The message is being sent to all Duke undergraduate students.
Thursday, October 29, 2020
At this point in the semester, you know the various policies to help us prevent COVID transmission. Wear your mask. Socially distance. Gather only in small groups. Get tested on your surveillance days. You know the routine.
We want to be sure you also are alert to the fact that COVID is on the rise nationally. Many universities are seeing rapid increases in student cases. We need to ADJUST COURSE NOW if we want to get through the semester.
- People are giving each other COVID in small settings over meals, including when they have no symptoms.
- People are giving each other COVID when socializing in local establishments, in rented homes, in more remote locales, and “rushing” (not place to place, iykyk).
- COVID rates in North Carolina are the highest they’ve been since the start of the pandemic. This means that the risk to you, your friends, our housekeepers, professors, dining workers, and loved ones is greater now than it was at the start of the semester.
- The situation on campus is getting more serious, and more students are being affected by the virus each week.
What can you do at this point? LOTS: sit farther apart when you’re eating with people, don’t crowd couches or benches or common rooms, be okay with being the “awkward” person who stands farther away, stay close to home even when it feels like everyone else is out. It’s just what we have to do for the next twenty-odd days.
Thank you for all that you’ve done this semester. So many are doing so much right, and at no small sacrifice.
Mary Pat McMahon
Vice Provost of Student Affairs
Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education