This email was sent to all Duke University faculty and staff on Saturday, November 21, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

As we come to the end of a successful fall semester of teaching, learning and research, we are making plans for the spring semester that will be based on the latest projections for the spread of COVID-19, ongoing mitigation strategies and the eventual distribution of a vaccine

Unfortunately, we should expect that the current surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations will continue for the next several months and will place greater stress on our community and health care system.  And while there is very optimistic news about vaccines, we also know they will not be widely available to faculty, staff and students until late spring or early summer 2021.

As a result, most university staff should continue to work remotely through the spring semester unless you are specifically designated to return to Duke facilities. Having fewer people on-site continues to be the best way to reduce the potential spread of this virus and protect our campus and community.

All students who return for the spring semester in January will be tested for COVID-19 on arrival, as was the case in the fall.  We will then resume surveillance testing of students and those faculty and staff working in Duke facilities. Anyone who is cleared to work in Duke facilities must continue to complete daily symptom monitoring, wear a mask, and practice physical distancing of at least 6 feet, where possible. Additional supplies of reusable cloth face masks will be distributed through the Return to the Workforce Coordinators for each school and department in January 2021.

Thank you for your ongoing support in helping Duke respond to the unique challenges from the pandemic. We hope you enjoy a much deserved and needed break during the upcoming holidays.

Kyle Cavanaugh,
Vice President, Administration

Jennifer Francis,
Executive Vice Provost