Health Guidance

If you are planning to return to campus or the Durham area this fall, please read in full the important updates on arrival testing, quarantining before returning to campus, and other health guidance below.

This section was updated 8/11/20


In response to recent public health guidance, the President’s July 26th message asked that all students travelling to the Durham area this month observe 14 days of quarantine prior to their travels. During quarantine, you should limit your contact to immediate household members, take care to observe social distancing, wear face coverings if you must be outside the home, and wash your hands frequently.

Quarantining is a proven strategy to minimize the likelihood of a widespread outbreak when students arrive to start the fall semester. We know that you are invested in doing everything possible to make our fall semester as safe as possible, and we appreciate your cooperation with this effort.

For more information about travelling during the pandemic, please see CDC guidance on United States and international travel. 

Pre-Arrival Testing 

Students who are returning to Durham from other locations are encouraged to obtain COVID-19 tests if possible in their areas, prior to arrival. 

If you are living on-campus or in Durham, we ask that you report any positive results to Student Health through Duke MyChart and observe isolation protocols before you return to Durham. If you do not have a Duke MyChart account, you will receive an activation code from Duke Health on August 3 including instructions on this process. If you are in quarantine due to exposure to others with COVID-19, please inform Student Health. You should NOT return to campus or Durham until your quarantine or isolation period has ended and you are symptom-free. If you are in isolation and cannot return to campus at the designated time, please complete the form listed above, contact Student Health and your academic dean.

Symptom Monitoring

Tracking COVID-19 symptoms is one of the ways Duke is working to keep the community safe as operations expand for the fall. All University students, faculty and staff who wish to participate in activities on Duke grounds or in Duke facilities are required to download the SymMon app to complete the daily symptom survey before arriving or participating in activities on campus. Students must complete the survey starting on or before the day of their arrival/move-in. 

The app is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play under the name “SymMon.” Learn more about how to download and how to use the app. 

The symptom monitoring system should be used to report ANY symptoms, even if you think they may be related to allergies or some other issue. For a full list of symptoms, visit the Duke Coronavirus Response website. If you are unsure, err on the side of caution and report potential coronavirus symptoms.

Proof of Previous Diagnosis

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 3 months (June, July, August 2020) you should bring a hard copy of your test report with you to Penn Pavilion or submit your report through Duke MyChart.

If you have tested positive within 3 months of arrival to campus and don’t currently have symptoms and have also been through the required course of isolation, you don’t need to be retested at Penn. However, you still need to make an appointment to come to the testing event and present a copy of your prior positive result.

This section was updated 8/11/20

Required Testing at Duke: Arrival & Move-In

As you know from President Price’s community message on June 30th, all students who will be living on campus or who plan to be on campus for approved academic purposes are required to undergo testing for COVID-19 upon their arrival to campus. 

Students moving into Duke campus housing (“residential students”) must be tested immediately upon arrival to campus. Undergraduates living off-campus must be tested before they can begin fall classes, by August 15.

For more information on testing, visit

Find out exactly what to expect during the COVID-19 arrival testing process.

Undergraduate residential AND local off-campus students: 

Testing and check-in for undergraduate residential and off-campus students will take place at Penn Pavilion from Friday, August 7, to Saturday, August 15, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. EDT each day. 

To sign up for your 20-minute testing appointment, you will use the Transact Mobile Ordering app (available on Google Play and at the Apple App Store); this is the same app you use for mobile food ordering on campus. In the app, choose the first option, “Blue Devil Check-in.” If you are having trouble finding “Blue Devil Check-in” in Transact, please make sure you have selected “Duke Dine-In.” Do NOT select “Duke Health” as this is affiliated with Duke Hospital and not arrival testing. After a few setup questions, you should then see “Blue Devil Check-in” as the first option. If you have selected “Duke Health” instead of “Duke Dine-In” while setting up your account in Transact, please try to logout of Duke Health, and login through Duke Dine-In. If this does not work, you can contact for technical assistance.

