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Second Confirmed Case of COVID-19 at Northwestern University

Dear members of the Northwestern community,

I am writing to tell you that this evening we learned that a second individual in the Northwestern community has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), a staff member in the Office of the Registrar on the Evanston campus who serves in a role with limited face-to-face interaction with students or faculty.

The staff member was last on campus on Thursday (March 12) and has not had any contact with others outside the office in the last two weeks.

As with the first case we informed you about yesterday, the staff member is self-isolating off campus, in accordance with University policy and guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Please join me in wishing this member of our community a quick recovery.

Northwestern medical teams and senior leadership are in communication with the individual, and based on the established protocol, are reaching out to others who may have had direct contact with the staff member. Those individuals are being asked to self-isolate, according to University and CDC protocols for COVID-19. To learn more about self-isolation and reporting procedures, visit our self-isolation webpage.

Ensuring the anonymity of individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 is paramount. If you are aware of their identities, please respect their privacy so they can focus completely on their health. The last thing they need – or any of us would want for them – is public attention and scrutiny. We will do everything we can to support these individuals through what is undoubtedly a difficult time. 

Northwestern is committed to protecting our community and the community beyond our campuses. If you have been identified as someone who has been in contact with, or in close proximity to, any individual who has tested positive for the virus, you will be notified. 

In the future, confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our University community will be posted on a dedicated webpage on our COVID-19 website. We will update the list as we receive information about new known, confirmed Northwestern cases.

I would like to repeat what I said in yesterday’s email about finals, which are set to start Monday. Put simply, students are not required to attend in-person exams. More information about finals can be found in Friday’s note to the community. Faculty and students have received more detailed information about the options for completing their Winter Quarter courses. 

Northwestern’s COVID-19 website remains the best source of information about the impact of the virus on our University community and provides answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

The health and well-being of our community is Northwestern’s top priority. If you are sick, stay home.

Let me again thank you for partnering with us to help slow the spread of COVID-19 on our campuses and protect the community at large.



Craig Johnson
Senior Vice President for Business and Finance