Category: For Students Page 1 of 7

Mask Up: Now a State Requirement

The following message was sent to all university students, faculty and staff on Nov. 24, 2020.

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

Duke has for many months required a mask or face covering in all outdoor settings where social distancing measures cannot be maintained and at all times in shared spaces indoors.

Now it’s required across the state at all times.

A new executive order issued by Governor Cooper requires face covering be worn indoors and outdoors across the state. Law enforcement officers may now cite individuals who fail to wear face coverings, as well as businesses or organizations that fail to enforce the requirement.

The order includes the use of face coverings in outdoor areas where it is not possible to consistently be physically distant by more than six feet, including when exercising outdoors or indoors with non-household members.

On Duke property, this includes all indoor recreational facilities, as well as outdoor areas such as the Al Buehler and East Campus trails, the Duke golf course, Duke Forest, and other areas where people congregate. Student-athletes are excluded from the requirement while playing or practicing.

The order, which remains in effect through Dec. 11, 2020, was issued to help address the rapid increase in COVID cases and hospitalizations in North Carolina.  A number of counties across the state are seeing health care systems strained by the increase in COVID cases and infection rates are rising in virtually every county.

Duke has been fortunate and successful this semester thanks to the hard work and vigilance of our students, faculty and staff.  We strongly encourage you to apply the same vigilance as you celebrate the Thanksgiving and the winter holidays so we can, once again, be Duke United.

Kyle Cavanaugh,
Vice President, Administration

Message on COVID-19 Vaccine Development and Distribution for the Duke Community

In anticipation of FDA emergency use authorization, Duke is preparing to participate in an efficient and equitable distribution of the vaccine in close coordination with NC DHHS and local health departments.

The vaccine will be offered in a CDC-defined phased approach that prioritizes healthcare workers who are most likely to be exposed to the COVID-19 virus while providing care to patients – including staff within Duke’s clinical and research laboratories.

For details, view the full message posted on Duke Today.

COVID-19 Vaccines and the Duke Community

The Duke COVID-19 Vaccination Work Group distributed a message to faculty, staff and students about plans for distribution of vaccines when available.

While we are still some time away from FDA approval, planning at Duke is already underway for how we will distribute the vaccine:

  • Our Duke experts will review all available safety and efficacy data for any approved vaccine to ensure the science supports its broad use.
  • Based on CDC guidelines, vaccines will be offered in a phased approach that prioritizes healthcare workers who are most likely to be exposed to the COVID-19 virus while providing care to our patients, as well as long-term care workers and caregivers.
  • We are coordinating with the NC DHHS to help ensure that all North Carolinians have equitable access to vaccines, and that vaccine planning and distribution is inclusive.

A full version of the message is available on Duke Today.

Exit Testing and End of the Semester Information for Graduate and Professional Students

The message is being sent to all Duke graduate and professional students.

Friday, November 6, 2020

Dear students,

The semester is quickly drawing to a close and we know that many of you are finalizing plans to leave Duke and Durham for Winter Break. We are writing today to share important updates including sharing your departure plans with us if you’re on campus or in the Durham area, and how to complete a COVID-19 exit test before you leave. Additionally, we want to highlight valuable health and wellness information for Winter Break.

Please read this message carefully and note the required actions, whether you are living on campus or elsewhere in Durham this fall. 

Also, note that all plans for the spring semester are subject to change on short notice based on local and national public health conditions.

TELL US YOUR DEPARTURE PLANS — ALL STUDENTS

We know that many of our students are studying remotely this fall, all around the world. For all students who are living on campus at Duke or off campus in the Durham area, you must complete this short form to notify the university of your departure from Durham. Completing this survey helps us coordinate any necessary health screening prior to your planned travel and removes you from the surveillance testing pool while you are away from Durham.

It is important that you complete the form so we can provide health and testing services to those remaining on campus or in the Durham area and need access to campus. Please note that any intentional falsification of this form may result in a referral to your program leadership.

