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What are campus zones and how do they affect members of the Stanford community?

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Public Health requirements issued by the State of California call for colleges and universities to “limit, to the greatest extent permitted by law, external community members from entering the site (campus grounds) and using campus resources, as the number of additional people onsite and/or intermixing with students, faculty, and staff increases the risk of virus transmission.” Reducing the density of individuals on the main campus to support physical distancing is essential for maintaining a safer and healthier environment as Stanford gradually resumes on-campus teaching and research.

The campus zones were established on Sept. 1, 2020 and are in effect 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Stanford anticipates that the program will be temporary and looks forward to lifting restrictions in accordance with state and local public health orders as conditions improve.

Campus Zones defined

Different areas of the main campus, with the exception of the Stanford Medical Center and faculty and staff housing areas, are designated as one of four types of zones:

  • The Academic Campus Zone at the center of campus includes many academic buildings, the Main Quad and the Oval.
  • The Campus Zones on the east and west sides of campus include student housing and academic and cultural facilities. Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve is also designated as a Campus Zone.
  • The Athletics Zone includes varsity athletic and supporting facilities.
  • The Campus Arts Zone covers the Arts District, including Cantor Arts Center, Rodin Sculpture Garden, the Anderson Collection, Frost Amphitheater and Bing Concert Hall.
  • The Community Zones encompass the Arboretum, the Dish area, the Sand Hill Fields along Sand Hill Road and the Stanford Golf Course and Stanford Golf Learning Center & Driving Range.
Map outlining campus zones
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Who is allowed in different zones

Stanford is restricting the Academic Campus Zone, the Campus Zones, the Campus Arts Zone and the Athletics Zone to students, faculty, staff and postdoctoral scholars approved to be on campus. The program does not affect access to the Academic Campus Zone and Campus Zones for faculty and staff and their families and other affiliates who already live in the zones or the 94305 ZIP Code. (Additional information about each zone is available below.)

While the current restrictions for these four zones are similar, the university is maintaining the different designations to preserve greater flexibility to adjust restrictions in different parts of campus as public health conditions improve. For example, the Campus Arts Zone may be opened to visitors before other zones.

The Community Zones are open to visitors and all faculty, staff, students and postdocs.

In response to questions from the Stanford community, neighboring residents and prospective visitors, the university has worked to provide additional clarity by identifying specific categories of individuals approved to access restricted campus zones. In defining these categories, the university has sought to be inclusive of who is approved to be in restricted areas, while also adhering to state and county requirements. This list may be revised based on local public health conditions.

Categories of persons allowed in the outdoor areas of the Academic Campus Zone, Campus Arts Zone, Athletics Zone and Campus Zones:

  1. Students who live on campus or are enrolled and approved to be on campus.  Graduate students and postdocs living off campus may come to campus. Only undergraduates approved to live in on-campus housing may come to campus. The exception is student athletes who are living off campus and approved by DAPER; they may come to the Athletics Zones only.
  2. Faculty, staff, and postdocs who are approved to work on campus or have business that requires them to be on campus.
  3. Faculty (including emeritus), staff, students and visitors who are conducting required short-term essential business or ancillary affairs (e.g. post office, banking, voting, etc.) on campus.
  4. Employees (including postdocs and retirees), their spouses, significant others, children, family members, and caregivers, who live in the Academic Campus Zone, Campus Zones or the 94305 zip code.
  5. Official monitors of clinical studies and other research monitors.
  6. Essential research collaborators and participants, as approved by the School Dean or their designee.
  7. Hospital residents, hospital employees and hospital fellows for the purposes of parking and outdoor recreation during their workday.
  8. Faith group religious advisors who are approved to be on campus by the Office for Religious Life to provide rites and rituals that cannot be conducted remotely.
  9. Individuals moving students into and out of residences, as permitted by Student Affairs or Residential and Dining Enterprises.
  10. Essential visitors: spouses/partners and minor dependents of students who live in R&DE Stanford housing, caregivers, nannies, and tutors providing support for residents who live in on-campus R&DE and FSH Stanford housing within the Academic Campus Zone, Campus Zones or the 94305 ZIP Code. These essential visitors will be issued individualized approval letters which will be subject to renewal each academic quarter.
  11. Visitors to private homes on campus including resident fellows’ and athletic coaches’ homes, and visiting equestrian patrons (i.e., those boarding horses at the Red Barn).  RF visitors may not enter the dining halls or dorm spaces outside of the private home or yard of RFs.
  12. Personnel of sponsored programs that operate on campus (e.g., Hillel and Carnegie).
  13. Post office and essential business personnel performing approved work on campus (i.e., USPS, Stanford Federal Credit Union, Wells Fargo, and outside vendor dining facilities).
  14. Contractors performing approved work on campus (i.e., maintenance vendors, testing vendors, research support vendors, state and federal agencies (e.g., Army Corp of Engineers, Division of Safety of Dams, etc.) and construction workers).
  15. Delivery personnel performing deliveries on campus (e.g., FedEx, UPS, etc.).
  16. Food and grocery delivery services personnel, rideshare and ride hailing services personnel.

Who to contact with questions about approval to be in restricted campus areas:

Students: Contact your Residence Dean or Graduate Life Dean.  

Faculty, staff and postdocs: Contact your local Human Resources Manager or Director of Financial Administration.

Essential Visitors and vendors: Contact your Stanford business partner.

