COVID-19 cases jumped again this week at Northwestern University. The school reported this afternoon reported its worst week yet for COVID-19, identifying 58 cases this week, compared to 39 the week before.

The cases this week affected 42 students, 10 staff and six faculty members.

The school school says that over the seven day period ending Wednesday it conducted 4,934 tests for the disease, down slightly from 4,948 in the previous period and found 53 new positive cases for a positive rate of 1.07%, double the 0.57% rate for the previous period.

NU says it has conducted a total of 40,938 tests since Aug 15.

The COVID cases reported by the university are included in the City of Evanston’s case counts if, and only if, the person involved lives in Evanston.

To look at the data another way, NU with about 30,800 students, faculty and staff, had 18.8 case per 10,000 population, compared to a rate of 12.7 the previous week.

Evanston during the same period had 110 cases among its 75,000 residents had 14.7 cases per 10,000 population, compared to a rate of 10.8 the previous week.

Northwestern this week announced plans to let first and second year undergraduate students return to campus for winter quarter, after they’d been told to stay home this fall. But the school says it anticipates most of those students will continue to live at home next quarter anyway.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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