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Latest Updates


10.26.2020 at 5:12 am: Complete CARE hub Survey to Enhance Patient Care
CARE hub (Capacity, Access, Real-Time, Engagement) is a vital program to help our health system improve patient access by delivering the best care to our patients when and where they need it.

Please help us understand your experience dealing with patient delays and harms by completing a brief, anonymous survey. This will help us implement tools and processes that enable DUHS to provide the high standard of care we work towards every day. The survey is available until Oct. 28.

10.26.2020 at 5:09 am: Duke Health Hospital Visitation Hours Update
Effective tomorrow, we will update visiting hours at all three Duke Health hospital locations for adult inpatients from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Visitors will still be screened daily and required to wear a mask while in the hospital and on campus. This letter is available in English and Spanish to share this change with our patients and visitors.

We will continue to monitor the presence of COVID-19 in our community and assess our visitor restrictions. We are planning to eventually shift our visitor policy to accommodate one visitor per day rather than the duration of the stay. This one visitor will not be required to be identified as the inpatient’s designated visitor for the entire duration of stay. We are working to implement a visitor management system that will accommodate this transition, and we will keep you updated on our progress

10.19.2020 at 5:26 am: Community Connections – “Ask the Expert” Online Series
To connect our patients and community with Duke Health experts, we will be hosting an “Ask the Expert” online series. During these 30-minute events, we will answer questions and provide information on popular health and wellness topics.

For the first event on Oct. 21, Duke Health pediatricians and specialists will provide information about returning to in-person learning in the time of COVID-19, address questions about vaccinations and help prepare you and your family for respiratory illness season. Register for this event here and be sure to share this with your friends and family.

10.19.2020 at 5:18 am: Management of Patients Infected with or Exposed to COVID-19 in Ambulatory Pediatric Clinics
This document provides guidelines for the management of patients infected with or exposed to COVID-19 in ambulatory pediatric clinics. It includes updated timelines to consider during patient screening.

10.19.2020 at 5:05 am: Clinics Identified to Serve as “Model Area” for Duke Quality Management System
As a part of our ongoing commitment to zero harm, we regularly look for ways to improve patient flow, patient experience and team member satisfaction at all of our facilities. We recently identified two clinics that will serve as “model areas” for our quality management system: Duke Perinatal Consultants of Durham and the Fetal Diagnostic Center.

This is a great partnership between our hospital-based and PDC clinics, and we look forward to keeping our team informed on the progress made during this endeavor.

10.12.2020 at 5:13 am: Moments to Movement Virtual Town Hall Oct. 19
Join us for our next virtual town hall on Oct. 19 at 4:30 p.m. During this special virtual town hall, leaders will discuss Moments to Movement (M2M) – Duke Health’s collective stand against systemic racism and injustice.

Monday, Oct. 19 | 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Join the Zoom meeting here.

10.12.2020 at 5:10 am: DUHS Respiratory Viral Testing Guidance
The COVID-19 pandemic is reducing the supply of all non-COVID respiratory viral tests this fall/winter making it necessary to use tests judiciously. This document provides testing guidance for the 2020-2021 respiratory season.

10.12.2020 at 5:06 am: Update on Cases Rising in Our Community
As we all know, this virus remains in our community and our nation. As we head into the Fall season, most states are once again seeing increases in daily cases. Here in our local community, we are observing clusters of cases among shared living facilities. We must all remain vigilant in following key recommendations and interventions we have put in place to decrease the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

10.5.2020 at 5:22 am: After-Visit Summaries (updated)
The following documents have been updated on the COVID-19 website. After-visit summary (AVS) updates have also been revised in Maestro Care:
•    AVS for patients with no symptoms or mild symptoms who do not need hospital treatment: .COVIDAVSINSTRUCTIONS and .COVIDAVSINSTRUCTIONSSPANISH.

10.5.2020 at 5:14 am: Updated Drive-Up COVID-19 Testing Locations
As of Monday, Oct. 5, the operations of the drive-up test collection site at Duke Family Medicine GC (Pickens) lot will transfer to Duke Primary Care. Also effective Oct. 5, Roxboro Road Pediatrics will permanently close. Pediatric testing is available at the Willard Street and GC lot locations.

On Wednesday, Oct. 7, the drive-up testing site at Duke Urgent Care and Duke Primary Care Morrisville will permanently close. We’d like to thank the DUC/DPC Morrisville staff and leadership team for their ongoing support of this drive-up testing site since March.

On Thursday, Oct. 8, Duke Primary Care will open a new drive-up testing location in the lower level of the parking garage at Duke Health Arringdon in Morrisville. The site will be open 7 days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., caring for patients of all ages.

10.5.2020 at 5:05 am: Guidelines for Social Gatherings and Holiday Celebrations
We understand that in past years, our colleagues would often come together as teams to celebrate the holiday season and our collective successes. This year will feel different for sure, but we again want to prioritize safety of our team members so that everyone may remain healthy and able to connect with loved ones. As such, please note the guidelines outlined in this document.

9.28.2020 at 5:27 am: Recommended Eye Protection
The documents below provide updated recommendations for all team members who have direct interactions with patients and visitors.
•    Recommended Eye Protection (updated)
•    Recommended Eye Protection FAQs (updated)
•    Criteria for Adequate Eye Protection (new)
•    Appropriate PPE During COVID-19 Response (updated)

9.28.2020 at 5:03 am: October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
During October, Duke Health team members at our clinical locations will wear pink earloop masks instead of their usual blue earloop masks while supplies are available. These will serve a visual reminder and conversation starter during team members’ interactions with patients, visitors and each other. The pink masks, along with other fun and creative tactics being planned for many of our locations, are an important way for us to live out our mission of advancing health together.

9.23.2020 at 5:29 am: Duke Health Leadership Town Hall Update
The next Duke Health Leadership Virtual Town Hall will be held on Monday, Oct. 19. We are transitioning our Town Hall sessions to occur once a month, on the third Monday.

9.23.2020 at 5:17 am: Guidelines for the Use of Different Models of N95 Respirators
Given recent CDC recommendations, Duke Health has implemented changes in recommended PPE for staff in perioperative and procedural areas where high-risk aerosol-generating procedures are performed. This document provides more information about the use of new models of N95 respirators for certain care areas.

9.23.2020 at 5:11 am: Clinical Operations Communication Cadence Update
Beginning Monday, Sept. 28, the Clinical Operations all-staff email update will transition to a weekly cadence. The messages will be sent every Monday and will continue to include timely and relevant information for the Duke Health team.

9.21.2020 at 5:15 am: Accessing MaestroCare
As Duke Health staff, you have access rights to MaestroCare only to perform your Duke Health responsibilities. Therefore, you may not access MaestroCare (including the patient look-up screen) for your personal use. Specifically, MaestroCare is not a means to identify a colleague’s address, phone number or birthday. Inappropriately accessing the patient look-up screen will result in corrective action, up to and including termination.

9.21.2020 at 5:06 am: Reminder: Join our Heart Walk Team
Duke Health is proud to support the American Heart Association and its work to make life better for the 120 million people in the U.S. whose cardiovascular conditions put them at a greater risk for COVID-19. The Triangle Heart Walk has always been about coming together to get hearts pumping, honor survivors and raise lifesaving funds - while having fun along the way. This year’s Heart Walk celebration is digital. We encourage you to participate in the weekly Wednesday challenges and join one of our teams. Learn more here.

9.16.2020 at 5:19 am: VoteER Initiative & Voter Registration
Several Duke Health team members and learners are partnering with other national academic medical centers, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Hospital Association in a nonpartisan, online voter registration initiative called VotER ahead of the November election. This program will help patients, visitors and team members become more civically engaged.
The VotER program is completely voluntary, and it does not impact or interrupt clinical care. Team members who volunteer with the program will wear lanyards and badge backers with a QR code that individuals can use to register to vote on their own device. In our clinical environments, we ask that VotER volunteers not proactively contact patients, visitors or team members or impede privacy guidelines, but serve as a resource for people who are interested in learning about the voter registration process.
More information about voter registration is available on If you are interested in being part of the VotER initiative, complete this form. You may also view the recording of our most recent Duke Health leadership virtual town hall to learn more about Duke Health's voter registration and turnout initiatives for the 2020 elections.

9.16.2020 at 5:04 am: Recognizing our EVS Team Members
Every day, we are grateful for our EVS team members who work diligently to ensure our environments are safe for patients, their loved ones and each other. We are especially proud to recognize them now, during this year’s National Healthcare Environmental Services Week and in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their exceptional work and commitment to quality and safety make a real difference in the lives of many every day.

9.14.2020 at 5:42 am: Duke HealthCheck Available for Team Member Daily Screening
As a reminder, the Duke HealthCheck app is available for team members at participating entities to fast pass daily health screening. This week, team members at PDC clinics may use HealthCheck when entering the facility. Also, many facilities are now adjusting entrances to establish a “fast pass” lane for team members who use the app.

9.14.2020 at 5:03 am: Changes to Drive-Up Test Collection Sites
Tomorrow, Duke Primary Care will open a new drive-up test collection site at 601 Willard Street in downtown Durham. The new site will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day and will care for patients of all ages. Opening the Willard Street site will expand Duke Health’s test collection capacity, which is especially important as we enter cold and flu season.

