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Stay-at-home lifted; purple tier in effect

Category: Health & safety

Dear Stanford community,

The State of California lifted its stay-at-home order for all regions of California today, but Santa Clara County and San Mateo County have now returned to the highest-risk purple tier of the state’s COVID-19 framework, which means restrictions on many activities remain in place.

The Regional Stay at Home Order was lifted based on improving projections for intensive care unit capacity. That step returns counties to the state’s framework of color-coded tiers, which are based on numbers of new COVID-19 cases and testing positivity rates in each county. Most of the state, including our local counties, is in the purple “widespread risk” tier.

After the state’s announcement, Santa Clara County also announced today a loosening of some of its previous restrictions, though other county-based restrictions also remain in place.

We are currently assessing how these changes in state and county rules affect university operations. At this point we know the following, and we will provide more details as they become available:

  • Instruction: Indoor lecture classes are still not permitted. Use of outdoor classrooms and specialized indoor classrooms such as labs and studios is allowed, with adequate physical distancing and capacity limits. Other instruction-related activities such as office hours should continue to be remote wherever possible, and if they cannot be remote, must be conducted outdoors. For details see the In-Person Instructional Recovery Plan.
  • Travel quarantine: Santa Clara County’s travel quarantine remains in place. Anyone who returns to Santa Clara County after traveling more than 150 miles away must quarantine for 10 days. At Stanford, arriving undergraduates also must quarantine for 10 days upon move-in regardless of distance traveled. For Stanford employees working at either the main Stanford campus or Stanford Redwood City, if you travel more than 150 miles from either Santa Clara or San Mateo counties, you should not return to on-site work for 10 days after return.
  • Gatherings: Indoor events and gatherings are still prohibited. However, as Stanford had planned before the stay-at-home order was lifted, registered student households of up to 8 individuals are now allowed for students who arrived on campus by Jan. 10; for students who arrived on campus by Jan. 24, registered households will be allowed Feb. 8. Given this staged introduction of households, the university is not allowing outdoor gatherings of multiple student households at this time, but we plan to begin a process after Feb. 8 that will allow for registered outdoor gatherings that meet state and county rules.
  • Employees: Stanford employees should continue working from home unless approved to be on campus, and those in essential categories should continue to report to work as scheduled. For necessary university business meetings unable to be conducted virtually, outdoors the maximum participation allowed is 15 people; indoors, the maximum is 10 people or 25% of room capacity, whichever is less.
  • Outdoor dining: Dining halls and campus cafes will be allowed to start offering outdoor dining within one’s household later this week, in accord with state and county guidance.
  • Athletics: Santa Clara County is allowing more flexibility for collegiate athletics in the county, with restrictions and safety protocols. Stanford Athletics will be in touch with student-athletes and coaches about the effects on team activities.

COVID-19 remains dangerous, and adhering to daily public health safeguards continues to be essential to controlling its spread. As the California Department of Public Health said today in announcing the lifting of the stay-at-home order: “It is still critical that Californians continue to wear masks when they leave their homes, maintain physical distance of at least 6 feet, wash their hands frequently, avoid gatherings and mixing with other households, follow all state and local health department guidance, and get the vaccine when it’s their turn.” Updated guidance on choosing a well-fitting face covering is available here.

Another state order, the Limited Stay at Home Order, which limited non-essential activities between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., also has expired along with the Regional Stay at Home Order.

I hope this information is helpful, and we will continue to provide more information as it becomes available.

Russell Furr
Associate Vice Provost
Environmental Health & Safety