June 25, 2020

Duke Faculty and Staff,

We are writing to provide an update on our phased return to the workplace and the gradual reopening of offices and buildings on campus.

Consistent with our earlier guidance, university staff members should continue to work remotely unless they are specifically designated to return to the workplace. In addition, no university-sponsored or hosted events will be permitted on campus through at least the end of July.

We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation in Durham and North Carolina as we continue to implement Duke’s plan to safely return students, faculty and staff to campus.  Right now, we are currently in Phase 2 of the reopening process and hope to begin Phase 3 in July: 

  • Phase 1 (March – May): Critical Operations Only: essential healthcare, police/security, utilities, continued student support for remaining residential students, dining services, limited housekeeping, payroll, etc. 
  • Phase 2 (May – June): Expanded Clinics & Research Labs: additional healthcare personnel, principal investigators, research staff, etc. 
  • Phase 3 (July – August): Business Continuity Operations: business support operations, faculty offices, student/academic support services, etc. 
  • Phase 4 (August – December): Fall Semester Operations: necessary personnel to support student services & academic programming for fall semester, etc. 

While the state of North Carolina has recorded a high level of positive COVID-19 cases, we are in regular contact with public health officials and experts from the Duke School of Medicine and Duke Health System and remain confident that our plan continues to protect health and safety while facilitating the resumption of teaching, residential life, research and health care services, among other things.

As a reminder, all members of our community must wear a face covering while on Duke leased or owned property, unless you are eating/drinking or alone in a confined room such as an office. (Please note that confined spaces do notinclude meeting rooms, break rooms or shared environments, including buses.) By all accounts, wearing a face covering and maintaining physical distancing are the most effective ways to limit the spread of the virus.

Duke will provide three reusable cloth face coverings to every student, faculty and staff member to use. Distribution of these reusable face coverings for faculty and staff will be managed through the Return to the Workplace Coordinators for each school or department; Student Affairs will coordinate distribution to students.

We encourage you to read the detailed Guide for the Return to the Workplace. The guide covers important details regarding staffing, health and safety protocols, using Duke facilities, and resources for support.

Thank you for your ongoing support of your teams in helping Duke respond to the unique challenges from the pandemic.


Kyle Cavanaugh
Vice President, Administration

Jennifer Francis
Executive Vice Provost

This message has been sent to all Duke University faculty and staff.