COVID-19 Recent News & Updates

Important Health Update and Notes

Dear Colleagues, Parents and Students,

Three families (including three Upper School students and one Middle School student) have informed the school since I last wrote to you on Dec. 31 about positive COVID-19 diagnoses. Given the timing of the cases, DA has not identified any students, faculty or staff beyond immediate family members as potential close contacts.

All three families are following DA and Durham County Department of Public Health guidelines for isolation and return to the community. HIPAA laws and CDC/DHHS guidelines limit what the school can share publicly. We are grateful for the prompt and transparent communication from the families involved.

A few reminders:

  • The DA Community Health Compact compels all of us to report positive diagnoses among any family members immediately to Gem Gates at or (919) 489-3400 ext. 6513. Gem’s deep experience in health care and conscientiousness about privacy help her guide families with confidence and care. Here are our full health screening protocols and return-to-school guidelines. 
  • If you chose to travel or gather with those outside your immediate family in recent weeks, please keep your student(s) home for 10 days after your return. Students may also return to campus after 7 days with a negative result of a PCR test administered 5 days after returning home. 
  • Our partners at Express Test NC tested approximately 250 people this morning at DA’s Upper School. Here’s the link to pre-register for free, drive-through testing during the following times. Many openings remain. All are welcome:  
    - Tuesday, Jan. 5 from 8 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
    - Thursday, Jan. 7 from 8 a.m. to noon

Since July, we have seen positive COVID diagnoses in 7 students and 3 faculty/staff members. We know of no transmissions on campus or during school activities. We will be monitoring aggregate results from this week’s on-campus testing initiative and continuing to consult with our medical advisory team.

Your continued collaboration, along with our collective willingness to practice the 3 W’s, can help keep us safe and learning on campus in 2021.

Michael Ulku-Steiner
Head of School