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Symptoms, exposure, testing positive

On this page, you will find information on what to do if you are experiencing COVID-like symptoms, have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, or if you have tested positive for COVID-19.

Important

  • Faculty, staff, postdocs, and students must notify Stanford via Health Check when they:
    • Experience COVID-like symptoms
    • Are a close contact to someone who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (the COVID-19 virus)
    • Are awaiting COVID-19 test results, due to exposure or symptoms
    • Test positive for SARS-CoV-2 (the COVID-19 virus)

Note: This is required when on campus within the previous two weeks or if expected to be on campus.

COVID-like Symptoms

Faculty, staff, postdocs, and students are required to notify Stanford of any COVID-like symptoms, via Health Check. This requirement is in place for those who were on campus within the previous two weeks or are expected to be on campus.

According to the CDC, People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. COVID-19 symptoms include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

To reduce the spread, you should take a COVID test if you are not feeling well, in addition, please contact your regular healthcare provider for guidance.

If your symptoms are escalating, including progressive shortness of breath, do not wait for your regular doctor and to get back to your email or phone call and seek emergent care if needed.

For specific questions on your situation, you can submit a Health Check Help Ticket.

Exposure

Faculty, staff, postdocs, and students are required to notify Stanford, via Health Check, if exposed to someone who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (the COVID-19 virus). This requirement is in place for those who were on campus within the previous two weeks or are expected to be on campus.

The CDC defines a close contact as someone who was within 6 feet of an individual who tested positive for COVID, during their infectivity period, for 15 minutes or more. They also state that those who are fully vaccinated do NOT need to quarantine after close contact with someone who had COVID-19. Given this, and Stanford’s highly vaccinated community, Stanford has identified the need to distinguish between high-risk close contact and low-risk close contact.

High-risk close contact

A high-risk close contact is a person who has had indoor unmasked and prolonged exposure (15 minutes, can be cumulative over time) to a positive case. Think: sharing a room, eating together indoors, riding together in a car, intimate partners.

Unvaccinated individuals who have had close contact with a positive individual, are also high-risk close contacts.

Stanford University will reach out to high-risk close contacts through Vaden (students) and the OHC (faculty/staff/postdocs). Those who feel they have had high-risk close contact with a positive individual onsite, and have not been contacted by Vaden/OHC, should:

  • Complete Health Check to report the exposure. (Students should also call Vaden).
  • Follow any onsite access restrictions and await a call or email from Vaden/OHC, if you receive a red badge from Health Check.
  • Perform a COVID test, such as through the university’s free  Color testing program, which automatically reports results to Health Check.. If you know when the exposure occurred, try to test 3-5 days after this exposure.

Lower-risk close contact

A lower-risk close contact is someone who has been in contact with a positive case indoors or outdoors with both parties wearing face coverings, or outdoors without face coverings but physically distanced. 

All lower-risk close contacts who receive an exposure notification, whether vaccinated or not, should:

Testing due to Symptoms or Exposure

Faculty, staff, postdocs, and students are required to notify Stanford, via Health Check, if they are awaiting COVID-19 test results, due to exposure or symptoms. This requirement is in place for those who were on campus within the previous two weeks or are expected to be on campus.

For information about COVID-19 surveillance testing for faculty, staff and postdocs, you can view this webpage. Information about Color testing pick-up and drop-off locations can be found here.

Testing Positive

Faculty, staff, postdocs, and students are required to notify Stanford, via Health Check, if they test positive for SARS-CoV-2 (the COVID-19 virus). This requirement is in place for those who were on campus within the previous two weeks or are expected to be on campus.

Stanford will automatically be notified of positive tests through the university’s free Color testing program. Please notify Stanford, via Health Check, of any tests taken through a primary care provider or community testing options. The Stanford University Occupational Health Center will reach out to you about receiving a confirmatory test and will initiate the exposure notification process for high-risk close contacts.

Stanford has established a process to respond to positive COVID-19 cases which ensures that case investigation, affected area cleaning, and AB 685 notification is completed. The Stanford University Occupational Health Center will reach out to you about receiving a confirmatory test and will initiate the exposure notification process for high-risk 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.

Stanford University Medical Support Team

If you are symptomatic, high-risk close contact, awaiting test results due to symptoms or exposure, and/or test positive, Stanford’s Medical Support Team will reach out to you once this information is in Health Check. 

For specific questions on your situation, you can also submit a Health Check Help Ticket.