The increase in cases is “mainly due to students attending recruitment parties for select living groups,” the letter said. This is the largest one-week total of positive cases and quarantines since the pandemic began.
All courses will be switched to distance learning, and students living on campus will be required to stay in their room or apartment at all times outside of essential activities such as eating or for health or safety reasons. Off-campus students are only allowed to take surveillance tests, get medical assistance, or pick up food orders on campus.
“If that feels serious, it’s because it is,” the letter said. “Restricting the student movement – coupled with a renewed commitment to social distancing, masking, symptom monitoring, and other public health guidelines – gives us the best way to contain its spread. Violations of these requirements are considered a violation The Duke Compact will be viewed and treated as such against the guidelines. Obvious and repeated violations are grounds for the suspension or withdrawal of Duke. “
The letter was signed by Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students John Blackshear, Vice Provost for Basic Education Gary Bennett, and Vice Provost for Student Affairs Mary Pat McMahon.
The letter states that the ability to finish the semester and have a start for the graduates is “pending”. The Duke’s officials will submit an update to the Order on March 18, it said.