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First Confirmed Case of COVID-19 at Northwestern University

Dear members of the Northwestern community,

Late this afternoon, we learned that an employee in the Kellogg School of Management’s Global Hub on the Evanston campus has tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19). This is the first confirmed case of COVID-19 at Northwestern University.

In line with University policy and guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the staff member is self-isolating off campus. We wish them well and a speedy recovery.

Northwestern medical teams and Kellogg senior leadership are in communication with the employee, and based on the established protocol, are reaching out to students, faculty and staff who may have had direct contact with the employee. Those individuals are being asked to self-isolate according to University and CDC protocols for COVID-19.

We understand that this announcement will cause concern, particularly with final exams about to begin. As the University said in a message earlier today, students are not required to attend in-person exams. Faculty and students will receive more information about the options for completing their Winter Quarter exams. 

In the days and weeks ahead, we will continue to send you emails with updates and answers to your questions. Northwestern’s COVID-19 website is the best source of information about the impact of the virus on our University community and provides answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

Students who have flu-like symptoms and are worried they might have COVID-19 should call Northwestern University Health Service at 847-491-8100 or your personal health provider. Faculty, staff or other community members who have symptoms that could be COVID-19-related should contact their health care provider or pursue care at an urgent care center.

The health and well-being of our community is Northwestern’s top priority. If you are sick, stay home from work or classes. Symptoms of COVID-19 include a fever (above 100.4 degrees), coughing and difficulty breathing.

Please take care of yourselves as we continue to navigate this dynamic situation.


Craig Johnson
Senior Vice President for Business and Finance