We will close the drive-up test collection site at DPC on Pickett Road at 12 p.m. today until further notice. Thank you to the practice’s team and leaders for supporting this important COVID-19 testing initiative since March. The locations and hours of operation for all other drive-up test collection sites will remain the same.

9.9.2020 at 5:32 am: Duke Health Quality & Safety Conference Postponed
The 15th Annual Duke Health Quality and Safety Conference, originally scheduled for March 26 at the Durham Convention Center, was postponed when Duke Health began its COVID-19 response efforts in early March. We had rescheduled for early December of this year, but ongoing limitations for in-person gatherings require that we postpone the Conference indefinitely. We hope to conduct the Conference in 2021 and will share the new event date when it becomes available.

9.9.2020 at 5:09 am: Get Your Flu Vaccination Today
The Duke Health flu vaccination campaign is in full swing. Annual vaccination or policy compliance is a condition of employment for all DUHS and PDC team members, physicians, providers and staff. All team members must get their vaccination or otherwise demonstrate policy compliance by 10 a.m. on Tuesday, November 10, 2020. Similar to prior years, the peer vaccination process is the preferred method for our team members to safely and efficiently get vaccinated.

For more information about our flu vaccination campaign, please visit our intranet site that includes many resources and answers to frequently asked questions.

8.31.2020 at 5:02 am: Changes in Pulmonary Function Test Reporting
Several changes in pulmonary function test (PFT) reporting are coming in September. These changes are related to reference equations for tests, defining impairment severity and DLCO reporting. Learn more here.

8.31.2020 at 5:02 am: Discontinuing Special Airborne Contact Isolation Poster Available
This new poster outlines new recommendations for a symptom-based strategy for discontinuing Special Airborne Contact isolation precautions for patients infected with COVID-19.

8.26.2020 at 5:09 am: CARE Hub Integrates with Maestro Care
CARE hub “Tile” dashboards integrate with Maestro Care to support our team's daily operations. To ensure the most accurate, current information is presented across the system, our DHTS partners have made numerous enhancements to Maestro Care workflows to be able to seamlessly transfer the data to the Tiles without creating additional work for our frontline team members. Critical clinical and operational data now populate the Tiles allowing our team members to quickly see and respond to any barriers. The Tiles are also available through AirWatch, further enhancing collaboration and communication across our entire system.

8.26.2020 at 5:02 am: Flu Vaccination Campaign to Launch Sept. 1
Earlier this month, all DUHS team members received a message from William J. Fulkerson, Jr., MD, executive vice president of DUHS, regarding our annual flu vaccination campaign. Annual vaccination or policy compliance is a condition of employment for all DUHS and PDC team members, physicians, providers and staff. More information about this year’s campaign will be provided soon, and you can see the full original message from Dr. Fulkerson here.

To learn more about Duke Health’s flu vaccination campaign, check out the recording of our last Duke Health town hall to hear a full update from Gail Shulby, chief of staff to the executive vice president and co-chair of the DUHS Universal Influenza Vaccination Work Group.  

8.24.2020 at 5:43 am: New Infection Prevention Webpage Available
This week, the Infection Prevention team launched a new page on the COVID-19 website. Review this page for more information about the guidelines and resources available to prevent the spread of infection.

8.24.2020 at 5:12 am: Performance Coaching Training Materials Available
DUHS is moving away from our traditional performance management approach to performance coaching – an approach designed to improve the team member experience and provide an opportunity to make authentic connections between team members and leaders. More resources are now available for managers and team members on the performance coaching site.

8.19.2020 at 5:27 am: Use Duke HealthCheck for Team Member Screening Today
Starting today, team members can use the new Duke HealthCheck mobile app for our daily health screening process at all three of our hospitals. If you are feeling healthy and work at one of our hospitals, please take a moment to download the app and complete the steps to receive your digital pass for the day. While use of the app is optional, it is strongly encouraged since it provides our staff with a quick, easy way to enter our hospital locations each day. The app was successfully piloted last month at Duke Regional Hospital, and some ambulatory clinic sites will begin piloting it today.

Learn more about this app and find answers to frequently asked questions here. Download it today on the Apple Store or the Google Play Store. You can also watch this video to learn more about how to download and use the app to check in daily.

8.19.2020 at 5:18 am: Register for the Triangle Heart Walk – Saturday, Oct. 10
Duke Health is a proud supporter of the American Heart Association. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Heart Walk will look different this year, and we will be reimagining how we can safely gather and engage with the event. What will not change is our commitment to the Heart Walk and our fight against heart disease and stroke. The Triangle Heart Walk’s Digital Celebration will be held on Saturday, Oct. 10. We encourage all of our team members to participate by forming a team or joining one. Please register now so we can all walk together, wherever we are. You can register at:

8.19.2020 at 5:11 am: Universal Masking Update – Neck Gaiters & Bandanas Prohibited
Duke Health will no longer permit patients and visitors to wear neck gaiters or bandanas in our facilities. Patients and visitors are still not permitted to wear any mask with an exhalation valve. Patients and visitors may wear their own masks as long as they adequately cover the mouth and nose and have ties or earloops. If they don’t have an approved face covering, please provide them with an earloop mask. Please view this updated reference sheet for team members and this handout for patients/visitors in English and Spanish.

Team members working in any Duke Health building where there is not a formal screening process and no direct patient care may wear a cloth mask with ties or earloops. Acceptable cloth masks should completely cover the nose and mouth.

8.17.2020 at 5:41 am: Celebrating Over 1,000 Patients with COVID-19 Discharged
Because of your dedication and resilience, we are celebrating a very special milestone – the successful discharge of more than 1,000 hospitalized COVID patients throughout the Duke Health system. Whether you’re on the front line or behind the scenes, thank you for your amazing work during our COVID-19 response. It’s because of you, our team members, that we have been able to provide remarkable care for these patients.

8.17.2020 at 5:12 am: Universal Masking & Distancing Audits Now in Effect
DUHS is now auditing team member compliance with universal masking and physical distancing in addition to our traditional measures of hand hygiene and PPE compliance in all of our hospitals. We are also in the process of rolling this out to all of our clinics. By tracking and appropriately sharing this compliance through our huddles, we will better understand how we can prevent the spread of infection. It is imperative that every team member is compliant with proper masking and physical distancing while interacting with others.

8.12.2020 at 5:34 am: Download Duke HealthCheck Today
On Wednesday, Aug. 19, Duke Health will allow team members to use a new mobile app to streamline the daily health screening process at all three of our hospitals. Use of the app is optional, but it provides our staff with a quick, easy way to enter our hospital locations each day. The app was successfully piloted last month at Duke Regional Hospital, and our ambulatory clinic sites will begin piloting it on Aug.19.

The Duke HealthCheck app allows team members to verify their health status by answering screening questions on their mobile devices before arriving to work. The app generates a "digital pass" that team members may show screeners when entering the facility.

Learn more about this app and find answers to frequently asked questions here. Download it today on the Apple Store or the Google Play Store.

8.12.2020 at 5:12 am: Managing Our OR Schedule
Given the need to care for patients with COVID-19 in our hospitals, we are diligently working to appropriately manage our OR schedule. We are continuing to prioritize urgent cases as needed. Our teams are meeting at least daily to assess our scheduled operations and bedflow.

8.10.2020 at 5:04 am: The Duke Compact & SymMon app Clarification
Duke University Health System team members are not expected to sign The Duke Compact because we are already meeting the spirit of it.

The health system has developed a new “Duke HealthCheck” app to streamline access to our facilities. It is aligned with our daily screening process and is currently in the pilot phase. We will roll it out broadly soon. Only Duke Health team members who are based at our main campus and regularly access university buildings will need to download and use  the Duke University “SymMon” app. Unlike our health system clinical sites, the university does not have screeners in place at building entrances. Instead, the "SympMon" app facilitates the necessary health screening and door access for these facilities to ensure the safest environment. For example, when buildings open, to access the Trent Semans Center you would use the university’s app.

8.10.2020 at 5:01 am: Guidance for Adult End-of-Life Visitation (new)
This document provides updated guidance for managing end-of-life visitation for adult inpatients at all three Duke hospitals. It includes policies for patients with and without COVID-19.

8.5.2020 at 5:06 am: Expect Delayed Test Results for Staff
Due to severe weather earlier this week, numerous appointments for COVID-19 testing at our tents were rescheduled. This may cause some delays in receiving test results for team members who required testing for COVID-19.

8.5.2020 at 5:10 am: New Guidance on Duration of Infectivity

Below are documents with updated guidance based on new recommendations from the CDC for a symptom-based strategy for discontinuing Special Airborne Contact isolation precautions for patients infected with COVID-19. Please work with your local leaders to review and implement these changes as appropriate for your area.

8.3.2020 at 5:18 am: Moments to Movement Announcement
Last week, Chancellor Eugene Washington, MD, shared a meaningful message with all of our team members that described how our health system is taking action to stand against racism through our Moments to Movement initiative.
In this announcement, he provided an outline of how we’re approaching this important work. In addition to other key measures, we’ve established workgroups to lay the foundation of deep interdisciplinary change throughout the health system, the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing. We’re also looking to external partners to serve as expert advisors to help us refine our framework, achieve our strategic priorities and create the culture we desire. Here is the full announcement.

