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Coronavirus

Coronavirus cases at NIU climb past 200 as 18 more cases reported Friday

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DeKALB - Coronavirus cases at Northern Illinois University climbed past 200 Friday, as the university announced 18 new cases on campus, all in students, bringing the total to 210 cases reported since students returned to campus for the fall.

It was the most highest daily case count since the school announced 73 cases on Sept. 8, which represented four days with of results after Labor Day weekend, and the biggest one day total since 20 cases were announced on Sept. 4.

There were also seven more recoveries reported Friday, the fewest announced since Sept. 10. According to the school, there have been 156 total recoveries and 7.6% of the school's quarantine and isolation are in use.

Six total cases have been among employees, and three of those have recovered.

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.

Of the 383 students tested last week per NIU's surveillance testing program, five positive cases were identified, according to data Monday. It was a 1.3% positivity rating, up from 0.43 in the program's first week. 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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