When you pick your day and time, you’ll need to confirm in the app whether you are living on campus (meaning in Duke-provided housing) or off campus; this will help dictate what time slots are available to you.

When you arrive at Penn, staff from Housing & Residence Life, Student Health, DuWell and DukeCard will:

  • Check you in, making sure that you are scheduled for that day and time;
  • Complete your preliminary health check
  • Administer your COVID-19 test;
  • Activate your DukeCard (first-year students who have not submitted your DukeCard photo, please do so as soon as possible via the DukeCard website);
  • If you are living on campus, you will receive your room key(s) and pertinent paperwork.

In order for this process to function smoothly, it is critical that you pay special attention to the date and time of your appointment. If you will be living on campus, you MUST sign up for a time on the day you let us know you were coming.

Please park in the Card Lot during your appointment if you are driving to campus. Students may be accompanied by up to two individuals to assist with move-in. These individuals will NOT be permitted to go to Penn Pavilion with you so will need to remain in their vehicle for the duration of the appointment. These individuals will also be expected to wear face coverings, wash hands often, and maintain social distance. Individuals experiencing possible symptoms of COVID-19 are asked to stay away from campus during move-in.

We understand that the timeframe of testing may prove to be a challenge for some of you. If you are arriving in Durham after 4 p.m., you will need to find off-campus accommodations for the night and check-in the following day. If you will be living off campus, you have more flexibility for your date and time, so we expect that you’ll be able to find an appointment that works for your schedule. In either case, you must check in and receive a test before going anywhere else on campus.

The Office of Student Affairs, in collaboration with Office of Undergraduate Education, is managing a small number of bed spaces for students who have been assigned on-campus housing yet are not able to arrive by 4 p.m. due to circumstances beyond their control. These bed spaces will be available for a one-night stay only.  All students given this accommodation will check in at Penn Pavilion at 7 a.m. the following morning and the relocate to your residence hall. 

These spaces are reserved for students who are traveling without family, from overseas or have a demonstrated financial need . If you do not meet this criteria, it is highly likely this will not be an option for you. You can find a list of hotels within walking distance to Duke here

If you do meet the criteria and want to be considered for this option, fill out this form. 

If you are approved, you will be notified by email with information about the hotel & logistics for check in. 

Post-Arrival Sequester Period

After students go through the check-in and testing process at Penn Pavilion and move into their housing, students will be required to sequester in their residence hall or off-campus home until results of their arrival tests are available (this will likely take 24-48 hours). Results will be communicated through Duke MyChart. While waiting for test results, students are expected to limit any unnecessary movement and activity outside of their room. 

During this sequester period, students living on campus are permitted to retrieve food from Duke Dining locations, run essential errands, and spend time outdoors in a manner that does not increase the potential spread of COVID-19, but should avoid other students/staff during this time.

Non-symptomatic students living off-campus should make appropriate arrangements for food and necessary supplies during the sequestering period.

Isolation for COVID-Positive Students

Students who test positive will be transported to and cared for in isolation on campus.

  • Isolation is for students who have already been diagnosed positive with COVID-19.
  • Isolated students will be under the care of Duke clinicians during an isolation window.
  • A Duke clinician will determine when a student’s isolation period is complete. The average time spent in isolation is 14 days.
  • For students in Duke-provided housing, isolated students will be moved to East House, Jarvis, or The Lodge near Duke Hospital.
  • If isolated, students should not leave their assigned rooms other than to take strolls outside to get air. Meals will be delivered. 

Contact tracing will be used to identify other potential positive cases.

This section was updated 8/11/20

Required Testing at Duke: Returning to Campus

As President Price shared in his community message on June 30th, all students who plan to be on campus for approved academic purposes are required to undergo testing for COVID-19 upon their arrival to campus.

Any graduate or professional student who will be arriving in August or who is returning to campus after time away must be tested. Please note that your DukeCard will only be activated after your COVID-19 test has been administered and you have attested to both the Duke Compact and the Student COVID-19 Policies appropriate for your degree program.

