Live blog: Duke during the coronavirus pandemic

Updates from The Chronicle

In light of the coronavirus pandemic spreading across the United States and the world, Duke decided March 10 to suspend in-person classes and extend undergraduate Spring Break for a week. Since then, there has been a cascade of cancellations, information, policies, policy changes and reactions. To try and keep track of them all, The Chronicle has put together this live blog that compiles all of our coverage on Duke's response to the coronavirus, from news to sports to opinion. 

This blog will be continually updated with new information and new articles. If you have any questions you would like us to answer—either directly or in an article—please ask here. All of our coronavirus coverage can also be found on the COVID-19 page on our website. And for information straight from Duke, visit the University's FAQ page and

April 2

News | 10:45 a.m. — Housing and dining refunds, creation of an aid fund for students

University releases details on housing, dining refunds and new Duke Student Assistance Fund: First-years, sophomores and juniors who lived on campus will receive a prorated credit to be used in the fall, covering housing and dining for the portion of the semester starting March 13. Seniors and students living off campus next fall will receive refunds instead, and students on need-based financial aid will be reimbursed with their unused dining funds.  

Also, President Vincent Price has created an aid fund called the Duke Student Assistance Fund that will help undergraduate and graduate and professional students.

News | 3:04 a.m. — Students petition for grading changes

As Duke vows to maintain current grading policy, petitions circulate for universal S/U, pass: Several peer institutions have implemented mandatory pass/fail grading, but Duke administration is not planning to change its mind about an opt-out satisfactory/unsatisfactory system. 

Some students are advocating for a universal pass policy, where all students will receive a "satisfactory" grade in all courses but will be able to choose to receive a letter grade.

News | 1:45 a.m. — A premature end

"This doomsday feeling": Seniors cope with sadness at the semester’s premature ending: For seniors, the move to online classes meant the cancellation of a final Hoof 'n' Horn show, early goodbyes to friends and favorite foods, and hastily taken senior photos in on the quad. 

“I kept thinking about how normal everything felt that day, and how many plans we had that came crashing down,” said senior Kerry Castor.  

Opinion | 12:00 a.m. — Religion and dealing with the virus

A little bit of God's grace can go a long way in the midst of a pandemic: "I think that no matter where you come from or are currently quarantined, there is benefit from more love, grace and acceptance. More active recognition of how small we are in an interconnected, beautifully broken world.

Opinion | 12:00 a.m. — Classes are #canceled

Cancel culture has gone too far: "One minute we oppose a sexual predator, and the next moment we're all supposed to direct our Twitter accounts and outrage against a private research university in Durham, North Carolina?

March 31

Opinion | 12:00 a.m. — Forging intimacy with yourself during the pandemic

COVID-19 has changed everything—including our sex lives: "It is pretty hard to have sex with someone that's at least six feet away from you." 

Opinion | 12:00 a.m. — Workers and supporters make demands of the University

Letter: Workers demand clear support through pandemic: "The University has not sought our input as it has made decisions affecting our health and livelihood, and many of us are struggling."

March 30

Update | 3:45 p.m. — Dining hours for this week

Wondering where you can get food on campus this week? Here's a list of which vendors are open and their hours.

Au Bon Pain: 7:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Cafe 300: 11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Ginger & Soy: 11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Il Forno: 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

McDonald's: 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. Saturday, 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. Sunday

Panda Express: 11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Sazon: 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

The Loop Pizza Grill: 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 a.m. Saturday, 12:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m. Sunday

News | 3:38 p.m. — Summer activities canceled or moved online

Duke cancels in-person summer activities, on-campus Summer Session I classes: Travel programs like study abroad and DukeEngage are canceled, while Duke is looking to offer remote or online Summer Session I courses. Administration has not yet made a decision about Summer Session II.

News | 12:43 a.m. — The Chapel offers virtual services

Duke Chapel services have gone virtual, but community remains strong: Before the virus, most online services got no more than 1,000 views. Now, several have more than 2,000.

Opinion | 12:00 a.m. — Thoughts on a post-coronavirus world

COVID-19 and demanding the impossible: "It feels like the coronavirus is something that we ordinary people can’t do much to impact besides washing our hands diligently and staying home. Passing the days by in quarantine can make us feel like passive, if not powerless, observers—or perhaps hostages."

