Category: Duke University Page 1 of 21

Fall Travel at Duke

This message was sent to all Duke University faculty, staff, and students

July 2, 2021

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students,

Effective August 9, 2021, the Duke Travel Suspension due to COVID-19 will no longer apply to domestic travel. Faculty, staff, and students who are fully-vaccinated will once again be allowed to travel with Duke support to U.S. states, territories, and territorial waters. Also, domestic travelers will no longer need to enter their travel into the Duke Travel Registry.

While international travel will be more complex given the pandemic and resulting entry requirements/restrictions, travel to destinations that do not appear on Duke’s Restricted Regions List can once again proceed for individuals who are fully vaccinated with the usual budgetary and departmental/school approvals.

The revised RRL, to be published on August 9, will include locations that Duke restricts for safety and security reasons, as well as countries where the travel suspension due to COVID-19 will continue to be in place.  For the latter, the policies and procedures that faculty, staff and students have followed for the last year to request an exemption from their “Top-Level Manager” (and if applicable Duke’s GTAC CV19 Travel Sub-committee) for “essential travel” to these destinations will remain in effect. Additionally, all travelers – whether domestic or international and regardless of whether travel is to a COVID-19 suspended destination or not – must be fully vaccinated or have an approved medical or religious exemption on file with Duke.

For RRL destinations restricted due to safety and security reasons other than COVID-19, students can seek waivers of the restrictions through Duke’s long-standing petition and waiver/release processes specified in Duke’s Global Travel Policy. Faculty, staff and graduate students are not restricted from traveling to these areas.

We encourage you to visit travel.duke.edu and sign up to receive updates on Duke’s Travel Policy to learn more and to receive alerts as to when this information is available online.

While the news is good at Duke, the pandemic is not over yet. All travelers should continue to follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and its equivalents at their international destinations to promote a safe environment for hosts as well as our students, faculty and staff not only in Durham but any location. Vaccination rates worldwide vary significantly from country to country, and the emergence of new and more transmittable variants of COVID-19 means we must continue to practice public health protocols.

Sally Kornbluth,
Provost and Jo Rae Wright University Professor

Kyle Cavanaugh,
Vice President, Administration

COVID Protocols Updated for 2021 Fall Semester

June 29, 2021

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Together we have made extraordinary progress in combating COVID-19 on campus. More than 81 percent of our faculty and staff and nearly 10,000 of our students are fully vaccinated, and that number increases every week. We ended the Spring semester with a very low number of positive cases and had a joyous in-person celebration for our graduates. In addition, since May 3, there have been 35,000 surveillance tests completed with only 7 positive results.

In preparation for the Fall semester, we continue to work closely with Duke’s infectious diseases experts and follow the guidance of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among others, to promote a safe environment for our students, faculty, staff and visitors. While the national news is good, the pandemic is not over yet. Vaccination rates in our region continue to lag and the emergence of new and more transmittable variants of COVID-19 mean we must continue to practice some of our public health protocols as we begin the Fall semester.These protocols include:

  • Vaccinations: All Duke undergraduate, graduate and professional students must present proof of vaccination in order to attend classes and other campus activities this Fall. All faculty and staff are expected to present proof of vaccination by September 1. Students, faculty and staff may apply for a medical or religious exemption. Individuals granted medical or religious exemptions will be subject to daily symptom monitoring, regular testing, masking and other protocols applicable to those who have not been vaccinated.
  • Testing: All students will be tested upon arrival at Duke and must then participate in weekly surveillance testing regardless of their vaccination status. All students who have obtained an exemption from vaccination will be required to participate in surveillance testing twice a week. Faculty and staff who have not been vaccinated will be required to participate in surveillance testing once per week. The testing schedule for each group is based on the number of interactions they are likely to have that could lead to the transmission of COVID-19. Students tend to live in congregate settings and will likely have substantially more interactions than faculty and staff.
  • Symptom Monitoring: Fully vaccinated faculty, staff, and students will not be required to complete daily symptom monitoring. Anyone who has not been vaccinated, regardless of the circumstances, will be required to complete daily symptom monitoring.
  • Masking: Fully vaccinated faculty, staff and students will not be required to wear a mask in most indoor areas effective July 1. Because masks are still required in certain settings – including health care facilities, buses and shuttles on campus, and childcare centers – everyone should have a mask ready and available if needed. Also, please respect anyone who chooses to continue wearing masks as a means to prevent exposure to themselves or loved ones. Faculty, staff, and students who have not been vaccinated will be required to wear a mask indoors at all times. Masks will be provided to all students as part of the initial testing program.
  • Social Distancing: Social distancing is no longer required on campus, though distancing is still recommended for those who are not vaccinated.
  • Flu Vaccination: All members of the Duke community will be expected to participate in the annual flu vaccine program.

