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Update on changes to COVID safety protocols

Categories: Campus, Health & safety

Dear Stanford community,

Across our campus community and region, we are continuing to experience significant improvement in COVID-19 conditions and to see other encouraging signs. Positive cases are low, immunizations are high and the state economy has officially reopened.

In connection with this progress, Cal/OSHA, as the state’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health is commonly known, voted Thursday to loosen COVID-19 health and safety requirements in California workplaces as part of the state’s reopening. Under a subsequent executive order, this decision is now in effect.

We are writing to share with you how – given the wide variety of activities occurring on our campus – Stanford will implement these changes.

Face coverings, physical distancing and density

For the next week, we will be retaining our current guidance on face coverings and physical distancing, as undergraduates move in for the summer quarter and begin a period of restricted activity in order to prevent transmission of the virus.

Effective June 26, when that restricted period ends, we will implement the new Cal/OSHA guidance. We expect to provide more details about these policies next week. As we approach fall quarter, they may be modified as conditions and circumstances change.

  • Employees who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 will no longer be required to wear face coverings and will no longer need to follow distancing rules in most workplace settings. However, face coverings will still be required for everyone, regardless of vaccination status, in certain locations such as classrooms, crowded events where physical distancing is difficult, all healthcare facilities, carts and other university vehicles occupied by more than one person, and public transportation.
  • For those who are not fully vaccinated or decline to state their status on Health Check, face coverings and physical distancing will continue to be required in most work settings.
  • Also at this time, face coverings, physical distancing and COVID-19 screening continue to be required at all Stanford Health Care facilities, even for individuals who have been fully vaccinated.
  • Density limitations and physical distancing will no longer be required for spaces including administrative, academic and research facilities.
  • Please keep in mind that many people in our community, even those who are vaccinated, may choose to continue wearing face coverings. Some may be taking extra precautions for family members at home, while others may be more comfortable adjusting gradually. We should expect and respect these sorts of decisions.
  • If you have questions or concerns around these new rules, please ask your Human Resources contact or send a message to

Availability of respirators and face coverings

Stanford has a supply of N95 respirators and KN95, disposable surgical and reusable two-ply face coverings. Local units will coordinate with their staff on how to make requests. Students can make requests through their Residential & Dining Enterprises student housing front desk.

Vaccination status

Health Check: Santa Clara County and Cal/OSHA are requiring employers to record their employees’ vaccination status. The vaccination status question on Health Check has been voluntary but now requires a response, including manufacturer and vaccination dates, from faculty, staff, students and postdocs coming on-site.

Please note: No group or unit should create vaccination requirements separate from or more restrictive than university requirements. For more information, visit Health Alerts.


Finally, we have received questions about social gatherings to bring together group members, celebrate new hires and retirements, and mark other milestones. Such activities can play an important role for morale, and they help restore a sense of normalcy in our campus community. We encourage units to pursue these opportunities, while being attentive to the requirements for face coverings and physical distancing, as noted above.

In addition, Student Affairs has updated guidelines on student gatherings.

Thank you for all that you, along with your families, friends and colleagues, are doing to keep one another healthy – and enable our community to safely resume activities and approach the new academic year in a much more traditional environment.


Russell Furr
Associate Vice Provost
Environmental Health & Safety