Opinion | 12:00 a.m. — The coronavirus and xenophobia

Not a virus, not your model minority: "Last week, for the first time in my life, my parents warned me that my identity might put me in danger and urged me to be careful in public."

March 29

News | 11:58 p.m. —  Senior theses thrown into chaos

How Duke closing down for COVID-19 affects senior thesis work: Different departments have moved forward in different ways, including changing the format of the projects. 

“I hope… that this time of seeming crisis will germinate new energy, new creativity, and new means for fulfilling our mission,” said Leonard White, director of undergraduate studies in neuroscience. 

News | 11:20 p.m. — Keith and Nugget during the coronavirus

Keith and Nugget during pandemic: Still walking daily in Durham but miss Duke students: Keith Upchurch and his golden retriever Nugget  still take daily walks, but they now circle the Duke Pond instead of West Campus.

“We’re thinking of and missing our Duke friends each day,” Upchurch wrote in an email to The Chronicle. “Nugget is storing up her love for when she sees you again!”

March 28

News | 11:48 a.m. — Duke Health can decontaminate masks

Duke Health researchers find way to decontaminate N95 face masks for reuse: The procedure, which will be used up to 30 times per mask, will help prevent a shortage at the three Duke Health hospitals.

March 27

Update | 4:03 p.m. — Cooper issues statewide stay-at-home order

Opinion | 12:00 a.m. — A professor argues we shouldn't go back to normal grading

Committing to ungrading, in an emergency and after: "Duke was a leader in making pass/fail grading widely available during this crisis. That should just be the start of reevaluating how we grade."

March 26

News | 10:58 a.m. — Duke studies COVID-19 treatment

First national study of possible COVID-19 therapy includes Duke University Hospital: The study is investigating an antiviral agent called remdesivir that was tested in humans with Ebola and has shown potential in animal studies against MERS and SARS, two other diseases caused by coronaviruses.

News | 10:49 a.m. — Study abroad cancelations

All Spring 2020 study abroad students sent home, Duke summer programs begin to cancel: Find out how study abroad programs have moved online—and whether your summer program is still happening. 

News | 10:21 a.m. — Timeline of coronavirus's effects here

A timeline of how coronavirus has affected Duke and North Carolina: On March 3, the first positive case of coronavirus in North Carolina was identified. Less than a month later, universities and schools are closed and Durham are subject to a stay-at-home order. Check out our timeline of events to lean how we got here.

March 25

News | 2:00 p.m. — More details on stay-at-home order

Durham Mayor Steve Schewel issues stay-at-home order for Durham residents until April 30:  It bans individuals in Durham from traveling, going out in public or gathering in groups of more than 10 people, with some exceptions.

Social distancing

News | 1:46 p.m. — Students self-quarantine after returning from Israel

Duke students in self-quarantine off campus after trip to Israel, other countries: The Chronicle and the News & Observer looked into the travel group that was exposed to coronavirus. At least 15 MBA students who traveled to Israel over spring break tested positive for the virus and are isolating at home, and others have self-quarantined at the Station Nine apartments after being exposed.

Update | 1:41 p.m. — Off-campus students barred from campus

Students living off campus in Durham may not come to campus or enter Duke buildings during the city's stay-at-home period, Mary Pat McMahon, and Kyle Cavanaugh, vice provost and vice president for student affairs, and Gary Bennett, vice president for undergraduate education, wrote in an email to Duke students. 

"Failure to abide by these expectations will result in disciplinary action through the Office of Student Conduct. This is in addition to any action that the city and law enforcement agencies may take," they wrote.

They specified that this excludes "limited numbers of graduate students" who have obtained approval to perform essential research in labs. 

Update | 1:29 p.m. — Access to offices and classrooms cut off, students asked to remain in rooms "as much as possible"

Duke faculty may no longer teach online classes in offices and classrooms, Kyle Cavanaugh, vice president for administration and emergency coordinator, wrote in an email to Duke students, faculty and staff. 

"We understand and regret that this may cause a disruption — the Keep Teaching team is working on alternatives and will be communicating directly with faculty," Cavanaugh wrote. 

The email followed Mayor Steve Schewel's announcement of a stay-at-home order for Durham. Cavanaugh wrote that after the order, students living in Duke residence halls "must remain on campus in their assigned residence hall and assigned room as much as possible, but are permitted to take walks or get exercise on campus grounds (while practicing social distancing and remaining six feet away from others on campus); picking up to-go food orders or visiting the University Store; and attending to urgent medical needs, such as visiting Student Health."

