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November 6, 2020

UChicago Reports 32 New COVID-19 Cases in Week 6 as Virus Numbers Soar in Illinois


A gargoyle statue on Cobb Gate dons a mask.

Han Jiang / The Chicago Maroon

UChicago Forward has reported 32 new cases of COVID–19 in the past seven days, according to an email sent out to the University community early Friday afternoon. Of the 32 new cases, 16 are students and 16 are staff, faculty, or other University personnel. Cases among non-students appear to be sporadic and unrelated, as per Friday's email. The Contact Tracing Team identified 23 close contacts of these cases, or about 0.72 contacts per positive case, who are currently being tested. 

Of this week’s 32 new cases of COVID–19, four were identified via the University’s surveillance testing program, producing a weekly testing positivity rate of 0.07 percent.

Beyond the University of Chicago, Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker announced that in light of the state's record-high coronavirus cases,   indoor service at bars and restaurants will be prohibited in Chicago for an indefinite period beginning last Friday, October 30. These restrictions do not apply to University classrooms or dining halls. Governor Pritzker has hinted at the possibility of introducing further restrictions should COVID cases continue rising but has not specified what form those restrictions would take. 

Dean of Students Michelle Rasmussen stressed once again to abide by the UChicago Health Pact. Rasmussen also reminded that undergraduates who choose to leave Chicago during Thanksgiving Break will not be allowed to return to on-campus housing and must complete the remainder of the quarter remotely. 

Students may choose to remain in their residence halls for Thanksgiving Break and the final weeks of the quarter, provided they do not leave the Chicago area.

Correction on Nov. 6, 2020, 7:59 p.m. CST:

A previous version of this article said new cases among off-campus students were unrelated. Cases among off-campus non-students are unrelated, as per Friday's email.

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