(March 26, 2020 / JNS) At least 15 MBA students at Duke University in Durham, N.C., who traveled to Israel over spring break tested positive for COVID-19 and have been instructed to self-quarantine at their homes off-campus for at least a week, sources told The News & Observer on Wednesday.
Duke’s spring break was originally scheduled for March 6 to March 15, and was later extended to March 22. The students’ exact travel dates, however, remain unknown since the trip was not coordinated or sponsored by the university. Sources said it was organized by iTrek, a travel company for graduate students wanting to explore Israel.
The MBA students were tested after four other graduate students from the trip experienced coronavirus-related symptoms at the end of their stay in Israel and tested positive while still in the country. The latter group is currently quarantined in Israel and receiving medical treatment.
Duke University notified the community of the students who tested positive overseas on March 13, according to The News & Observer. Other students on the Israel trip had already returned to Durham by then, and several dozen were told to self-quarantine at their homes off-campus until they got medical clearance, insiders said.
Duke Health and Durham County said they were working to test others who traveled with the group.
An additional 11 others who are part of the Duke community have tested positive for the coronavirus after traveling internationally, though it was not specified if those cases have any connection to MBA students.
Duke University urged students in February to reconsider any international travel over spring break; however, they had no authority to ban students from traveling.
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