Update | 11:40 a.m. — Schewel's press conference

Check out Matthew Griffin and Ben Leonard's tweet threads on Durham Mayor Steve Schewel's press conference, where he issued a stay-at-home order for Durham. The order bans all gatherings of more than 10 people, with exemptions for health-related activities and getting essential supplies. Businesses must close except for "essential businesses," which includes grocery stores, electrical utilities, media and more. Story to come soon.

News | 3:18 a.m. — A pandemic prediction

Two years before COVID-19, a Duke professor warned to prepare for such a pandemic: Gavin Yamey wrote an op-ed two years ago that criticized the Trump administration for cutting the CDC budget and disbanding a pandemic response team.

Now, he thinks the administration's late response to the coronavirus has made the situation worse.

“We have known for six to eight weeks that this threat was coming, and we did not do enough to prepare,” Yamey told The Chronicle. “Now we have a very disastrous situation where we have inadequate tests, where we left social distancing until very late and where we have very little personal protective equipment for health workers.”

News | 2:34 a.m. — Welcome to Ghost Town

"Depressing and boring, but manageable": What life is like for the 437 Duke students on campus: There are 437 students on a campus that is usually home to thousands. For one student, life on the near-deserted campus feels surreal and post-apocalyptic.

Opinion | 12:00 a.m. — Filling all the extra time

Hobby Hunting: A few in review: "At first I thought I might use this time to get in shape, maybe pick up running. But it is currently 30 degrees in Vermont and there is still snow on the ground, so that might have to wait a couple weeks."

March 24

Update | 9:04 p.m. — Durham will receive a stay-at-home order.

Durham mayor Steve Schewel to issue stay-at-home order for city to slow coronavirus spread: According to a City of Durham news release, Schewel will hold a press conference Wednesday at 11 a.m. to announce the order. The release does not give specific on the order and when it will go into effect.

Durham County has reported 74 cases of COVID-19 as of Tuesday.

Update | 8:40 p.m. — Duke extends withdrawal deadline.

The deadline to request to withdraw from a course has been extended to April 1 at 5 p.m., Claire Siburt, prehealth advisor and liason to the Cooperative College program for the Nicholas School, wrote in an email to students.

Duke will also let students withdraw to an underload even if they have done it in a previous term, Siburt wrote, and students who do so for the first time this semester will be able to do so in a future term. 

Recess | 1:42 p.m. — VYB Studio moves to virtual classes

Durham’s VYB Studio is supporting the community through (virtual) yoga: Owner Allie Labate intended the studio to be a space that supported Durham, but that's taken on a new meaning during the pandemic. TVYB now offers virutal classes, and Labate started a seven-day "NamaSTAY AT HOME" challenge .

News | 5:34 a.m. — Scholarships cancel or adapt in the face of the crisis

No Robertson scholars in Class of 2024, other scholarship weekends go virtual as campus closes: Robertson finalists received an email from Julian Robertson that cited "fate" as a factor in canceling the program this year, and Robertson told The Chronicle that the in-person interview process is a "very big deal" for the program.

Meanwhile, merit scholarship programs under the Office of University Scholars and Fellows will hold their finalist weekends virtually.

News | 5:00 a.m. — How does a university move online?

Downloading Zoom and mailing engineering supplies, professors move courses to remote learning: During the past two weeks of (extended) spring break, instructors have navigated the unprecedented challenge of moving  classes online partway through the semester. For hands-on classes, that isn't as simple as moving to Zoom, as students will have to receive materials by mail to keep working on projects.

Some professors, however, have already taught classes online. 

“I just think it’s tremendous how this technology and this opportunity before us allows us to reach our own students in a unique way, but also bring the rest of the world into that same classroom,” said Leonard White, director of undergraduate studies in neuroscience, who has taught a course in medical neuroscience through Coursera since 2013.

News | 3:46 a.m. — Your questions answered

An up-to-date FAQ guide about life after Duke closed due to coronavirus: From commencement plans to online learning, here's a quick guide what you need to know about Duke during the  pandemic. The FAQ will be updated as we learn new information.

Opinion | 12:00 a.m. — What does it mean for time to be valuable? 

How to be productive under quarantine: "It's easy for Duke students to believe that our lives are exceptions from the rest of the population and that our time is the most valuable thing on Earth. But maybe it isn't."

