Duke University schools the country on how to stay open during the COVID-19 pandemic

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This Jan. 28, 2019 file photo shows the entrance to the main Duke University campus in Durham, N.C. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

This Jan. 28, 2019 file photo shows the entrance to the main Duke University campus in Durham, N.C. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

Duke University is sometimes referred to as a pretty good knock-off of fancier schools farther north. But while those ivy-clad universities with smart students, prestigious medical schools and big endowments stayed closed this fall, Duke invited its freshmen, sophomores, some upperclassmen and all of its graduate students to its Durham, N.C., campus for largely in-person classes.

Now, it’s schooling those sniffier schools on how to reopen safely.

Starting Aug. 2 and continuing up to this week, when the Duke campus made a pre-planned reversion to online classes for the remainder of the semester, the university implemented a rigorous testing, tracking and surveillance program for more than 10,000 students. And it has carried out, on a grand scale, an innovative scheme — called pooled testing — that can stretch limited testing resources without forfeiting accuracy or resolution.

For Duke’s returning students, the result has been a relatively safe and almost normal return to learning, at a time when other colleges and universities either shuttered their campuses or ignited community outbreaks as they reopened with scant measures in place to detect or isolate infected students.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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