Essential visits to campus

Anyone coming to campus is required to observe COVID-19 protocol, including:

  • If presenting COVID-19 symptoms, please do not come to campus.
  • Maintain six feet of distance at all times from people not in your immediate household.
  • Wear face coverings inside (except in individual offices and residential units), and outside when six feet of physical distancing is not possible. Employees working outside are required to wear face coverings at all times.
  • Avoid gathering in groups.
  • Zones are clearly marked with STAY SAFE signage prominently displayed throughout campus. Faculty, staff, postdocs and students approved to be on campus, and family members and other affiliates living on campus, are not required to display their Stanford ID cards when in the Academic Campus Zone, the Campus Zones, the Campus Arts Zones and the Athletics Zone at this time. Campus residents without a Stanford ID are asked to carry identification with their campus address. Approved vendors and sub-contracted workers without a Stanford ID are required to wear an appropriate uniform.
  • If working on campus, you must:

Parking violations are subject to a parking citation.

Identification requirements

Stanford is delaying the requirement to display a visible ID at this time, recognizing the challenges for some members of our community in obtaining ID cards and in order to allow more time for education and awareness building about the campus zones program and for further consultation with our community.

Given indications that the public is responding to the campus zones and the state health order, for now the university will continue to evaluate the effectiveness of the program in reducing the density of the campus population, and during this period Stanford will not require visible IDs to be displayed.

If it is determined that the ID requirement may become necessary, Stanford will be in touch with the university community prior to implementation with more information, and will take this step only with advance notice and provisions for individuals who lack an ID card.

Information about obtaining a Stanford ID card, including courtesy cards for family members and other affiliates living on campus, is available on the Campus Card Services website.

Members of the Stanford community should submit concerns to the Ethics and Compliance Helpline. The public and Stanford community members can contact with questions and suggestions for how the campus zones program can be improved.

For non-emergency situations for which a response is requested, contact the Stanford University Department of Public Safety at 650-329-2413. For emergencies, call 911 (9-911 from a university phone).

Additional information about individual zones

Academic Campus Zone

All in-person public events in the Academic Campus Zone are canceled through the end of 2020, with many, such as Continuing Studies, being converted to virtual experiences. Events must be approved in advance by Environmental Health & Safety.

In-person religious gatherings have been canceled until further notice. See the Office for Religious Life’s website for information about virtual services.

Curbside pick-up of groceries that follows appropriate health protocol will be allowed to continue.

Campus Arts Zone

The museums will be closed until at least winter quarter. Stanford researchers can contact the museums regarding access to objects in the collection.

Starting in late September, Stanford Live will begin rolling out its digital fall season.

Athletics Zone

Current Stanford students, postdocs, staff and faculty who are approved to be on campus or have been granted permission to be in the Athletics Zone.

Access to facilities, when they are open, is limited to students, staff and faculty approved to be in the Athletics or Academic Zones.

Currently, the AEROC pool is limited only to students, faculty and staff. Stanford affiliates might consider reserving a pool lane at the Stanford Redwood City Recreation & Wellness Center.

Community Zones

The Community Zones include four main exterior spaces: the Arboretum (including the Cactus Garden), the Dish area, the Sand Hill Fields and the Stanford Golf Course and Stanford Golf Learning Center & Driving Range. The public is also welcome to run, bike or walk along the Stanford Perimeter Trail.

The Stanford Medical Center is not included in the campus zones program and has no new restrictions on access.

Stanford Health Care continues to operate the testing site, and it remains open to all individuals with an appointment. More information is available here.


Students and essential researchers, faculty and staff approved to be on campus are not allowed to host visitors in the Academic Campus Zone, with the exception of essential visitors to residences.

Students’ spouses/partners and students’ minor dependents are allowed as essential visitors in student residences under county and state orders, as are childcare providers. Students hosting essential visitors must be mindful of the guest policy as articulated in their residence agreement, including ensuring the agreement of apartment mate(s), and visitors must adhere to all campus policies and public health orders. The university is developing a process for providing essential visitors with written permission to access campus zones otherwise closed to the public. More information will be available soon.

Stanford is unable to accommodate in-person visits from prospective applicants at this time.

More information for visitors about campus zones can be found here.

Transportation, Parking and Deliveries

Regular package deliveries and mail service will continue in all of the zones, and strategies for reducing the number and improving the efficiency of deliveries are being studied. We are asking all campus employees to help reduce deliveries by not sending personal orders to campus office addresses. The USPS post office in White Plaza remains open and customers not otherwise approved to be in the Academic Campus Zone are permitted to access the post office as a visitor.

Vendors will still be allowed to access restricted zones for business reasons and are expected to continue operating under approved COVID-19 protocols.

Limited visitor parking is available at the Dish area and the Stanford Golf Course and Stanford Golf Learning Center & Driving Range, and there is visitor pay parking in the vicinity of Sand Hill Fields. While there is limited parking in the Community Zones, all visitor parking has been eliminated in the Academic Campus Zone.

Visitor parking at most campus visitor lots requires a permit purchased through the ParkMobile app. Pay stations and parking meters at visitor lots have been taken offline to avoid the touching of shared surfaces that cannot be adequately disinfected throughout the day in keeping with COVID-19 safety precautions.

Marguerite shuttle service is not affected by the campus zones program. For updates and safety tips about Marguerite shuttle service, please visit COVID-19: Marguerite Updates. The public is asked not to access restricted campus zones via the Marguerite Shuttle.

Carpools and ride hailing services are allowed to pick up and drop off passengers in restricted zones as long as the driver and anyone else not approved to be in the restricted zone remains in the vehicle at all times.

Didn’t find the information you’re looking for? To suggest an addition to the frequently asked questions, email