Opinion | 12:00 a.m. — Contract workers speak out

When it comes to pay and support in the midst of a pandemic, not all workers are included: "I just think part-timers should get the same type of benefit(s) as full-timers since we do the same work as them, you know?"

Opinion | 12:00 a.m. — Reflections on the body and the brain

Where we all live: "Look. You live here. You're breathing."

March 23

Opinion | 12:00 a.m. — Campus without students

Ghost campus: "Campus is immaculate in a way that is only possible in human places devoid of life."

Opinion | 12:00 a.m. — Grief, anger and vulnerability

Vulnerability in an age of crisis: "Although COVID-19 has brought death and exacerbated societal inequities and increased feelings of isolation and loneliness, this virus has united humanity in our shared vulnerability."

Opinion | 12:00 a.m. — Monday Monday breaks down coronavirus

Pass me a Corona: How to cure yourself: "Perhaps the hardest part of this pandemic is surviving in quarantine. Toilet Paper is at an all-time low. Please consider using both Tar Heel Shirts and your old midterms to wipe your ass."

Opinion | 12:00 a.m. — A love letter to Duke

Letter: Loving Duke, before and after the pandemic: "It was beautiful that I missed Duke this much, that I connected to people enough that I found it wrenching to leave them. I try to focus on this now."

March 22

News | 7:47 p.m. — Meet the Duke Learning Innovation team

As online classes begin, learn more about the team helping faculty keep teaching: Duke's Learning Innovation launched in the Fall of 2017, and amidst the ongoing pandemic they've stepped up to help faculty move classes online. The move has required team members to take on new responsibilities as demand has increased for their services.

“Our talented crew is cross-trained to do many different tasks, well beyond their primary roles,” Shawn Miller, director of Learning Innovation, told The Chronicle.

News | 2:24 p.m. — Rand Paul has the virus

Duke alumnus Rand Paul becomes first US senator to test positive for COVID-19: The senator was asymptomatic and decided to get tested "out of an abundance of caution." Before the test, Paul voted against the final version of last week's coronavirus aid package.

News | 12:58 p.m. — Clearing up some confusion about contract worker pay

After confusion with Duke’s commitment to pay contract workers, Duke defines qualifications for pay: Michael Schoenfeld, Duke’s vice president for public affairs and government relations, wrote in an email that Duke is committing to pay furlough wages to anyone who works at Duke for at least 30 hours a week as full-time, “regardless of the vendor.” He also emphasized that “currently assigned” refers to workers’ pre-spring break assignments. 

March 21

Update | 5:05 p.m. — Duke Health prepares to shut doors to visitors

Beginning March 23, Duke Health will heavily restrict visitors to the hospital and clinic areas. Exceptions to the rule include visitors to pediatric patients, inpatient hospice, patients nearing end of life, patients in labor or delivery and patients set to be discharged from the hospital.

Recess | 5:01 p.m. — Arts groups get creative as pandemic upends programming

‘It’s a mess, but we’re getting there’: How student arts groups are adapting to COVID-19: Several arts groups are moving spring programming online now that they can't perform in person. But others, like Hoof 'n' Horn, are still "trying to figure everything out."

March 20

Update | 12:34 p.m. — Public Policy waives internship requirement

Director of Undergraduate Studies Christina Gibson-Davis wrote in in an email to public policy majors in the Class of 2021 that they won't have to complete an internship to graduate with a degree from the Sanford School of Public Policy.

Public policy majors at Duke are required to complete a policy internship in order to receive their degree. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many internship programs are getting canceled for the summer, putting juniors planning to complete their internship this summer in a difficult situation. Thus, the requirements to do the internship and take Public Policy 120 have been waived.

Gibson-Davis wrote that Sanford Career Services is still available to help students secure policy internships, and students are still eligible for Internship Fund assistance.

News | 12:15 p.m. — DUHS employee has COVID-19

Duke University Health System employee tests positive for the coronavirus: The person is in self-isolation at home and hasn’t been in contact with DUHS patients while exhibiting symptoms, according to the statement.

hospital i think.jpg

News | 12:15 a.m. — Duke's plan to ship students some of their belongings

Who's packing up the 1,000+ student requests for
essential" items?
: Housing and Residence Life staff  brought on about 150 volunteers to help pack up students' essential belongings, such as laptops, passports and academic materials. 

