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Update for Stanford community on unvaccinated employee testing and face coverings

Category: Health & safety

Last modified on

Dear Stanford community,

This message provides two updates on our campus COVID-19 protocols.

First, Stanford is moving up the effective date, to Monday, Aug. 9, of a weekly testing requirement for faculty, staff and postdoctoral scholars who are not fully vaccinated for COVID-19. This decision was based on a recommendation by the Stanford COVID-19 Testing and Vaccine Policy Committee as we work to minimize spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant.

More information about this requirement is provided below. Our vaccine policies for students remain the same as previously announced.

Second, some of you have had questions about the use of face coverings. Consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, Stanford is strongly recommending that individuals, regardless of vaccination status, wear face coverings indoors on campus, and we require their use in campus spaces that are open to the public, such as the Stanford Bookstore, publicly accessible dining areas and cafes, and the Cantor Arts Center. They also continue to be required in classrooms, on public transportation and in health care facilities.

We are continuing to monitor the guidance provided by public health authorities and may make modifications in our protocols. SLAC also will be in touch with its employees about protocols specific to SLAC.

COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated employees

The effective date of the COVID-19 weekly testing requirement, applying to unvaccinated faculty, staff and postdoctoral scholars coming to campus, had been planned for Sept. 9. Now, beginning Aug. 9, these individuals will be required to undergo weekly testing, continue making daily Health Check submissions and wear face coverings.

We continue to be encouraged by vaccination rates well above 90% among employees and students who are currently on campus and reporting their status on Health Check. But COVID-19 cases have been increasing nationally and locally, largely due to highly contagious variants. We want to do our utmost to limit transmission.

Vaccinations are the most important protection against COVID-19. While some “breakthrough” cases have been seen in vaccinated individuals, generally producing mild or moderate symptoms, the vaccines overwhelmingly have been demonstrated to be effective in preventing serious illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. In recognition of this, the State of California has implemented a similar vaccine requirement for state employees and health care workers.

Other than the Aug. 9 effective date, Stanford vaccination policies and dates are unchanged:

  • Health Check currently has a required question on vaccination status. Effective Sept. 9, Health Check also will begin requiring faculty, staff and postdocs who are vaccinated to upload an image of their vaccine documentation. The upload feature is currently optional.
  • The university’s free COVID-19 testing program continues to be available to fully vaccinated individuals.
  • The deadline for graduate and professional students enrolled for 2021-22 to confirm their vaccination status is this Friday, July 30. The deadline for undergraduates enrolled for 2021-2022 was July 23.

Deadlines for undergraduate, graduate and professional students to submit documentation (through the VadenPatient portal) were set to give the university time to verify health records before opening registration for fall quarter. Failure to meet those deadlines or request extensions by the deadlines can prevent students from being able to register for classes.

Vaccines are widely available, and we strongly encourage those who are eligible but not yet vaccinated to do so. Resources and links to vaccination providers are available here.

Unvaccinated employees can find information here on registration and procedures for the university’s testing program. Additional guidance will be available in the coming weeks.

Thank you for your continued vigilance in keeping one another healthy and safe.

Sincerely,

Russell Furr
Associate Vice Provost
Environmental Health & Safety