NIU reports 5 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

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DeKALB - Northern Illinois University reported 5 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday.

There also were nine new recoveries, including eight students and one employee, leaving 49 active cases on campus, including 39 students and 10 employees.

Of the new cases, four were in students and one in a staff member. In total there have been 531 cases reported, though 482 recovered.

According to new surveillance testing results reported Monday, the school reported a 1.1% positivity rate, the lowest since Sept. 28. Eight students were positive out of 739 tests.

The school's quarantine and isolation use rose slightly to 4.3%, from 3.7% the day prior.

President Lisa Freeman called for a two-week pause to in-person classes Sept. 11 amid a surge in COVID-19 cases connected to campus. She had cited large gatherings and parties as the main source of transmission of COVID-19. The decision was made the same day the Illinois Department of Public Health designated DeKalb County as a warning zone because of a surge in cases. Classes resumed Sept. 28.

The university first 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 moving in.

According to the school, a 14-day quarantine begins after individuals first show signs of symptoms, not when they receive a positive test for the virus. A case is considered recovered after the 14-day period is over.

Although specific surveillance testing results are reported weekly on Mondays, positive tests found through the program are included in daily statistics.

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.