Opinion | 12:00 a.m. — A member of the Class of 2019 talks to this year's seniors

An open letter to the Class of 2020: "So while I could never pretend to understand exactly what it is like to be in your position—being afforded even less time to enjoy what was left of college before what was already sure to be a very bittersweet May afternoon—I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind you that your friends aren’t going anywhere that you can’t follow them, virtually or physically."

Opinion | 12:00 a.m. — How grand strategy fails ordinary people

When it comes to preparing for crises, political science is failing us: I minored in political science, and it’s a subject I’ve been heavily involved with, but all those political science classes and grand strategy talks hardly take into consideration the lives of ordinary people.

March 19

News | 8:45 p.m. — Duke researchers look for a vaccine.

How Duke is contributing to research on creating a coronavirus vaccine: Clinical trials began last week for a potential coronavirus vaccine. While Duke does not have labs dedicated to researching the virus, there are a number of members of the Duke Human Vaccine Institute who have expertise that may be able to help.

Update | 7:21 p.m. — Duke Puppy Kindergarten closes

During this coronavirus pandemic, students aren't the only ones who have had to leave campus.

News | 7:02 p.m. — Graduate schools adopt S/U grading

Most Duke graduate and professional schools move to satisfactory/unsatisfactory grading: Most graduate and professional schools are making S/U grading the default option, a day after the University did the same for undergraduate courses. Courses will still count toward curricular, major, continuation and graduation requirements. 

"We hope this change in policy eases some of the stress many of you are facing at this extraordinary time, while at the same time encouraging your learning and engagement for the remainder of the semester," administrators wrote in a Thursday afternoon email to students. "More than anything else, we hope you and your loved ones remain healthy and safe."

Update | 6:46 p.m. — Director of Financial Aid on reimbursements

Update | 6:38 p.m. — Duke looking for help in health center

Duke Human Resources sent out an email to members of the Duke community asking for faculty and staff who are willing and able to be redeployed to support the Duke University Health System. 

"Today, we are putting out a call for help in meeting the challenges of providing critical patient care as more of our neighbors come to us for support during this pandemic," Vice President for Administration Kyle Cavanaugh wrote in the email.

He asked for people to fill out a questionnaire that asks what shifts one can work, previous healthcare experience, any active clinical NC license and other questions. Participants can select that they have no health care experience or license.

Update | 6:36 p.m. — State Department issues Level 4 Travel Advisory for international travel

The U.S. State Department has issued a Level 4 travel advisory urging "all U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19," Kyle Cavanaugh, vice president for administration and emergency coordinator, wrote in a Thursday email to students, faculty and staff. 

The advisory also urges citizens who are currently abroad to immediately return to the United States "unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period of time," noting that many countries are implementing travel restrictions and other measures.

News | 5:49 p.m. — 5 international DukeEngage programs canceled so far

DukeEngage programs in China, South Korea, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam canceled for this summer: Due to travel restrictions, four DukeEngage programs have already been canceled.

Opinion | 12:00 a.m. — Graduate students question Duke's response

Duke's COVID-19 response reflects a broader disregard for graduate students: "Why are graduate students treated as an afterthought when their contributions are key to Duke's everyday function?"

Opinion | 12:00 a.m. — A first-year on Duke's shut down

Goodbye to the hellos: "I knew my first year in college would be full of surprises, but I don't remember the FAC chat on what to do in the case of a global pandemic. I must've slept through that one."

March 18

News | 7:20 p.m. — No commencement in May

Duke postpones Class of 2020 commencement ceremony: President Vincent Price announced that Duke has decided to postpone commencement for the Class of 2020, but he is committed to holding an in-person commencement celebration on campus at some point. 

News | 6:40 p.m. — 11 more Duke community members test positive

One day after 15 graduate students were diagnosed as presumptively positive for COVID-19, 11 more members of the Duke community have tested positive for the disease, according to a Wednesday evening news release.

The release did not specify whether these 11 were also graduate students, but noted that most traveled internationally and quarantined in Durham upon returning home.

News | 6:30 p.m. — Contract workers to maintain pay

Contract food service and hotel workers to keep current pay until May 31: Contract workers who are employed in Washington Duke Inn, J.B. Duke Hotel and full-time in Duke University dining facilities are to keep their current pay. Such workers aren't paid directly by the University but work at Duke.