In addition to this email, you will also receive a link to the form through Duke’s text message notification system. You are welcome to fill out the form as soon as you know your plans, but at the latest, it must be completed by NOVEMBER 13. We understand that plans may change, so if you need to update your response, you can do so by visiting the same link again via this email or the link sent to you via text.

For graduate and professional students living in Durham or the surrounding area, we encourage you to limit (or avoid) travel during the winter break. 

For public health reasons, we need to minimize back-and-forth travel from Duke students to and from other locations around the US and globe. If you must travel during this period, please use the form above to provide departure and return dates. We understand that for many of you Durham is your home. We are working with school leadership to determine who will require campus access over the break, and therefore be required to participate in surveillance testing. We are aware that students in some programs will continue to engage in educational activity after the Thanksgiving break due to the unique academic calendar of their program. Such students should await further communication from their school or program leadership.

EXIT TESTING — FOR THOSE WHO REQUIRE PROOF OF TESTING TO TRAVEL

We know that some of you may be traveling to states or countries that require proof of a negative COVID-19 test before you can travel. A few notes:

  • Pay close attention to your state or country’s requirements—some require proof of a negative result within a certain time period before your departure, or require a specific type of test. 
  • Note that regular surveillance testing will NOT fulfill this requirement. If you think you need a COVID-19 test for travel, please call Student Health as soon as possible to review your needs.
IF YOU TEST POSITIVE OR HAVE TO QUARANTINE BEFORE DEPARTURE 

Students who either test positive or are required to quarantine between now and the date they plan to leave Durham will have three options:

  • Students who already reside on campus may remain in Duke-provided facilities until you are approved to leave.
  • A family member may pick you up and drive you home; you should NOT use any form of public transportation during this time.
  • You may drive yourself home; again, you should NOT use public transportation during this time.

If you test positive, we will work with you to develop a strategy that is right for you. 

DURING WINTER BREAK — ALL STUDENTS 

We hope that you stay healthy and well over the break. A few reminders

  • Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth; do not share your mask with others.
  • Limit your circle of contacts, and pay attention to who your contacts interact with and who in your circle is particularly at risk to complications from COVID-19 (e.g. those 65 or older, or people with underlying health conditions). 
  • Avoid higher risk settings such as indoor gatherings, places where physical distancing is not possible, activities that involve increased respiratory effort, or places or activities where people may be maskless
  • Practice physical distancing
  • If you haven’t already, get vaccinated for the flu
  • Wash your hands regularly, and if that is not possible, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Rest and spend time doing things that give you life. It’s been a tough semester!

If you are away from Durham for the break and develop symptoms and/or test positive, you should notify your local health department and notify Student Health through the SymMon app. Please note that if you test positive for COVID over break, you should submit that result by sending an email to dshcheckin@duke.edu prior to your return in January. This will assist with your re-entry testing process as well.

If you are staying on campus over the break, we will share more information with you soon about life on campus, including more details on campus office hours, dining, and surveillance testing over the break.

PLANNING AHEAD: SPRING 2021 OPENING — ALL STUDENTS 

All students, whether returning to Durham or arriving for the first time, must participate in entry testing before gaining access to campus. Entry testing for graduate and professional students will begin on January 9 in Penn Pavilion unless otherwise noted by your school; some students in the Schools of Medicine and Nursing will begin testing on January 4 and can expect to receive more specific communication from their program leadership. Entry testing for undergraduate students will begin January 15 in Penn Pavilion.

Details about scheduling an entry test for January will also be shared with all students in the coming weeks. Similar to the fall semester, all students are required to sequester in their residence until a negative test result is received via Duke MyChart. To decrease the likelihood of a positive test, we strongly encourage you to self-isolate for 14 days before returning to campus and to minimize contact with others during the break.

Again, please remember that all plans for the spring semester are subject to change on short notice based on local and national public health conditions.

Thank you for all that each of you has done this fall to protect the health of your fellow students, of Duke staff and faculty and the Durham community. Let’s keep it up these last few weeks of the semester and finish strong. We are all in this together.

