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Revised masking guidelines

Categories: Campus, Health & safety, Leadership communications, Policies, Provost, Workplace & HR

Note: This post has been updated to reflect the lifting of Cal-OSHA’s indoor masking requirement for unvaccinated employees.

Dear Stanford community,

We are writing to share an update on campus masking guidelines.

Based on local COVID-19 metrics being met, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department announced that it is transitioning the county’s indoor masking requirement to a “strong recommendation,” effective Wednesday, March 2. In addition, the California Department of Public Health has transitioned its indoor masking requirement for unvaccinated individuals to a strong recommendation, and the county is aligning with that guidance.

At Stanford, we are making the following adjustments, effective tomorrow, March 2:

With certain exceptions, face coverings will no longer be required but will continue to be strongly recommended on-site, regardless of vaccination status.

In classrooms, face coverings will continue to be required through the beginning of spring quarter. However, individuals may remove face coverings while speaking. We will monitor conditions and re-evaluate this requirement after the beginning of spring quarter.

And, in compliance with State of California protocols, masking will still be required in these settings, regardless of vaccination status:

  • Public transportation, including Marguerite buses.
  • Healthcare facilities, including Vaden Health Center and Stanford hospitals and clinics.
  • Childcare facilities (through March 11, after which masks remain strongly recommended).

With this transition, we encourage everyone to respect the choices that individuals will make about their own masking in many settings. We expect that some members of our community will choose to continue masking in meetings and other indoor settings, for example. In their recent announcements, our state and county public health leaders have emphasized the continued protection afforded to individuals by face coverings, and the value of masking particularly for those who are immunocompromised or otherwise medically vulnerable. 

No department or unit should create masking requirements separate from or more restrictive than university requirements. Some operational units may continue to require masks for specific job functions (e.g., entering isolation spaces) and should consult with Environmental Health & Safety (health-alerts@stanford.edu) if they have questions.

This change is a significant milestone as we continue to emerge from challenging times. We’ve been thrilled to see so many people back on campus, engaged in the in-person activities and collaboration that make Stanford such a special place.

Thank you for pulling together and supporting health, safety and wellbeing across our university community.

Sincerely,

Persis Drell
Provost

Lloyd Minor
Dean, Stanford School of Medicine

Russell Furr
Associate Vice Provost, Environmental Health & Safety