News | 10:54 a.m. — Canceling spring break plans

Coronavirus travel restrictions disappoints student spring break trips, international tours: From American Grand Strategy to men’s club volleyball to club table tennis, several groups on campus had to cancel their long-awaited, University-sponsored spring break plans due to the coronavirus outbreak.

News | 10:33 a.m. — Students to have S/U classes, letter grade option

Undergrad classes to have default satisfactory/unsatisfactory option for Spring semester: Spring semester undergraduate classes will now be automatically graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory scale, wrote Gary Bennett, vice provost for undergraduate education, in an email to The Chronicle Wednesday morning.


Opinion | 12:00 a.m. — What seniors are losing

Where were you when senior year was canceled?: "While we, the class of 2020, will have infinite responses to answer where we were when senior year was cancelled, there is one that is unanimous and sadly fitting: we were apart."

Opinion | 12:00 a.m. — Making the best of a crisis

Finding light in the darkness of COVID-19: "More importantly, we can learn from the love others have shown, the sacrifices others have made, the struggles we are all going through together."

Editor's Note | 12:00 a.m. — Opinion pieces are more necessary than ever

Editor's note: Opinion in the time of corona: "Because when international students are pushed onto the streets, when students may not have access to their medicines, when the long-anticipated goodbyes are ripped away, we owe it to the future to respond in some tangible manner, to document this time—if only in the opinion section of the Chronicle. So call out whoever needs to be called out, encourage whoever needs to be encouraged and share whatever you need to share at"

March 17

News | 10:45 p.m. — Should Duke give a S/U option to students?

Petition to make satisfactory/unsatisfactory an option for classes receives nearly 2,500 signatures: Junior Michael Castro said that for many Duke students, moving classes online poses challenges that may threaten their academic success this semester, so he created a petition on 

News | 10:37 p.m. — Quarantine is a great time to watch movies

What to watch while you’re isolating at home: Over the course of the last week, day-to-day life around the world has come to a grinding halt in response to the rapid spread of COVID-19. 

what to watch.jpg

News | 8:55 p.m. — Lab research to be limited on campus

Duke curtails laboratory research as COVID-19 continues to spread: Most Duke lab research is being suspended amid growing spread of COVID-19, Vice President for Research Lawrence Carin wrote in an email Tuesday evening.

Update | 6:15 p.m. — 20 Station Nine residents awaiting coronavirus test results

After returning from a study abroad trip Thursday, 20 residents of Station Nine apartments, a popular Durham apartment complex for Duke students, have been tested for COVID-19 and are self-quarantining there, according to a March 16 email sent to Station Nine residents obtained by The Chronicle. They are awaiting their test results and were not exhibiting any symptoms of the coronavirus as of the March 16 email.

News | 4:29 p.m. — Positive tests in the Duke community

15 Duke community members test positive for COVID-19 in Durham: They were on an overseas Duke trip where four members of the group became infected.

Update | 4:15 p.m. — UNC employee tests positive for coronavirus

An employee at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill tested presumptively positive for COVID-19, the Daily Tar Heel reported.

The news comes on the same day that UNC Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz announced that students in the UNC system would have to vacate their dorms unless they were granted permission to stay in exceptional circumstances.

Update | 3:45 p.m. — Duke closes libraries

Starting Wednesday, March 18 at 5 p.m., Duke libraries will be closed to the Duke and larger community, according to an email from Deborah Jakubs, vice provost for library affairs, and Executive Vice Provost Jennifer Francis. They wrote that libarry staff will keep scanning documents through Friday, March 20 at 5 p.m. 

If people want to check out books, they will have to go to checkout stations spread out in Perkins and Lilly Libraries. Library staff are working to "enable digital alternatives," and more information can be found on the library's COVID-19 update page.

"Please know that Libraries staff will make best efforts to meet specific course and research needs," the email stated. "We ask for everyone’s understanding given that interlibrary lending systems are shut down nationally, and there is limited ability to move materials between libraries within the university."

Sports | 12:21 p.m. — After suspending, ACC officially cancels all spring athletics

ACC, Duke officially cancel all athletic competitions and practices for 2019-20 year: It's official—there won't be any ACC athletic activities for the remainder of this spring.

News | 3:45 p.m. — UNC employee tests positive for coronavirus

An employee at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill tested presumptively positive for coronavirus, according to the Daily Tar Heel.