Go Duke,

Jennifer Francis
Executive Vice Provost

John Vaughn, M.D.
Director of Student Health Services

Exit Testing and End of the Semester Information for Undergraduate Students

Friday, November 6, 2020 

Dear students,

The semester is quickly drawing to a close and we know that many of you are finalizing plans to leave Duke and Durham for Winter Break. We are writing today to share important updates including sharing your departure plans with us if you’re on campus or in the Durham area, and how to complete a COVID-19 exit test before you leave. Additionally, we want to highlight valuable health and wellness information for Winter Break. 

Please read this message carefully and note the required actions, whether you are living on campus or elsewhere in Durham this fall. 

Also, note that all plans for the spring semester are subject to change on short notice based on local and national public health conditions.

 
TELL US YOUR DEPARTURE PLANS — ALL STUDENTS

We know that many of our students are studying remotely this fall, all around the world. For all students who are living on campus at Duke or off campus in the Durham area, you must complete this short form to notify the university of your departure from Durham. Completing this survey helps us coordinate any necessary health screening prior to your planned travel and removes you from the surveillance testing pool until January. 

It is important that you complete the form so we can provide health and testing services to those remaining on campus or in the Durham area. Please note that any intentional falsification of this form may result in a referral to the Office of Student Conduct. 

In addition to this email, you will also receive a link to the form through Duke’s text message notification system. You are welcome to fill out the form as soon as you know your plans, but at the latest, it must be completed by NOVEMBER 13. We understand that plans may change, so if you need to update your response, you can do so by visiting the same link again via this email or the link sent to you via text.

When you leave Durham, plan not to return to campus until January.

In other words, if you are leaving Durham in the next few weeks (e.g., to visit family or friends, for mental health reasons), this will serve as your official departure for break and you will not be able to return to campus until spring semester. For public health reasons, we need to minimize back-and-forth travel from Duke students to and from other locations around the US and globe. Be sure to pack everything you need for break, including the materials you may need to finish your semester remotely.


EXIT TESTING — FOR THOSE WHO REQUIRE PROOF OF TESTING TO TRAVEL

We know that some of you may be traveling to states or countries that require proof of a negative COVID-19 test before you can travel. A few notes:
  • Pay close attention to your state or country’s requirements—some require proof of a negative result within a certain time period before your departure, or require a specific type of test. 
  • Note that regular surveillance testing will NOT fulfill this requirement. If you think you need a COVID-19 test for travel, please call Student Health as soon as possible to review your needs.
IF YOU TEST POSITIVE OR HAVE TO QUARANTINE BEFORE DEPARTURE 

Students who either test positive or are required to quarantine between now and the date they plan to leave Durham will have three options:

  • Students who already reside on campus may remain in Duke-provided facilities until you are approved to leave.
  • A family member may pick you up and drive you home; you should NOT use any form of public transportation during this time.
  • You may drive yourself home; again, you should NOT use public transportation during this time. 
If you test positive, we will work with you to develop a strategy that is right for you. 


MOVE OUT — STUDENTS CURRENTLY LIVING ON CAMPUS 

All students must be out of their residence halls by 12:00 p.m. on MONDAY, NOVEMBER 30, unless you have been approved to stay on campus over break. If you are not returning to campus in the spring (or if you suspect that you may not return), you should take all your belongings with you; any items left behind will be considered abandoned and will be donated or discarded. If you are returning to campus in the spring, you do not have to move out entirely, but be sure to take all valuable items with you: money, visas, passports, electronics, essential school materials, medications and items of sentimental or emotional value. All students must turn in their room keys by 12:00 p.m. on MONDAY, NOVEMBER 30 to the HRL West Office (for residents of main West Campus), HRL East Office (for residents of East Campus), 300 Swift Office (for residents of Swift Quad), or our satellite locations (Washington Duke, Avana, and Blue Light, respectively). You will NOT be able to return to your room for any reason over the break. 

