Duke University orders undergraduate students to stay-in-place until March 21 following uptick in COVID-19 cases

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- As of midnight, Duke University undergraduate students are required to stay-in-place until the morning of March 21 after the campus witnessed a 'steady rise' in COVID-19 cases following recent off-campus fraternity-related events.

The order went into effect at midnight and will not be relieved until 9 a.m. on Sunday, March 21.

Duke University officials hope that the stay-in-place order will stop the spread of COVID-19 among undergraduates "as quickly as possible."

"This stay-in-place period is strongly recommended by our medical experts," Duke officials said in a statement. "The restriction of student movement-coupled with a renewed dedication to following social distancing, masking, symptom monitoring and other public health guidelines-gives us the best path toward curtailing further spread."

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ABC11 crews spotted "F**K FRATS" painted along the Free Expression Bridge on Sunday morning.

Over the past week, university officials said more than 180 students had to go into isolation after testing positive for COVID-19 while another 200 students are in quarantine after being exposed to the virus.

"This is by far the largest one-week number of positive tests and quarantines since the start of the pandemic," Duke continued.


On-campus students are asked to remain in their dorms or apartment rooms at all times except for 'essential activities.' On top of the mandate to stay indoors, a curfew is also in place for all undergraduate students by 9 p.m.
As for off-campus students, they are asked not to come to campus for any purpose other than a few exceptions regarding student health.

If on- and off-campus were to break these rules, university officials will consider it a 'violation of the Duke Compact' and will be treated as such. Repeated violations could lead to suspension or withdrawal from the university.

University officials will provide a further update on Thursday, March 18.

In total, 480 people have tested positive for COVID-19 at the university according to its coronavirus response page.

On Thursday, Duke University's men's basketball team announced that it would be dropping out of the 2021 ACC Tournament following a positive COVID-19 case within the team. The positive result came back after Wednesday's game against Louisville.

However, the team is eligible to work its way back into the tournament if it is selected as an at-large team or provide a COVID-replacement team.
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