The news comes on the same day that UNC Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz announced that students in the UNC system should vacate their dorms unless they receive permission to stay.

Update | 11:33 a.m. — Gov. Cooper closes restaurants, bars

In a tweet this morning, N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper announced an executive order that all restaurants and bars must close to dine-in customers. They can still allow takeout and delivery orders. The executive order takes effect at 5 p.m. tonight. It also expands unemployment benefits to aid workers.

Editor's Note | 12:00 a.m. — The Chronicle isn't shutting down

Editor’s Note: Duke may be shutting down, but The Chronicle isn’t going anywhere: "The Chronicle wants to clear up any confusion, push administration to take equitable and just actions, and provide an outlet for anyone in the community—students, faculty, staff, parents, Durhamites—to express themselves."

Opinion | 12:00 a.m. — What does Forever Duke mean now?

In the face of a crisis, Forever Duke takes on new meaning: "Our last class period, our last Old Duke, our last a cappella rehearsal, our last student performance, our last dreaded walk from Blue Zone, our last LDOC, our last glance at the iconic Chapel, our last… All these final moments have already happened, and I can only look back wishing that I had soaked in each one just a little bit more."

Opinion | 12:00 a.m. — Duke's contract workers demand fairness

Duke University Contract Workers United statement to Administration regarding coronavirus crisis: "We have worked through snow and hurricane as "essential staff" and now in this time of emergency we are being kept in the dark about Duke's intentions and our livelihoods.  We make three simple demands of Duke that can easily be met by such a wealthy and respected institution."

duke contract workers united statement

Opinion | 12:00 a.m. — More questions than answers

Unforeseen new symptom of coronavirus: Questions: "I understand that none of this is part of the plan. But the comfort the university provides can be detrimental to masking underlying issues with a thick layer of security."

March 16

Update | 9:32 p.m. — Duke emails parents that students should get out of Durham

In a Monday night email sent from the Office of Parent and Family Programs, Duke parents were told that students living in off-campus residences should return home if they are able because Durham restaurants and resources were likely to be "severely curtailed or shut down fully as soon as today." The email noted that nothing about Durham had been issued yet. If students are unable to leave their apartments, the email advised, they should stock up on groceries and supplies.

The email also let parents know that if students are on campus and domestic air travel becomes impossible, then the student just needs to email to arrange to remain on campus. It reminded parents that students should avoid campus if at all possible, and all events with more than 50 people are canceled until May 7. That includes off-campus events as well as on-campus ones. 

Off-campus students are advised not to host parties or large gatherings and to practice social distancing.


News | 3:48 p.m. — No more in-person meetings, employees promised pay

Duke curtails in-person meetings, promises pay for University employees: Duke faculty and staff have been advised to move all in-person meetings to remote conferences, and faculty and staff will remain on "a paid work status."

Opinion | 12:00 a.m. — Demands to ensure support and resources

Letter: Demands in the face of coronavirus crisis: "While the University adapts to rapidly changing conditions, Duke has a responsibility to minimize the financial uncertainty for all members of our community and ensure that all individuals have the support and resources to follow appropriate public health measures."

Opinion | 12:00 a.m. — Have empathy for fellow Blue Devils

In the age of corona, have a little empathy for fellow Blue Devils: "In the age of COVID-19, before you blast someone for their words or actions, remember to empathize with the Blue Devil who’s behind the horns."

Opinion | 12:00 a.m. — A vaccine as a source of disparity

A coronavirus vaccine is in the making… But you may have to check your pockets first: "What should be established as a low hanging and accessible fruit has been selfishly turned into a high-hanging potential source of disparity."

March 15

Update | 10:11 p.m. — Number of students approved, denied from staying on campus

In an email to The Chronicle, Mary Pat McMahon laid out the results of the Keep Learning Team's vetting process for students who requested to remain on campus for the semester or come to campus to gather belongings. 

From the article, As Duke weighs students’ needs with social distancing, international students describe 'chaotic' response:

"In total, the Keep Learning team received 4,400 total requests, and around 3,500 were unique individual students, McMahon wrote in an email Sunday night. She wrote that 463 students were approved to stay, 568  were denied, and another 195 were approved to stay on campus later than March 16 until they can arrange to leave. Around 2,200 wanted to access their dorms this weekend to take home their belongings.

