Important Update on Key Steps for Returning to Campus in August


Duquesne is requiring four specific steps for all returning students who will live on campus or take classes in person on campus, even if living somewhere else. The four tasks to complete prior to your return are:

  1. Read the Protect Duquesne Pledge and acknowledge it on the DUQ App.
    The Protect Duquesne Pledge is a commitment the University is asking all faculty, staff and students to make. This situation asks for all of us to commit to the safe practices necessary to protect one another.

    Protect Duquesne Pledge

  2. Self-quarantine for 14 days while completing the daily health screen for 14 days.
    To help reduce the chances of COVID-19 transmission on campus, we’re requiring every student and employee to self-quarantine for 14 days with their immediate family or those with whom they live regularly, limiting exposure to others. Travel outside of the home, aside from socially distanced activity in a park or hike, for instance, should be very minimal.

    During the self-quarantine phase, you also will answer the Daily Health Screen Questions, both to monitor any symptoms that may emerge as well as to get accustomed to answering the questions, which will be required each day when we return to campus.

    If students are unable to quarantine for the full required 14 days at home, or if students travel to campus using mass transit, they will need to self-quarantine in their on-campus or off-campus housing for no fewer than 7 days.

  3. Ensure you are asymptomatic. Any student exhibiting symptoms (on the Daily Health Screen) should consult with a physician to determine if a test is necessary. Students who return to campus must no longer be symptomatic.

    Testing is recommended for all students who live in or traveled to a higher risk geographic area (as defined by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Allegheny County Health Department), even if they have no symptoms.

  4. Watch our Duquesne educational video about the new measures and policies.
    The video will review policies on face-coverings, distancing specific to a college campus, and other safety and etiquette matters. The University will send that video to you soon.

The steps above are all required prior to your arrival on campus as a resident or as a participant in any class or activity on campus. Your taking these steps seriously and completing them well sets the stage for us to work successfully through the semester ahead.

The University has made a number of other changes and policies that are ready for you after you arrive. These include specific guidance for screening, testing and symptom reporting, as follows:

  1. All students will complete the Daily Health Screen Questions each day through the DUQ app.

    Daily Health Screen Questions
  2. Students will report any signs or symptoms of COVID-19, as identified in the questions, to Duquesne University Health Services. Full-time students, whether living on or off campus, will have access to Duquesne University Health Services (including for testing) if they exhibit symptoms in their daily health screening.

    1. Any student who comes in direct close contact with a confirmed case may be required to self-quarantine for a period of time.
    2. Any student living on campus who tests positive will be required to self-isolate in campus facilities (or at home) until they no longer display symptoms.

    3. Any student living off campus who tests positive should consult with their personal physician and self-isolate in their residence.
  3. Duquesne is exploring having a program of randomized asymptomatic testing conducted with select students and employees on a weekly basis in order to track presence and prevalence of COVID-19. We will keep you updated on that.

Preventive measures after you return will include the following:

  1. All students will receive a care package of preventative materials that includes a face mask, thermometer, hand sanitizer and educational materials.

  2. It is a requirement of all Duquesne students, faculty and staff to wear a face mask in any and all public areas, including classrooms. The face mask must cover the mouth, chin and nose of the wearer.

  3. All students, faculty and staff will practice social distancing, staying more than 6 feet away from other people at all times.

    1. In the event that circumstances place them within 6 feet of another person, try to spend a short amount of time in that situation. The CDC indicates that probability for spread increases markedly when individuals are closer than 6 feet from one another for more than 15 minutes.

  4. All students living on campus will become part of R-PODS, residential pods that will include small groups of students living in the same group of rooms (or a floor, depending on the size) who will limit contact to their group initially. This could include dining, elevator use and other activities that take them from their residences. R-PODS provide a limited social group for safety purposes during the first critical phase of campus return and may be maintained throughout the semester. (Students living in off-campus housing should also create “pods” with other Duquesne students to the extent possible.)

  5. Avoid meeting in large groups outside of class. The Office of Student Life has worked with its team of professionals and student leaders to adapt a huge range of Duquesne’s campus life offerings so that students still can be part of organizations and pursue interests, but can do so in a safe manner while the University weathers the pandemic.

  6. Follow all instructional signs and foot traffic directions. The University has placed instructional signage in all buildings, classrooms, public spaces, residence facilities and other key areas. Look for them and follow the directives stated.


  1. We have converted our emergency site to a COVID-19 Planning and Information site, with frequently asked questions (FAQs) and regular updates to provide commonly sought information in a single place.

  2. In August, we will launch a regular newsletter featuring updates and key information and any changes that may emerge.

  3. Duquesne Dining Services has prepared a number of creative and innovative dining options for campus this fall. Expect different pop-up stations around campus, several tented areas for appropriately spaced outdoor seating for meals, a new concept in the Red Ring for exciting grab-and-go selections including many student favorites from the Red Ring’s menu, jumbo gourmet salads in various take-away spots and a variety of other changes. More information will be available on the University’s dining website.

  4. Duquesne is employing a Flexible Residency option for the fall 2020 semester. If you have elected to live on campus and have an assigned spot, that spot is yours. If you have any concerns based upon circumstances in your locality, or any other reason, we have you covered. Feel free to delay your arrival until you feel comfortable doing so. Simply let Duquesne’s Office of Residence Life know you plan to arrive after move-in. Duquesne will hold your spot, and your housing charges will be adjusted on a pro-rata basis so that you are charged only for the time after you arrive.

    Similarly, if at some point in the semester you feel you will be safer or more comfortable returning to your home residence, you may do so. In that case, your housing charges also will be pro-rated. The goal of the Flexible Residency option is to provide students a way to live on campus with some flexibility to adapt, if necessary, to changing conditions.

    Once a student has lived on campus and then has opted to leave, the University will no longer hold the spot in the residence for the student for the remainder of the fall 2020 semester.

The Master Plan reflects measures Duquesne has taken to create a structured campus environment that will allow for face-to-face and hybrid classes, adapted living conditions and other necessary changes while making it possible for you to be present on Duquesne’s campus and obtain a high-quality education.

That said, it is important to note that Duquesne continues to monitor COVID-19 data in Western Pennsylvania as well as CDC guidance. The current plans are subject to change at any time if circumstances warrant such a change for the health and safety of our campus community.

We look forward to seeing you in August!

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 8,500 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The University’s academic programs, community service, and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim.

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