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

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Duke’s new policies announced yesterday in light of the spread of coronavirus left the question of on-campus housing in the air.

Less than a full day later, students were given more answers in an email from Mary Pat McMahon, vice provost/vice president for student affairs, and Gary Bennett, vice provost for undergraduate education, Wednesday afternoon. Undergraduate spring break was extended by a week, with following classes going online and students told not to stay on campus.

Here are the key takeaways from McMahon and Bennett's email.

1. Students should not return to the Duke campus

Students not currently on campus for spring break should not return for the time being. All students planning to return to campus for any period of time must register with Duke Student Affairs in advance, and the pathway for that varies depending on why students will return and for how long.

If students have traveled to Level 2 or Level 3 risk countries, they are required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon return to the United States and may not return to campus for "any reason." Before spring break, McMahon announced in an email that individuals who traveled to Level 2 or Level 3 risk countries would be subject to a 14-day quarantine before returning to campus, and East House, a residence hall on East Campus, was being outfitted for needed student self-isolation.

2. Students can stay on campus by filling out a housing form

Students who cannot return home prior to March 22 due to "travel restrictions, costs of travel, or another consideration that may supersede this direction" must fill out a housing registration form, and will be contacted directly for further information by the school.

3. How and when students can access their on-campus rooms

Students who cannot move out of their residence halls can leave their items in their current, assigned dorm rooms for the rest of the semester and will be contacted with  information on how to retrieve their things later in the semester. 

McMahon and Bennet estimated a "small number of students" may be near campus and would be able to move out their belongings from their on-campus residence hall rooms between now and March 22. They must inform the University if they are entering their dorm by filling out a housing registration form by March 13 at noon.

4. DukeCard access will be fully restricted March 23

DukeCard access will be limited to house-only access on East Campus and quad-only access on West Campus starting March 12. As of March 23, the DukeCard of any individual not pre-approved to remain on campus by the University will be entirely restricted.

Correction: This article was updated March 11 at 8:05 p.m. to correct that DukeCard access will be limited to house-only and quad-only access starting March 12, not March 19. The Chronicle regrets the error.

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