Northwestern COVID-19 positivity rate sees a slight increase, otherwise remains steady


Angeli Mittal/Daily Senior Staffer

A student walking toward the Donald P. Jacobs Center, where Northwestern runs COVID-19 testing. NU saw a slight increase in the positivity rate as the University heads into the first week of required testing for a third of the undergraduate population.

Angeli Mittal, Design Editor

With roughly the same proportion of positive cases per reported group on campus, Northwestern saw a slight increase in the positivity rate.

The University is heading into the first week of required testing for a third of the undergraduate population.

This week’s campus positivity rate rose to 0.80%, a 0.29% increase from the previous week. About 5,000 tests were completed this week, 500 fewer than last week. There were eight more positive test results than last week, 40 in total.

This week, three of the 40 positive cases were among faculty, nine among staff members, 21 among the non-undergraduate population and 10 among undergraduate students.

The updated campus testing guidelines for undergraduate students sent out Wednesday take effect Monday. Students whose last names start with A through I are asked to get one COVID-19 test at the Donald P. Jacobs Center. Unvaccinated individuals with a vaccination exemption are still required to test twice a week, and those who tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days are not required to get tested.

This week there have also been several national developments regarding COVID-19. An independent advisory panel affiliated with the Food and Drug Administration met Thursday and Friday to discuss the potential for booster shots for individuals who received the Moderna vaccine series. As of Thursday, the committee recommended the administration of Moderna boosters for high-risk individuals and those aged 65 and older, criteria similar to those proposed for the Pfizer booster shot.

The same panel unanimously agreed Friday on booster shots for those who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Members also entertained the idea of providing booster shots from Moderna or Pfizer to this group, though the FDA said the possibility of this occurring remains to be seen.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the FDA are expected to come to a decision whether to follow through with the recommendations in the coming days. 

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Twitter: @amittal27

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