As we confront the challenge of trying to contain the spread of COVID-19, we need your leadership and support to curtail the number of individuals on the Duke campus and in Duke facilities.
These are unusual circumstances. The most important thing we can do as a community is to follow the directives from local, state and federal public health officials to minimize to the extent possible the opportunity for community exposure. This will serve to protect our health care providers, hospitals and clinics, and help us continue to fulfill our educational and research missions.
For all university faculty and staff, we ask you to cease small-group and individual meetings effective immediately, transition to remote access for these activities, and follow the guidance for social distancing whenever on campus. We know this is challenging, and maybe even painful, but we have to do it. And now.
For our healthcare colleagues, we thank you for being on the front lines and continuing to work during these unprecedented circumstances. We encourage those who are able to be mindful of your friends and neighbors who are health care providers and frontline responders and to do what you can to support them. Helping with childcare, providing a meal, and other small gestures can make a big impact on those working long hours to care for our community.
For managers, we call on you to be creative and resourceful in helping all of your colleagues who are able to transition as soon as possible to working remotely. You should use your discretion regarding who absolutely needs to be on-site and what work could be done remotely. Specific guidance on laboratory and research activity will be forthcoming.
All Duke faculty and staff will continue to stay in a paid work status regardless of the work location or work schedule and should record their normal work hours.
We are doing our best to respond to the numerous questions about operations, workplace issues, and health matters. You can find an updated list of Q&As on the official Duke Coronavirus website. In addition, we have the following dedicated websites that provide key resources for working remotely, including access to virtual workshops on using communication tools, such as Zoom Meetings, and how to access Duke’s network using VPN (Virtual Private Network):
- Keep Working provides a central repository for all tools, resources and information for work-related issues during this time.
- Keep Teaching is the source for all faculty and teaching resources as we transition to remote delivery of courses to students around the world.
- Keep Learning provides information for students on academic, residential and support services.
This is an extraordinary situation for everyone. We expect that there will be further announcements regarding additional steps that Duke will have to take in order to adapt to this new reality, and to do our part in taking care of ourselves, our patients, our students, and our community. I thank you in advance for your tireless dedication and boundless creativity.
Vincent E. Price