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Thursday, November 19, 2020 

You have been identified as a graduate or professional student who will be on campus at some point during the University winter break period, which begins on Wednesday, November 24. We understand that you have program obligations that differ from others on campus who can step away during this time of year. Our objective is to make sure you have access to campus resources, while keeping you and the community safe and healthy.

This message provides information regarding COVID surveillance testing during the period November 30 through the end of December, as well as some guidelines for travel and gatherings.

Surveillance Testing

Fall semester surveillance testing will end on Monday, November 23; no testing will take place between November 24 and November 29.

For the period Monday, November 30 through Thursday, December 17, winter break surveillance testing will take place on Mondays and Thursdays at the following sites:
  • Bryan Center – 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • LSRC – 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Washington Duke -- 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m
Each week during this period, you will be called for testing on either Monday or Thursday. You may not request a particular day, but if you are unable to test on the day you were assigned, please test on the next testing day.

For those of you who will be on campus or in labs after December 17, you will be called for surveillance testing on Monday, December 21 and Monday, December 28. Testing locations and hours will be posted on the Duke United site as soon as they are confirmed.
Testing will be suspended as of December 29 and will resume with baseline and surveillance testing in January; details on January baseline testing are forthcoming. 

DukeCard Access
Unlike the fall semester, we will not be turning off your DukeCard access if you miss a single surveillance test during the winter break. This is to avoid disruption to lab experiments or other research.

Your school/program leadership will, however, receive a no-show report on Mondays and Thursdays, and they will see if you have missed the test. 

Your school/program leadership will monitor the no-show reports and make decisions concerning your card access for the remainder of the winter break.

Travel and Gatherings

As we all know, we are in a particularly dangerous period of rising COVID cases in Durham and the US. Our ability to keep our campus open depends upon your vigilance and adherence to public health guidelines. We also know that travel is one of the riskiest activities in terms of COVID transmission.
  • We strongly discourage any form of travel over the holidays or winter break period. If you cannot avoid it, please follow the latest CDC travel guidelines. When you return, if possible, you should self-quarantine for at least 14 days. If you must return to work before 14 days are complete, you may do so provided that you have no symptoms and you comply with the symptom monitoring requirements in the Duke Compact.
  • Please follow the CDC guidelines on holiday celebrations and small gatherings. Familiarize yourself with the risks associated with these types of gatherings. Keep in mind that although North Carolina limits indoor gatherings to 10 people, gatherings of any size carry risk of exposure and transmission.
  • If at any time during the winter break period, you have been exposed to others outside of your normal activities, we ask that you participate in surveillance testing before coming to campus to work in your lab, go to the library or access other resources.
  • Finally, if at any time you are worried that you have been exposed to COVID but don’t have any symptoms, please call the Duke COVID hotline at 919-385-0429 and ask to be referred for testing.
We want to thank you for being part of the Duke community and doing your part to keep our friends and colleagues safe. By all measures, we have had a successful fall semester and managed to keep the positivity rate low in our community.  

If for any reason, your plans have changed and you do not plan to be on campus after Thanksgiving, please notify your program leadership.

Wishing you a safe and healthy holiday season,

Jennifer Francis
Executive Vice Provost