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Only two new NIU coronavirus cases on day school announces undergrad courses moving online

DeKALB – Northern Illinois University announced two new cases on Friday, the same day the school announced it was moving to undergraduate courses for at least the next two weeks.

Since reporting 73 cases on Tuesday – a reflection of four days worth of data – the school has since reported 14 cases. There have been 166 total cases, with 53 of them recovered. There were 13 new recoveries announced Friday bringing the total to 53.

All but three of the cases are in students, and according to the school most of the spike this weekend was in undergraduate students and came from large gatherings and parties.

According to the school, 25.4% of its quarantine and isolation areas are in use.

The university welcomed students back to campus Aug. 19, and classes began Aug. 24. Students living on campus were required to submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test prior to move-in. NIU reported that of the 2,037 tested prior to move-in, 39 tested positive, and the university will welcome them back once their quarantine period is over.

The school reported Tuesday that its surveillance testing program returned one positive case out of 231 tests last week. The program tests about 125 students a day at random as an attempt to better assess and catch viral outbreaks on campus more quickly to mitigate continued community spread.

Although specific surveillance testing results will be reported weekly on Mondays, positive tests produced from the program will be included in daily statistics. The surveillance testing will continue while the undergraduate courses remain online.

Daily COVID-19 case data from the DeKalb County Health Department may not reflect daily data from NIU because some students or employees may live outside the county and still test positive for the virus.

NIU staff are encouraged to get tested via state testing sites or their health care provider on their own. Students living off campus in Greek housing and otherwise also are not required to get tested, although anyone experiencing symptoms is asked to remain at home.

Students living on campus pay a $7.90 per credit hour health fee, which covers the nasal swab testing services at Northwestern Medicine Student Health Center in the Health Services Building on campus.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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