednesday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker has implemented stronger COVID-19 restrictions on Suburban Cook County in the wake of increased positive cases. Evanston saw its highest single-day case increase on Saturday. In a news release, Mayor Steve Hagerty said the rise in Evanston’s cases was not the result of a disproportionate spread among the NU community.

In a Wednesday email, University President Morton Schapiro announced plans to allow all undergraduate students to campus this winter despite the current rise in cases. He said the positive cases have mainly been among small clusters of students, many resulting from off-campus social gatherings. There have been few documented cases of on-campus spread among students, he added, and “none among students and faculty or staff.”

If the positivity rate stabilizes and doesn’t continue to increase, Schapiro said the University will be able to continue to support the COVID-related needs of the community.

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Twitter: @isabellesarraf

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