8.3.2020 at 5:13 am: Immediate Release of COVID-19 Test Results to MyChart
Effective July 31, 2020, all COVID-19 screening test results will be released automatically to outpatients in MyChart immediately after the result is finalized in Maestro Care. Inpatient results will not be released through MyChart until discharge. As a result of this change, many patients may receive their results in MyChart before the ordering provider has seen the test result. Please continue to provide appropriate post-test counseling to patients electronically via MyChart or by phone as a complement to the auto-result release process.

7.29.2020 at 5:31 am: Duke University Reopening Update
Earlier this week, President Vincent E. Price announced an update regarding Duke University’s reopening plans given the current infection rate of COVID-19. Along with other updates, the university has decided to decrease the on-campus residential population by about 30 percent. Duke University will limit Duke-provided housing in the fall to first-year students, sophomores and students who require special accommodations because of personal, academic or other reasons. View the full message with all updates here.

7.29.2020 at 5:19 am: Childcare Survey Closes Today
Our childcare survey closes today. With so much uncertainty about how the coming school year will operate, we know that many of our team members are struggling to balance work and life — and we’d like to better understand how childcare concerns impact you. We’re asking everyone to respond, parents or not, so we can understand how many people are affected.

Duke may not have the solutions, but in order to know how we can help, we need to understand the nature and scope of your challenges. Please use the survey to share your voice. Thanks to the 5,000 team members who have responded thus far.

7.27.2020 at 5:41 am: Aetna & Cigna Extend Telehealth Coverage
Together with other partner institutions in North Carolina, Duke Health had formal conversations with Cigna leadership regarding their current telehealth coverage. As of July 23, the formal policy was updated on their website to confirm the extension of their current telehealth coverage policy to Dec. 31, 2020. Aetna also posted the extension of their telehealth coverage until the end the year. See this document for more information.

7.27.2020 at 5:23 am: Updated Guidance on Ability to Return to Work
This document includes updated guidance for healthcare providers with known or suspected COVID-19 infection, including return to work criteria and protocol.

7.27.2020 at 5:04 am: New FAQs for Healthcare Provider Quarantine Guidelines
Based on recommendations from the CDC and our infectious disease experts, the Duke Employee Occupational Health & Wellness team has updated guidance for healthcare workers who live with someone confirmed to have COVID-19. Review this document for answers to frequently asked questions regarding this update.

7.22.2020 at 5:19 am: Updated Guidance on Duration of Infectivity
The CDC released updated guidance recommending that a symptom-based strategy for discontinuing Special Airborne Contact isolation for patients infected with COVID-19. The CDC no longer recommends using a test-based strategy (i.e. two negative tests), due to prolonged detection of viral RNA that is no longer infectious.

Available data indicate that persons with mild to moderate COVID-19 remain infectious no longer than 10 days after symptom onset. Persons with more severe to critical illness or severe immune compromise likely remain infectious no longer than 20 days after symptom onset.

7.22.2020 at 5:03 am: Tell Us How Childcare Impact You
With so much uncertainty about how the coming school year will operate, we know that many of our team members are struggling to balance competing priorities. We don’t know if Duke can help — but we do want to hear your voice. To help us better understand how childcare concerns impact you, please take a few minutes to complete this survey by July 29. We are asking everyone to respond, parents or not, so we understand how many people are affected.

Duke may not have the solutions, but in order to know if we can help, we need to understand the nature and scope of your challenges. Please use the survey to share your voice.

7.22.2020 at 5:01 am: Updated Guidance on Working Remotely
In June, we communicated that our administrative and non-clinical team members who are able to work from home effectively should continue to do so until at least Aug. 1, with the approval of their supervisor. Because COVID-19 cases continue to rise and spread throughout our local communities, the system is not setting a revised date for our team members to return to onsite facilities. Instead, local leaders will determine how and when teams will return to work safely and communicate any changes to you as they become available. As we continue to care for our community through the COVID-19 crisis, redeployment needs will continue. We may need to call upon non-clinical staff who are currently working remotely to come onsite to serve as screeners or in other roles that support critical operational needs.

7.20.2020 at 5:08 am: Update Your Information on Duke@Work
Please take a moment to ensure your contact information is correct on Duke@Work. It is important that your information is up to date – including your cell phone number – so that our contact tracing team can reach you if needed. Visit Duke@Work and select the "My Info" tab. Then select "My Profile," and "Maintain your Addresses & Phone Numbers" to update your information as appropriate.

7.20.2020 at 5:15 am: Successful Move to Duke Central Tower
Thank you to all of our team members who assisted with moving patients from 8 East in Duke Medicine Pavilion to the new Duke Central Tower over the weekend. Moving this unit is an essential part of our COVID-19 response and we’re grateful for our extraordinary team members who made this possible.

7.15.2020 at 5:06 am: Respiratory Care Unit Opens to Serve Patients at DUH
This week, our colleagues at Duke University Hospital opened a new unit focused on providing respiratory care for our patients. This respiratory care unit is located on 8 West of the Duke Medicine Pavilion. The unit is designed to provide critical care for our patients with respiratory illness. The new unit is an important part of our response to the rise of COVID-19 in our community, and we're grateful and proud of the team members who worked diligently to make this transition possible.

7.15.2020 at 5:01 am: DUH, PDC & DPC COVID-19 Testing Guidance
This document summarizes recommendations for COVID-19 testing based on 12 categories of patients and the respective approved tests at DUH, PDC and DPC.

7.13.2020 at 5:19 am: Guidance for Appropriate Repeat Testing (update)
This document provides guidance for appropriate repeat testing. This document was updated to include notifying Infection Prevention to update the EPIC Infection Status for:

  • Patients who have tested negative for COVID-19 but are suspected of having “Clinical COVID” (an illness consistent with COVID-19 where there is no alternative diagnosis to explain their illness) should have their Infection Status reflect this diagnosis.
  • Patients who meet criteria to discontinue Special Airborne Contact Isolation and are no longer regarded as infectious should have COVID-19 cleared from their Infection Status.

7.13.2020 at 5:02 am: Recommended Eye Protection FAQs
This document provides answers to frequently asked questions regarding recent recommendations regarding eye protection for healthcare workers.

7.8.2020 at 5:18 am: Watch for Symptoms
As we learn more about COVID-19, the list of symptoms reported by people with the illness has grown over time. The CDC has updated the list of symptoms to include the following:
    •    Fever or chills
    •    Cough
    •    Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    •    Fatigue
    •    Muscle or body aches
    •    Headache
    •    New loss of taste or smell
    •    Sore throat
    •    Congestion or runny nose
    •    Nausea or vomiting
    •    Diarrhea
Symptoms can range from mild to severe illness, and they may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus. If you are experiencing any symptoms of illness, you should stay home and call the Duke COVID-19 Hotline at 919-385-0429, option 1, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Check out this page from the CDC website for more information.

7.8.2020 at 5:14 am: Visitor Restriction Update FAQs
This document provides answers for frequently asked questions regarding our updated visitor restrictions. Please review these for more information regarding our current visitor restrictions in place.

7.8.2020 at 5:07 am: Protecting Each Other
Of all the tests that have been performed for staff members, 5.9 percent have resulted positive for COVID-19. As we monitor the rise of cases in the surrounding community, we are continually assessing the increase of team members testing positive for COVID-19 as well. Employee Health, OESO and Infection Prevention/Hospital Epidemiology teams are meeting regularly to investigate new employee infections from the prior week, review cumulative data and develop action plans/reinforce education and training when appropriate. We also encourage all team members to model healthy behaviors while out in public settings, including wearing a mask, appropriately distancing from others and practicing good hand hygiene.

7.6.2020 at 5:08 am: Isolation Procedures and COVID-19 Testing for Asymptomatic Immunocompromised Patients in the Inpatient Setting (updated)
This document provides guidance on testing and isolation procedures for the hematopoietic stem cell transplants (HSCT), solid organ transplants (SOT) and acute leukemic patients who are admitted to the hospital. The document has now been updated to include guidance for pediatric patients.

7.6.2020 at 5:05 am: Updated Eye Protection Recommendations (new)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends that healthcare workers caring for asymptomatic patients in areas of moderate to high community transmission wear eye protection in addition to face masks. Eye protection is most important when caring for patients who are unmasked. Review this document to see the updated recommendations from our infection prevention team.

7.6.2020 at 5:04 am: Wear a Mask in the Workplace and Community
To help you stay safe during this challenging time, we will be sending out a care package to all DUHS and PDC employees in the coming days that includes cloth masks and hand sanitizer. It will also include recommendations for when to wear the cloth masks, how to safely store them and a message of encouragement from our leadership team.

7.1.2020 at 5:14 am: Employee Infection Incorporated Into DQS Harms Indicators
The quality system is focused on continued learning through observation and identification of opportunities to improve. Recently we have seen a steady increase in the number of team members infected with COVID-19. To increase the visibility in our daily work to help reduce the infection spread amongst our team members, we are beginning to track and document the employee infection rates as harms at our daily huddles.

7.1.2020 at 5:03 am: Managing Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome
These documents provide early guidance to clinicians managing children with symptoms associated with the recently described Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) in the Emergency Department and Inpatient settings.

7.1.2020 at 5:01 am: We Want Your Feedback
Help us improve our Duke Health leadership town halls by providing your feedback today. Take this very brief survey to help us enhance our virtual town halls – it will take less than a minute.

