This message is being sent to all Duke undergraduate students.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Dear students,

Last week, we asked all Duke undergraduates to stay-in-place for one week in order to stop the spread of COVID as quickly as possible. THANK YOU for cooperating with our public health measures this week.

The good news is that we’ve seen a decline in the number of undergraduate students testing positive for COVID. This means that we can lift most elements of the stay-in-place order effective at 9 a.m. Sunday, March 21.

However, this doesn’t mean that the pandemic is over. We continue to see students testing positive at a higher rate than last semester and earlier this year,  and our data indicate that the virus is becoming more contagious. Please remain vigilant and carefully follow the Duke Compact and additional public health guidance. We’ve heard you clearly that you want to successfully complete the semester and to support our seniors on their way to graduation. Given the collective effort we’ve seen from you this week, we know these goals are within reach.

When the stay-in-place is lifted Sunday at 9:00 AM:

  • All in-person courses—including lab classes—will resume their standard spring 2021 delivery (whether in-person or hybrid).
  • Students living in Duke-provided housing (including Avana, Blue Light, and the Washington Duke) may freely move about campus, but  we ask that on campus students  remain on campus grounds, and should only leave campus for essential travel and wellness-related activities through March 28th.
  • Students living off-campus in the Durham area are only permitted to be on campus for in-person classes and essential academic activities, to participate in surveillance testing, seek medical care at Student Health, or pick up grab-and-go food orders at the Brodhead Center. 
  • Students must follow Duke guidance limiting any indoor gatherings to 10 people or fewer, indoor or outdoors, on or off-campus, unless otherwise permitted through the student events approval process.
  • Common spaces such as the Bryan Center, Brodhead Center, and other campus buildings will re-open to residential students.  However, indoor dining will not be permitted at this time.
  • Libraries will reopen for undergraduates.

These items are not new, but it is extremely important that you continue to follow this guidance: 

  • Travel: We expect that you will remain in Durham for the rest of the semester. If you must travel, it is crucial that you register prior to your departure, and follow university guidance—as outlined on the Keep Learning page—for sequester upon your return.  Adherence to these return guidelines is crucial to our collective success.
  • Public health guidance: Continue to follow all public health guidance in place this spring: wear your mask when you are around others, avoid gatherings, complete your surveillance testing, report your symptoms and respond quickly and honestly to contract tracers.

We have been so impressed with all the ways we’ve seen you rally to take care of yourselves and each other this week as we navigated the stay-in-place order. Seriously: great work. Let’s ensure we can finish out the semester strong.

Go Duke,

Mary Pat McMahon
Vice Provost of Student Affairs

Gary Bennett
Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education 

John Blackshear
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students