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Nine new COVID-19 cases at NIU Monday, including two employees and 7 students

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DeKALB – Northern Illinois University announced nine new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, including its first positive employee tests since Sept. 1.

Two of the positive tests were in employees while seven were in students. The school on Friday announced it was going to online classes only amid a countywide spike in positivity rates, which both health officials and the school attributed to large gatherings or parties.

Total recoveries reached 102 as 49 were reported Monday, all among students. There have been a total of 177 positive tests. There have been five positive tests among employees and 172 among students.

According to the school, 19.5% 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 before move-in. NIU reported that of the 2,037 tested before move-in, 39 tested positive, and the university will welcome them back once their quarantine period is over.

Of the 383 students tested last week per NIU's surveillance testing program, five positive cases were identified, according to new data Monday.

The surveillance program the week prior returned one positive case out of 231 tests during the week of Sept. 8. 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 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.

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