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COVID-19 surveillance testing for faculty, staff and postdocs

Stanford has launched a COVID-19 surveillance testing program for the autumn quarter. This testing program is free for eligible faculty, staff and postdoctoral scholars who are approved to work on-site, and provides regular testing for individuals who are not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

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

Surveillance testing program overview

As part of our campus restart process, Stanford launched the surveillance testing program to support the health and safety of our community. Surveillance testing is periodic testing for individuals who are not experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms. The program will be administered over the course of the fall quarter, and will be used to inform future testing plans.

Participation in this testing program is voluntary for Stanford faculty, staff and postdocs, with the exception that postdocs living in Stanford housing assigned by R&DE (Residential & Dining Enterprises) will be required to participate on a weekly basis. 

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.

Stanford recommends that eligible faculty, staff and postdocs with a regular presence on campus (of at least one campus visit per week) participate in weekly testing. Recommendations regarding this cadence could be changed based upon observed prevalence in the community. Regular testing will help us confirm that the safety protocols we’ve implemented at Stanford are having the effects we wish them to. These protocols include physical distancing, the use of face coverings, enhanced cleaning and good hygiene practices. 

Stanford has engaged Color Genomics, a technology company specializing in population health management, to supply nasal-swab testing kits for self-collection and to perform the clinical lab testing of each kit. Color Genomics uses a testing methodology that has received emergency use authorization from the FDA for the testing of COVID-19.

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

Eligible 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.

Information you will find on this page:

Eligibility and rollout plan

Testing registration and process

Testing results

Locations and hours

COVID-19 Testing options

Questions and support

Eligibility and rollout plan

Surveillance testing will be offered to Stanford faculty, staff and postdoctoral scholars who meet the following criteria: 

  • You are approved to work on-site at least one day per week (20% FTE or more) on an ongoing basis (for an entire recovery phase, not a custom date range);
  • Your eligibility is recorded and maintained in the On-Site Role Management System, or ORMS. Employees may confirm eligibility in ORMS by logging in to https://onsiteroles.stanford.edu. If you believe your ORMS status should be updated, please contact your manager, local HR Manager, DFA, DFO, or ORMS Program Manager. Collection site staff cannot update ORMS records.
  • You are regularly reporting your health status in Health Check whenever you are scheduled to be on-site; and
  • You are asymptomatic. Note, if you are experiencing symptoms and have been on-site in the last 14 days, you must report symptoms on Health Check, which will provide additional guidance.  

Stanford recommends that eligible individuals with a regular presence on-site (of at least one visit per week) participate in weekly testing. Recommendations regarding this cadence could be changed based upon observed prevalence in the community. 

Regular testing will help us confirm that the safety protocols we’ve implemented at Stanford are having the effects we wish them to. These protocols include physical distancing, the use of face coverings, enhanced cleaning and good hygiene practices.

Eligible 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.

Temporary, casual and bargain unit employees

Temporary and casual employees, and those represented by a bargaining unit are eligible to enroll in the testing program, provided that they are approved to work on-site for an entire recovery phase (not a custom date range) and report on-site at least one day per week. Time spent picking up and dropping off tests will be paid.

SLAC employees

SLAC employees should log into the SLAC intranet for testing information and FAQs. For additional questions, please email covid@slac.stanford.edu.

Not eligible for surveillance testing?

If you do not meet the eligibility criteria for the testing program according to ORMS, you will not be able to pick up a test kit (even if you are able to create an account in Color).

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/

Rollout plan

From August 24 through September 18, the surveillance testing program was phased in for members of our community by school/unit. During this initial rollout process, eligible employees received an email invitation from University Human Resources with details about participation. 

During the week of September 21, any newly eligible individuals and those who have not yet picked up test kits will receive an email.  

Starting the week of September 28 and through the remainder of the quarter, eligible individuals no longer need an invitation email to participate in the surveillance testing program. In recognition that the on-site population of staff, faculty, and postdocs will evolve throughout the autumn quarter, individuals are encouraged to participate in the program as soon as they are eligible in ORMS. 

