The independent news organization of Duke University

Duke identifies two COVID-19 clusters among students

Two clusters of COVID-19 cases among students have been identified within the last week, Duke announced Friday morning.

The clusters were related to gatherings that occurred over the last week. The first cluster included 29 students in the School of Medicine and the second included seven members of the women’s field hockey team, all of which tested positive. All students who were infected are vaccinated and most have experienced no symptoms. 

Students who tested positive will remain in isolation for 10 days. Duke is contact tracing for individuals who were in close contact with those who tested positive, and they will be "subject to enhanced testing protocols" over the next week.

The School of Medicine held its white coat ceremony for the Classes of 2024 and 2025 on Aug. 6.

Edward Buckley, James Pitzer Gills, III, M.D. and Joy Gills distinguished professor of ophthalmology, wrote in an email to students that most infected individuals were experiencing only mild symptoms and no one had been hospitalized.

"Once we have the sequencing data we will be able to confirm how closely related the transmissions are and if we had a superspreader event," Buckley wrote in the email obtained by The Chronicle.

The School of Medicine is planning a Monday town hall to discuss the current COVID-19 situation.

Eighty-two percent of Duke students and 87% of faculty and staff are fully vaccinated.

This is a developing story. This article has been updated to clarify that the medical school cluster does not only include M.D. students.

Nadia Bey profile
Nadia Bey | Digital Strategy Director

Nadia Bey, Trinity '23, was managing editor for The Chronicle's 117th volume and digital strategy director for Volume 118.


Share and discuss “Duke identifies two COVID-19 clusters among students” on social media.