Schapiro optimistic about in-person Fall Quarter as Northwestern reports zero COVID-19 cases for first time this academic year


Daily file photo by Binah Schatsky

The Donald P. Jacobs Center. This week marked the first time NU recorded no positive COVID-19 cases in the 2020-21 academic year.

Yunkyo Kim, Campus Editor

Northwestern reported no confirmed COVID-19 cases from May 14 to 20, marking the first week with no cases in the 2020-21 academic year. As a result, University President Morton Schapiro said he is confident about the return to campus. 

The COVID-19 Dashboard, however, showed there was one new positive between May 13 and 19. NU received over 10,800 tests in the same time frame with 0.01 percent positivity rate and a turnaround time of 0.34 days. 

This week’s positivity rate is a dramatic decrease from the beginning of Spring Quarter, which reported 65 new undergraduate cases in the first week as students returned from Spring Break.  Last week recorded nine cumulative cases, with two faculty, three undergraduate and four non-undergraduate reporting positive results. 

The University has administered over 285,000 cumulative tests since Aug. 20, 2020, according to the dashboard. 

In an interview with The Daily, University President Morton Schapiro attributed the low positivity rate to students. 

“I really give the credit to the students, faculty, staff (and) everybody else but it’s really the students who just behaved in an incredible way,” Schapiro said. “I am extremely optimistic about not just the makeup graduation for the class of 2020 but the graduation ceremonies we have for this graduating class and then to be open — big time.”

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