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Duke releases COVID-19 testing, masking guidelines for spring 2023 semester

<p>The new Student Health and Wellness Center.&nbsp;</p>

The new Student Health and Wellness Center. 

Duke released information about COVID-19 guidelines for the spring 2023 semester in a Wednesday afternoon email to students, faculty and staff. 

Students must get a negative COVID test before arriving on campus, preferably within 72 hours prior to arrival. Duke will not require test results to be submitted to the University but testing prior to arrival is considered part of the Duke Community Standard, according to the email. If a student tests positive, they should contact Student Health and delay their arrival until cleared by Duke. 

Additionally, Duke will end asymptomatic surveillance testing on campus on March 10. After that date, students, faculty and staff who want a test will have to visit Student Health or call the COVID hotline at Employee Health. 

Duke will secure at-home antigen tests that will be available at the Duke Stores’ Service Desk in the Bryan Center. Students, faculty and staff can pick up one test kit per week at no charge with a DukeCard. 

The University has “had some clusters of COVID in recent weeks from people not masking after a known exposure or a false-negative at-home antigen test,” the email added. 

The clusters were "related to employees who had an exposure or were symptomatic and had a false-negative test from a rapid-antigen test and were not masking in the workplace. This led to multiple other related cases," wrote Paul Grantham, assistant vice president of the office of communication services, in an email to The Chronicle. 

None of the cases were severe, and those individuals are being monitored by Employee Occupational Health & Wellness, he added. 

Masking

Masks will continue to be required on Duke buses and vans in the beginning of the spring semester. The policy will be “reassessed later in the semester based on case rates in the community,” the email read. 

"Due to influenza, RSV and the circulation of other respiratory viruses, masking indoors is strongly receommended for anyone with symptoms, regardless of test results for COVID," the email read.

Duke lifted its mask mandate for classrooms in September. 

On-campus testing 

At this time, Duke is offering PCR tests at on-campus test sites for students who need proof of a negative COVID-19 test to travel. Sites are open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

If you have symptoms, PCR tests are available at Student Health and Employee Occupational Health & Wellness. 

Until March 10, limited surveillance testing for asymptomatic community members will be available at the Washington Duke Inn and the Levine Science Research Center. Sites are open Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Test sites will be closed Dec. 21 to Jan. 2 for Winter Break. 

Editor's note: This story was updated Friday morning to include information from Paul Grantham, assistant vice president of the office of communication services.


Milla Surjadi | Editor-in-Chief

Milla Surjadi is a Trinity junior and editor-in-chief of The Chronicle's 118th volume.

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