More than 2,000 students initially requested to stay on campus, she said—too many people to allow for proper social distancing to slow the spread of the virus. This number included winter and spring athletes, she noted, but athletics is no longer a reason to stay since Duke suspended athletics activities March 12... 

... McMahon wrote in an email that financial aid had worked with 250 students to book travel. She wrote that those 250 were presumably included in the 568 total rejections."

Bryan Center Plaza on Thursday, March 12 around 1:30 p.m.

News | 7:13 p.m. — Duke can't ship your prescribed medications

Duke can’t ship prescribed medications, staff to work with students when retrieving their items: Duke is working on shipping students’ needed items from their dorms, but medical prescriptions aren’t included on the list of essential items.

News | 4:34 p.m. — Who gets to stay on campus?

As Duke weighs students’ needs with social distancing, international students describe 'chaotic' response: As the coronavirus pandemic sweeps across the globe, many students want to know what qualifies them to remain on campus. As Duke aims to sizably reduce the number of people on campus to contain the outbreak, many students are being told to leave.

Recess | 3:26 p.m. — Full Frame canceled

Full Frame 2020 has been canceled due to coronavirus concerns: On March 11, this year’s Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, which is held annually in Durham, N.C., was cancelled.

News | 11:41 a.m. — Here are the places open on campus

Staying on campus? Here are the places remaining open this week: While much of campus has closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the show must go on. Many buildings will be closed or have limited hours, including libraries and the Brodhead center.

News | 9:39 a.m. — Duke Mutual Aid is working to help students

Student-created Facebook group Duke Mutual Aid provides resources to Duke community: Days after Duke canceled in-person classes and restricted access to campus, students have come together to help each other navigate lives altered by the coronavirus.

March 14

News | 12:34 p.m. — First coronavirus case in Durham County

First coronavirus case reported in Durham County: The first case of COVID-19 has been reported in Durham County, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. 

March 13

Sports | 6:52 p.m. — Coach K calls for extra year of eligibility

Coach K calls for senior athletes to have another year of eligibility: While Krzyzewski initially stated the action should be done for spring seniors at the minimum, he also believes the NCAA should look into extending eligibility for some winter sports as well.

Head coach Mike Krzyzewski believes seniors should receive another chance to complete their final seasons.
Head coach Mike Krzyzewski believes seniors should receive another chance to complete their final seasons.

News | 5:28 p.m. — Fuqua students test positive for coronavirus

[UPDATED] 3 Fuqua students test positive for coronavirus outside the US: In an email to the Duke community Friday afternoon, Vice President for Administration Kyle Cavanaugh announced the students were overseas as part of a group. They are being treated outside of the United States and will remain out of the country until they have recovered.

News | 2:56 p.m. — What will Duke ship to you?

Here's what items Duke will and won't ship to you at home: Wondering what you'll be able to get from your dorm? Student Affairs barred students from coming to campus unless their personal safety or health was at risk. In a new email, students were told that their essential items would be shipped to them. 

News | 1:49 p.m. — Duke extends ban on University-sponsored events

Duke closes more buildings to visitors, extends ban on University-sponsored events: Duke extended its ban on University-sponsored events until May 7 and shut down public buildings to visitors.

News | 1:45 p.m. — Duke cancels class for the rest of the semester

Duke cancels in-person undergraduate classes for remainder of Spring semester: All classes will take place online for the rest of the Spring semester, and faculty will be teaching classes remotely and are being trained in online course delivery.

News | 11:52 a.m. — DUHS is testing for coronavirus, no positives yet

Duke University Health System not yet treating any coronavirus-positive patients but is currently testing: Duke University Hospital and its affiliates are not treating any patients who have tested positive for coronavirus, as of Thursday afternoon. 

March 12

Sports | 6:56 p.m. — Duke basketball responds to March Madness cancellation

Duke men's basketball players, staff respond to cancellation of NCAA tournament: Many Duke men's basketball players and staff took to social media to express their feelings on the abrupt end to their season. 

Sports | 1:52 p.m. — Duke suspends athletic activities

Duke suspends all athletic activities due to coronavirus concerns: President Vincent Price has announced in a statement that the school is suspending all athletic activities, effective immediately. This will include games and practices for all sports.

March 11

8th North Carolina native diagnosed with coronavirus

Students can stay on campus with University approval, retrieve belongings before March 22

How coronavirus has impacted Duke Athletics

Answering your initial questions after Duke suspends classes due to COVI


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