Northwestern requires staggered COVID-19 testing for all undergraduates


Angeli Mittal/Daily Senior Staffer

Northwestern announced additional testing requirements to be completed within the next three weeks for all undergraduate students.

Angeli Mittal, Design Editor

Northwestern is requiring all undergraduate students, regardless of vaccination status, to complete at least one COVID-19 test within the next three weeks, the University announced Wednesday.

Students were asked to engage in further testing as a reliability measure of the declining positivity rate on campus.

NU reported a low positivity rate of 0.51% among approximately 5,500 completed COVID-19 tests last week. The University also saw a decrease in positive test results among the undergraduate population to five, down from 61 the week of Sept. 17 after which additional testing was mandated. During the same time period, NU has seen a steady increase in positive tests among the non-undergraduate population.

The email did not mention the reasoning behind only requiring undergraduate students to partake in this additional testing. 

Aside from recommending students test between Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the University provided an outline for testing in the next three weeks based on last week to minimize traffic at the Donald P. Jacobs Center. Undergraduates whose last names start with A through I are asked to test next week and those starting with J through Q the week of Oct. 25. Students whose last names begin with R through Z are recommended to test the first week of November.

While these guidelines apply to all undergraduate students, those who had applied for a valid exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination are still required to test twice a week. Students who tested positive in the last 90 days are excused from the requirement.

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