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Shelter-in-place order; Dish closure

Categories: Health & safety, Leadership communications

TO: Stanford University Community
FROM: Russell Furr, Associate Vice Provost, Environmental Health & Safety

Social Distancing Protocol

As announced yesterday, Santa Clara County has issued an updated shelter-in-place order that extends through May 3. As part of that order, all essential businesses must prepare, implement and post a “Social Distancing Protocol” at each of their facilities frequented by the public or employees.

In compliance with this directive, Stanford has developed its protocol, which can be found here. Paper copies of the protocol will be also be posted outside all Stanford buildings and residential areas. I encourage everyone to read this information and to direct questions to me at

Recreational spaces on campus

The updated order requires more stringent action with regard to the use of outdoor spaces that are used at Stanford for recreational activities. Specifically, the use of recreational areas with high-touch equipment or that encourage gathering is prohibited. Therefore, Stanford’s basketball, volleyball and tennis courts among other outdoor spaces will be closed. The use of picnic tables and outdoor barbecues is also prohibited.

 In addition, use of open spaces cannot violate the social distancing requirements, including staying at least 6 feet away from other people. For instance, there can be no informal soccer or other games on our fields or other open spaces. 

The use of shared athletic equipment, such as a ball, may only be engaged in by members of the same household or living unit, which for students means those in your dorm room or suite. Please refer to the updated order for more details.

As a reminder, those who violate this order can be charged with a misdemeanor.

The Dish area to be closed

Last week, we implemented additional health and safety measures at the Stanford Dish to allow us to be able to keep the area open as long as possible. Extensive signage and increased staff presence were intended to reinforce and educate Dish users to act responsibly in the interests of the entire community. While many visitors have taken those measures to heart, unfortunately, there have been a persistent minority of individuals who have not complied with these rules and have, therefore, put others at risk. Many community members have expressed their concerns about what they have experienced at the Dish.

We have a responsibility to ensure that anyone on Stanford property follows state and county social distancing guidelines to protect public health and safety. At this time, we regretfully believe the only way to do so is to close the Dish area. We will close all entrances to the Dish at 5 p.m. Friday, April 3.

We realize that this will be a disappointment for many in our community, but the health and wellbeing of our community need to be our primary objective. We will be actively looking for ways to safely reopen the Dish area, and we will communicate with you as soon as we feel that is possible.