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Classes to be held remotely Jan. 5-8 due to rapid spread of Omicron variant



All undergraduate, graduate and professional classes from Jan. 5 to 8 will be remote, according to a Wednesday afternoon email from Duke administrators. 

All classes are expected to resume in-person on Monday, January 10, according to the email, which was signed by Provost Sally Kornbluth; Executive Vice Provost Jennifer Francis; Vice President for Administration Kyle Cavanaugh; Gary Bennett, vice provost for undergraduate education and Mary Pat McMahon, vice provost and vice president for student affairs.

Duke administrators made this decision in the face of "the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19," the email read. 

A follow-up email sent later Wednesday afternoon from McMahon and Bennett stated that on-campus housing will still opened as planned. According to the Student Affairs website, residence halls will be open beginning Jan. 2. Students living on campus will receive more details in the coming days.

In addition to entry testing and a sequestering period, students who will be at Duke for the spring 2022 semester must be prepared to attest that they have received a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours before arrival on campus. Only professionally administered PCR tests will be accepted; self-administered tests and rapid tests will not be permitted. Students will receive further instructions via email and additional guidance during entry testing if they are unable to get the results of their tests within 48 hours before arrival.

Students returning to Duke will also need to submit proof that they have received a COVID-19 booster shot before the end of January or as soon as they are eligible. 

Students who receive a positive test before arriving on campus will not be permitted to return until completing an isolation period. Students who receive a positive entry test at Duke will be required to isolate for 10 days before attending class in-person.

Furthermore, students who wish to attend the men's basketball game Jan. 4 must complete an entry test Jan. 3 and receive notification that their sequester can end, per McMahon and Bennett's follow-up email.

Events occurring between Jan. 3 and Jan. 9 should be virtual, McMahon and Bennett wrote. Exceptions must be approved through Duke Groups. Any event with more than 50 people in attendance, whether on- or off-campus, must also be approved through Duke Groups. Indoor events must continue to serve food as grab and go and require masks for attendees.

The original email noted that "all of these plans are subject to change on short notice." Students were told to monitor their emails over the next 10 days for continued updates and details.

Anna Zolotor

Anna Zolotor is a Trinity senior and recruitment chair for The Chronicle's 118th volume. She was previously news editor for Volume 117.

Leah Boyd | Editor-in-Chief

Leah Boyd is a Pratt junior and editor-in-chief of The Chronicle's 117th volume.


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