coronavirus illinois

Nearly 50K Coronavirus Cases Reported at More Than 250 Colleges and Universities

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Nearly 50,000 cases of coronavirus have been reported at more than 250 colleges and universities in recent weeks as students return to campuses while the pandemic rages on.

NBC 5 Investigates is tracking cases at more than 250 colleges, universities and historically black colleges and universities most attended by Illinois students, including all schools within the state.

Those schools include many that don't appear to report their cases online - meaning the true total number of cases may be higher - and many where classes haven't started or began barely one week ago.

At colleges and universities within the state of Illinois, more than 4,101 cases have been reported as of Thursday - though that total is likely higher because some of those schools don't reveal information on their cases online.

At the 14 schools in the Big Ten conference, more than 9,445 cases of coronavirus have been reported. That includes 1,070 students and staff members at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which switched to fully remote learning Wednesday, closing all academic buildings and ordering residents at two different dorms to quarantine for two weeks.

Bradley University in Peoria did the same on Tuesday, implementing a two-week quarantine for all students and moving to remote learning through at least Sept. 23. At least 27 new coronavirus cases have been reported on campus since the fall session began.

But data shows that 13 Illinois colleges have already reported more coronavirus cases than Bradley but have not moved to quarantine students or shifted to remote learning. That includes Illinois State University, where 1,331 cases have been reported, just over two weeks after classes began.

Videos surfaced on social media Wednesday with the location tagged as ISU, appearing to show a large crowd of young people packed closely together, screaming and drinking.

The university tweeted a response to someone who tagged the school's account to notify them of the video, saying, "This was an off-campus party that was eventually dispersed by local police. The University does not condone the behavior. The administration is investigating the incident and looking into disciplinary action against students who attended the party."

NBC 5 Investigates is only looking at cases that have arisen during the fall, purposely excluding cases that occurred on campuses in the spring and summer, in order to concentrate solely on how the pandemic spreads as students return for this semester.

You can use the tool below to see the number of coronavirus cases each school has reported, sorting by school, cases and more, or searching for a particular term (like Illinois or Indiana) to narrow down specific schools. This tool will be updated each evening.

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