6.29.2020 at 5:18 am: Patient Forms in Ambulatory Setting
This document provides guidance on handling forms and paper in the ambulatory care setting. This includes documents such as camp forms, sports physical forms, vaccination records, school/university form requirements, etc.

6.29.2020 at 5:11 am: Stay Home If Sick
One of the most important ways you can help keep your team safe is to stay home if you are experiencing any signs of illness and call the Duke COVID-19 Hotline at 919-385-0429, option 1, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Recently, we have noticed a trend that team members are continuing to come to work while experiencing symptoms of illness. This puts other team members – and patients – at risk.

We understand the pressure of wanting to support our team during these challenging times. However, it is crucial that all of our team members recognize when they are feeling symptoms associated with COVID-19 so we arrange for testing.

6.29.2020 at 5:08 am: Tobacco-Free at Duke
Duke University will become a tobacco-free campus effective July 1, 2020. Duke Health facilities, including the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing, have been tobacco free since 2007. With the new policy now covering all property owned or leased by Duke University and Duke Health, it is a great opportunity to re-engage our attentiveness to the tobacco-free initiative.

6.24.2020 at 5:08 am: Visitor Restrictions Update
Effective today, Duke Health eased some visitation guidelines in hospitals and clinics based on recommendations from infectious disease experts and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Please see this update provided to the team yesterday with more information about these updates. Below are available resources to communicate these changes with our patients and visitors.
    •    Patient letter – English
    •    Patient letter – Spanish
    •    Visitor restrictions sign – 8.5"x11"
    •    Visitor restrictions sign – 11"x17"
    •    Maestro Care tip sheet

6.24.2020 at 5:03 am: Conversations with Colleagues Expands to Address Racial Injustice
Starting the first week of July, Duke’s social workers are expanding the “Conversations with Colleagues” program to offer a new series focused on how, together, we can stand against systemic racism. These peer-support sessions will allow employees to gather and discuss how we can move toward concrete action.

Sign up for an hour-long session today using the password solidarity.

6.22.2020 at 5:27 am: Duke Central Tower Opening to Provide Alternative Care Options
On Saturday, June 20, patients and their care teams on 8 West were relocated to the new Duke Central Tower (DCT). Patients and care teams on 8 East will move to the DCT on Saturday, July 18. The DCT is anticipated to fully open in summer of 2021. Thanks to all of our team members who have helped to make this effort possible.

6.22.2020 at 5:25 am: Face Coverings Required on Buses
As a reminder, everyone is required to wear a face covering while riding on campus buses. Individuals who are not wearing face coverings will not be allowed to board the bus. This new policy update is consistent with our advisory to all staff to continue wearing a face covering after exiting the facility when walking to and from your car, waiting for the bus or riding on the bus. You may choose to continue to wear the mask that was issued for the day, or you may wear an alternate face covering of your choice once you leave the hospital or healthcare facility.

6.17.2020 at 5:24 am: Inpatient Masking Update
All inpatients should wear a Duke-issued mask when a team member enters their room as well as when traveling to and from procedures. This resource is available to provide our patients with more information about this update and other operation updates we've made to minimize the spread of illness in our hospitals.

6.17.2020 at 5:23 am: Workplace Safety Measures
Workplace safety is one of our primary missions and we have developed several measures to ensure we are doing everything possible to keep all of our staff safe. Some of the behind-the-scenes activities that occur include:

  • Exposure investigations and notifications
  • Investigations for new staff member infections which includes a risk assessment for community exposure, work exposure and contact tracing to identify close contacts within the workplace
  • Notification of close contacts from workplace contact tracing events
  • Weekly meetings of EOHW, OESO and Infection Prevention/Hospital Epidemiology to review new employee infections from the prior week, review cumulative data and develop action plans/reinforce education and training, if indicated.

6.15.2020 at 5:29 am: Anticipated return of MS2 Students to Clinical Experiences/Clerkships
Second year medical students will return to their clerkships on June 15, 2020.  We encourage embracing these students as active members of our team and in the care of patients. A document addressing frequently asked questions (FAQs) can be found here.

6.15.2020 at 5:24 am: Lab Ordering Reminder
Over the course of our response, our laboratory team has stepped up to enhance our ability to test for COVID-19. Below are a few reminders for expected turnaround time for COVID-19 testing. For inpatient and pre-operative tests, the median turnaround time is about 4-6 hours for all times of day. If samples are received by 6 p.m., they will be resulted before 6 a.m. the next day. Outpatient turnaround time is generally 24 hours. Please be sure to refer to the most updated guidance when ordering these tests.

6.15.2020 at 5:22 am: Masking in Hospital Patient Rooms
Starting today, ear loop masks will be provided for all inpatients across DUHS. All patients and visitors will be required to wear a Duke-issued mask when a team member enters their room as well as when going to and from procedures. Masks should be replaced each day or when soiled. Behavioral health patients or patients who are unable to tolerate a mask are not required to wear it. Please empathetically communicate the change to your patients to help them understand the important role masking plays in keeping those nearby safe.

6.10.2020 at 5:21 am: Moments to Movement Solidarity Walk Today
For those on the Duke University Hospital campus, please join us today for a walk of solidarity. We’re walking to take a collective stand against systemic racism and injustice and to show the world that we are stronger together. We encourage all team members to participate, as long as doing so does not disrupt patient care. If you cannot participate, the event will be streamed via Facebook Live on Duke Health's Facebook page and available for later viewing. We will gather in the courtyard between Duke Medicine Pavilion (DMP), Trent Semans Building, and the Duke Cancer Center at noon, and begin our walk at 12:15 p.m. While participating, please remember to properly wear your mask and maintain appropriate physical distancing at all times.

6.10.2020 at 5:15 am: Pediatric Visitation Restrictions Update
Effective Monday, June 8, two parent/guardian visitors are allowed to visit any inpatient in a pediatric area. This does not apply to pediatric patients in outpatient or procedural areas. After consulting with our infectious disease experts and other health system leaders, we have determined that this is a safe modification to our policy. We are continuing to review all of our visitor restrictions, and we will update the entire team as appropriate.

6.10.2020 at 5:12 am: Patient & Visitor Masking Reference (New)
This document outlines key takeaways regarding our universal masking policy for patients and visitors. It also includes guidance for acceptable face coverings.

6.10.2020 5:11 am: Criteria for Discontinuation of Special Airborne/Contact Isolation (Update)
This document provides updated guidance to healthcare workers on when it is appropriate to use a symptom-based strategy versus a test-based strategy to discontinue special airborne contact (SAC) isolation for patients with laboratory-confirmed or presumed diagnoses of COVID-19.

6.8.2020 at 5:23 am: Be a Leader – Mask in the Community
Wearing a mask helps prevent the spread of infection. While all of our team members are required to wear a mask when working in our hospitals or clinics, it is important to remember to wear a mask while out in public settings as well. We need your help to reduce the spread of infection, and wearing a mask is one important healthy behavior to model while out in the community.

6.8.2020 at 5:20 am: Patient & Visitor Talking Points (New)
This document provides talking points to communicate with patients and visitors and answer common questions. It also identifies key messages to reference while communicating about our response.

6.8.2020 at 5:16 am: Lab & Leave Program
Our DUHS Clinical Laboratories launched a no-appointment-required “Lab and Leave” phlebotomy program for our clinic patients in April. Patients taking advantage of this new program can have testing drawn while practicing safe physical distancing. Patients who have testing that is required STAT should be directed to clinics in Duke South. For questions about laboratory test ordering, call DUHS Laboratory Client Services at 919-613-8400.

6.8.2020 at 5:13 am: Critical Need for Blood Donors
Healthy, eligible blood donors are urgently needed to replenish our blood supply, which will help save countless lives. If you are able, please consider donating at an American Red Cross collection site as soon as possible. Visit the American Red Cross website and search by zip code to find a donation center near you.

6.8.2020 at 5:09 am: Special Droplet and Special Droplet & Contact Sign Ordering Reference (New)
Special Droplet and Special Droplet & Contact signs are now available for order in Eprint. Review this document for guidance to reorder these signs.

6.3.2020 at 5:17 am: Monitoring Visitor Restrictions
With the state of North Carolina in Phase 2 of lifting restrictions in place to slow the spread of infection, Duke Health is evaluating our policies on visitor restrictions. While we review possible changes, our top priority is the health and safety of our patients, visitors and team members. At this time, current visitor restrictions remain in place. You can view all of our current visitor restrictions here. Yesterday, we shared this update with all managers and physicians to outline the considerations we’re making while reviewing possible revisions.

6.3.2020 at 5:10 am: Team Member Universal Masking Updates
As more of our team members return to our clinical environments, we want to share an updated handout and FAQs to outline our current policy in effect regarding masking. These resources now reflect the importance to continue wearing a face covering while you are walking to and from your car, waiting for the bus or riding on the bus.

6.1.2020 at 5:19 am: Monitoring Visitor Restrictions
We have received feedback from our patients and team members about the importance of reviewing the restrictions currently in place. Our team is considering revising this policy as we work to enhance patient access to care. While we review possible changes, our top priority is the health and safety of our patients, visitors and team members. Our current restrictions align with visitor policies at all Triangle-area health systems, and we are working with them while considering how to safely revise our policies.

