Professional School Outbreak Contributes to 37 New COVID-19 Cases This Week

At least 96 percent of students and 92 percent of employees at the University are fully vaccinated.


Adyant Kanakamedala

The south face of Harper Library.

By Layne Friedman

A UChicago Forward update sent on Friday, October 22, reported 37 new cases of COVID-19, up from 15 last week.

Included in the 37 new cases this week are more than 20 professional school students who were associated with an off-campus social gathering and tested positive for COVID-19. According to the update, the University’s contact tracing team determined that a number of the infected students engaged in in-person activities while they were symptomatic.

This week’s new cases had 193 close contacts. Fewer than five students are isolating on campus. Among off-campus students, 28 are in isolation. To date, 72 students have been cleared from isolation.

As of Friday, the total number of positive cases since September 17 is 144, for an overall positivity rate of 0.19 percent.

UChicago’s COVID-19 statistics were also presented at the October 20 Autumn Quarter Update webinar with President Paul Alivisatos, Provost Ka Yee Lee, and other University leaders. More than 92 percent of employees and 96 percent of all students are fully vaccinated. Undergraduates in on-campus housing are more than 98 percent fully vaccinated. 

Further information from the webinar included that the University will continue to monitor the City of Chicago’s mask mandate and that the approach to any changes in University policy will be cautious. Unlike last year, students will return to in-person classes again after Thanksgiving, and barring substantial public health changes, the University will hold classes in person for the winter and spring quarters.