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Message discusses new Santa Clara County directives involving return from travel

Categories: Health & safety, Travel

NOTE: This message has been superseded, as of Dec. 14, by an updated county directive regarding quarantine upon returning from travel. Please see this page for updated details.

Dear Stanford community,

Due to rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, Santa Clara County has issued new mandatory public health directives. The directives take effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday and will last at least until December 21, though they could be extended.

Important for the Stanford community is a change for those returning to Santa Clara County from travel outside the area. Beginning Monday, Nov. 30, anyone who returns to Santa Clara County after traveling more than 150 miles away must quarantine for 14 days. There is no longer an option to test out of quarantine after five days.

This protocol replaces Stanford’s current travel return protocols, which have applied only to those traveling outside of Northern California and have allowed those receiving negative COVID-19 tests upon return to opt out of the quarantine. Under the new county directive, anyone returning from travel more than 150 miles away must quarantine for 14 days.

Quarantining means staying home, separating yourself from others in your home, not allowing visitors, not using public transportation and not preparing or serving food to others, for the designated period of time. The county website has additional information about the quarantine process. For students living on campus who have meal service through Residential & Dining Enterprises, R&DE will deliver meals if you need to quarantine. Even in quarantine, however, students should plan to leave their living quarters for weekly testing.

If you are an essential worker with a commute to Stanford of under 150 miles, please note that the quarantine requirement does not apply to you. It only applies to travel of more than 150 miles, with some limited exceptions such as for healthcare workers. The county is strongly discouraging all leisure and non-essential travel at this time.

The county directives also include new restrictions for athletics activities that involve contact, that do not allow for social distancing, or that take place indoors. The university is reviewing these issues now and will be in further touch with student-athletes and coaching staffs as details become available.

As I mentioned, these new county directives are effective until December 21, but they could be extended. I know that many of you may have questions about our winter quarter plans, given the increasing restrictions and the overall surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations that is occurring in our region and around the country. Stanford will continue to examine these issues carefully in the coming days, consulting with the county and with our medical experts, and we will be in touch when there is more information. Thank you, once again, for all of your continuing efforts to keep yourselves, your families and our community healthy and safe.

Russell Furr
Associate Vice Provost
Environmental Health & Safety