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COVID-19 surveillance testing for faculty, staff and postdocs

Updates as of July 28, 2021:

  • Stanford Redwood City – new kit pickup location at Academy Hall, Tue-Thu, 10am-2pm. 24/7 kit dropbox remains at 585 Broadway.
  • Wilbur East Dining Hall location – site closure after Friday, June 11. Last day for Color test kit pickup/dropoff is Friday, June 11.
  • Effective Monday, Aug. 9, 2021, weekly testing is required for faculty, staff and postdoctoral scholars approved to come to campus who are not fully vaccinated. The university’s free COVID-19 testing program continues to be available to fully vaccinated individuals. Postdoctoral scholars living on campus will still be required to test weekly, as is the case for graduate students who are in similar housing.
  • Effective Sunday, May 2, changes to affiliate testing, including contractors, vendors and temps can be found here

Information you will find on this page:

Surveillance testing program overview

Eligibility

Testing registration and process

Kit pickup and distribution for work groups, labs and units

Testing results

Spring Quarter 2021 testing hours/locations

COVID-19 testing options

Resources

Questions and support

Surveillance testing program overview

The COVID-19 surveillance testing program, which launched in the fall quarter 2020, provides regular testing for individuals who are not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. 

If you are:

  • Faculty and staff, including non-benefits eligible and contingent employees (non exempt, temporary and casual): Surveillance testing for faculty and staff approved to come on campus is voluntary. However, we recommend you continue to test weekly until you are fully vaccinated. Vaccinated individuals may choose to test upon return from travel, or if you are symptomatic following exposure to COVID-19.
  • Postdoctoral scholars:  Postdoctoral scholars living in R&DE-assigned campus housing are still required to test on a weekly basis. Testing will be voluntary for postdoctoral scholars not living on campus. 
  • CardinalTemps, vendors, contractors, interns and affiliates: Required routine surveillance testing for vendors, contractors and affiliates coming to campus is voluntary. See the Testing Options for Affiliates page for more information. 
  • SLAC employees: SLAC transitioned to voluntary testing on March 16. For more information, visit the SLAC intranet.
  • Employees working from home: Testing recommendations do not apply to employees telecommuting from home. Employees who are working from home can be tested for COVID-19 through their healthcare provider or a County testing site. Learn more here.

Information for students can be found here

When should I test?

While testing is no longer a requirement for faculty and staff, it will continue to play an important role in Stanford’s pandemic response. Testing will remain available at no cost to on-site faculty, staff, and postdoctoral scholars who are approved to be on-site. Unvaccinated individuals are still encouraged to test weekly. Vaccinated individuals may choose to test upon return from travel, or if you are symptomatic following exposure to COVID-19. 

Note: Students, employees and postdoctoral scholars who are on-site are still required to self-report their health status using the Health Check tool. However, fully vaccinated faculty, staff and postdoc who have (1) listed their vaccination date(s) and manufacturers in Health Check and (2) uploaded an image of their documentation on Health Check will not be required to make daily Health Check submissions when coming to campus (unless they become symptomatic or receive a positive COVID test result) or to undergo regular testing.

Why are we moving to voluntary testing for faculty and staff?

Thanks to the efforts of our community, the prevalence of COVID-19 at Stanford has remained low over the last several months, and San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties have progressively met the low positivity rate criteria for moving to less-restrictive tiers. These conditions, and the positive overall direction of the pandemic, allow us to begin loosening some of our testing requirements.

Safety protocols remain firmly in place to help stop the spread of infection, including the continued use of face coverings, hand washing, and social distancing as required by state and county guidelines.

Stanford will continue to make free surveillance testing available through Color Genomics. Testing site hours and operations will remain unchanged to encourage continued use of the program. We will be evaluating testing needs in the coming weeks and will provide any operational updates. 

About Color Genomics

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.

This surveillance testing program is intended for individuals who are NOT experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. If you are experiencing symptoms, information about seeking care is available here. Please also report your symptoms in Health Check, which will provide additional guidance.

Student COVID-19 screening information is available on this page.

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.

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.

Eligibility

The surveillance testing program is available for free to faculty, staff and postdoctoral scholars who are approved to work on-site.

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.

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

Testing registration and process

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 symptoms, information about seeking care is available here. Please also report your symptoms in Health Check, which will provide additional guidance.

Step 1: Register for the surveillance testing program. 

You must create your Color testing account and authorize the sharing of your personal information using 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.

Employees and postdocs who are required to participate in the testing program must register for the surveillance testing program and acknowledge how test results and some personal information will be shared with Color Genomics, the university’s Occupational Health Center, limited other university offices and appropriate public health authorities. 

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.

Create your testing account

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

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.

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)

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 4: Drop off your sample to a collection site.

Once you collect 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 notification and text message from Color Genomics to check your testing account for results.

Kit pickup and distribution for work groups, labs and units

In order to facilitate testing for employees who work off-shift or at locations away from a testing site, school/unit departments and workgroups may request to pick up a set of testing kits for  distribution to colleagues. To coordinate large quantity test kit pick up, please submit your request using the Test Kit Pick Up Form. A testing team member will review the request and arrange a pickup time. Should you have any questions, please contact Environmental Health & Safety at covidtestinghelp@stanford.edu

Note, requests must include the names and SUNet IDs of eligible employees that will receive the kits.

