NU reports highest number of positive COVID-19 cases in a week, with more than 900 new positive test results


Angeli Mittal/Daily Senior Staffer

Almost half of all new cases were from undergraduate students, with a total of 445 confirmed cases.

Isabel Funk, Campus Editor

The University reported the highest number of new COVID-19 positive cases it has ever reported in a single week, with 909 new positive cases for the first week of Winter Quarter, according to an update to the COVID-19 Dashboard.

NU received 16,409 tests and reported a positivity rate of 5.5%. Undergraduate students made up almost half of all new cases, with a total of 445 confirmed cases. Non-undergraduate students accounted for 348 confirmed cases.

Students entered a two-week Wildcat Wellness quarantine period on Jan. 1 after returning from winter break. The University requires all students take one in-person, on-campus COVID-19 test per week. 

To accommodate students who have returned to campus but not yet completed their first test, the Donald P. Jacobs Center will be open Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., according to a Friday email from the University.

About 300 of the positive cases resulted from asymptomatic Wildcat Wellness testing, the email said. About half of the positive cases were reported from at-home tests or outside testing centers by individuals who may not have returned to campus.

The University now also recommends wearing a “high-quality mask,” at minimum a surgical mask, when in shared campus spaces. Students will be required to wear a surgical or higher quality mask with two or more layers during in-person classes when they resume.

In a Thursday email to students in Quarantine and Isolation Housing, the University said students living alone in doubles in 1835 Hinman should expect to be assigned a roommate as case volume increases. 

The University will host a webinar Jan. 11 to update the community and address questions. 

On-campus students who test positive for COVID-19 are required to isolate in Hinman for up to 10 days, with the possibility of release on the fifth day with a negative rapid antigen test result. According to a Dec. 31 email, the University suspended contact tracing efforts for the duration of Wildcat Wellness.

This story has been updated to reflect the University’s most current COVID-19 guidelines and protocols.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @isabeldfunk

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