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Required COVID-19 surveillance testing for faculty, staff and postdocs

Holiday Closures

Winter Break (Monday December 20-Sunday January 2)

  • EH&S and EVGR will be open for test kit pickup, Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • ACSR will be open for test kit pickup, Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m-8 p.m.
  • All test kit pickup locations will be closed on Friday, 12/24 and Friday, 12/31.
  • Christmas Holiday dropoff: Please note that samples dropped off after 12/24 10:30 a.m., and on 12/25 Christmas Day, will not be analyzed by Color until 12/26 and may expire. Color resumes normal operations on 12/26 at 12 p.m.
  • New Year Holiday dropoff: Please note that samples dropped off after 12/31 10:30 a.m., and on 1/1 New Year’s Day, will not be analyzed by Color until 1/2. Color resumes normal operations on 1/2 at 8 a.m.

Important

Updates as of December 6, 2021

  • Regular surveillance testing will be required for everyone working on-site, regardless of vaccination status. See COVID surveillance testing locations and hours.Testing frequency is as follows:
    • Fully vaccinated faculty, staff and postdoctoral scholars will be required to test once a week. Test twice during your first week back on campus following the winter break.
    • Unvaccinated faculty, staff, postdoctoral scholars will be required to test twice weekly for those working on-site four or more days per week. Individuals on-site three days or fewer per week are required to test once a week. This includes those who have not indicated their vaccination status on Health Check or cannot be vaccinated.
  • Read the university’s Oct. 6 announcement for more details about the expanded vaccination requirement
  • The university will continue to provide free COVID-19 testing, with results automatically reported to Health Check.
    • Individuals testing through their primary care provider, such as at Kaiser, Stanford Health Care, or another community testing site, must enter their results directly into Health Check.
  • Testing site hours of operation have been updated. Testing kits will be available at multiple locations across campus, Redwood City and other work sites.
    • Stanford Redwood City kit pickup/drop-off hours updated

Information you will find on this page:

Overview of Stanford’s surveillance testing program

Testing and Health Check

About Color Health

Testing registration and collection process

Group requests for large quantity test kit pickup

Stanford COVID-19 testing hours/locations

Testing results and exposure notification process

Resources

Questions and support

Overview of Stanford’s surveillance testing program

First introduced in the fall quarter 2020, surveillance testing has been a proven safeguard in supporting the health and well-being of our community. In addition to vaccinating and using face masks, testing minimizes the transmission of COVID, and provides added assurance for our population and another layer of protection for our peers and loved ones who are unable to be vaccinated, or those who have conditions that put them at risk for severe illness. 

As the campus prepares for fall quarter and approaches an important milestone of returning to normal operations, the university is revising its COVID testing requirements. 

Effective Sept. 20, 2021, regular surveillance testing will be required for faculty, academic and non-academic staff, contingent employees and postdoctoral scholars who are working on-site, regardless of vaccination status. See COVID surveillance testing locations and hours.

Testing is not required during any week that faculty, academic and non-academic staff, contingent employees and postdoctoral scholars are not working on-site. 

COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing policy details are published on the Cardinal at Work Interim Policies page

Fully vaccinated individuals are required to:Unvaccinated individuals* are required to:
1. Upload vaccination documentation into Health Check;

2. Effective Sept. 20, test once a week starting on the first day scheduled to be on-site; and

3. Self-report health status in Health Check if experiencing COVID-like symptoms, or if a positive COVID test result is received through primary care provider or other testing site.

1. Effective Sept. 20, test:
  • Once weekly for those working on-site one to three days per week;

  • Twice weekly for those working on-site four or more days per week; and
2. Self-report daily health status in Health Check.

*Testing and other requirements will be communicated to individuals once an approved medical or religious accommodation has been granted. The accommodation process will be shared the week of Oct 18.

For more requirements for returning to work on Stanford campuses, visit this page

Other Populations

  • Non-exempt employees should record their time for picking up/dropping off test kits, as well as time spent testing.This should be done during regular work hours unless approved in advance by the employee’s supervisor.
  • Information for SLAC employees is posted in the SLAC Intranet.
  • Information for Cardinal Temps, vendors, contractors, interns and affiliates can be found on the Testing Options for Affiliates page.
  • Information for students can be found here.

Testing and Health Check

The purpose of the surveillance testing program is to monitor the current state of the epidemic in our community. Surveillance testing is provided for free to students, faculty, staff and postdoctoral scholars. If you are experiencing COVID-like symptoms, information about seeking care is available here. Please also report your COVID-like symptoms in Health Check, which will provide additional guidance. Student COVID-19 screening information is available on this page.

Health Check was designed to provide information on the health of the Stanford community with respect to COVID-19. All members of our community who come to a Stanford location must self-report their health status as needed, using the Health Check tool.

The tool has evolved over time to enable members of our community to report their vaccination status. Effective September 9, Health Check requires faculty, staff and postdocs who are vaccinated to upload an image of their vaccine documentation. See Health Check for the latest guidelines. 

Additionally, tests must be conducted through Stanford’s surveillance testing program at designated testing sites, which automatically report results into Health Check. Individuals who receive a positive COVID test result through their primary care provider, such as at Kaiser, Stanford Health Care, or another community testing site must enter their results directly into Health Check.  However, note that tests obtained outside of Stanford’s surveillance testing program do not satisfy the testing requirement. Review COVID-19 Vaccination and Surveillance Testing policy on Cardinal at Work.

