End-of-Semester and Campus Departure Information for Students

With this accelerated semester coming to a close in just three weeks, Duke leadership Friday sent messages to all students providing information related to their departure from campus and their return in January.

In the message to undergraduate students, Dean of Students John Blackshear and Director of Student Health Services Dr. John Vaughn outlined several required actions for undergraduates.

  • Students must fill out a form providing information about their departure from campus or Durham. This information will help Duke officials coordinate any necessary health screening prior to your planned travel and removes you from the surveillance testing pool until January. 
  • Students returning to states or countries that require evidence of a negative COVID-19 test should contact Student Health Services to review their needs. A regular Duke surveillance test will not fulfill this requirement.
  • Students who test positive or are in quarantine prior to departure must either: Live in Duke-provided facilities until they are approved to leave; be driven home by a family-member; or drive home themselves. They will not be allowed to take public transportation during the trip.
  • All students must be out of their residence halls by noon on Monday, Nov. 30, unless they have been approved to stay on campus over break.

It’s been a tough semester, and Blackshear and Vaughn encouraged the students to use Winter Break to relax, rest and “spend time doing things that give you life.”

However, students will also be expected to follow the same public health precautions they have been during the semester on campus. These include wearing a mask in public, limiting their circle of contacts and avoiding risks, practicing physical distancing and regular hand-washing.

The message also included information about the return to campus for the spring semester. Blackshear and Vaughn cautioned that all current plans for the semester are subject to change based on the public health situation. Entry COVID testing for undergraduate students will begin Jan. 15 in Penn Pavilion. Residence halls will also open on Jan. 15.

“Thank you for all that each of you has done this fall to protect the health of your fellow students, of Duke staff and faculty and the Durham community,” they wrote. “Let's keep it up these last few weeks of the semester and finish strong. We are all in this together.”

Most of these actions are also required of graduate and professional students, although some of the deadlines and components differ. The text of the graduate and professional student letter is available online.