Important Message re COVID-19 for SoM Leadership

March 11, 2020 7:41 PM

From: Dean Mary Klotman 

Subject: Important Message re COVID-19 for SoM Leadership

Good evening.

I am writing to provide additional information related to the School of Medicine specifically, in accordance with the guidelines and information provided by President Price's announcement yesterday. 

Clinical Research

Currently all human subjects research recruitment, enrollment and follow-up activities are proceeding as per usual. All study teams are now screening research participants for COVID-19 exposure, symptoms and travel using the Duke Health Travel Screening Job Aid and triage and management plans have been developed for Duke Health and non-Duke Health patients. This screening is not considered a research activity and does not require IRB approval. Clinical Research Units are developing Essential Study lists and contingency plans for non-essential studies in preparation for potential changes to the Duke Health workforce and patient policies.

Deferral of On-Site Research Monitoring Visits

Effective today we recommend all planned in-person onsite clinical research monitoring visits be postponed until after April 20, 2020 or changed to remote monitoring when feasible. If there is an urgent need to maintain an in-person visit, please contact Susanna Naggie for approval. We will continue to reassess the need for this restriction or potential extension of the April 20 date.

Please join us for a SOM Clinical Research Virtual Town Hall Meeting hosted by Dr. Susanna Naggie on Thursday, March 12, 2020 at 4pm.  At that meeting, Dr. Naggie will discuss all current recommendations and other institutional COVID policies and how these impact the research community. Live Stream:

Research and Sponsored Projects

See the FAQ for information about COVID-19 as it relates to the conduct of research, research operations, and sponsored projects at Duke.

Faculty and Staff Work Remotely

Duke University issued guidance today that encouraged managers to allow staff to work remotely on a temporary basis if possible. If working remotely is not possible, staff should continue to come to work as usual, unless the situation changes. We are aware that not every job can be done remotely but encourage flexibility where possible to prioritize the health and safety of our staff, their family and the community. Please read the message from Duke leadership. If you have questions, contact your chair, division chief, director or School of Medicine Central Administration.

Remote Access Tools. 

Visit the Duke Health intranet for information and resources to assist with working remotely.  


As indicated, non-essential University-funded travel, both domestic and international, is suspended immediately and indefinitely.  Please contact Scott Gibson by email if you have questions.

Meetings and Events

Effective immediately, in-person events and meetings with expected attendance of more than 50 people taking place on-campus or off-campus between now and April 20 should be postponed, canceled or virtualized. This includes Grand Rounds, lectures, recruitment events, tours, student programs, reunions, performances, conferences and social events.  


We want to answer your questions quickly. Please direct any questions to Scott Gibson by email.  The School of Medicine Central Administration Response Team is meeting daily and will be sending out regular communications so your questions are helpful to us.

Very Important … Any communications related to COVID-19 or subsequent plans must be sent to Scott Gibson and Jill Boy prior to distribution. Jill will coordinate review and approval by our senior SoM team and Duke officials. No exceptions to this, please. The campus and we are trying to keep any messaging as consistent as possible.  

Educational Activities and Guidance for Students

Read a summary of information related to educational activities in the School of Medicine.

Thank you for your partnership and cooperation during this challenging time. I am incredibly proud of our faculty, staff and students and all of the efforts being made to ensure that we are taking the necessary steps to minimize health and safety risks to the Duke community and our larger local and global communities. At the same time, our work as an academic medical center must continue as we educate our students, make important scientific discoveries, and care for patients. Fulfilling these goals is particularly important now. 

Dean Mary E. Klotman
Duke University School of Medicine