Duke Graduate School
Dear graduate students,
I want to echo President Price’s sentiments below and express my appreciation for your efforts in protecting the health of the Duke and Durham communities. Much has been asked of you this year, but you have risen to the challenge, and that has been a crucial factor in keeping the infection rate at Duke relatively low thus far.
I also want to reiterate the need to keep up those efforts, especially as the state moves into Phase 3 of its pandemic response and loosens some of its restrictions. Duke is maintaining its current campus safety protocols, but most of our graduate students live off campus. As more facilities and services reopen in the area, remember to follow Duke’s safety guidelines, such as wearing masks and avoiding large gatherings, no matter if you are on or off campus.
Also, please continue to adhere to Duke’s surveillance testing regimen, which is a critical part of the university’s COVID response. Here are a few reminders from the testing team:
  • Before you leave the testing site, make sure your test is showing up in the SymMon app. If it is not showing up, please consult the testing-site staff on how to confirm that you have taken the test.

  • Active students must complete symptom monitoring every day through the SymMon app or the REDCap website, even on days when they are not coming to campus. This enables Student Health to follow up with symptomatic students even if they are not on campus.

  • If you are included in an upcoming round of testing, you can expect to receive notifications during the following timeframes: the day before your assigned test, the morning of your assigned test day, and around 1:30-2:00 p.m. on your assigned test day. If you missed your test, you will also get a message the day after.

  • You can check the status of your DukeCard access, as well as your compliance status for symptom monitoring and surveillance testing, on the DukeCard website at https://dukecard.duke.edu/statuscheck.
If you have any questions about surveillance testing, please contact Helene McAdams (helene.mcadams@duke.edu), The Graduate School’s liaison for the university’s testing efforts.
Take care, stay safe, and let us all remain vigilant and help each other get through this pandemic in good health.
Paula D. McClain, Ph.D.
Dean of The Graduate School
Vice Provost for Graduate Education


From: President Vincent E. Price
Sent: Thursday, October 1, 2020 4:08 PM
Subject: Thank You and Looking Ahead
October 1, 2020
To the Duke Community, 
We are now halfway through the fall semester. This may seem surprising, both because we started earlier than usual this year and because it feels like the first day of classes was a decade ago. 
There are still challenges ahead, but we have much to be proud of at Duke. Thanks to the cooperation of the Duke community, our comprehensive testing program, and generally good adherence to our health and safety protocols, we have so far kept the rate of coronavirus infections relatively low.  This has enabled us to continue our semester as planned.
A tremendous amount of planning, flexibility, and frankly, luck, has gone into this initial success. But the real reason we are where we are is that Duke has come together, person by person, to keep our community safe. That includes all of you— students, faculty and staff.  So, let me take this opportunity to say thank you. 
We must continue to be vigilant, however, and recognize that COVID-19 is extremely contagious.  This pandemic remains a serious threat to the health and safety of our community and will be for a considerable time to come.  Experience has shown that changes can be rapid, and singular lapses in behavior can have far-reaching negative effects and quickly lead to outbreaks that jeopardize every member of our community.  We cannot lose focus now. 
As we enter the second half of the semester and look ahead to the spring, we must redouble our commitment to the protocols and community guidelines that are keeping us all safe. I encourage you to visit the Duke United site to take a fresh look at our guidance. Please pay particular attention to limits on social gatherings and the ongoing need for surveillance testing.  And as always, remember our four core expectations: wear a mask, keep your distance, wash your hands, and monitor any symptoms. 
The cooperation of the Duke community these past few weeks has demonstrated that ours is a campus of people first and foremost, people who are making extraordinary contributions today and helping to define the boldest aspirations for our future. Again, thank you for all that you are doing to stay a Duke united in this unprecedented moment.
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