NU students line up for COVID tests on Monday, Jan. 3. (Jeff Hirsh photo)

With in-person classes now under way at Northwestern University, both undergraduate and graduate students are being required to take another COVID-19 test.

Such tests were required each week while classes were held remotely, from Jan. 3 through last Friday.

With students back in the classroom Tuesday, the University Vice President Luke Figora says the additional test must be taken by Jan. 21. (However, students with a positive test in the last 90 days do not have the additional testing requirement).

The Evanston campus test site as at the Jacobs Center on Sheridan Road.

The new testing rule comes at the same time that NU is seeing a reduction in the ongoing spike in positive COVID cases.

Figora says that currently, “Northwestern’s COVID19 case numbers and positivity rates are declining, and positivity rates among aysmptomatic individuals remains low.”

He also says that “the number of residential students who are in isolation has come down significantly from a peak earlier this week,” as students test out under new guidelines.

Several other COVID-related measures were also announced or reinforced, including putting distribution of at-home COVID tests on hold for another week, due to supply chain issues.

Figora says the suspension is done to “ensure we can continue to prioritize on-site and programmatic testing needs.”

Contact tracing remains suspended as well.

There is one more requirement, which had been announced previously. All students and staff (with a few exceptions), must get a COVID-vaccination booster by Jan. 30.

Update 6:30 p.m.: Northwestern is reporting a 36% drop in the total number of positive COVID cases last week compared to the week before. The school reported a total of 763 cases in the week ending Jan. 13, compared to 1,035 cases in the week ending Jan 6.

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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