Northwestern reports 51 positive COVID-19 tests, down by 30 from week one


Angeli Mittal/Daily Senior Staffer

Students await COVID-19 testing at the Jacobs Center. Northwestern reported 30 fewer cases among 2,000 fewer tests from last week after requiring all students, regardless of vaccination status, to seek testing.

Angeli Mittal, Design Editor

The amount of positive COVID-19 cases at Northwestern is down compared to the start of school.

NU charted 51 positive tests last week, bringing the positivity rate to 0.50%. That’s 30 fewer positive tests overall compared to the previous week, which saw 81 positive tests.

Evanston reported 67 new cases last week, compared to its 48 the previous week.

After week one’s influx of undergraduate COVID-19 positivity, the University in an email last Sunday announced undergraduates are required to take a COVID-19 test, regardless of vaccination status. The University claimed the increase was due to the prevalence of off-campus parties the week prior, but didn’t provide specific evidence to explain viral spread. Sixty-one undergraduates tested positive last week — 34 fewer than the previous week. 

Students have lately expressed frustration with the University’s contact-tracing and quarantine protocols. Amid unresponsive hotlines and disorganized communication for COVID-19 close contacts, some students who tested positive said they felt the University isn’t providing adequate academic and emotional support. With many classes no longer providing a virtual option to attend classes, students dealing with COVID-19 symptoms say it’s difficult to simultaneously manage the alternative, cumbersome written assignments.

Roughly half of last week’s positive tests came from undergraduate students. Out of the remaining positive tests, 19 were from non-undergraduate students, seven from staff and one from a faculty member. The numbers for populations other than undergraduate students stayed roughly the same compared to the previous week.

Also last week, NU researchers recently published the development of a new, ultra-rapid antigen-based COVID-19 test claiming a 100% accuracy rate in clinical trials. Given the high sensitivity found in tests administered with breath samples, the test could also potentially help with tracing efforts.

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Twitter: @amittal27

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