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The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

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The Pandemic Pulse: Beginning of the Year Covid-19 Rates

The+Pandemic+Pulse%3A+Beginning+of+the+Year+Covid-19+Rates

Covid-19 numbers remain low across the county and state as well as on Campus.

Arrival Testing was required upon return to campus after winter break, though only 367 students were tested for Covid-19 in the week of Jan. 2 – Jan. 7. Any students who had the Covid-19 virus in October – December were exempt from testing. Only 79 students had Covid-19 on campus in that time period, leaving 607 students who – unless they all had Covid-19 during break – should’ve gotten tested upon arrival. 

Let’s compare some of our numbers to the county and state. 

Firstly, the Illinois Department of Public Health analyzes data using the case rate per 100,000. Basically, how many people out of 100,000 have Covid-19. Though Knox has nowhere near 100,000 students, we can use this same rate by multiplying the number of cases on campus by 100,000 and then dividing by the population of campus. This sounds complicated, but it makes it easier to compare the case rates between campus, Knox County, and the State of Illinois. We can also then use this number to come up with the percentage of that hypothetical 100,000 people who have Covid-19, which may be an easier way to process the data. 

Knox College case rates generally follow the same spikes that Country and State case rates have, but with a higher population percentage due to our small size. Let’s look back at the week of Oct. 31 – Nov.4, this was the beginning of Knox’s fall term Covid-19 spike. Nineteen people tested positive for Covid-19 that week, this leads to a per 100,000 case rate of 1804. That means that if Knox had 100,000 students, 1804 of them would’ve had Covid. Or to look at it a different way, about 2% of the population. 

We can compare that to the same week for the County and State, which had a 107.8 and 121.8 per 100,000 case rate respectively, putting them both at only 0.1% of the population testing positive that week. While Knox’s 2% case positivity seems small, when compared to 0.1% it is more significant. But also, the college is bound to have a higher case rate because of the close quarters that students live in. 

Illinois case rate has stayed relatively stable since November, at about 0.1% of the population testing positive in any given week. But both Knox College and Knox County have had some similar shifts. The week of Nov. 7-Nov. 11 Knox College reported about a 3% case positivity, and Knox County also reported an increase, moving up to 0.2%. The next week, Nov. 14 – Nov. 18 Knox went back down to 2%, but the County continued to increase to 0.3%. 

But – that was all last year. In the first week of school Knox reported 9 cases, leading to a per 100,000 case rate of 854, or 1% of the population. Knox County conversely, reported only a 93.8 per 100,000 case rate, 0.1% of the population. These numbers held steady for Knox County during the second week of January as well. Nineteen students were tested this past week, with 0 testing positive. This means either, there is no Covid-19 circulating on campus, or people are not testing when they have symptoms. 

Students experiencing any Covid-19 like symptoms are always encouraged to get tested to prevent spreading it around campus. 

Hopefully numbers continue to stay at low rates on campus and across the state.

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