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COVID-19 surveillance testing for faculty, staff and postdocs

Important

Updates as of April 8, 2022

  • Two locations for Color test kit pickup will close after Friday, April 8: Escondido Village Graduate Residences and Li Ka Shing Center.
    • The following will remain open: Environmental Health & Safety, Arrillaga Family Dining Commons, Arrillaga Outdoor Education and Recreation Center and Arrillaga Center for Sports and Recreation , as well the Recreation and Wellness Center at Stanford Redwood City. Hopkins Marine Station will continue to have Color test kit pickup and dropoff on designated days.
    • The availability of 24/7 dropboxes will not change.
  • Effective March 1, 2022, regular surveillance testing is no longer required for vaccinated faculty, staff and postdoctoral scholars working on-site.
    • Fully vaccinated faculty, staff and postdoctoral scholars should still test if experiencing symptoms, after travel or after exposure to COVID-19.
  • Unvaccinated faculty, staff, postdoctoral scholars, including those who have received a medical or religious accommodation, are still 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.
  • Color testing, with results reported to Health Check, will continue to be available (up to two tests per week) for anyone who wishes to continue regular asymptomatic testing.
  • The university is also making a limited number of rapid antigen tests available for faculty, staff, and postdocs. More details on these tests can be found here.
    • Individuals testing through their primary care provider, such as at Stanford Health Care, Kaiser, or another community testing site, must enter their results directly into Health Check.
  • Please do not submit more than two Color samples per week. Currently, there is no medical need to routinely test more than twice per week. If you are exposed or symptomatic, we encourage you to perform either a Color test or a rapid antigen test. Testing greater than twice per week also contributes to increased turnaround times for individuals and the Stanford community.

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

Based on the current status of the pandemic, effective March 1, 2022, below are changes to the surveillance testing program:

  • Regular surveillance testing is no longer required for vaccinated faculty, staff and postdoctoral scholars working on-site. Fully vaccinated faculty, staff and postdoctoral scholars should still test if experiencing symptoms, after travel or after exposure to COVID-19. 
  • Unvaccinated faculty, staff, postdoctoral scholars, including those who have received a medical or religious accommodation, are still required to test twice weekly if  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.

In our efforts to provide a safe environment for learning and working, we will continue to monitor public health conditions and protocols, and adjust as appropriate, but always with a priority on health and safety.

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

Current requirements

Fully vaccinated individuals are required to:Unvaccinated individuals including those who have received a medical or religious accommodation are required to:
1. Upload vaccination documentation into Health Check;

2. Test for COVID-19 if experiencing symptoms, after travel or after exposure to COVID-19. 

3. Self-report health status in Health Check if experiencing COVID-like symptoms, or if a positive COVID test result is received through any rapid antigen test, primary care provider or other testing site.
1. 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.

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. See Health Check for the latest guidelines.

Tests conducted through Stanford’s surveillance testing program with Color Health will automatically report results into Health Check. Individuals who receive a positive COVID test result through any rapid antigen test,  their primary care provider, such as at Kaiser, Stanford Health Care, or another community testing site must enter their results directly into Health Check.

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.

Please note that Stanford’s Color testing program is not available for employee dependents. Attempts to add a dependent on Color’s testing platform now prompt an error message indicating this option is not available. Anyone who listed dependents before the error message was added should contact the Color Support team [mycovidtest@color.com] to remove their information. Non-student spouses and partners have separate testing accounts.

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 visit the Environmental Health & Safety site.

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 with Color Health  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.

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