We will continue to assess our COVID protocols and test results as the semester progresses to determine whether it is safe to further ease restrictions.

With your participation and support, Duke has led the way back from this pandemic. Your perseverance, creativity and sheer will to overcome the many challenges that confronted us reflects the best of Duke and will define our future.

Sally Kornbluth,
Provost and Jo Rae Wright University Professor

Kyle Cavanaugh,
Vice President, Administration

This message is being sent to all Duke University students, faculty and staff.

Student Conduct Updates, May 20

The message is being sent to all Duke undergraduate students.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Dear students,

We are writing with the last COVID conduct and compliance update of the 2020-2021 academic year. Thank you for all you did this year to make sure we were able to finish out the semester strong, safe, and healthy. We continue to be so proud of the ways you all have come together and supported each other this past year, while rising above extraordinary challenges.

COMPLIANCE AND CONDUCT UPDATES

As we have throughout the year, we are providing a monthly update to share aggregate data around conduct outcomes for individual students and student organizations found responsible for any violations of COVID and Duke Compact-related expectations. As you know, we follow up on all reports and investigate to determine any student responsibility.

For the period from the start of the spring term through Friday, May 13:

  • 307 students referred for educational interventions for less severe infractions of the Duke Compact. These outcomes are not part of a student’s disciplinary record. Sanctions for COVID-related violations are implemented by either the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards or Housing and Residence Life.
  • 281 sanctions have been issued to students this spring. (NB: total number of sanctions does not equal total number of students as one student could receive multiple sanctions). These actions, which include suspensions for an upcoming semester, formal warnings, disciplinary probation, withdrawal of campus privileges, and educational initiatives, may become a part of the student’s conduct record and, in some cases, reportable to graduate schools, study away programs, employers, and other university programs in which a student’s disciplinary record may be a factor in participation.
  • 0 campus organizations currently on suspension for COVID-related infractions.

Administrative Action Review Panels are held to determine if allegations of flagrant violations of COVID policy expectations and the Duke Compact could result in interim measures to preserve the health, safety, and welfare of the Duke and Durham community, pending the conduct process.

  • 11 students have had cases addressed through Administrative Action Review Panels this semester. Examples of flagrant violations include: hosting large gatherings, failing to follow quarantine and isolation protocols to protect fellow students, and repeated violations of COVID expectations. As in Fall 2020, interim measures have included loss of campus privileges, interim suspensions, and other interim restrictions.

OSCCS will report aggregate conduct outcomes for the 2020-21 academic year in August 2021.  

Thank you again for coming together as a community this year, to do the right thing, to look out for each other, and to support each other during a truly extraordinary year.

Thank you and go Duke,

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

Jeanna McCullers
Senior Associate Dean & Director,
Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards

Masking and Social Distancing Guidance

For the next several weeks, Duke University will maintain the requirement for social distancing and wearing of masks indoors while inside campus facilities and using Duke buses and shuttles, regardless of vaccination status.

We are assessing the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) and consulting with our infectious disease experts, the Office of Environment and Safety Office, and Employee Occupational Health and Wellness. While we may ease requirements in the coming month, masking and social distance continue to be the most effective way to limit the spread among unvaccinated individuals.

We are making good progress in vaccination with more than 65 percent of faculty and staff and 55 percent of students now fully vaccinated. Continued progress in vaccination will provide us greater confidence in easing restrictions for social distancing and masking inside certain facilities on campus in the next several weeks.

Faculty and staff who have not already done so can schedule an appointment for free vaccination. Those who were vaccinated outside of the Duke Employee Vaccination Clinic should submit a photo of their completed vaccination card through the Duke COVID Vaccine website.

Thank you for continued efforts to ensure the safety of our campus community.

Sincerely,

Kyle Cavanaugh
Vice President, Administration

Vaccinations for Children of Faculty and Staff

With Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine granted an emergency use authorization this week by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for children ages 12 to 15, Duke will begin providing free immunizations to the general public in this age group, including the children of Duke staff and faculty.

Dedicated walk-in clinic hours will be available for Duke University and Duke University Health System parents to bring their children who are 12-to-15 years old, as well as children who are 16 or older, on the following:

  • Saturday, May 15, and Sunday, May 16, from 12 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Karsh Alumni and Visitors Center
  • Sunday, May 16, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Duke Raleigh Hospital Medical Office Building 9

Widespread vaccinations have proven to significantly reduce the positive cases of COVID-19 on campus and in the community. Despite the continued progress nationally and statewide in controlling the spread of COVID-19, it is important to keep up the comprehensive approach with masking and other public health behaviors to prevent the spread of the virus, even as people get vaccinated.

