The independent news organization of Duke University

Duke University Health System not yet treating any coronavirus-positive patients but is currently testing

Duke University Hospital—the largest hospital in the state—and its affiliates are not treating any patients who have tested positive for coronavirus, as of Thursday afternoon. 

However, the hospitals do appear to be testing patients for COVID-19, according to Duke Health officials in a statement provided to The Chronicle by Sarah Avery, director of Duke Health’s news office. 

“Duke University Hospital, along with other hospitals and providers, has been following CDC and state health department guidelines to test people whose symptoms and exposures are consistent with COVID-19,” Duke Health officials wrote.

The number of coronavirus cases in North Carolina has been steadily climbing, with a total of at least 17 as of Friday morning. Many across the nation have reported difficulty getting testing for the disease. The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak a pandemic, with well more than 1,000 confirmed cases in the United States and more than 130,000 worldwide

Duke Health's hospitals include Duke University Hospital, Duke Regional Hospital and Duke Raleigh Hospital, with a combined total of more than 1,500 inpatient beds. Duke University Hospital sits on Duke’s main campus, which has seen drastic preventative measures in recent days. 

Duke has moved to suspend in-person classes indefinitely and extended its spring break for undergraduates, as well as officially ending “residential activities” for the rest of the semester. Students are barred from returning to campus unless their safety or health is at risk. The University has also banned all in-person events with more than 50 people in attendance. 

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