COVID-19 positivity rate and case numbers continue to climb after spring break


Daily file photo by Angeli Mittal

Northwestern no longer requires students to wear masks in the classroom. Students were required to test after returning from Spring Break, and the number of new positive cases reported more than tripled since Winter Quarter’s finals week.

Angeli Mittal, Creative Director

The number of new positive COVID-19 cases reported increased 3.56 times compared to last week after a week of mandated testing — and the first quarter when masks haven’t been required in classrooms since the pandemic started.

Northwestern’s positivity rate this week declined to 1.71%. While this represents a 2.17 percentage point decrease from last week’s 3.88%, only 1,160 tests were conducted during Spring Break.

Compared to two weeks ago — when more students were on campus for finals week — there was over a three-fold increase in tests received. While the number of reported positive cases increased significantly to 160 this week, the positivity rate rose slightly by 0.21 percentage points.

Out of the 160 new positive cases observed, non-undergraduate students accounted for 46%, with 74 this week while undergraduate students represent 37.5% of the cases. Faculty and staff each account for 13 of the remaining cases.

While the University hasn’t announced a testing requirement for undergraduate students this week, 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.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @amittal27

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