Thursday, August 13, 2020
Dear undergraduate students,
We are writing to share information about additional measures the University is taking to protect the health and safety of the campus community during the fall semester. As undergraduate classes get underway next week, the University will begin ongoing testing of students and other members of the campus community who are here in the Durham area and not exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19. These additional tests will be conducted regularly beginning the week of Aug. 17.
In addition to the testing of all students coming to campus and the daily symptom monitoring, this additional step will help us identify and respond to the potential spread of the virus and limit the potential for local outbreaks. This ongoing testing process will begin with undergraduate students residing on campus. It will be expanded in subsequent weeks to include other Duke student populations and then faculty and staff who regularly interact with students on campus.
The self-administered process should take about 5 minutes, and testing sites will be established in multiple locations on East and West campuses for convenience. Collection of samples will involve a testing participant inserting a cotton swab into each nasal passage and rotating it against the inner nasal lining in a circle three times. The swab does not need to be inserted far—just enough so the cotton tip is no longer visible. The swab is then placed into a collection tube with a bar code, which will be placed in a bag and then deposited into a cooler at the collection station. Site coordinators at each location will ensure these tests are transported to a nearby lab and any positive test result will be communicated back to the student within 48 hours.
This testing process will be conducted throughout the fall semester. Duke hopes to make this as quick and convenient as possible for all participants, and it is critical that you participate to ensure we can maintain on-campus activities during the pandemic. Participants will need to bring their DukeCard ID or their mobile phone with the SymMon mobile app to one of the many testing sites that will be conveniently located across campus.
If you are selected for pool testing, you’ll receive an email and text message alerting you to your day. Please be sure to attend carefully to these texts and plan accordingly. You can find more information about the process, testing sites and answers to frequently asked questions on the Duke United website.
Thank you and go Duke,
John Vaughn, M.D.
Director of Student Health Services
Mary Pat McMahon
Vice Provost for Student Affairs
Gary G. Bennett
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education