DURING WINTER BREAK — ALL STUDENTS 

We hope that you stay healthy and well over the break. A few reminders
  • Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth; do not share your mask with others.
  • Limit your circle of contacts, and pay attention to who your contacts interact with and who in your circle is particularly at risk to complications from COVID-19 (e.g. those 65 or older, or people with underlying health conditions). 
  • Avoid higher risk settings such as indoor gatherings, places where physical distancing is not possible, activities that involve increased respiratory effort, or places or activities where people may be maskless
  • Practice physical distancing
  • If you haven’t already, get vaccinated for the flu
  • Wash your hands regularly, and if that is not possible, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Rest and spend time doing things that give you life. It’s been a tough semester!

If you are away from Durham for the break and develop symptoms and/or test positive, you should notify your local health department and notify Student Health through the SymMon app. Please note that if you test positive for COVID over break, you should submit that result by sending an email to dshcheckin@duke.edu prior to your return in January. This will assist with your re-entry testing process as well. 

If you are staying on campus over the break, we will share more information with you soon about life on campus, including more details on campus office hours, dining, and surveillance testing over the break. 

PLANNING AHEAD: SPRING 2021 OPENING — ALL STUDENTS 

All students, whether returning to Durham or arriving for the first time, must participate in entry testing before gaining access to campus. Entry testing for graduate and professional students will begin on January 9 in Penn Pavilion unless otherwise noted by your school. Entry testing for undergraduate students will begin January 15 in Penn Pavilion. Residence halls will also open on January 15. 

More information about move-in will be shared directly with students with an on-campus assignment for Spring 2021. Details about scheduling an entry test for January will also be shared with all students in the coming weeks. Similar to the fall semester, all students are required to sequester in their residence until a negative test result is received via Duke MyChart. To decrease the likelihood of a positive test, we strongly encourage you to self-isolate for 14 days before returning to campus and to minimize contact with others during the break. 

Again, please remember that all plans for the spring semester are subject to change on short notice based on local and national public health conditions.

Thank you for
 all that each of you has done this fall to protect the health of your fellow students, of Duke staff and faculty and the Durham community. Let’s keep it up these last few weeks of the semester and finish strong. We are all in this together.

Go Duke,

John Blackshear
Dean of Students

John Vaughn, M.D. 
Director of Student Health Services

Student Conduct Updates – October 30

The message is being sent to all Duke undergraduate students.

Friday, October 30, 2020 

Dear undergraduate students,

As Halloween approaches, we can’t help but think that not much is scarier than COVID. Numbers keep rising nationally, and we are watching fellow universities, including many nearby, fight to contain outbreaks on their campuses. We appreciate everything you have been doing to keep Duke on the right course so far, but we can’t let up now. 

The choices you make now could impact your health and the health of those around you, your planned holiday travel, our ability to keep Duke running this fall, and significantly change Duke’s plans for the spring.

COVID REMINDERS 

We know it’s been a challenging semester, and many of you probably just want to hang out with friends, away from the virus. We want that for you too. However, local COVID rates are as high as they’ve been at any time during the pandemic, and this increase in prevalence means we need to be more careful right now. 

We care about your health and the health of your fellow students and our community members, and we need you to make choices that show you care as well. As we shared yesterday, there are a few ways we need to adjust course to keep Duke on the right track. 

  • We know it’s Halloween. But COVID doesn’t take holidays, and neither can we. We have to keep doing everything in our power to keep each other safer and minimize COVID transmission. 
  • Wear your mask. Stay physically distant. Abide by the Duke Compact. Choose safer, virtual activities this year. 
  • Don’t forget that, per the Duke Compact, no travel outside of Durham is permitted this fall, even if it is just down the road.
  • Remember that any gathering of 5 or more members of an organization will be considered an organizational event, and both the individuals as well as the organization may be held accountable for any violations. 
  • Limit ANY group gatherings, even small ones! People are giving each other COVID in groups of even 2-3. Don’t risk it. 
  • Don’t eat together or share food. All Duke Dining locations are now pick-up only, and eating is no longer allowed in common rooms. Stay at least 6’ apart while eating, and choose a safer place to eat—outside or in your room, away from crowds. This means no groups crowded around a table or sitting close together indoors or outdoors.

