Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

We are looking forward to the beginning of the new academic year and vibrant activity on campus as many of our students arrive on campus later this week. As more people return to campus, we want to take this opportunity to remind you of our current COVID protocols to promote the safety of our community.

The latest COVID variants are far more transmissible than earlier variants, which has led to an increase in cases in recent weeks. By taking the appropriate precautions, we can help prevent the potential for a surge at the beginning of the semester that could hinder the ability for many to fully participate in campus life. 

Here are some quick reminders:  

  • Get tested before returning: Students are required to get a negative PCR test before arriving on campus, preferably within 72 hours of arrival. Tests are not required to be submitted to Duke, but participation is considered part of the Duke Community Standard. Anyone who tests positive should contact Student Health and delay their arrival until cleared by Student Health.
  • Be ready to mask upMasking is currently required in classrooms, on Duke buses and vans, and in all clinical settings. Masks will no longer be required in classrooms once the CDC community risk for Durham drops below “high” for two consecutive weeks. Masking is also recommended for other indoor gatherings while the community risk remains at “high” as defined by the CDC.
  • If in doubt, get tested: Duke will continue to offer asymptomatic testing for anyone who believes they may have been exposed to someone with COVID.
  • If you have any symptoms: Do not report to class or work, and contact Student Health or Employee Occupational Health & Wellness for symptomatic testing.
  • If you test positiveReport your results, wear a well-fitted mask, and isolate for a minimum of five days before returning to work or class. Wear a mask for another five days after isolation. Health sciences students will be required to isolate for seven days due to working in the healthcare environment.
  • If you live on campus: Residential students who test positive will isolate in place within their room. Roommates who have been exposed will need to test and also wear a mask. If you test negative and are medically high-risk for severe illness, you may request temporary alternative housing during your roommate’s isolation period.

You can find more information about all the COVID protocols for the fall semester on the Duke Coronavirus Response website.

Thank you and here’s to a great semester.

Sally A. Kornbluth
Provost and Jo Rae Wright University Professor

Daniel Ennis,
Executive Vice President