Please note that you should come to the Duke campus ONLY for your scheduled testing appointment and leave after your test is complete. Until your results are received and your DukeCard is activated, you will not have access to Duke facilities and should remain off campus.   

COVID-19 testing for graduate and professional students will take place from August 17 through September 1 in Penn Pavilion, with appointment slots between 8 a.m.  –  4 p.m. each day. Some programs have unique start dates that are after September 1 and you will hear from your schools on the expected dates for testing.

You should sign up for a 10-minute appointment slot using the Transact app. Instructions regarding downloading this app and signing up for your testing appointment will be sent to you by your respective school. Your schools will provide information about which days of the testing schedule you may sign up for a testing appointment. Questions about scheduling your appointment can be directed to

For more information on testing, visit

Find out exactly what to expect during the COVID-19 arrival testing process.

Post-Arrival Sequester Period

Until your results are received and your DukeCard is activated, you will not have access to Duke facilities and should remain off campus.   

Graduate and Professional Students Who Were on Campus this Summer

If you are a graduate student who has been on Duke’s campus continuously this summer working in labs or participating in other academic activities, you will NOT participate in this arrival baseline testing process. The same exemption holds for CONTINUING students in clinical degree programs within the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing, who have continued in-person rotations during the summer.

If you are a graduate student, an SOM student, or a DUSON student who falls into one of these two categories, your DukeCard will remain active. You will, however, be included in ongoing surveillance testing and daily symptom monitoring throughout the semester along with your graduate and professional peers and undergraduate students. To keep your DukeCard active, you will also need to attest to the Duke Compact and the COVID-19 PhD Student Policy Plan.

Isolation for COVID-Positive Students

Faculty, staff and off-campus students who need to quarantine or isolate during the semester will be expected to do so at home.

This section was updated 9/23/20

Testing, quarantine, and care operations are being coordinated by healthcare professionals from Student Health, the School of Nursing, the School of Medicine, and Duke Hospital. 

Isolation for COVID-Positive Students

Students who test positive will be transported to and cared for in isolation on campus.

  • Isolation is for students who have already been diagnosed positive with COVID-19.
  • Isolated students will be under the care of Duke clinicians during an isolation window.
  • A Duke clinician will determine when a student’s isolation period is complete. The average time spent in isolation is 14 days.
  • For students in Duke-provided housing, isolated students will be moved to East House, Jarvis, or The Lodge near Duke Hospital.
  • If isolated, students should not leave their assigned rooms other than to take strolls outside to get air. Meals will be delivered. 

Contact tracing will be used to identify other potential positive cases.

More information on isolation care can be found under Isolation Details


Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19, to see if they become sick or test positive. Students who are identified by our contact tracing team or who have a test ordered by a clinician for some other reason, such as COVID-19 symptoms, will be asked to quarantine.

Quarantined students may receive a new temporary housing assignment. If  a test comes back positive, quarantined students will be moved to isolation.

All students in quarantine will have to remain in quarantine for 14 days from last exposure, even if the test is negative. Students in quarantine should limit in-person contact and have all meals delivered. Students can resume normal activities and go back to their original housing assignment once the 14 days is up. 

Surveillance testing of asymptomatic students, faculty and staff during the semester

Duke will conduct regular surveillance testing of students and other campus community members who do not have any symptoms to assist in the early detection and response for potential COVID-19 cases on campus.

Testing will begin the week of Aug. 17 for half of the undergraduate students residing on campus and be expanded in subsequent weeks to include all on- and off-campus students, undergraduate, graduate and professionals. The self-administered process should take about 5 minutes, and collection sites will be established in multiple locations on East and West campuses for convenience.

Pooled testing of samples will be conducted by the Duke Human Vaccine Institute. Results from tests typically take about 48 hours. You will only be contacted if the results are positive for COVID-19, at which point you will receive further medical guidance and support.

