Undergraduate students at Duke University will be forced to quarantine after an outbreak of coronavirus cases that the school believes is linked to recruitment parties.
Duke said in a statement that the action was to control the escalating number of COVID-19 cases among undergraduates, which it said was “principally driven by students attending recruitment parties for selective living groups.”
The school said that over 180 students are in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19, and an additional 200 are in quarantine as a result of contract tracing.
“This is by far the largest one-week number of positive tests and quarantines since the start of the pandemic,” the school said.
Under the order, all in-person courses will transfer to online only, and undergraduates cannot participate in laboratory activities.
Students living on-campus are required to remain in their residence hall or apartment except for activity related to food, health or safety. Those living off-campus are not permitted on campus except for surveillance testing, seeking medical care and getting food.
The order went into effect at midnight on March 13, and will stay in place until 9 a.m. on March 21. The university warned that “flagrant and repeated violations” could result in suspension or withdrawal from the institution.
The school will continue to monitor the situation and will share an update on March 18.
Duke currently has 6,542 undergraduate students enrolled.