6.1.2020 at 5:15 am: Re-introduction of Nursing & Allied Health Learners
Our pre-licensure and graduate students from selected programs/schools will be re-entering the clinical environment today, June 1. We are intentionally taking a slow approach in order for our patients, staff and learners to remain safe. Here are some FAQs to provide more information as they reenter our environment.

6.1.2020 at 5:11 am: COVID-19 Testing Refusal – Position Statement and Patient Letter
For the safety of our patients, visitors and team members, Duke Health providers will not schedule, or will cancel, elective procedures for patients who refuse pre-procedural COVID-19 testing. This is a position statement and patient letter for any Duke Health provider faced with this scenario.

6.1.2020 at 5:09 am: Communications Cadence Update
To better streamline our communication, we will modify our regular task force email updates to Mondays and Wednesdays. We will continue to hold bi-weekly virtual town halls, update the COVID-19 website, share stories from across the health system in the "Inside Duke Health" newsletter, answer your questions through email to and provide critical updates as needed.

6.1.2020 at 5:05 am: Updated Guidance on Working From Home
Earlier this month, we communicated that our administrative and non-clinical team members who are able to work from home effectively should continue to do so, with the approval of their supervisor.
Readiness to return will vary by teams and areas, as every offsite location has a different set of circumstances. Therefore, decisions about returning to work will be made at the local level. However, we do not anticipate a general return before August 1, as physical distancing remains a critical part of keeping our team members and the broader community safe. In addition, supply chain constraints for items such as hand sanitizer, soap and sanitizing wipes mean we must prioritize the distribution of these items for our patient care areas.
Team members whose primary or redeployment assignment requires them to be onsite to support operations will still need to report for those roles as directed. Leaders and teams are encouraged to review resources on best practices for working remotely and contact their local HR leader with any questions.

5.29.2020 at 5:18 am: Maestro Care Update: Exposure to COVID-19 Status
Beginning Thursday May 28, a new infection status, “Exposure to COVID-19” will be visible within Maestro Care for patients who have a known exposure to a person infected with COVID-19. See this document for further information. Please contact your facility's Infection Preventionist with questions.

5.29.2020 at 5:03 am: Infection Prevention Highlights to Protect Team Members
This document highlights many of the measures we have implemented at Duke Health to keep our team members safe while continuing to provide high-quality care to our patients. This is intended to provide to team members with a key overview of many of the changes made to protect our patients, visitors and each other.

5.27.2020 at 5:17 am: Place N95 Masks in Reprocessing Bins
All healthcare workers who wear an N95 mask must place their used mask in the appropriate bin for reprocessing. Please do not keep or take home N95 masks at the end of your shift.

5.27.2020 at 5:11 am: Appropriate Use of Anticoagulation as DVT Prophylaxis During COVID-19 Hospitalization
COVID-19 has been associated with an increased risk of venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. A clinical guidance document has been created by the Division of Hematology in consultation with other clinical leaders that provides recommendations for the appropriate use of anticoagulation as DVT prophylaxis during a COVID-19 hospitalization.

5.27.2020 at 5:03 am: Antibody Testing Patient FAQs
This document provides answers to frequently asked questions about antibody testing. This is a good resource to educate patients about antibody testing and what these test results could mean.

5.22.2020 at 5:20 am: Reminder: Wear Your Mask While Entering and Leaving Facilities
As part of our mandatory universal masking policy, all team members should wear their Duke-issued mask while entering and exiting facilities. When you leave your shift for the day, wear your mask while you are walking to your car, waiting for the bus and/or riding on the bus. Review this handout with more information about how to appropriately wear and store your mask.

5.22.2020 at 5:09 am: Standard Pay Practices Resume June 1
Effective June 1, we will restore our usual management practice of applying PTO and vacation time in instances where work is not being performed. Our availability for work policy will also apply. Those instructed by EOHW to stay home due to personal COVID-19 exposure or illness and are unable to work will continue to be paid their base rate of pay without using PTO.

5.22.2020 at 5:05 am: Tracheostomy Protocol During COVID-19
This document provides multidisciplinary guidance for safely performing tracheostomies and for post-tracheostomy care in patients who were diagnosed with COVID-19. Please note, there is a new recommendation to place previously COVID-infected, post-tracheostomy patients on special droplet and contact isolation during their incident hospital stay when they were treated for COVID. If they are readmitted less than 28 days after their initial test, the usual standard and transmission-based precautions apply.

5.20.2020 at 5:21 am: Additional Updates on Learners in our Environment
The anticipated return of students to the clinical training environment will include SubIs (MS4s) on May 18, PA students on May 26, NP students on June 1 and MS 2 MD students on June 15.

  • Students may participate in the care of any patient, except those with COVID-19 or any other patient whose care requires use of N95 masks.
  • Students may participate in the care of patients in contact isolation.
  • Students may contribute to care in the operating rooms.
  • Students will utilize the existing health system practices for screening of symptoms and use of face masks.
  • Duke Health (SOM, DUHS and PDC) has jointly approved student participation (NP, PA, MD) in telehealth as long as students are acting in the same roles as prior to telehealth (i.e., the student may gather history, assist with the patient encounter and document the encounter as long as there is appropriate supervision). Appropriate supervision includes verification of any history obtained prior to the encounter, appropriate review of and use of appropriate attestations for documentation by preceptors. Here are tips for student participation in telehealth and secure chat.

5.20.2020 at 5:16 am: Clinical Trials Update
Duke University Health System is participating in a national study investigating the use of the antiviral drug Remdesivir to treat COVID-19. The FDA recently allowed Remdesivir to be used under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). The Duke Remdesivir allocation plan aligns with federal and state guidelines, making a small supply of the drug available for all three system hospitals. Prescribers and pharmacists should expect to receive more detailed information about this update soon.

5.20.2020 at 5:09 am: DUH Campus Parking Update
In April, temporary adjustments were made to parking access for some staff to park in alternative locations on the Duke University Hospital campus. Starting next week, these team members will be notified that they are to return to their assigned parking location.

5.20.2020 at 5:05 am: Disinfection Guidance for Inpatient Tablet & Accessories (New)
This document provides disinfection guidance for electronic equipment used across Duke Health for patients on isolation. The equipment includes tablets mounted on an IV pole, Bluetooth speakers, charging cords, etc.

5.20.2020 at 5:03 am: Guidance for Appropriate Repeat COVID-19 Testing (New)
This document provides guidance for appropriate repeat testing. Please note that all test orders available have gone through a rigorous validation process and that all results may be used as part of these repeat testing strategies.

5.18.2020 at 5:10 pm: Update on Learners at Duke Health
We are committed to safely bringing back our learners, and we’ve started a slow reintroduction of some learners in our environment. Fourth-year medical students are phasing into clinical rotations this week as a part of their next scheduled rotation. Physician leaders should coordinate with teams regarding the positive transition of bringing these learners back into our care teams. All learners are trained in new processes and protocols to support our COVID-19 response and following safe treatment practices.
Graduating PA students will restart on May 25 in order to finish on time, and second-year medical students who were removed from clinics in March will be returning on June 15, 2020, to complete their required clerkships.

5.18.2020 at 5:19 am: Wear Your Mask While Entering and Leaving Facilities
As a part of our mandatory universal masking policy, all team members should wear their Duke-issued mask while entering and exiting facilities. Please wear your mask while you are walking to your car, waiting for the bus and/or riding on the bus. Safely store your mask, and keep your mask with you to wear it again until you can return to screening and receive a new mask for the day.

5.18.2020 at 5:07 am: Vital Talk Communication Training Opportunity
Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence and the Institute for Human Caring are offering healthcare professionals free virtual training sessions for COVID-19 communication. These sessions will focus on four content areas (outpatient, ED, acute care and ICU) and will integrate a communication framework with concrete skills to navigate advance care planning and goals of care conversations in the COVID-19 era. Information on registration can be found on this document or you may register directly through the Institute for Human Caring website.

5.15.2020 at 5:11 am: Continue Practicing Physical Distancing
Duke Health would like all team members to maintain an awareness of proper physical distance and to continue using virtual means of connecting with others when possible. We still need to limit large gatherings and maintain distance, even while wearing masks. Please also continue to be mindful when in shared spaces like workrooms, breakrooms and other common spaces to practice physical distancing, frequently clean high-touch surfaces and be mindful when sharing food, as not taking proper precautions can lead an increased risk of exposure.

5.13.2020 at 5:06 am: Updated Isolation Signs Overview (new)
Isolation signs have been updated for special droplet precautions and special droplet and contact precautions. Please see the documents linked below for more information about these each of updated signs.
    •    Special Droplet Precautions
    •    Special Droplet and Contact Precautions

5.13.2020 at 5:03 am: Place N95 Masks in Reprocessing Bins
All healthcare workers who wear an N95 mask must place their used mask in the appropriate bin for reprocessing. Please refer to the instructions for extended use and reuse for more detailed instruction.

5.13.2020 at 5:16 am: PPE FAQs
Please read this document for answers to some common questions regarding PPE – including the rationale for why certain decisions have been made. Thank you to all of our team members for staying up to date on the latest recommendations.

5.13.2020 at 5:06 am: Infection Prevention 101
This document outlines the basic principles behind standard and transmission-based precautions and explains the “why” behind PPE recommendations for caring for COVID-suspected or confirmed patients.