For more information on testing, visit

Testing for symptomatic or exposed individuals during the semester

Any student, faculty, or staff member who becomes symptomatic or is referred by either Employee Health or Student Health will be tested at one of five local testing sites, two of which are located on Duke’s campus. 

How to get care

Symptomatic or exposed individuals should call Student Health at 919-681-9355 or the Duke COVID-19 Hotline at 919-385-0429 in order to receive instructions on how to receive your care (both numbers will be routed to the COVID Hotline). The COVID Hotline will be staffed daily between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m, with additional after-hours care available.  

  • visit a COVID-19 drive-up/walk-up testing site
  • be seen in-person at a Duke Health Respiratory Triage and Care clinic. These clinics are available throughout the Triangle to treat people with respiratory symptoms.

Students may invite a third-party (e.g. parent or guardian) to join them for a telehealth visit, as long as it is requested by the patient (student).

There are five drive-up/walk-up testing sites located throughout the Triangle for the convenience of all students, faculty, and staff. Appointments are required and will be set up for you during your telephone or telehealth visit:

  • Parking lot at the corner of Flowers Dr. and Erwin Rd. (across from Duke Family Medicine Pickens Building); HOURS: Monday – Friday 8:30am – 4:30pm; Saturday 10am – 4pm; Sunday 10am – 2pm 
  • Duke Raleigh Hospital
  • Pickett Road (transitioning to University Ford)
  • Morrisville (transitioning to Arrindgon Rd)
  • (Additional site coming soon)

Services for families of graduate and professional students

The families of graduate and professional students are valued members of our Duke community. Families of graduate and professional students may utilize the Duke COVID-19 Hotline at 919-385-0429 to schedule walk-up/drive-up appointments for testing at Duke’s testing sites and receive appropriate follow-up care. 

Billing for students

Undergraduate, graduate, and professional students will not be charged co-pays for COVID-19 testing if administered at a Duke-affiliated clinic or testing site.

Cleaning and Safety

For the safety of our housekeepers, healthcare professionals, students, faculty, and other staff, high-touch surfaces at testing and care sites will be cleaned by the clinical team, not housekeeping staff. Student Health clinic cleaning procedures are in line with Duke Health and infection prevention practices.

The Isolation Care Team (ICT) supports the process and needs of students identified to move into quarantine/isolation (QI). Temporary locations for QI are limited to students residing in Duke campus housing. Students will be identified through Student Health or the contact tracing team. Notification will be sent to ICT to begin the process of moving to an appropriate temporary housing space where students can remain away from others while having services provided to them to reduce the amount of exposure to others for the safety of the students and the Duke community.

The ICT does not consult on medical questions or needs, all health related questions must be directed to Student Health. This document provides an overview of frequently asked questions related to the Duke University QI process for students.

The ICT is available 7 days a week, 8:00am-9:00pm at 919-684-2743 and

  • What is the Isolation Care Team?
    • The Isolation Care Team (ICT) is a team of Duke staff that are here to help you while you are in quarantine or isolation. The ICT manages the temporary housing, dining, sanitization, transportation, and other services while you are in our care. The ICT can assist with logistical support for your time in these spaces and help direct you to the appropriate offices and resources at Duke as needed. The ICT will also be checking in with you by phone, text and email, as well as periodically on-site to oversee and provide services.
  • Will my family be notified of my QI status or COVID-19 test status?
    • Families will not be automatically notified of your COVID-19 status or your temporary location.
  • I live on-campus in a private apartment, may I stay and not move into temporary housing?
    • Please talk with Student Health or write an email to for review. Student Health will make the determination regarding your housing location while you are in care.  If you have a special circumstance, please talk with your Student Health case manager.
  • I live off-campus can I request to be quarantined/isolated on-campus?
    • Off-campus residents will not be moved into on-campus QI locations. If you have an extenuating circumstance, please speak with Student Health regarding your specific concerns.
  • Can I return home or move off campus instead of moving to an on-campus QI location?
    • You may leave campus for your period of QI if you are able to get to your destination without risking the safety of yourself or the general public. You will need to submit an email with your plan for transport and living arrangements and locations before departing. We want to remind you to be mindful of moving off campus safely, both for you and those around you.
    • You should not take public transportation as this constitutes a break in your isolation/quarantine that will put others at significant risk. Please arrange for private transportation and living arrangements. You should minimize your interaction with others upon your departure.
    • You are expected to be responsible and safe during your time away from campus. Failure to comply with policies or the terms of your isolation/quarantine order during this period of time is a direct violation of the Duke Compact. You are subject to review by Student Conduct should you choose to not adhere to the health and safety protocols in place. Your return must be approved in advance by Duke Student Health. Once cleared, we will reach out to process your release from care and walk through your return to campus.
    • Please contact for more information on submitting a request to leave campus during your recovery.

