NIU reports 25 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, largest single-day total since reporting began

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DeKALB – Northern Illinois University on Wednesday reported 25 new cases of COVID-19, including one in an employee, bringing the total number of cases linked to campus to 251.

Wednesday's total is the largest daily total of novel coronavirus cases identified within a 24-hour period since the university began tracking cases daily. The largest total announced was Sept. 8, when NIU announced 73 cases, though that total was cumulative over a four-day period. Reporting first began on Aug. 17.

To date, there have been seven cases in NIU employees so far, three of which recovered. There remain 70 positive cases among students on campus, with 174 students recovered.

Quarantine usage at the school also rose Wednesday to 23.9%, up from 19.5% on Tuesday and 7.6% last Friday.

On Sept. 18, three athletic teams – men's basketball, men's golf and football – were placed in quarantine.

In its surveillance testing results from last week announced Monday, 17 students tested positive from among 638 tested, a 2.7% positivity rate in the program's third week, up from 0.4% in Week 1 and 1.3% in Week 2.

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 before move-in.

According to the school, the 14-day quarantine begins after the student first shows a symptom, not when a student receives a positive test for the virus. A case is considered recovered after the 14-day period is over.

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