NIU reports 16 more cases of COVID-19 over 5-day Thanksgiving weekend

DeKALB - Northern Illinois University announced 16 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Monday, representing five days worth of data.

Four of the new cases were in staff and 12 in students. The school announced 17 recoveries, 13 in students, to bring the active cases on campus to 51.

Currently, there are 39 positive students, while 462 have recovered. There are also 12 positive employees, while 41 have recovered.

The school did not conduct full surveillance testing last week, testing just 17 students with no positive cases. For the week of Nov. 16, there were eight positives in 739 tests, a rate of 1.1%.

The school's quarantine and isolation use dropped to 3.7%.

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.