NU COVID-19 positivity rate rises 1.5 percentage points amid declined testing


Daily file photo by Angeli Mittal

Last week, the University saw a slight increase in its positivity rate compared to the end of Winter Quarter after mandating a week of testing. However, this week the positivity rate rose significantly while maintaining roughly the same number of positive cases.

Angeli Mittal, Creative Director

With roughly half as many COVID-19 tests conducted this week as last week, Northwestern’s positivity rate nearly doubled.

The University reported a positivity rate of 3.21% this week, representing a 1.5 percentage point increase from last week’s 1.71%. This rise follows a decrease in tests conducted by around 4,500, though undergraduate testing was not required this week.

Compared to Spring Break numbers — when only 1,160 tests were conducted — this week’s rate is 0.67 percentage points down, while the number of positive cases reported is about 3.5 times more.

The number of new positive cases detected remained roughly the same at 157 compared to last week’s 160.

Of the 157 cases, non-undergraduate students continue to account for the greatest proportion at 41%, with 64 testing positive this week, while undergraduate students represent 33% of the cases with 52 cases. Staff members constitute slightly more of the cases this week at 24 positives, while faculty account for 17 cases.

NU students, faculty and staff can 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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