5.13.2020 at 5:03 am: Criteria for Discontinuation of Special Airborne Contact Isolation
This updated document includes steps to follow when discontinuing Special Airborne Contact isolation in the inpatient setting and re-isolation of patients who return to the ED or inpatient care after a prior diagnosis of COVID-19.

5.13.2020 at 5:01 am: Sharing Your Experience with the Hero Registry
The Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) is enrolling healthcare workers in the Healthcare Worker Exposure Response and Outcomes (HERO) Registry, and they need your help. The HERO Registry is asking anyone who works in a setting where people receive healthcare to participate. There is no cost to join. Participants will receive surveys, opportunities to participate in future studies and learnings from the research community. The registry will follow a protocol developed by the DCRI and data guidelines to keep healthcare worker information secure. To sign up for the HERO Registry, visit their website.

5.11.2020 at 5:24 am: Recommended PPE for Outpatient Management of Asymptomatic Patients (New)
This document provides recommendations for the required PPE for a variety of visits in outpatient settings with differential risk. Providers should follow Standard and Transmission-Based Precautions in addition to the precautions recommended in the Ambulatory Infection Prevention Policy.

5.11.2020 at 5:23 am: Management of Patients with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19 in the Outpatient Setting (New)
This document provides recommendations for outpatient management of patients with suspected or confirmed after receiving a COVID-19 diagnosis.

5.11.2020 at 5:18 am: Position Statement and FAQs for Antibody Testing for COVID-19 (New)
This document provides guidance to physicians to facilitate conversations with patients regarding requests for antibody testing for COVID-19 (SARS-2-CoV).

5.11.2020 at 5:09 am: Clinical Location Screening Update – Temperature Screenings
Beginning May 11, Duke Health will enhance screenings at all clinical locations for patients, visitors and team members to include temperature checks with touchless infrared thermometers. As always, if a team member screens positive, he or she will be directed to call the Duke COVID-19 hotline at 919-385-0429 for next steps. Team members must have their Duke ID badge with them in order to enter the facility and begin their shift.

5.11.2020 at 5:03 am: Updated Telehealth Resources Available
The documents below provide guidance and tips for using telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic.

5.8.2020 at 5:39 am: EOHW Health Profile Error Message
Employees may have received a request from Employee Occupational Health & Wellness (EOHW) to complete a health profile this week. The email to these employees was a technical issue and a follow-up clarification email has been provided to every employee who was affected. If you have any questions about this, please call the COVID Hotline 919-385-0429 option 1 which is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.

5.8.2020 at 5:37 am: Phase 1 of North Carolina’s Reopen Plan Starts Today
The first phase of the three-phase plan to reopen North Carolina goes into effect today at 5 p.m. Non-essential businesses such as salons and gyms will remain closed, and the stay-at-home order will remain in effect yet modified for necessary tasks. Durham County requires people who leave their home to wear masks and we encourage our team members to be leaders in this area.

5.8.2020 at 5:34 am: Clinical Trials Update
Duke University Hospital participated in a national study investigating the use of the antiviral drug Remdesivir to treat COVID-19. Positive results from this study show the drug could shorten the recovery time of more than 1,000 hospitalized patients from 15 days to 11 days. To learn more about this trial, check out the recording of our last Duke Health town hall from our infectious disease team.

5.8.2020 at 5:23 am: Supply Chain Update
Recently, we received a large shipment of more than 2 million shoe covers, and we expect 75,000 more reusable isolation gowns delivered by the end of the month. Large orders with 3M for N95s are still in place, and it is critical that all of our areas, including ambulatory, continue to use our safe process for decontaminating masks for reuse.

5.8.2020 at 5:18 am: Human Resources on Returning to the Workplace
As North Carolina enters Phase I of lifting shelter-in-place orders today, those team members who can continue to effectively perform their work from home should continue to do so with the agreement from their supervisor. We do not anticipate any changes to current work arrangements before June 1. The safety and well-being of our team members are our top priority, and we commit to communicating what to expect throughout this important process.

5.8.2020 at 5:09 am: Appropriate PPE During COVID-19 Response (Update)
See this updated infographic for concise and simplified recommendations for what PPE healthcare workers should wear during the COVID-19 response.

5.8.2020 at 5:04 am: Respiratory Therapy Practices During the COVID-19 Pandemic (New)
View this document as a guide for the safe delivery of respiratory therapeutics during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

5.6.2020 at 5:14 am: Life Support FAQs
Based on recommendations from American Heart Association, Duke Health has extended the expiration of life support certification. Team members have at least until the end of the calendar year to recertify. The health system life support team will be publishing a plan within the next few weeks to allow people who have expired certifications or whose certifications will expire through December 2020 to catch up. You can view an FAQ about this process here.

5.6.2020 at 5:07 am: Social Media Posts
Each staff member has the responsibility to protect patient privacy. This is a reminder that discussing Protected Health Information on social media or posting photos of a patient or a patient’s body part, wound, etc. to any non-Duke site, including your personal social media site, is prohibited. You may not do so even when the patient agrees or even when the patient cannot be identified.

5.4.2020 at 5:32 am: Redefining Our “Normal” Video
As we plan for what’s next, we’re grateful for your commitment to caring for our patients, their loved ones and each other. We’re all adjusting to a lot of new and redefining our “normal.” Check out this video to learn more about how our team is prioritizing keeping our patients and team members safe as we enhance access to care.



5.4.2020 at 5:13 am: Updated CDC Guidance on Discontinuing Isolation
CDC guidance for discontinuing transmission-based precautions for patients with COVID-19 infection has been updated to extend the duration of isolation from seven days to 10 days since symptoms first appeared. This update was made based on evidence that suggests a longer duration of viral shedding and captures a greater proportion of contagious patients.
The following documents have been updated on the COVID-19 site to reflect this change in CDC guidance. After-visit summary (AVS) updates will be revised in Epic as soon as possible:
    •    AVS for known COVID-19 inpatients being discharged from hospital: .COVIDAVSDISCHARGEINSTRUCTIONS and .COVIDAVSDISCHARGEINSTRUCTIONSSPANISH.
    •    AVS for patients with no symptoms or mild symptoms who do not need hospital treatment: .COVIDAVSINSTRUCTIONS and .COVIDAVSINSTRUCTIONSSPANISH.
    •    Ability to Work/Return to Work for Healthcare Providers
    •    CDC Guidance: Employee Risk Assessment for COVID-19 Exposure
    •    Criteria for Discontinuation of Special Airborne Contact Isolation

5.4.2020 at 5:09 am: COVID-19 Room Entry Logs No Longer Required
In coordination with changes in reporting requirements from the CDC and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, DUHS is no longer requiring room entry logs to be completed for staff or visitors entering the rooms of patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection. Any breaches in PPE or suspected exposure within these rooms should be reported through the Employee Health Blood and Body Fluid Hotline at 919-684-8115. Please ensure that existing room entry logs for healthcare personnel and visitor monitoring are disposed of securely (i.e., in the shred bin).

5.1.2020 at 5:18 am: Communication Cadence Update

To better streamline our communication, we will modify our regular task force email updates to Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. We will continue to hold weekly virtual town halls, update the COVID-19 website, share stories from across the health system in our newsletter "Inside COVID-19," answer your questions through email to and provide any critical updates through email as needed.

5.1.2020 at 5:09 am: Supply Chain Update

Right now, we are confident in the supplies we have available to continue providing exceptional care for our patients. We now expect another 2 million earloop masks to be delivered in multiple shipments by the end of the month, 14,000 isolation gowns are expected this week, and another 50,000 will be delivered this month. Lastly, we expect 2 million more shoe covers to arrive next week.

4.30.2020 at 5:04 am: Enhancing Access to Patient Care – Key Messages

Here are approved key messages to share with our patients about how our team is committed to safety while we prepare for this next phase of our response.

4.29.2020 at 5:06 am: Preparing Our Environment

While we work to prepare our facilities to re-engage our patients, below are just a few of the changes being made at some locations to reduce the spread of infection.

  • Increased use of telehealth to connect with our patients, including phone and video visits
  • Encouraging physical distancing and allowing extra time between appointments
  • Enhanced visitor restrictions to limit the number of people in our facilities
  • Expanded hours and appointments available on the weekend when appropriate
  • Patient, visitor and staff screening for symptoms prior to entering our facilities
  • Increased signage at all clinics to encourage physical distancing and hand hygiene
  • Mandatory masking and hand hygiene for all patients, visitors and team members
  • Installing additional hand sanitizing stations at our facilities

4.28.2020 at 5:08 am: Ambulatory Surgery Update

On May 4, we plan to start opening more outpatient environments for ambulatory surgeries. We are making numerous changes to expand upon our existing safety procedures for team members and patients to keep them safe and protect them from possible exposure to COVID-19. More information about this gradual process to reschedule surgeries will be provided in the coming days and weeks.

4.27.2020 at 5:16 am: Financial Aid for Dependent Care

Applications are now being accepted for the Duke Health COVID-19 Dependent Care Financial Assistance Fund, established to offset the costs of dependent care during our COVID-19 response efforts. All Duke Health employees in good standing are eligible to apply, and applications are being accepted through May 29. Team members can learn more and access the application here.

4.27.2020 at 5:13 am: Meal and Medicine Resources for Patients in Home Isolation

This document is designed for patients who must stay home in isolation due to suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection. It provides basic food safety tips for handling, cooking and storing food as well as resources for food and medication delivery services.