What should I pack if I am going to on-campus quarantine/isolation?

  • You will need to pack your personal belongings for at least 14 days away from your current housing assignment. Please bring everything with you in bags that you can carry yourself. You will want to include clean and comfortable clothes, your face masks, cell phone, laptop, electronics, textbooks, charging devices, and anything else you may need. Please bring any prescription medication and eye wear with at least a 14 day supply. Upon arrival to your new room, you will find a self-care kit which will include basic toiletries. You should bring any special items you may want while in your temporary space. You will not be permitted to return to your current housing assignment during this period for the health and safety of others.
  • How do I order food?
    • While students are in quarantine or isolation, Duke Dining ensures each student receives tasty and nutritious meals in a safe way. Online ordering instructions will be reviewed during your intake call and included in your email packet.
    • We have partnered with The Picnic Basket, a long standing Duke affiliate, and professional catering company based in Chapel Hill. They deliver fresh “Care Meals” daily based on your order, charged to your Duke Dining plan – see order form for details or contact Dining for more information. Each day, students electronically submit their meal orders, choosing from several options for lunch and dinner.  Breakfast is continental and includes a variety of options daily. The menu rotates throughout the week and includes choices for a variety of dietary or allergen needs. Students with additional dietary needs, concerns or requests should reach out to Dining directly or notate special needs and requests on your order form.

For more FAQS and resources on isolation care please review the document below

This section was updated 8/10/20

Graduate and professional students
 will be contacted by their department with information to schedule a testing appointment during a specific appointment window. At this time, the earliest testing windows will prioritize graduate and professional students who will be teaching in face-to-face courses, either as TAs or instructors of record. Testing for graduate and professional students will begin after August 17, 2020.

Undergraduate students may now schedule a COVID-19 testing appointment using the Blue Devil Check-in with the Transact app.

We have outlined steps all students can take to resolve some common issues around scheduling a testing appointment:

  • If you are an international student who cannot download the app: 
    • International users who are unable to see the Transact app will need to change iTunes/App Store from international to the US market.  Before making that change, users should make sure they complete a backup so that you do not lose the international data.  For technical support with this process, you can contact  
  • If you are having trouble finding Blue Devil Check-in in Transact: 
    • After downloading the Transact Mobile Ordering app, you should select Duke Dine-In (do NOT select Duke Health).  After a few setup questions, you should then see Blue Devil Check-in as the first option.  
  • If you have selected Duke Health instead of Duke Dine-In while setting up your account in Transact: 
    • Please try to logout of Duke Health and login through Duke Dine-In.  If this does not work, you can contact
  • Other technical challenges with the Transact Mobile Ordering app: 
  • If you are unable to find an appointment time that works for you: 
    • Please note that Student Health is working very hard to test a large number of students within a narrow time frame. We kindly ask you to be as flexible as possible with your scheduling. Duke administration is diligently examining all student needs and exploring options for expanded testing windows, and more spots may open in the app.
    • If you are absolutely unable to select an available testing appointment within your testing window, please email with the subject line TESTING SIGNUP HELP