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Stanford update for Monday evening, March 16

Categories: Leadership communications, Provost

To our university community,

As many of you have heard, six Bay Area counties, including Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, today announced “shelter in place” orders for the next three weeks to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. The orders, which take effect at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, allow for certain designated activities to continue, but they otherwise ask people to remain in their homes and away from others as much as possible through at least April 7.

Stanford will support the implementation of these orders issued by our local counties. As you know from the actions we have taken already, we firmly support efforts to slow the spread of infection by increasing social distancing and minimizing gatherings of people.

We have been quickly reviewing the contents of the orders issued today, and I want to share with you the immediate impacts for our Stanford community. We will continue to analyze these impacts and will provide more detailed information as it becomes available.

STUDENTS: Undergraduates who are leaving campus to return to their homes can continue to do so, and they should do so as soon as possible.

Graduate students, along with undergraduates who are approved to remain on campus, can continue to stay here. If you remain here, though, you must abide by the provisions of the Santa Clara County order.

Remaining winter quarter final exams, as well as deadlines for all remaining final papers and projects, will be delayed until further notice for all students, both graduate and undergraduate. (Some self-initiated exams in the Law School are exempt.) Read more information here.

Please note, I also wrote today to graduate and professional students with additional information about academic and housing issues. You can read that letter here.

EMPLOYEES: Those employees who can do their work from home should do so at this time, instead of coming to campus. (For guidance on remote work and related issues, please consult this page on the Cardinal at Work website.)

However, as we have acknowledged before, many employee functions at Stanford need to be performed on campus – in a safe manner, importantly – in order to support our community. Health care, student dining, custodial and police operations are among the examples. Under the language of the order, Stanford is considered an Essential Business “for purposes of facilitating distance learning or performing essential functions,” which recognizes that some activities need to continue here and people in some roles will need to come here.

If you work in a role providing services that need to be provided on-campus, please continue doing so, and be in touch with your manager. We will continue to assess what essential functions require an on-campus presence, and managers will be in touch with employees as additional information becomes available.

Please be aware that almost all campus buildings will be accessible only to occupants with a Stanford ID card or building key. If you will be working on campus, remember to keep your Stanford ID card with you at all times.

Please also be aware that the university posted new information today about the continuation of pay for employees whose work is disrupted due to the coronavirus situation. Read the information here.

RESEARCH: The university intends to review today’s order and provide further details of new Stanford guidance on the definition of essential services and activities in the research sphere as soon as possible. Personnel who perform certain critical procedures will still be able to access their labs. At this time, however, no others should be going to their laboratories until further university guidance is issued. Read more information here.

EVENTS: Please note that the new order bans non-essential gatherings of any size.

We will continue to provide updates on Stanford’s coronavirus response. I encourage you to consider signing up for daily email updates on the website. The sign-up box is in the lower-right column of that website.

Thank you for your partnership and understanding as we continue to navigate this quickly unfolding set of events.


Persis Drell