All Duke faculty, staff and students should already have received an email invitation to be vaccinated, and many have already scheduled an appointment or received the vaccine. We encourage anyone who has not yet done so to schedule an appointment at an Employee Vaccination Clinic or seek vaccination through other venues, including Duke Health. 

If you have been vaccinated outside of the Duke Employee Vaccination Clinics, be sure to let Employee Occupational Health & Wellness (EOHW) know by submitting your documentation through the easy-to-use Duke VaxTrax web form. If you need assistance, send an email to EOHWCOVIDVac@duke.edu.

Thank you for your ongoing support, teamwork and persistence in meeting the challenges of this year.

Sincerely,

Kyle Cavanaugh
Vice President, Administration

Gatherings and Events on Campus – updated guidelines

This message is being sent to all University Faculty and Staff.

Dear Colleagues,

With the continued progress nationally and statewide in controlling the spread of the COVID-19, Duke will begin easing restrictions for gatherings of people and hosting of events.

Effective June 1, 2021, Duke schools, departments and units may host events, activities and performances on and off campus, including meetings of faculty, staff, students and invited guests, without prior approval as long as they observe current Centers for Disease Control and State of North Carolina guidelines for capacity. Food and drink will be permitted subject to state and local regulations. Updated guidelines can be found at https://www.nc.gov/covid-19/staying-ahead-curve.

This guidance only applies to Duke-hosted activities. Outside organizations cannot hold events on the Duke campus without prior approval from the Office of Public Affairs and Government Relations.

Sponsors of events or gatherings on campus should strongly encourage all attendees to be vaccinated, and as previously announced, masks are required inside on-campus buildings. Access to all campus buildings will continue to be limited to those with active DukeCards. Daily symptom monitoring is still required by members of the Duke community to activate their DukeCard for building access.

Widespread vaccinations have proven to significantly reduce the positive cases of COVID-19 on campus and in the community.  Duke faculty, staff or students who have not yet been vaccinated should schedule an appointmentthrough the Duke Employee Vaccination Clinic.

Duke is continuing surveillance testing for all students residing on campus during the summer. Faculty and staff who are working on campus are encouraged to participate in the testing as well.

Together, we are making great strides to protect our community and return to some of the activities we have not been able to do during the worst of the pandemic. Thank you for your ongoing cooperation and resilience that has allowed us to reach this positive milestone.

Sincerely,

Kyle Cavanaugh,
Vice President, Administration

Testing Update: April 26 – May 2, 2021

Duke University’s comprehensive COVID-19 testing and contact tracing program administered 17,128 tests to 9,363 students and 1,733 tests to 985 faculty/staff for the period April 26-May 2, 2021, with a total of four positive results. The total positivity rate was 0.02 percent.

For the second consecutive week the number of positive cases and positivity rate are at the lowest level of the academic year. This is also the final week of testing for the Spring semester.

Testing will continue during the summer and will be posted to Duke’s coronavirus website every Monday afternoon starting May 10.

The full announcement of testing results is posted to Duke Today.

Testing data is also available on our Testing Tracker.

Updated Masking Requirements on Campus

Effective immediately, Duke University will not require students, employees or visitors to wear masks or face coverings while outdoors, with the exception of crowded areas and gatherings where social distancing is not possible. Masks or face coverings are still required inside Duke University owned or leased buildings, and while riding a Duke bus or shuttle, except under the following circumstances:

  • When alone in a confined room such as a private office or residence (Note: this does not include meeting rooms, break rooms, or shared environments such as cubicle work stations).
  • When alone in a vehicle.
  • When eating or drinking while following safety guidance such as social distancing.

This new protocol is consistent with Centers for Disease Control and State of North Carolina guidelines and covers all students, faculty, staff and visitors, regardless of vaccination status.Vaccination and masking are the most effective means of protecting yourself and others from COVID-19 and will be key to getting us beyond this pandemic.  We strongly encourage all members of the Duke community who have not been vaccinated to do so  at no cost through the Duke Employee Vaccination Clinic or Duke Student Health. If you have been vaccinated at a location other than a Duke Employee Vaccination Clinic or Duke-operated site, please submit documentation of vaccination as follows:

  • Faculty and Staff: upload a picture of their completed vaccination card through the confidential Duke VAXTrax online form.
  • Students: email a photo of your vaccination card to Student Health at covidlabresults@duke.edu after your vaccine series is completed.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to keeping the Duke community safe.

