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NIU reports 7 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday

As a public service, Shaw Media will provide open access to information related to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) emergency. Sign up for the newsletter here

Northern Illinois University on Wednesday announced seven new cases of COVID-19 as total cases as the school rose to 322.

Two new cases were in employees, the first time multiple employees tested positive on the same day since Sept. 14. The seven overall positives were only the second day of more than five new cases since Sept. 28.

There also were three new recoveries, bringing the total number of recoveries up to 322, 13 of which are in employees.

The school's quarantine and isolation use rose to 4.2%.

Wednesday's news continued a downward trend in cases at the school. There have been just 41 cases reported since Sept. 29.

According to surveillance testing results reported Monday, the school last week conducted 525 tests, nine of which came back positive, a positivity rate of 1.7%.

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.

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