About Color Health

Color supplies nasal-swab testing kits for self-collection and performs the clinical lab testing of each kit. Color uses a testing methodology that has received emergency use authorization from the FDA for the testing of COVID-19.
For more information on Color’s COVID-19 test, please visit https://www.color.com/covid19-details

Employee privacy is important. Eligible Stanford employees must register for the surveillance testing program and acknowledge how test results and personal information will be shared.

Surveillance Testing infographic (click to view PDF in Box)
Click on image to view Surveillance Testing infographic

Testing registration and process

Individuals who face any language or technological barriers (e.g., access to a computer) may come to the Occupational Health Center (484 Oak Road) for additional support with COVID-19 testing.

View and download the Five Steps to Start Surveillance Testing infographic

Below are details on how to participate in Stanford’s surveillance testing program. Reminder, this testing program is intended for individuals who are NOT experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. If you are experiencing COVID-like symptoms, information about seeking care is available here. Please also report your COVID-like symptoms in Health Check, which will provide additional guidance.

Step 1: Register for the surveillance testing program. 

Employee privacy is important. Eligible Stanford employees must create a Color testing account and authorize the sharing of your personal information with Color Health, the university’s Occupational Health Center, limited other university offices and appropriate public health authorities to comply with public health requirements. 

To register, you must use your primary Stanford email address* (SUNet ID@stanford.edu). Alias emails will not be accepted. If you do not know your primary Stanford SUNet email or are not sure how to access it, please contact University IT Services & Support at 1 (650) 725-4357 or by submitting an online ticket.  

Please use a different password for your Color account than your SUNet ID password. 

*If you are a temporary or casual employee who does not use Stanford email, please update your email address in StanfordYou in the “Maintain Directory and Alertsu Emergency Contact Info >> SU Contact Info” section. Provide the personal email address that you would like to use for your Color account. For further assistance, contact covidtestinghelp@stanford.edu.

Step 2: Visit a collection site.

Once you have created your test account, visit a test kit collection site and bring your Stanford University ID. Hours vary by location. New employees who are waiting to receive their Stanford ID may present their offer letter on Stanford letterhead for their first test kit pick up only.  

Your Stanford University ID is required every time you pick up a testing kit.Participants who wish to perform a Color self-swab test under the supervision of Stanford Occupational Health clinicians may schedule an appointment at the Environmental Health & Safety site through this link.

Step 3: Activate your testing kit and collect your sample.

When you’re ready to use your testing kit, you will need to activate it at color.com/covid/activate. Activate your kit just before you collect your sample. 

After you have activated the testing kit, you may self-administer your test, taking a sample specimen from your nose. Generally, this testing will be done without healthcare worker observation, and you may take the testing kit away to perform self-collection on your own at another time and location. 

Self-Swab Instruction Videos (English, Spanish and Chinese)
How to activate your kit and collect your sample
How to activate your kit and collect your sample (Spanish)
How to activate your kit and collect your sample (Chinese)

Step 4: Drop off your sample to a collection site.

Once you have collected your sample, you must return it to a collection site or dropbox on the same day. All samples should be activated, collected and returned on the same day. For hours of operation, see Locations and Hours

Each time you turn in a kit to be processed, you may pick up additional kits for subsequent use.

Step 5: Results in 24-72 hours

After dropping off your sample, you can expect to receive results within 24-72 hours. You may still continue reporting to on-site work while you wait for your results. You’ll receive an email and text message notification from Color Health to check your testing account for results.

Testing results and exposure notification process

After dropping off your test sample, you can expect to receive results within 24-72 hours. You’ll receive an email and text notification from Color Health to check your testing account for results. Tests conducted through Stanford’s surveillance testing program at designated testing sites,  automatically report results into Health Check. Individuals who receive a positive COVID test result through their primary care provider, such as at Kaiser, Stanford Health Care or another community testing site, must enter their results directly into Health Check.

To protect the Stanford community, comply with public health guidelines and trigger the  exposure notification, cleaning and isolation processes, individual test results will also be shared with the following entities: 

  • Color Health;
  • Stanford University Environmental Health & Safety, Occupational Health Center and limited other university offices.
  • Public health authorities consistent with applicable laws and guidance.

De-identified test results will be aggregated weekly and shared on the COVID-19 Dashboard to monitor community prevalence of COVID-19 at Stanford.

Negative results

Negative test results for COVID-19 will require no further action from participants; use face coverings and practice frequent handwashing, which are essential to controlling the spread of COVID-19.

Positive results and exposure notification process

If your test is positive, you’ll be asked to self-isolate and refrain from coming to campus (if you live on campus, you may continue doing so while adhering to self-isolation guidelines).  

The Stanford University Occupational Health Center will reach out to you about receiving a confirmatory test and will initiate the exposure notification process for close contacts. When a student tests positive, a similar process is initiated by Vaden Health Services. For details, visit COVID-19 Guidance for Students. Expect an additional call or follow-up by the local county public health department for contact tracing efforts. If you are having severe symptoms, including difficulty breathing, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Resources

Questions and Support

Questions about your test kit? Contact mycovidtest@color.com or (844) 352-6567.

Other questions about Stanford’s testing program? Email health-alerts@stanford.edu.

Having issues registering with your primary Stanford email, please contact the University IT Service Desk at  650-725-4357 or by submitting an online ticket.

Questions about the student testing program? Visit https://studentaffairs.stanford.edu/covid-testing