Community Public Health Update

Dear Duke School Families, Faculty, and Staff,

Community Health Update

I am reaching out to share with you that Duke School was recently made aware that a student in Preschool has possibly had exposure to someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19. The diagnosed individual is not living in the household of the Duke School family. The family shared that the diagnosed person was asymptomatic at the most recent time of contact on September 10, and that all members of the family and the individual took safety precautions at the time of the visit. The preschooler will quarantine at home, per the school policies, from the time of last contact, a total of 14 days.

This letter is being shared to raise awareness only. There is no change in status of school attendance at this time for students or for other faculty and staff. This communication concerns circumstances of potential exposure. No student, faculty, or staff has been confirmed as having the virus at this time. Please know that Duke School will continue to monitor the situation and will provide additional information as needed.

It is imperative that we all continue to work together to ensure our community members remain safe and healthy. In the interests of the health and safety of our community, all Duke School students, faculty and staff are encouraged to continue to adhere to local orders, as applicable, follow CDC guidelines and recommendations, and practice social distancing. We also request that you review the Duke School Return to School Policies 2020-21 if you have questions related to our procedures during this time.

Communication Plan

Some of you have inquired about the timeline between when the school is notified and when you are notified. Each communication to the school about a potential exposure or case requires judicious review by our team. Duke School will make the best attempt to notify the community within 48 hours of hearing from a school family or faculty/staff member, but individual situations may require more time to fully investigate and establish if or when an exposure and risk exists in order to provide the correct guidance to all. In all instances, affected individuals are asked to stay home from the time of learning about their potential exposure until we have more information and can confirm low risk of on-campus transmission. Therefore, the notification timeline should not introduce additional risk to the community.

Additionally, please know that we are tracking all potential exposures centrally, and we will track confirmed cases as well. We are reviewing the most efficient way to keep the community informed of notifications across campus. Given that we have established an environment where there is no cross-over between grades, we are mindful of burdening unaffected families with multiple school-wide notifications. With this in mind, we will move forward by notifying only the grade level affected by a potential exposure. However, at this time, should there be a confirmed case on campus—which we have not yet had—we will notify all Duke School families.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or Russell Rabinowitz, Director of Finance and Operations, with any questions you may have.


Lisa Nagel

Head of School

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