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Current policies and status
Stanford is in a phased recovery of operations due to COVID-19. Below is an overview of our current policies and protocols. These will continue to be adjusted as the public health situation changes. See guidance on planning and protocols for Stanford’s fall quarter here.
Based on Santa Clara and San Mateo County orders and CDC guidance, face coverings are required indoors for all individuals regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status, at crowded outdoor events where physical distancing is difficult, and when using public transportation, carts and other university vehicles occupied by more than one person. Stanford also strongly recommends masking outdoors in crowded settings when 6 feet of distance from others cannot consistently be maintained.
In compliance with a federal order, all Stanford faculty, staff and postdoctoral scholars, including those working remotely in the United States, and applicable subcontractors will be required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and upload documentation on Health Check by Jan. 4, 2022, unless they have a medical or religious accommodation.
Students also are required to be vaccinated unless they have a medical or religious exemption.
COVID-19 vaccines are being administered by health care providers to eligible individuals based on criteria set by public health authorities. For the most current information, visit the Vaccinations page.
Research activities continue at Stanford. Guidance for researchers is available. Staff employees who have been working remotely generally will begin returning in September, with the details of the return process guided by unit leaders. COVID policies and flexible work resources are available. See this page for the latest requirements for returning to work on Stanford campuses.
Testing is required for all students, faculty, staff and postdoctoral scholars, regardless of vaccination status.
All students living on campus, living in university provided off-campus student housing or coming to campus are required to test weekly, regardless of vaccination status.
Effective Sept. 20, regular surveillance testing is required as follows:
- Fully vaccinated faculty, staff and postdoctoral scholars: once a week. This is already the policy for fully vaccinated students, but is a new requirement for these other groups.
- Unvaccinated faculty, staff, postdoctoral scholars: (a) twice weekly for those working on-site four or more days per week or (b) once weekly for those on-site three days or fewer per week. This includes those who have not indicated their vaccination status on Health Check or cannot be vaccinated.
Health Check to self-report health status is required for employees and postdocs working in-person at a Stanford facility. Daily Health Check submissions are not required for faculty, staff and postdoctoral scholars coming to campus who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 (documentation uploaded on Health Check) or fully vaccinated students on campus (documentation on the Vaden Health Portal) unless they become symptomatic, have a positive COVID test or are exposed to household members who have tested positive. Training on COVID hygiene is required before returning to work at a campus location for the first time.
Gathering size and events policy: Currently, there are no limits on the size of non-student gatherings on campus, with the exception of mega-events above 5,000 people indoors and 10,000 people outdoors. Events and gatherings of greater than 500 individuals require registration. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, and visit Health Alerts for the latest event and gatherings guidance. Effective Oct. 8, indoor student parties are permitted, provided they follow university and public health guidelines.
Visitors and the Stanford community are welcome to outdoor areas of both Redwood City and Palo Alto campuses. Public events, performances and exhibitions are occurring in person at limited capacity. Certain essential visitors (including spouses/partners and minor dependents) are allowed in student residences. Visitors for academic, business, or research purposes must be hosted by a department or unit. New appointments of visitors, including visiting scholars, visiting postdocs, visiting student researchers and others, are restricted.
Fully vaccinated faculty, staff, postdocs, and graduate students are permitted to travel domestically and internationally. Unvaccinated persons who wish to travel internationally must first receive a travel exception from the university. Such permission is unlikely to be granted for unvaccinated international travelers during Fall 2021. Regardless of vaccination status, individuals will be required to comply with campus access restrictions and testing requirements following personal or university-sponsored international travel, and and may not return to unrestricted campus access until they submit a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken at least 5 days after returning to California. (New travel return policies take effect Nov. 27; details can be found here.)
Stanford Athletics has provided a carefully staged return, based on each team’s situation. Select athletic venues are now accessible for spectators beyond families and friends of participating student-athletes.
Exercise outdoors is encouraged, subject to physical distancing. Pool reservations and other recreational offerings are available for those approved to be on-site.
On Friday, Nov. 26, the World Health Organization designated Omicron a new COVID-19 variant of concern. Stanford's Persis Drell, Lloyd B. Minor and Russell Furr share their perspectives and reassure the community that Omicron is not a cause for panic.Read more about Update on the Omicron variant
A message from Dr. James Jacobs, executive director of Vaden Health Services, and Dr. Rich Wittman, medical director of Stanford's Occupational Health Center, urges members of the campus community who are planning Thanksgiving travel to be mindful of protocols that guard against COVID-19.Read more about Guidance regarding Thanksgiving travel and COVID-19 protocols
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