COMPLIANCE AND CONDUCT UPDATES 

As a reminder, enforcement of Duke’s policies is a part of our COVID response. These efforts are nuanced and hold students progressively accountable depending on the severity of the violations. Since August 7, we have taken the following actions:

  • 19 — Administrative Action Hearings held (for individuals and groups) recommending interim actions such as suspension of activities, loss of campus privileges, remote learning, etc.
  • — Campus organizations placed on suspension
  • — Individual students issued interim suspensions for flagrant violations of COVID policy expectations and the Duke Compact pending an administrative hearing, including for hosting gatherings and failing to follow quarantine and isolation protocols to protect fellow students.
  • 179 —  Sanctions implemented by either Office of Student Conduct or Housing and Residence Life—these actions are part of a student’s conduct record and in some cases reportable to graduate schools, study away programs, and employers
  • 408 — Students referred for educational interventions for less severe infractions of the Duke Compact—these outcomes are not part of a students’ disciplinary record
  • 11 — Pending cases under review for potential administrative action involving more flagrant misconduct and persistent non-compliance by individuals.

As a result of these violations, some students have lost their right to remain on campus and must work remotely for the remainder of the semester. Some also face charges that could result in their suspension or permanent expulsion from Duke.

The university updates the COVID testing tracker every Monday. We will provide another update on student conduct on December 4. 

We are in this together. Please stay motivated, stay vigilant, and keep supporting each other in doing this right. We are so close!

Thank you and go Duke,

Mary Pat McMahon
Vice Provost for Student Affairs

Gary G. Bennett
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education  

Don’t Give Each Other COVID

The message is being sent to all Duke undergraduate students.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Dear students,

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.

Happy Halloween and Go Duke,

Mary Pat McMahon
Vice Provost of Student Affairs

Gary Bennett
Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education 

3 Things / COVID-19 Precautions

This message is being sent to all Duke undergraduate, graduate and professional students living off-campus in Durham.

October 21, 2020
Dear students,
We are writing today with three timely reminders to help keep you and your fellow students and community members safer.  As the weather cools, we have seen an uptick in COVID transmission locally in North Carolina and around the US. We know you know the drill by now, but it’s as important as ever that you observe these and other COVID prevention steps:
  1. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning that small indoor gatherings are driving the national uptick.
    As the weather gets cooler, we know you may want to move small gatherings indoors. Please limit any indoor gatherings!
  2. Keeping gatherings small is important (and required for all Duke students, both on and off campus, per Duke’s guidelines), but this step alone is not enough.
    Make sure you also maintain 6 feet of physical distance from others at all times, especially when eating or drinking. Be sure to wear a face covering at any time you are around others you do not live with, including in hallways and common spaces.
  3. In addition to all Duke, local and state guidelines, be sure to follow all expectations and policies outlined by your apartment complex or property manager as well.
    When in doubt, err on the side of being overly cautious!

We need every student — on or off campus, undergraduate or graduate/professional — to continue to follow guidance and take precautions to protect yourselves, your fellow students, and every member of our Duke and Durham communities. The decisions you make every day directly impact the health and safety of those around you.

Thanks, as always, for all that you’re each doing to keep our Duke and Durham communities safer. Hang in there!

Go Duke,

John Blackshear, Ph.D.
Dean of Students
John Vaughn, M.D.
Director of Student Health Services

Update about Spring 2021 Undergraduate Study Away Programs

The Duke University Global Education Office (GEO) has suspended all outgoing undergraduate study away programs for spring 2021 due to ongoing health, safety, and logistics concerns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The suspension applies to Duke-In, Duke-Approved, and petition programs, including domestic study away programs and U.S.-based exchange programs. GEO will continue offering spring semester opportunities for Duke students unable to return to Duke’s campus through the Duke at DKU and Study Away at Home programs.

