Duke will continue most of its current COVID-19 protocols into the fall semester, according to an email sent to students, faculty and staff from the COVID-19 Vaccination Planning Work Group on Tuesday morning.
"Now, we essentially have a fully vaccinated campus community, which means the risk for severe illness is considerably lower than it would be in the general population," the email read. "We have also had compliance with masking requirements and no documented cases of transmission within our classrooms."
The email noted that there were few hospitalizations among the on-campus community in the last year, and no student hospitalizations “to our knowledge” in 2022.
Students will continue to be required to wear masks in classrooms, Duke buses and vans, and in all clinical settings.
The University’s masking approach will depend on Durham County’s CDC community level category, according to the email. Currently, Durham County is at the “high” level of community risk.
Masking will no longer be required in classrooms when the community risk is reduced to “medium” or “low” for two consecutive weeks.
All unvaccinated individuals are still required to wear masks indoors.
All students are required to complete a World Health Organization-approved COVID vaccination series before they can participate in on-campus activities.
The email encouraged students to receive booster doses of the vaccine when eligible per CDC guidelines. All Health Science students will be required to receive booster doses when eligible, according to the email.
All newly hired employees will be required to have a minimum of one dose of a WHO-approved vaccine or Duke-approved medical or religious exemption before starting work.
All students must get a negative PCR test within 72 hours before arriving on campus, though tests do not need to be submitted to Duke, according to the email. Anyone who tests positive should contact Student Health to delay their arrival.
Surveillance testing will continue to be available at four locations during the semester. It is now optional for all students, faculty and staff, regardless of vaccination status.
Students, faculty and staff who test positive will have to isolate for a minimum of five days. After that, they will need to continue to wear a mask for another five days.
Students on campus who test positive “will be allowed to isolate in place within their residential hall room or apartment while wearing a well-fitted mask until released by Student Health,” the email read.
Roommates who are exposed will need to test and wear a mask. Duke has spaces available to relocate exposed medically high-risk roommates.
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Anisha Reddy is a Trinity junior and a senior editor of The Chronicle's 118th volume.
Milla Surjadi is a Trinity junior and editor-in-chief of The Chronicle's 118th volume.