Northwestern may consider Wildcat Wellness extension, reports second-highest weekly COVID-19 cases yet


Daily file photo by Binah Schatsky

The Donald P. Jacobs Center. This week marked Northwestern’s second-highest ever weekly case count.

Yunkyo Kim, Campus Editor

Northwestern reported 65 positive COVID-19 cases for undergraduates in the first week of Spring Quarter, according to the University’s COVID-19 Dashboard — the highest-ever reported for undergraduate students.

If the spread continues into next week, University spokesperson Rochelle Ritchie said NU will consider an extension of the Wildcat Wellness period, which is set to end on April 5.

“The Wildcat Wellness period has helped mitigate any impact of the return from break,” Ritchie said.

The dashboard also reported 81 new overall positives from March 26 to April 1, the second-highest ever weekly case count. The reported positivity rate was 0.67 percent, a jump from last week’s 0.23 percent.

The jump in COVID-19 cases, compared to the just four undergraduate cases and 16 overall reported last week, comes after many students returned to campus from Spring Break. Ritchie said the positive cases are not related to any form of spread on campus, but can be attributed to students who travelled during break.

“We have already seen the number of new cases fall over the last two days and expect that trend to continue next week,” Ritchie added. “If we see an unexpected rise or sustained peak of new cases, we will consider an extension of the Wellness period in order to protect the campus community.”

The dashboard sits at a yellow campus activity level, which means the University does not plan on increasing in-person activity and will increase testing for targeted populations.

Additionally, the University tested 9,845 community members from March 25 to 31, with an average test result turnaround of 0.36 days.

Compared to undergraduates, other members of the NU community saw less dramatic trends in confirmed COVID-19 cases, with a slight decrease for non-undergraduate students and a five-case increase for staff.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @YunkyoMoonK

Related Stories:
NU students now eligible for compensated Moderna vaccine trial
University announces research project on pandemic policy response
Committee opens communication between TGS students and administration