Duke academic policy states that online transfer credit, such as those offered through virtual study away programs, will not be accepted by the registrar’s office. Please note that should a student choose to study away this spring on an unsanctioned program, they do so without access to university financial aid and travel resources, and will not be permitted to transfer credit back to the institution.

Duke students who have paid deposits towards suspended Duke programs will have those funds credited to their bursar accounts. Non-Duke students will be contacted by their GEO Program Manager about deposit refunds. Students on Duke-approved programs should check with their program provider regarding cancellation, withdrawal, and refund policies.

GEO will withdraw all spring study away applications from MyGlobalEd. To ensure a seamless continuation of your studies this spring, we recommend students refer to updates on Keep Learning regarding the Duke spring semester.

For the latest from the Global Education Office, please visit their website: https://globaled.duke.edu/covid-19-response

Student conduct updates, Oct. 2

The message is being sent to all Duke undergraduate students.

Friday, October 2, 2020

Dear undergraduate students,

Wherever you are as we reach the halfway point in the fall semester, we hope you are well this Friday. We are writing to share some updates on conduct case volume and outcomes for individual students and organizations.

Over the past week, rates of COVID transmission have increased globally, nationally and here in the Durham area. We are likely to see some additional cases in our own community, but we are collectively working to keep those to a minimum. We appreciate that thousands of Duke students in Durham and around the globe are taking action daily to reduce the spread of COVID-19. We continue to appreciate the dedication and efforts we see in the Blue Devil community. We are proud of your leadership as students, we know you share our gratitude for the efforts of our extraordinary faculty and staff.

At the same time, we have seen a handful of situations where some students are flagrantly violating the Duke Compact and our expectations for health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because this conduct could easily lead to an increase in viral transmission on campus and in the community, these students have lost their opportunity to remain on campus. Some may even lose their chance to graduate from Duke.

We don’t want students to spread the virus to one another, to staff, faculty, or members of our Durham Community. We don’t want you to lose the opportunities for which you’ve worked so hard.

Some important reminders:

  • While North Carolina regulations have recently changed, all Duke students are still required to adhere to University requirements limiting informal gatherings indoors or outdoors to 10 persons or fewer.
  • We are aware that some students have disrupted local communities by hosting off-campus gatherings in apartments or rented properties. Students may face disciplinary action if they either host, or attend these events.

COMPLIANCE AND CONDUCT UPDATES

As a reminder, enforcement of Duke’s policies is a part of our COVID response. These efforts are nuanced and hold students progressively accountable depending on the severity of the violations. Since August 7, we have taken the following actions:

  • 21 — Administrative Action Hearings held (for individuals and groups) recommending interim actions such as suspension of activities, loss of campus privileges, remote learning, etc.
  • 4 — Campus organizations placed on suspension
  • 6 — Individual students issued interim suspensions for flagrant violations of COVID policy expectations and the Duke Compact pending an administrative hearing, including for hosting gatherings and failing to follow quarantine and isolation protocols to protect fellow students.
  • 104 — Sanctions implemented by either Office of Student Conduct or Housing and Residence Life – these actions are part of a student’s conduct record and in some cases reportable to graduate schools, study away programs, and employers
  • 293 — Students referred for educational interventions for less severe infractions of the Duke Compact – these outcomes are not part of a students’ disciplinary record
  • 9 — Pending cases under review for potential administrative action involving more flagrant misconduct and persistent non-compliance by individuals.

As a result of these violations, some students have lost their right to remain on campus and must work remotely for the remainder of the semester. Some also face charges that could result in their suspension or permanent expulsion from Duke.

The University updates the COVID testing tracker every Monday. We will provide another update on student conduct on October 30th.

We are in this together. Please keep supporting one another in doing this right.

Thank you and go Duke,

Mary Pat McMahon
Vice Provost for Student Affairs

Gary G. Bennett
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education

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