Duke has offered various types of testing during the COVID-19 pandemic, entry and exist testing at the beginning and end of the semester, surveillance testing, and symptomatic testing. Testing options may vary by semester based on campus operations and current case trends.

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Exit Testing

Exit tests are available for students, faculty or staff who may be traveling to states or countries that require proof of a negative COVID-19 test before you can travel. Note that regular surveillance testing will NOT fulfill this requirement.

Students and others who need proof of a negative COVID-19 test to travel can get a PCR test from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday at one of the on-campus testing locations.

Please inform the staff at the test site that you need an “exit test” rather than a surveillance test. Results take at least 24 hours, so please plan accordingly.


2022 Summer Sessions

Effective May 9, 2022, the following requirements are in place for Duke students participating in 2022 summer sessions:

  • All incoming summer students will be required to be fully vaccinated or have an approved medical or religious exemption. Summer students who have not already done so, should submit documentation through Student Health Services. (Students can email immunizations@duke.edu to request a medical or religious exemption form.)
  • All incoming students, regardless of vaccination status, must have a negative COVID test (PCR) 72 hours prior to arrival to campus. Students will be required to show documentation during the in-take process. (Note: Students who have tested positive in the last 90 days and have completed their required isolation period should bring a dated copy of the positive test result to show during the in-take process. Those who have not completed their required isolation period will need to wait until doing so before coming to campus.)
  • Any students experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should get tested at Student Health or other provider.
  • Students testing positive must be isolated for at least 5 days (if on-campus, will isolate in a single room in their residence hall).

As of May 1, 2022, surveillance testing is no longer required for unvaccinated students. However, unvaccinated individuals remain at higher risk for severe illness related to COVID-19 and should consider getting vaccinated to protect themselves and others at risk for severe illness.

Information for participants in summer camps and programs can be found on the Campus Visitor page.


Testing Process

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. Below are the steps for the screening process:

Step 1: Select participants will receive an email with details about when to conduct a surveillance test.

Step 2: On the day for their test, participants should visit one of community screening collection sites on the campus where they reside or work.

Step 3: Participants should arrive at the test site with their DukeCard ID or phone with the SymMon app (be sure you have the latest version). You will use your SymMon app to scan your test kit or a  site coordinator will scan your DukeCard ID and provide you with a test kit.

Step 4: Testing will be self-administered and should only take about 5 minutes to complete.

Testing will involve inserting a cotton swab into each nasal passage and rotating it against the inner nasal lining in a circle three times. The swab does not need to be inserted far – just enough so the cotton tip is no longer visible.

The swab is then placed into a collection tube with a bar code, which will be placed in a bag and then deposited into a cooler at the collection site.

That’s it.

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.


Surveillance Testing

Surveillance testing of asymptomatic individuals is no longer required for students, faculty or staff, regardless of vaccination status. As a result, only limited surveillance testing will be offered. Testing is available on a voluntary basis for students, faculty and staff from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the following locations:

Note: Surveillance Testing will be closed on Monday, May 30 in observance of Memorial Day.

Symptomatic Testing and Testing for Exposed Individuals

Any student, faculty, or staff member who becomes symptomatic or is referred by either Employee Health or Student Health should not participate in surveillance testing. Student Health or Employee Health will advise where individuals should be tested.

Students

Students experience symptoms of COVID-19 should call Student Health during business hours at 919-681-9355 and choose option 2 to speak to a triage nurse.

Employees

Employees experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 complete a symptom report, either through the SymMon app or through your personal REDCap survey queue link. You must self-isolate until cleared by Employee Health to return to work.

Close Contact of Positive Individual

Any vaccinated student considered to be a close contact of a positive individual will be required to increase the frequency of surveillance testing and wear a mask at all times. Any unvaccinated student considered to be a close contact of a positive student will be required to quarantine for 10 days.


Contacts for Student Questions

Undergraduates: Undergraduates with questions should email survtest@duke.edu.

Graduate & Professional Students: If you have received a testing message and don’t plan to be in Durham for the semester, please contact your program (see list of names/emails below) and ask to be removed from the entry and surveillance testing processes.

If you fail to report for testing on your scheduled date, your DukeCard will remain inactive (with the exception of students who have been approved to access clinical and research settings) until you are tested, and your name will be reported to your program leadership.

SchoolCompliance ContactsEmails
Fuqua* Fuqua Testing Teamtesting@fuqua.duke.edu
Sanford*Sanford COVID Teamsanford_covid@duke.edu
LawSuze Bearbear@law.duke.edu
Pratt*Shundrell Spannshundrell.spann@duke.edu
NSOE*NSOE COVID Teamnicholas_covid_questions@nicholas.duke.edu
NSOE – Marine LabMarine Lab COVID Teamduml_covid_questions@nicholas.duke.edu
DivinityCathy Watsoncwatson@div.duke.edu
SON*Bebe Millsbebe.mills@duke.edu
SOMKaren Tesorierokaren.tesoriero@duke.edu
SOM – Basic Science MS
and PhD students
Beth SullivanOBGE@duke.edu
The Graduate School – does not include Basic Science MS and PhD studentsHelene McAdamsgrad-surveillance-testing@duke.edu
*Follow-up regarding surveillance testing for PhD students in these schools is managed by The Graduate School (grad-surveillance-testing@duke.edu).

FAQs: Surveillance Testing During Semester

Because many individuals who are infected with COVID-19 are asymptomatic, one of the best ways to identify potential cases is to conduct surveillance testing on a regular basis. This testing will help Duke medical experts identify and respond to positive cases in the Duke community. Taking these steps will help limit the spread of COVID-19 so that campus activities can continue.

At the test site, individuals will be provided with a cotton swab, a collection tube, and a plastic bag. Participants will take the insert the cotton swab into each nasal passage and rotate it against the inner nasal lining three times. The swab does not need to be inserted far – just enough so the cotton tip is no longer visible. The swab is then inserted into a collection tube, placed in the plastic bag and deposited into cooler on-site for processing at the lab.

The testing process should only take about 5 minutes to complete.

Results from surveillance test may take 36-48 hours, and you will only be contacted if the results are positive for COVID-19, at which point you will receive further medical guidance and support.

Required surveillance testing is no longer required for students, faculty or staff, regardless of vaccination status. Limited surveillance testing is available at the Washington Duke Inn.

All you need to bring with you to the testing site is your DukeCard and your mobile phone with the SymMon app (be sure you have version 1.6 or later).

If you have ANY symptoms related to COVID-19 on the day you are scheduled for a surveillance test, you should not go for testing. Instead, contact the Duke COVID-19 Hotline at 919-385-0429 and wait for guidance from medical staff.


FAQs: Graduate/Professional Student Testing Protocols

You should contact your school’s designated program contact for COVID-19 testing. Your program leadership is aware that some students may need to begin their coursework remotely.

Student Health will be following rigorous COVID-19 safety protocols, including social distancing, strict use of PPE, and appropriate spacing and ventilation within campus facilities. 

Required surveillance testing is no longer required for students, faculty or staff, regardless of vaccination status. Limited surveillance testing is available at the Washington Duke Inn.


Isolation for COVID-Positive Students

Students who test positive will be placed 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.
  • For students in Duke-provided housing, isolated students will be moved to separate housing.
  • 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.