Twenty-Four Test Positive for COVID-19, Nov. 14-20

Thirteen students and eleven faculty/staff tested positive, for a positivity rate of 0.15 percent

Starting this week, as part of Duke's strategy, around 2,000 self-administered COVID-19 tests will be completed by a cross-section of Duke undergraduate students on campus. Photo by Jared Lazarus, University Communications
This week, Duke started self-administered COVID-19 tests as part of surveillance testing on campus. Terra Ylizarde, left, and Jaclyn Komoski arrange supplies in The Hollows residence hall. Photo by Jared Lazarus, University Communications.

In the last full week of the Fall semester, Duke University’s comprehensive COVID-19 testing program received results from 15,532 tests administered to students and faculty/staff from November 14-20, 2020. In total, there were 24 positive results – five undergraduate students, eight graduate/professional students, and eleven faculty/staff, six of whom have been working remotely and have not been on campus. The positivity rate was 0.15 percent.

Duke’s rigorous testing and public health protocols were cited in a recent CDC publication and have been widely noted in the media as a model for keeping infections on campus low. In addition to adhering to the dynamic testing protocols, Duke students, faculty, and staff upheld the Duke Compact and followed public health guidelines to keep the campus safe. 

Summary:

In this period:

  • 13,269 surveillance tests were administered to asymptomatic students with six positive results
  • 152 tests were administered to students who reported symptoms or were identified through contact tracing with seven positive results
  • All students who tested positive are now in isolation
  • Six students who had previously tested positive were cleared to return to campus
  • 1,878 surveillance tests were administered to asymptomatic faculty/staff with two positive results
  • 233 tests were administered to faculty/staff who reported symptoms or were identified through contact tracing with nine positive results
  • All faculty/staff who tested positive are isolating at home
  • 15 faculty/staff who had been in isolation were cleared to return to normal activities
  • This week, a total of 15,147 tests were administered through the surveillance program

Overall from August 2-November 20:

  • Duke administered 178,084 tests to students and faculty/staff since August 2 and recorded 241 positive results; 201 of those individuals were previously cleared to return to normal activity
  • 1,768 individuals who were identified through contact tracing were placed in precautionary quarantine; 1565 of those individuals were to return to normal activity

Student testing results from this period: 

  • 13,421 tests were administered to students
  • 13,269 surveillance tests were administered to students living on and off campus
  • 152 tests were administered to students who reported symptoms or were identified through contact tracing
  • Thirteen students tested positive, six of whom were asymptomatic; the rest were identified because they reported symptoms or through contact tracing
  • Eleven of the thirteen students who tested positive reside in multiple off-campus locations
  • Five of the students who tested positive are undergraduates; three of them live off campus in different locations and the other two live on campus; the eight graduate/professional students who tested positive are in seven different programs and live at different locations
  • All students who tested positive are in isolation and being monitored by Duke Student Health and continuing their coursework remotely
  • Tests administered to student-athletes are included in the surveillance category
  • Duke has more than 300 individual beds for residential students who need to be moved to a secure and supportive isolation or quarantine facility; currently about five percent of that capacity is utilized

Students cleared to return to activities during this period:

  • Six students who previously tested positive were cleared to return to campus after being in isolation
  • 83 students who had been in precautionary quarantine due to contact tracing were released

Contact tracing and precautionary quarantine for students during this period: 

  • 152 students were placed in precautionary quarantine because they were found to have been potentially exposed to an individual who tested positive
  • Students who live in Duke-provided housing will be quarantined in campus facilities; students who live off campus must quarantine in their residence. Students who are in isolation due to a positive test, or who are in quarantine because of potential exposure to an infected individual should not travel until they receive medical clearance.
  • The majority of students in quarantine and isolation reside off campus
  • All students in precautionary quarantine and isolation are being monitored by Duke Student Health and continuing their coursework remotely

Faculty/staff testing results from this period:

  • 2,111 tests were administered to faculty/staff, including 1,878 through the surveillance program and 233 to individuals who reported symptoms or were identified through contact tracing
  • Eleven faculty/staff members received positive test results and are in isolation at home; six of those individuals have been working remotely since March; the others have had limited contacts on campus
  • Fifteen faculty/staff members who had previously tested positive have recovered and were cleared to return to normal activities
  • 24 faculty/staff members were asked to quarantine as a result of contact tracing and 20 employees were released from precautionary quarantine and cleared to return to work

Tests administered in this period:

  1. Surveillance testing for asymptomatic students and faculty/staff
  2. Clinical testing for individuals who report symptoms or who are identified through contact tracing

With the conclusion of the fall semester, this will be the last full testing report for 2020.

Information on Duke’s COVID-19 testing program can be found at https://coronavirus.duke.edu/covid-testing/.