Testing results

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 Genomics to check your testing account for results.

To protect the Stanford community and prevent further spread of COVID-19 such as exposure notification, cleaning, isolation and processing the information, individual test results will be shared with the participant and the following entities: 

  • Color Genomics;
  • 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; we strongly encourage you to continue the physical distancing, masking, and frequent handwashing habits that are essential to controlling the spread of COVID-19.

Positive results

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). You’ll be asked to complete Health Check to update your test status. The university Occupational Health Center will reach out to you about receiving a confirmatory test and will initiate exposure notification for close contacts as defined here. 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.

Reminders about test kit drop off and pick up:

  • A Stanford University ID is required each time you wish to pick up a testing kit.
  • If you are returning a testing kit, it needs to be returned on the same day as you perform the nasal swab to a testing site operating hours or at a 24/7 dropbox.
  • All samples should be activated, collected and returned on the same day.

Summer Quarter locations and hours (updated June 21, 2021)

Click on image to view locations

Reminders about test kit drop off and pick up:

  • A Stanford University ID is required each time you wish to pick up a testing kit.
  • If you are returning a testing kit, it needs to be returned on the same day as you perform the nasal swab to a testing site operating hours or at a 24/7 dropbox.
  • All samples should be activated, collected and returned on the same day.

View and download testing location flyer for summary of test kit pick up and drop off sites >>

View location map>>

  • Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S)
    • 484 Oak Road, Stanford
    • Located in tents outside the building
    • Kit pick up hours: Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
    • 24/7 kit drop box available outside front entrance 
    • Note: Samples dropped off at the 24/7 kit drop box will be taken to the Color lab  at 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays, and 5 p.m. on weekends.
  • Li Ka Shing Building near School of Medicine
    • 291 Campus Drive, Stanford
    • Located inside 1st floor lobby; enter at Lane/Alway entrance
    • Kit pick up hours: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
    • 24/7 kit drop off box available outside entrance facing Campus Drive 
    • Note: Samples dropped off at the 24/7 kit drop box will be taken to the Color lab at 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays, and 5 p.m. on weekends. 
  • Escondido Village Graduate Residences (EVGR) Building C(2)
    • 726 Serra Street, Stanford
    • Room 134, Theater Room
    • Kit pickup and drop off hours: Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    • 24/7 kit drop off box available across from site entrance between Building C and D 
    • Note: Samples dropped off at the 24/7 kit drop box will be taken to the Color lab at 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays, and 5 p.m. on weekends.
  • Arrillaga Outdoor Education and Recreation Center (AOERC)
    • 285 Santa Teresa St, Stanford
    • Kit pickup at front desk, kit dropoff at bin outside front entrance
    • Kit pickup and drop off hours: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Stanford Redwood City
    • 415 Broadway, Academy Hall lobby
    • C parking, visitor parking, and limited number of loading zone spaces available
    • Kit pick up hours: Tuesday – Thursday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
    • 24/7 kit drop box available outside 585 Broadway entrance.
    • Note: Samples dropped off at the 24/7 kit drop box will be taken to the Color lab at 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays, and 5 p.m. on weekends.
  • Hopkins Marine Station 
  • Stanford Medicine locations (e.g. Stanford Health Care, Stanford Children’s Hospital, Stanford Health Care – ValleyCare, University HealthCare Alliance and School of Medicine) 

Unmonitored test kit drop off boxes (available 24/7):

Note: Samples dropped off at the 24/7 kit drop boxes will be taken by courier to the Color lab at 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays, and at 5 p.m. on weekends.

Main campus (six locations):

  • Environmental Health & Safety, 484 Oak Road
    • Located outside front entrance
  • Li Ka Shing Building, 291 Campus Drive
    • Located outside entrance facing Campus Drive
  • Escondido Road turnaround
    • Curbside box between Stern Hall and Crothers Hall)
  • EVGR, Building C(2) 
    • Across from Room 134 site entrance between Building C and D
  • 900 Welch Road, Palo Alto
    • Curbside dropbox in parking lot
  • Stanford Oval
    • Curbside dropbox next to Marguerite/bus stop, adjacent to FedEx and USPS dropboxes
  • 340 Bonair Siding
    • Located outside main entrance

Stanford Research Park (two locations): 

  • 3165 Porter Drive, Palo Alto
    • Located outside entrance of building next to UPS box
  • 1070 Arastradero Ave, Palo Alto
    • Located outside entrance of building

Stanford Redwood City:

  • 585 Broadway, Redwood City
    • Located outside front entrance

COVID-19 Testing Options

Are you asymptomatic?

Employees eligible to participate in the surveillance testing program, but facing any language or technological barriers (e.g., access to a computer), may come to the Environmental Health & Safety building, 484 Oak Road,  for additional support with their Color test or to take a PCR test:

  • Dropping in (no appointments needed) Monday through Friday, 9-3 p.m.

Are you symptomatic?

Employees who have recently been on-site and may have been exposed or are symptomatic must report symptoms in Health Check and can contact Occupational Health via email or phone (stanfordohc@stanford.edu or 650-725-5308) to discuss testing options.

Employees who are working from home and have not been on-site can be tested for COVID-19 through their healthcare provider or a County testing site. Learn more here: https://healthalerts.stanford.edu/covid-19/prevention-care/where-to-get-tested/

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.

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