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The message is being sent to all Duke undergraduate students.

Sunday, September 6, 2020 
We hope you have had a great first few weeks of classes, whether you are here in Durham or engaging remotely this semester. 

We are so proud that the overwhelming majority of you who are working so hard every day to keep your peers and the Duke community safe. This is no small effort. Thank you for all you are doing.

Now, we need your help—every single one of you—to help keep up this momentum and keep our community moving in the right direction.

A couple of weeks ago, we wrote to you with updates on COVID-19, Compact compliance, and to enlist your help in taking daily actions to keep our community safer. We are writing today with our next update on COVID and compliance efforts.


The latest updates on COVID testing, cases, and quarantine/isolation numbers are posted each Monday to the Duke COVID Testing Tracker. The dashboard includes data on testing, quarantine, and isolation in our community, both weekly and cumulatively (from the start of classes). Weekly summary data are also published on Duke Today. Please note you can check back tomorrow to see the numbers as of this past Friday, September 4.

By the numbers (August 22-28): 

  • 5,355 — Asymptomatic/surveillance student tests administered
  • 3 — Positive results from asymptomatic/surveillance testing
  • 3 — Positive results from reported symptoms 
  • 6 — Students in isolation 
  • 54 — Students in precautionary quarantine* 
*Students in quarantine must stay away from others until Student Health determines if they have contracted COVID-19.  


As a reminder, enforcement is a part of Duke’s COVID response and our efforts are nuanced and hold students progressively accountable. Updates as of August 27 are included below, with all numbers cumulative.

  • Several hundred — Students who have received verbal reminders, warnings, and other interventions from Residential Life, Student Affairs, and the Compliance Team (C-Team).
  • 200+ — Formal reports of  possible undergraduate violations of COVID-19 policy expectations and which the University has endeavored to identify and follow up with individuals or groups responsible for the alleged conduct.
  • 90 — Students referred for formal educational interventions and training for less severe infractions of the Duke Compact.
  • 29 — Pending cases involving more flagrant misconduct and persistent non-compliance by individuals or groups of students currently under investigation by the Office of Student Conduct.*
  • As a result of COVID violations, students have lost their right to access campus and must work remotely for the remainder of the semester.
*Note: If found responsible, students and student organizations face a range of possible sanctions, including: disciplinary probation, suspension to be served in an upcoming term, immediate suspension or removal from campus, or permanent dismissal from Duke. 
Please also note that even though the state and city restrictions for events and venues have loosened somewhat, all Duke students are still required to adhere to University requirements limiting numbers to 10 persons or fewer.

Thank you for all the ways you are taking tangible action to keep your fellow students, our staff and faculty, and the entire Duke and Durham communities safe. We are in this together. 

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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