4.27.2020 at 5:04 am: Tips for Safely Transitioning Between Work and Home

This resource provides more specific infection prevention best practices, including what to do with your work clothing and work shoes and how best to clean and disinfect your home. It is designed to help healthcare workers returning home from work keep themselves and their loved ones safe from potential COVID-19 exposure. (This document replaces the former “Guidelines for Healthcare Workers upon Returning Home from Work.”)

4.24.2020 at 5:23 am: PPE Product Substitutions

Supplies, including PPE, may look different and come from different manufacturers but are just as safe and reliable as the items regularly stocked. The substituted products have gone through a rigorous testing and approval process by our infection prevention and occupational and environmental safety office.

4.24.2020 at 5:22 am: Contact/Reference List for COVID-19 Topics

Please view this one-pager for contact information and document references regarding common questions related to COVID-19, including testing, PPE, interpreter services and employee health.

4.23.2020 at 5:28 am: Face Shield Tip Sheet

This resource can be used to help healthcare workers determine the best process for reuse and extended use of their face shield. Specifics about the disposable face shields as compared to the extended use face shields are included in this resource.

4.23.2020 at 5:13 am: Head Covering PPE Recommendations

Head coverings, including bouffant caps, headbands with buttons and surgical caps, are not CDC recommended or required PPE for the care of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients (outside of performing sterile procedures). This document provides more information about Duke Health recommendations on head coverings for our team members.

4.23.2020 at 5:07 am: Interim Recommendations for Care of Inpatients from Congregate Living Facilities

We continue to see COVID-19 outbreaks in our community from skilled nursing facilities and prisons. This document provides additional clarification for the management of inpatients being admitted to the hospital from congregate living settings.

4.22.2020 at 5:19 am: FAQs for Decontaminating N95 Respirators
Duke Health is using a safe, proven process to decontaminate used N95 respirators using vaporized hydrogen peroxide. This decontamination technology and method has been used for years, and several leading health systems across the nation are now using it to reuse N95 respirators. Read these frequently asked questions about how this process kills germs, including viruses, while maintaining the integrity of the fit and seal without degrading the material.

4.22.2020 at 5:03 am: PPE Documents Guide
To help team members navigate the PPE-related resources in the COVID-19 document library, this PPE documents guide has been created to show the information in helpful categories, with dates to indicate when it was created or last updated.

4.21.2020 at 5:08 am: Updated Instructions for Extended Use and Reuse
This document provides clarification on the re-use and extended use of face masks (including surgical masks, tie masks and earloop/procedural masks) and face shields. It specifically addresses situations in which patients are on transmission-based precautions (i.e., droplet, contact and/or contact special enteric).

4.20.2020 at 5:15 am: PPE Reminder – No Head Coverings on Shoes
This document provides clarification on the re-use and extended use of face masks (including surgical masks, tie masks and earloop/procedural masks) and face shields. It specifically addresses situations in which patients are on transmission-based precautions (i.e., droplet, contact and/or contact special enteric).

4.20.2020 at 5:02 am: Masking Flyers – In Every Space, Cover Your Face

The flyers below can be printed out and displayed in staff common areas around hospitals and clinics to help Duke Health team members remember to wear their Duke-issued face masks throughout the day.

4.20.2020 at 5:01 am: Pediatric After-Visit Summary Now Includes Tip Sheets
The after-visit summary for children up to age 18 will now automatically include the language preference-appropriate tip sheets that illustrate best practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19. For those providing care to pediatric patients, this change will save the step of manually adding this information to patient instructions. As a reminder, the tip sheets are also available as system-level dot phrases in English, Spanish and Arabic as: .COVIDEASYTIPSPEDS.COVIDEASYTIPSPEDSSPANISH and .COVIDEASYTIPSPEDSARABIC.

4.17.2020 at 5:09 am: Clarification for Donning and Doffing PAPRs

  • All PAPRs are to be donned prior to donning the isolation gown so that the PAPR belt is underneath the gown while the PAPR pack motor is exposed on the back and has adequate circulation and ventilation.
  • If your PAPR hood has a shroud; the shroud should be worn outside of the gown.
  • If there is a double shroud, the inner layer will be on the inside of your gown with the outer layer on the outside.
  • Initial disinfection of the PAPR hood is done prior to doffing isolation gown. Then, follow established step-by-step doffing procedures and instructions for extended use, reuse and disinfection.

4.17.2020 at 5:06 am: Masking Reminders
As an important reminder for the safety of all Duke Health team members, all staff members are required to wear face masks in common areas at all times. It is especially important to limit the number of unmasked individuals who are in close proximity with one another while eating and drinking in breakrooms, workrooms, workstations, the cafeteria, courtyards or any other settings where people can gather.

4.16.2020 at 5:26 am: Guidance for De-escalating Isolation After a Negative Test for COVID-19
See below for a summary of the available discharge instructions/after-visit summaries (AVS) for patients with known or suspected COVID-19:  

  • AVS for known COVID-19 inpatients being discharged from hospital (new). This document was created for patients with known COVID-19 infection who are being discharged from the hospital. It is available in English and Spanish, with the following Epic dot phrases: .COVIDAVSDISCHARGEINSTRUCTIONS and .COVIDAVSDISCHARGEINSTRUCTIONSSPANISH (coming soon in Epic).  
  • AVS for patients with no symptoms or mild symptoms who do not need hospital treatment (update). This document has been updated to include instructions for asymptomatic patients. It is available in English and Spanish, with the following Epic dot phrases: .COVIDAVSINSTRUCTIONS and .COVIDAVSINSTRUCTIONSSPANISH (coming soon in Epic).  
  • AVS for pediatric patients (no change)This two-page document illustrates best practices for preventing the spread of COVID-19. It is available in English, Spanish and Arabic, with the following Epic dot phrases: .COVIDEASYTIPSPEDS.COVIDEASYTIPSPEDSSPANISH and .COVIDEASYTIPSPEDSARABIC.
  • AVS for low health literacy patients (no change)This two-page document illustrates in icons best practices for preventing the spread of COVID-19. This document is the same as the AVS for pediatric patients, with the following Epic dot phrases: .COVIDLOWLITERACY, .COVIDLOWLITERACYSPANISH and .COVIDLOWLITERACYARABIC.
  • AVS addendum for additional instructions (new). This Word document can be edited by staff working to discharge patients. It was created in response to the request to provide written instructions to patients in addition to the AVS instructions available in PDF format.

4.16.2020 at 5:14 am: Guidance for De-escalating Isolation After a Negative Test for COVID-19
This flow diagram has been updated to reflect changes in local epidemiology with regard to newly identified outbreaks of COVID-19 in congregate living facilities.

4.16.2020 at 5:07 am: Tip Sheet on PPE Extended Use and Reuse
This tip sheet aims to help healthcare workers better understand protocols for the reuse and extended use of face masks, face shields, N95 respirators and PAPR hoods.

4.16.2020 at 5:01 am: PAPR Hood Donning, Doffing and Disinfection Instructions
The following documents are intended to educate team members on the proper donning, doffing and disinfection procedures for powered air-purifying respirators (PAPRs).

  • This step-by-step guide provides instructions for using the 3M Versaflo PAPR.
  • These PAPR hood instructions explain the differences in donning the short headcover, hood with single shroud and hood with double shroud.
  • This one-pager illustrates the proper PAPR disinfection process for special airborne/contact isolation, regardless of which type of PAPR hood is used.
  • This document on PAPR hood reuse, extended use and disinfection has been updated to reflect this information.

4.15.2020 at 5:11 am: What to do with N95 Masks after Certain Procedures
This table describes what healthcare workers should do with their N95 masks following procedures and patient care. This document is a supplement to the document titled "N95 Respirators and Face Shields: Instructions for Extended Use and Reuse."

4.15.2020 at 5:04 am: Homemade Masks Allowed for Patients and Visitors
Patients, visitors and caregivers who choose to wear personal homemade masks are permitted to wear them in Duke hospitals and clinics. This document illustrates the masking protocol for patients, visitors and caregivers and can be displayed in common spaces. As a reminder, Duke Health team members are not permitted to wear personal homemade masks while at work.

4.14.20: Video about Duke Health Surge Planning
For months, Duke Health has been preparing for a rise of COVID-19 patients in our area. We have developed comprehensive plans to respond to the evolving needs of our community. As the surge projections continue to adjust, we feel we are well prepared no matter what need may arise. This short, animated video explains more about surge planning and how we're prepared to test, triage and care for patients with COVID-19 over the coming weeks.

4.14.2020 at 5:19 am: COVID-19 Patient Caregiver Accommodations
To support our team, Duke Health will offer hotel accommodations for direct caregivers of patients with COVID-19 in hospitals. Deeply discounted rates will also be available to all Duke Health team members. Each hospital will provide more specific information soon regarding the availability of this temporary housing and how to apply.

4.14.2020 at 5:04 am: Tips for Wearing your Mask
We understand that wearing a mask may present some challenges, and we want to provide some helpful guidance for properly removing and storing your mask while eating, drinking and going to the restroom. Please view this handout with more tips for getting through the day with your mask.

