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Seventy-Six Test Positive for COVID at Duke, Jan. 11-17

Forty-nine students and 27 faculty/staff tested positive out of 21,542 tests administered

graphic for Duke COVID Testing Results

Duke University’s comprehensive COVID-19 testing and contact tracing program administered 18,465 tests to students and 3,077 tests to faculty/staff for the period January 11-17, with a total of 76 positive results. Among students – who are required to be tested before they can begin their classes and on-campus activities – there were 49 positive results, identified through gateway testing and frequent surveillance testing for asymptomatic students as well as tests for those exhibiting symptoms.

More than half of the students who tested positive have recently returned to Duke from other parts of the country, in many cases from areas where the prevalence of COVID-19 in the population is greater than in North Carolina. The individuals who tested positive have been placed in isolation, while those identified as potential contacts have been placed in precautionary quarantine. The total positivity rate was 0.35 percent.

Summary of results from this period:

  • 4,368 baseline/gateway tests were administered to returning students who will be living or studying on campus this semester with 22 positive results
  • 13,779 surveillance tests were administered to asymptomatic students who are living on and off campus with 15 positive results
  • 318 tests were administered to students who reported symptoms or were identified through contact tracing with 12 positive results
  • More than half of the students who tested positive have come to Duke from other parts of the country
  • Surveillance testing was conducted at a high frequency to identify positive cases as early as possible after exposure among asymptomatic students
  • 2,887 surveillance tests were administered to asymptomatic faculty/staff who will be working on campus this semester and have volunteered to participate in the testing program with four positive results
  • 190 tests were administered to faculty/staff who reported symptoms or were identified through contact tracing with 23 positive results
  • There are no identified workplace transmissions among faculty/staff
  • There were no clusters identified during this period
  • All individuals who test positive are required to observe an isolation period until they are cleared to return to normal activities; contact tracing is underway to identify those who may have been exposed and ask them to quarantine
  • 27 students who had been in isolation and 51 who had been in precautionary quarantine were cleared to return to campus



  • All students who are placed in precautionary quarantine or isolation are monitored by Duke Student Health and have the ability to continue their coursework remotely
  • Duke has more than 300 individual beds for students who live in Duke-provided housing and are identified for isolation or quarantine
  • Students who live in Duke-provided housing will be isolated or quarantined in campus facilities; students who live off campus must isolate or quarantine in their residence.
  • Tests administered to student-athletes are included in these results


Types of tests administered in this period:

  1. Gateway/Baseline testing, which is an individual test required for all students upon arrival to campus and before they can move into Duke housing or take classes on campus
  2. Surveillance testing for asymptomatic students and faculty/staff
  3. Clinical testing for individuals who report symptoms or who are identified through contact tracing

More information on Duke’s COVID-19 testing program can be found at Results are updated every Tuesday morning.