Northwestern COVID-19 positivity rate holds steady while testing numbers decline


Daily file photo by Angeli Mittal

Though frequent testing is encouraged, Northwestern currently does not require all students to test, leading to half the tests taken and half the positive cases reported this week compared to last.

Angeli Mittal, Photo Editor

The campus positivity rate has stayed at about 2% since the University suspended testing requirements for all students two weeks ago. Now, only students not up-to-date on vaccination requirements must test twice a week. 

The positivity rate was at 2.01% two weeks ago, while last week’s rose to 2.40%. This week, the rate is at 2.25%, which represents a 0.15 percentage point decrease from the prior week. But the University received about half the number of tests it did last week, suggesting a significant decline in testing on campus.

While positive cases have decreased by half the number from last week — from 181 to 95 — the decline does not necessarily indicate a decrease in campus positivity.

Out of the 95 new positive cases observed, undergraduate students accounted for 60%, with 57 this week — a 12-point rise from last week’s proportion. Non-undergraduate students constitute 17 of the positive tests, while faculty and staff account for eight and 13 of the remaining cases, respectively.

NU students, faculty and staff are able to receive free, in-person asymptomatic testing at the Donald P. Jacobs Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m on weekdays. Those with symptoms should use the northwest side testing entrance at the Jacobs Center to receive in-person testing between 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays.

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Twitter: @amittal27

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