4.13.2020 at 5:33 am: Place Used N95 Masks in Reprocessing Bins
All healthcare workers who wear an N95 mask must place their used mask in the appropriate bin for reprocessing at the following times: end of shift, after performing an aerosol-generating procedure and if contamination occurs during patient care. Please do not keep or take home N95 masks at the end of your shift, as your mask could be contaminated, and that puts you and others at risk for potential COVID-19 infection. Please refer to the instructions for extended use and reuse for more detailed instruction.

4.13.2020 at 5:17 am: Sample Collection Updates
NP swab collection and transport instructions include important updates. Samples that will be sent through the pneumatic tube system within hospitals should be double-bagged before tube transport. Kits will now contain a second bag to facilitate this change in practice. NP swabs should be inserted and rotated for five seconds rather than 15 seconds.

4.13.2020 at 5:09 am: Guidance for Healthcare Worker PPE During COVID-19 Response
This document outlines recommended PPE for healthcare workers to wear during the COVID-19 response. Specific clinical guidance is provided for inpatient, ED, procedural areas, outpatient clinics and outpatient/inpatient radiology departments. This infographic provides concise and simplified recommendations for what PPE healthcare workers should wear during the COVID-19 response. The infographic is meant to supplement but not replace the “Guidance for Healthcare Worker PPE During COVID-19 Response” document.

4.13.2020 at 5:06 am: Recommendations for Negative Room Pressure and/or HEPA Filtration
This one-pager highlights the importance of wearing appropriate PPE during aerosol-generating procedures. It also explains the role of negative room pressurization or HEPA filtration and provides recommendations for what to do if a HEPA filter is not available.

4.13.2020 at 5:02 am: Criteria for Discontinuation of Special Airborne/Contact Isolation
This document provides updated guidance to healthcare workers on when to discontinue special airborne contact isolation for (1) lab-confirmed COVID-19 patients and (2) when COVID-19 diagnosis is presumed based on clinical presentation but COVID-19 PCR testing is negative.

4.10.2020 at 5:28 am: Guidance for De-escalating Isolation After a Negative COVID-19 Test
This flow diagram outlines a recommended decision algorithm for symptomatic patients with a negative COVID-19 nasopharyngeal swab whose clinical presentation remains highly suspicious for active COVID-19 infection. We ask that you review this carefully and use it in your clinical decision-making.

4.10.2020 at 5:19 am: Guidance for Procedural Areas Caring for Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19 Patients
This guidance is for healthcare workers in procedural areas and explains best practices, including when to use HEPA filters in procedural rooms for patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection.

4.10.2020 at 5:14 am: Isolation Procedures and COVID-19 Testing for Asymptomatic Immunocompromised Patients in the Inpatient Setting
This document provides guidance on testing and isolation procedures for the hematopoietic stem cell transplants (HSCT), solid organ transplants (SOT) and acute leukemic patients who are admitted to the hospital.

4.10.2020 at 5:12 am: Universal Masking Update
Until further notice, all visitors will wear masks in addition to our team members and patients. All patients will wear masks in common spaces, such as waiting rooms, cafeterias and hallways. Hospitalized patients do not need to wear masks in their rooms.

4.9.2020 at 5:23 am: Reminder: No Makeup while Wearing N95s and PAPR hoods
We have started collecting N95 respirators and PAPR hoods for reuse, and it is important to understand how wearing any makeup – including any facial oils, moisturizers, shaving balm, aftershave, beard oil, lipstick, foundation/concealer and blush – can make the masks appear soiled, even after the decontamination process. For this reason, we ask that healthcare workers who will wear N95s and PAPR hoods during their shift refrain from wearing makeup.

4.9.2020 at 5:18 am: Tips for Healthcare Workers Returning Home from Work
If you are a healthcare worker caring for patients with suspected or known COVID-19, follow the guidelines outlined in this document to protect your family upon returning from work.

4.9.2020 at 5:06 am: Priority Testing for Special Populations
We request that clinicians with clinical use cases that require a COVID-19 test result in less than 24 hours complete this short survey to allow aggregation of the requests and optimize the use of our internal testing capabilities. The survey will close at 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 12, and representatives from infection prevention, laboratory medicine, and the Chief Medical Officers will review and prioritize the requests.

4.8.2020 at 5:32 am: Returning N95 Masks
After wearing your N95 mask, you must return it to the appropriate bin unless it is visibly soiled so it can be processed for reuse. Our chosen method for decontaminating and reusing N95 masks is proven and safe. You’re welcome to view this video for more information about how the decontamination process works.

4.7.2020 at 5:06 am: Documentation and Coding
As a reminder for providers, please continue to accurately capture the conditions of our patients as it affects public health reporting, resource allocation and quality of care. For helpful tips, reference this document.

4.7.2020 at 5:00 am: Dashboard

If you would like to stay informed about the current status of testing and COVID-19 cases at Duke, view the dashboard developed by Performance Services. To access it, you must be on the Duke Health network or connected to the VPN.

4.6.2020: Video about the decontamination process for N95 masks

4.6.2020 at 5:32 am: Conclusion of Flu Season
In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the mitigation strategies implemented and after consultation with the Duke Program for Infection Prevention, we are defining Monday, April 6 as the official end of the flu season. For the purposes of the Duke Health HCW Flu Vaccination Policy, new hires/providers/volunteers who are joining Duke Health on or after Monday, April 6 will not be required to be vaccinated against the flu or have an approved exemption, however they will be required to comply with the policy during the Fall 2020 flu vaccination period.

4.6.2020 at 5:18 am: Recommendations for Safely Discharging a COVID-19 Positive Inpatient who Continues to Require Isolation Precautions
This document provides guidance to staff on minimizing the possibility of exposure during COVID-19 positive inpatient discharge while navigating out of the building.

4.6.2020 at 5:02 am: Pre-procedural Guidelines for COVID-19 Testing and PPE Use
This document outlines the Duke Health recommendations for the use of testing and related PPE for procedures performed in the non-operating room environment.

4.3.2020 at 5:44 am: Tips to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19: Pediatrics After-Visit Summary
This document is for patients with low health literacy skills, including children, and illustrates several tips for preventing the spread of COVID-19. Versions in English and Spanish are available.

4.3.2020 at 5:19 am: Pre-operative and Pre-procedural Screening Test for Asymptomatic Patients
A pre-operative inpatient and outpatient COVID-19 screening test for asymptomatic surgery patients is now available. Please refer to the testing guidelines and the Maestro Care tips sheet before placing the order.

4.3.2020 at 5:04 am: Staffing Hub
We are preparing for additional staffing needs in critical areas, both clinical and non-clinical. To support these efforts, we have created the Duke Health Staffing Hub.

4.2.2020 at 6:07 am: COVID-19 Testing Decision Trees
The COVID-19 testing decision trees have been updated and simplified for the following settings: adult ambulatorypediatric ambulatoryED/inpatient hospital day less than or equal to 3, and inpatient hospital day greater than 3.

4.2.2020 at 5:33 am: Inpatient & Outpatient Donning and Doffing Procedures
These step-by-step donning and doffing procedures for inpatient and outpatient settings have been updated in an effort to safely conserve PPE for staff.

4.2.2020 at 5:05 am: Face Mask and Face Shield: Extended Use and Reuse
This document has been updated to reflect the new universal masking protocols and to address droplet precautions for patient care interactions.

4.1.2020 at 6:17 am: Masking Protocols and Frequently Asked Questions
To help you answer questions from colleagues and patients, we developed this one-sheet with instructions and frequently asked questions.

3.31.2020 at 4:00 pm:

Starting today, all team members will be required to wear a face mask while working at one of our clinical sites.
Watch the video for an overview of the new process, including how to wear and care for your mask.

3.26.2020 at 6:00 am: Employee Screenings

Starting today, we are implementing team member COVID-19 screenings. If a team member screens positive, he or she will be directed to call the Duke COVID-19 hotline at 919-385-0429 for next steps. Look for communication from your local entity regarding specifics for your work area.

3.25.2020: Personal Protective Equipment Leadership Update

We want to make sure you feel confident in our approach and secure in your protective equipment. Check out this video from our COVID-19 task force leadership for answers to your questions regarding our current and potential policies for using PPE.

3.25.2020 at 6:43 am: Indications and Procedures to Re-use Surgical and Earloop Masks

Please review this document which outlines instructions for re-using surgical and earloop masks for many healthcare worker groups.

3.25.2020 at 6:43 am: Childcare Coverage

If you have childcare needs, please fill out this survey by Monday, March 30 so that we can understand the likely use of these services. Someone from our team will be in direct contact about potential options. This is a new work stream, so although there are limited spots available right now, we expect more to come online soon.

3.25.2020 at 6:14 am: Novel Decontamination of Masks

In an effort to conserve our N95 face masks to reduce infection, our research and clinical teams have confirmed a way to use existing vaporized hydrogen peroxide methods to decontaminate the masks so they can be reused. We've been using this proven technology and decontamination method for years in our bio containment laboratory, and we will transition to using it as a method for cleaning masks for reuse at all three of our hospitals. Our infection prevention team will lead coordination of this effort.

3.24.2020 at 8:00 am: Health Care Worker Ability to Work Management Plan

This new resource from EOHW provides new protocols, testing guidelines and returning to work criteria for all Duke Health team members.

If you are feeling ill or have a question, please call the Duke COVID-19 Hotline at 919-385-0429, option 1, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Beginning March 25, hours will be expanded to 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.