General Principles


  1. If you believe that you are at a higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 and you are concerned about reporting to work or if you wish to seek a reasonable accommodation under the ADA, you should contact the Disability Management System (DMS) or EOHW to discuss further. You can
    reach EOHW by calling 919-684-3136, choosing option #2, and asking to speak with a COVID support team provider. 
  2. Before you leave home for work, you must complete Duke University’s online symptom screen. If flagged by the screening checklist, you will be contacted. Alternatively, if you develop symptoms, you can also call the COVID-19 hotline at 919-385-0429.
  3. If you have tested positive for COVID-19, have been referred for testing by EOHW or are awaiting test results, you must notify your supervisor immediately, and you may not come to work for any reason until approved by EOHW.
  4. Entry to buildings will be regulated and monitored. You will be assigned a window of time to access your building by your supervisor. You may not hold or open exterior doors for any other person. You must wear your Duke card/badge at all times while in SOM buildings, displayed visibly above the waist.
  5. You may not bring visitors, guests or pets to work.
  6. If you don’t do hands-on lab work (for example, if your role is that of a supervisor, PI, department chair or director) and there is no clear need for you to come to campus, you should not do so in the current phase.
  7. Face coverings must be worn at all times in Duke facilities, including leased buildings. A mask or face covering is not required if you are working alone in a confined office space.
  8. Wash your hands at regular intervals. Handwashing stations or hand sanitizer dispensers will be installed throughout the buildings, but especially by elevators and in other common areas.
  9. You are responsible for your own lab area. When you begin your work, and when you leave any room in which you have been working, you must swab down all work areas with 70% ethanol or equivalent solution. This includes any shared-space location (e.g. microscopy room, tissue culture room, etc).
  10. Elevators may be used, but here it is especially important that face coverings are worn. If someone attempts to get on an elevator without a face covering, you are entitled to ask them not to enter.
  11. Convening in groups increases the risk of viral transmission. Where feasible, meetings should be held in whole or part using the extensive range of available collaboration tools (e.g. Zoom, WebEx, Microsoft Teams, telephone, etc.). If you need to have in-person meetings, it is essential that you wear face coverings and maintain at least 6 feet between each other. 
  12. In-person meetings are limited to the restrictions of local, state and federal orders and should not exceed 50 percent of a room’s capacity; maintain 6 feet of separation for social distancing requirements. All attendees should wear a mask or face covering while sharing space in a common room.
  13. Meals: If you are eating in your work environment (break room, office, etc.), maintain 6 feet distance between you and others. Do not share food. Individuals should not sit facing one another. Only remove your mask or face covering in order to eat, then put it back on. Departments should remove or rearrange chairs and tables or add visual cue marks in employee break rooms to support social distancing practices between employees. Wipe all surfaces, including table, refrigerator handle, coffee machine, etc. after using in common areas. 
  14. Restrooms: Use of restrooms should be limited based on size to ensure at least 6 feet distance between individuals. Wash your hands thoroughly afterward to reduce the potential transmission of the virus.
  15. During your time at work, you are encouraged to continuously communicate with offsite colleagues and supervisors by the extensive range of available networking apps, eg Zoom, WebEx, Facetime, Livesafe, etc.
  16. As you work in the lab, at a minimum you must maintain six feet distance from one another, but you are encouraged to place even greater distance between each other if possible. Since every laboratory is different, pay close attention to your lab’s configuration when considering how your space is utilized. Again, it is essential that you wear a face mask or covering.
  17. When you leave work, you must complete the online symptom screen, which will log the time you left the building.