DEKALB — Another school year has begun for Northern Illinois University, which since Aug. 19 when students returned to campus has reported eight cases of COVID-19 in employees and 51 in students.
There have also been 12 recoveries since the school year began in the cumulative 59 cases reported so far this semester. Of those cases, 23 have been identified through weekly surveillance testing, accounting for a 1.43% positivity rate overall to date. Surveillance testing is done weekly, on a random selection of students and staff on campus via rapid testing, which allows NIU to locate and identify viral spread more quickly.
As part of NIU’s COVID-19 protocol, all students and employees on campus are required to patriciate in weekly surveillance testing unless they provide proof of vaccination.
There remain 41 active cases on campus, all but six in students.
The school’s quarantine and isolation use is 8.74%, with nearly all beds (94) currently still available.
According to Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker’s new mandates, all higher education students and staff are recovered to be vaccinated against COVID-19, though NIU had approved a similar mandate, including a required vaccine for students living on campus, before the governor’s announce mandate in late August.
According to the school, a 14-day quarantine begins after individuals first show signs of COVID-19 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.