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Short-term updates to campus policies

Categories: Campus, Health & safety

Dear Stanford community,

To support our efforts to get students back into in-person classrooms, we are putting in place some temporary limitations on campus events and gatherings. They are described below.

These short-term changes are intended to help us limit COVID-19 transmission during the current omicron wave and get us back to in-person academic activities quickly. At the same time, we’re maintaining a baseline of other activities to support students’ mental health and resilience through this challenging period.

As you know, COVID-19 cases have been rising globally, nationally and locally. The good news is that we continue to expect the omicron variant to peak soon and then decline, based on the modeling done by health experts. By scaling back activities now, our hope is to limit transmission of the virus during this window – and, thus, limit the isolation and other disruptions that come with a positive COVID-19 test.

To support our resumption of in-person classes, from now until Friday, Jan. 28 we are putting the following provisions in place:

  • No indoor events and gatherings. Essential academic and administrative meetings and trainings can continue, but conferences, social events, religious services and other gatherings generally should be moved outdoors, moved online or rescheduled. Outdoor events will require masking and should provide for social distancing.
  • For students, outdoor-only gatherings and meetings of student organizations will be allowed beginning Jan. 21, as previously announced. Indoor house meetings and private residential gatherings continue to be allowed, with face coverings. See this web page for the current details.
  • As Stanford Athletics has announced, spectator attendance at indoor athletic events will be limited to student-athlete families. Spectators at outdoor athletic events will be required to mask and will be seated with social distancing.
  • Stanford Live indoor performances are in the process of being canceled or rescheduled. More information will be available on the Stanford Live website at
  • Stanford recreation centers and museums will remain open, with masking and distancing, to continue to provide a baseline of activities supporting our community’s emotional and physical health.

We also want to share these reminders:

  • Those on campus should continue testing with Color – twice your first week back, then weekly if you are vaccinated or twice weekly if not. Rapid tests are for the specific purpose of facilitating students’ return to campus housing from winter break travel, and we do not expect to be able to provide rapid tests beyond the current distribution. Color testing remains our main mode of testing for the period ahead.
  • Wear a well-fitting, high-quality face covering indoors and whenever you are near others. N95 respirators, KN95 masks and KF94 masks provide a higher level of filtration. Surgical masks and double-layer cloth face coverings remain acceptable though they do not provide the same level of personal protection. In all cases it is essential that the face covering covers nose and mouth to be effective.

Thank you, again, for all you are doing to advance our academic mission while keeping one another healthy.


Persis Drell

Russell Furr
Associate Vice Provost
Environmental Health & Safety