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'If this feels serious, it’s because it is' | Duke undergraduate students placed under stay-in-place mandate

The stay-in-place mandate will be in effect through 9 a.m. Sunday, March 21.

DURHAM, N.C. — All Duke University undergraduate students will be required to stay in place from 12 a.m. Sunday morning through 9 a.m. the following Sunday, March 21. The message was sent to all Duke undergraduate students Saturday. 

During this time, in-person courses will shift to remote-only. Duke said there are very few exceptions to this, and students will hear directly if they are still expected to be in person for any classes.

Additionally, students living in university-provided housing are required to stay in their residence hall room or apartment at all times, only leaving for "essential activities" such as food, health, or safety needs. Off-campus students are not permitted on campus except for surveillance testing, picking up food, or seeking medical care.  

Duke said the decision was "necessary to contain the rapidly escalating number of COVID cases among Duke undergraduates, which is principally driven by students attending recruitment parties for selective living groups."

Over 180 students have been in isolation after a positive COVID-19 test in the past week, according to Duke, and 200 more students are in quarantine from contact tracing protocols. 

Duke said in a statement that this marks the largest amount of positive tests and quarantines in one week since the start of the pandemic roughly a year ago.

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"If this feels serious, it’s because it is," Duke administrators said in the statement. "This stay-in-place period is strongly recommended by our medical experts."

More information on the restrictions can be found on Duke's coronavirus response page.

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