October 16, 2020

University Reports 36 New Cases in the Third Week of School

A misty day on a seemingly empty main quad, during UChicago's spring break in 2020, after many students had departed from campus.

Lee Harris / The Chicago Maroon

36 new cases of COVID-19 have been detected by the University in the past five days, according to an email sent to the University community by UChicago Forward on Friday afternoon. They also reported 8 positive tests out of 4,077 tests given by the University of Chicago during the week of October 9 to October 14, according to the school’s COVID-19 reporting dashboard. The positivity rate from the tests administered from October 9 to October 14 now sits at 0.2 percent.

Of the 36 cases, 25 were students and 11 were faculty and staff members. “As of today, fewer than five students are in on-campus isolation housing, with 30 students isolating off-campus,” the email said.

85 close contacts have been identified by the University’s Contact Tracing Team this week, compared to 32 close contacts the previous week, and 22 two weeks ago.

The update comes two days after an announcement that the Booth School of Business will be holding classes remotely for the next two weeks “as a precautionary measure” due to an off-campus gathering attended by many unmasked Booth students. Five students from the event tested positive and 40 close contacts were identified.

“Although more than 100 students were connected with the gathering, a lower number met the CDC definition of a close contact with someone known to have COVID-19,” the email said. 

UCAIR, the University’s anonymous reporting system, received 79 reports in the last week, bringing the total number of reports since September 20 up to 247. 

More than 1,500 people registered for the University’s Voluntary Testing Program this week, according to the email.