Employees may confirm eligibility in ORMS by logging in to https://onsiteroles.stanford.edu

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Testing registration and process

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: Confirm your eligibility for surveillance testing.

You may confirm eligibility in ORMS by logging in to https://onsiteroles.stanford.edu. If you believe your ORMS status should be updated, please contact your manager, local HR Manager, DFA, DFO, or ORMS Program Manager. Collection site staff cannot update ORMS records.

Step 2: Opt-in and register for the surveillance testing program. 

You must create your account using your primary SU email address.

Employees who are eligible for the voluntary testing program must opt-in and 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. 

To opt-in and authorize the sharing of your personal information, create your account on the Color website using your primary SU email address. Alias emails will not be accepted.

Opt in and create your testing account

Eligible 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 3: Visit a collection site.

Once you’ve confirmed eligibility in ORMS and have created your test account, visit a collection site and bring your Stanford University ID. Hours vary by location. 

Your Stanford University ID is required every time you pick up a testing kit.

Step 4: Activate your testing kit and collect your sample.

Once you pick up a testing kit, you will need to activate it at color.com/covid/activate before self-administering the nasal swab test. This must be done each time you get a test. 

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.

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 5: Drop off your sample to a collection site.

Once you have administered the self-swab test, you must return it to a collection site on the same day as you perform the nasal swab. For hours of operation, visit the Locations page. 

Each time you turn in a kit to be processed, you will receive another for subsequent use.

Step 6: Wait for your results.

After dropping off your sample, you can expect to receive results within 48-72 hours. You’ll receive an email notification from Color Genomics to check your testing account for results.

How often should you be tested?

Stanford recommends that eligible individuals with a regular presence on-site (of at least one visit per week) participate in weekly testing. Recommendations regarding this cadence could be changed based upon observed prevalence in the community. 

Regular testing will help us confirm that the safety protocols we’ve implemented at Stanford are having the effects we wish them to. These protocols include physical distancing, the use of face coverings, enhanced cleaning and good hygiene practices.

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Testing 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.

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Location and hours

Test kit pick up and drop off sites are located at the following locations:

  • Environmental Health & Safety, 484 Oak Road, Stanford
    • Test kit pick up & drop off: Weekdays, 10am-2pm
    • Details: Tents in front of EH&S
  • Li Ka Shing Building, 291 Campus Drive, Stanford
    • Test kit pick up & drop off: Weekdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m (Opens on Wednesday, September 9)
    • Details: 1st floor lobby; please enter through the entrance facing Lane/ Alway
    • After hours drop off box available Sunday – Friday, 2 p.m. – 2 p.m (requires building access)
  • Arrillaga Outdoor Education and Recreation Center, 285 Santa Teresa St, Stanford
    • Located in front desk lobby
    • Hours of operation: Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Wilbur East Dining Hall, 658 Escondido Road
    • Hours of operation: Monday – Thursday, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Stanford Redwood City, 485 Broadway, Redwood City,
    • Located inside University Hall lobby; enter from courtyard between University and Discovery Hall
    • Park in Barron Garage (Note, permits are required and enforced)
    • Hours of operation: Wednesdays, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Hopkins Marine Station, 120 Ocean View Blvd, Pacific Grove CA 93950
    • Located in Monterey Boat Works lecture room
    • Hours of operation: Wednesdays, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

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, and during the operating hours listed above.

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COVID-19 Testing Options

Are you asymptomatic?

Employees eligible to participate in the surveillance testing program, but face 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 by:

  • Making an appointment Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. through this link; or
  • Dropping in (no appointments needed) Monday through Friday, 9-10 a.m. and 2-3 p.m.

Employees may confirm eligibility in ORMS by logging in to https://onsiteroles.stanford.edu.

Employees ineligible for the surveillance testing program (e.g. are working from home) 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/

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/

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Questions and Support

Frequently asked questions about Stanford’s COVID-19 testing

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 

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