Sally Kornbluth,
Provost and Jo Rae Wright University Professor

Kyle Cavanaugh,
Vice President, Administration

Summer 2021 Plans for Students Who Will be on Campus

This message is being sent to all Duke undergraduate, graduate, and professional students who will be on campus this summer.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

You are receiving this message because our records indicate you are planning to be on campus this summer, whether enrolled in coursework, participating in research, or engaged in a co-curricular program. If your plans have changed and you will not be at Duke this summer, please disregard this message.

This message provides information about our summer COVID-19 protocols. While details of these policies may change, we are sharing this information now to facilitate your planning.

COMMUNITY EXPECTATIONS
All new and visiting students and program participants who have not yet signed the Duke Compact and a data usage consent form will be required to do so prior to arrival on campus. You will receive the forms in your Duke email account about a week before your program is due to begin in Durham.

SPRING SURVEILLANCE TESTING
The last day of spring 2021 surveillance testing is FRIDAY, APRIL 30.  Students will be required to continue completing daily symptom monitoring via SymMon to maintain Duke Card access for the rest of the spring semester.

SUMMER ENTRY TESTING

  • Most students will need to complete an entry COVID-19 test to have their DukeCards activated for summer. Some graduate and professional students enrolled in specific programs may be exempt from entry testing; your program director will communicate with you if you do not need an entry test. Otherwise, you should plan to participate in entry testing this summer.
  • Entry testing will generally be conducted one day per week, usually on Mondays, starting Monday, May 10. Please visit:  https://returnto.duke.edu/public-health-measures/covid-19-testing/ for the summer entry testing dates, location and hours. You must participate in entry testing on the date that is closest to the start of your program, or when you need to access campus.
  • Students living on campus this summer must go through entry testing before they move into their housing assignment on their approved move-in date.
  • Following entry testing, you must sequester in your residence until you receive a negative test result, usually within 24-48 hours.
  • Once entry testing is complete, you will be activated in the surveillance testing group for the summer.
  • There are no sign-up slots for entry testing for the summer. You just need to arrive during the hours the site is open, on the date closest to the start of your program. For updated hours please visit: https://returnto.duke.edu/public-health-measures/covid-19-testing/

SUMMER SURVEILLANCE TESTING
While rising vaccination rates and the gradual loosening of public health restrictions in North Carolina are positive signs, please note that in order to protect the health and wellbeing of the Duke and Durham communities, we will continue COVID surveillance testing throughout the summer.

  • Students living on campus this summer are required to complete surveillance testing two times per week, on the days indicated in the test notification emails you will receive from Duke United.
  • Summer surveillance testing will begin on Monday, May 10, and will take place Mondays through Thursdays throughout the summer.
  • Students living off campus are required to complete surveillance testing at least once per week; you will receive a notification email each week with your test date.
  • Summer surveillance testing sites and hours can be found on the Duke United site: https://returnto.duke.edu/public-health-measures/covid-19-testing/
  • If you miss a test, your DukeCard will be deactivated at 7 p.m. on the day of the missed test; it cannot be reactivated until the missed test is made up on the next available testing day.
  • While we continue to discourage all unnecessary travel during the summer, if a student must leave the Durham area for any period of time, the student is required to complete surveillance testing immediately upon returning to campus. There is no travel form or post-travel quarantine period required.
  • All students accessing campus this summer must complete daily symptom monitoring using Duke’s SymMon app.

COVID VACCINATION RECORDS
For all students, both undergraduate and graduate/professional, please be sure to update your COVID vaccination record if you have not done so already.

  • If you received the vaccine at any off-campus location, including the Karsh Alumni and Visitors Center: please email a photo of your vaccination card to Student Health at covidlabresults@duke.edu after your vaccine series is completed.
  • If you received your COVID vaccine at a Duke Student Vaccination Clinic at Blue Devil Tower or Trent Semans: there is no need to send a copy to Student Health. Please log into your Student Health Gateway to verify that your COVID vaccine record is up to date.

For those of you who have been on campus during this academic year, thank you for your compliance with COVID protocols and your adherence to the Duke Compact. For those of you who will be new to Duke this summer, thank you in advance for following our guidelines and keeping the community safe and healthy.

Wishing you a successful end of the semester and a terrific summer.

Jennifer Francis
Executive Vice Provost

Kyle Cavanaugh
Vice President, Administration

Masking Protocol on Campus

Duke will be issuing updated protocols regarding masking on campus early next week based on new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Until then, the current requirement for all staff, faculty, students, and visitors to wear a mask while on Duke’s campus remains in effect.

Currently, masks are still required in outdoor campus settings where social distancing measures cannot be maintained and at all times in shared spaces indoors, regardless of vaccination status.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to keeping the Duke community safe.

Sally Kornbluth,
Provost and Jo Rae Wright University Professor

Kyle Cavanaugh,
Vice President, Administration

This message is being sent to all students and University faculty and staff.

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