Stanford University
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COVID-19 and Restart

CDC/ Alissa Eckert, Dan Higgins

Things are opening up, but our first priority remains the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff. Lab access is no longer limited by density as long as people are six feet apart. Requests for increased lab density should be routed to Tom Koos in facilities. Offices are now open for single person occupancy, but meetings should be held outside. Find more important details in an April 16 email here and remember to follow the building access steps below. Vaccines are now very available. More info on vaccines can be found here. Stanford will require vaccines for students, faculty, staff and postdocs in the fall with some accommodations.

NEW: Coming changes in COVID-19 campus protocols

Stanford continues to review and adjust campus COVID-19 protocols as public health conditions and rules change.

Some important changes in public health requirements over the next few weeks will significantly influence rules for our campus and community.

Several events occurring this month are helping guide our decisions:

  • June 15, when the State of California plans to end the color tier system.
  • June 18 to 20, when frosh, sophomores and other students newly arriving on campus for summer quarter move in.
  • June 26, the final day of the undergraduate restricted-activity period.

In addition, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, known as Cal/OSHA, yesterday withdrew a proposed rule regarding requirements for face coverings and physical distancing in workplaces. As a result, the university must continue to follow existing requirements until at least June 28.

The changes described below are part of our ongoing plans for ramping up for the 2021-22 academic year. We are working toward a fall quarter that is as close to normal as possible, but with modifications based on the health situation.

Face coverings & physical distancing


  • Face covering use and physical distancing continue to be required in most work settings.
  • No density requirements are currently in place for administrative, academic and research facilities, but physical distancing continues to be required.
  • Face coverings for fully vaccinated persons are not required outdoors, except where physical distancing is difficult.

Students (effective June 26):

  • Face coverings and physical distancing will be required for all students in academic, research, and administrative buildings, dining halls (while not eating) and other select locations.
  • Maintenance, custodial and other workers who need to enter student residential areas to work, will ask students to step out of the room or space while the work is being done.
  • Face coverings will not otherwise be required for fully vaccinated students in residential areas, both indoors and outdoors.

Vaccinations & Health Check

The vaccination status question on Health Check, which has been voluntary, will require a response, as soon as June 17, from faculty, staff, students and postdocs coming on-site. Previously, this response was optional. Individuals are asked to provide this information if they have not already done so.

Also this month, fully vaccinated employees will be able to upload an image of their vaccination documentation to Health Check. Students will continue to upload their cards on the Vaden patient portal.

Data on vaccine status helps us learn the vaccination rate among our community and informs decisions to adjust campus policies while continuing to mitigate COVID-19 risks. In addition, as part of Santa Clara County’s May 18 health directive, employers are now required to determine which staff are fully vaccinated.

Please note: (1) No group or unit should create vaccination requirements separate from or more restrictive than university requirements. For more information, visit Health Alerts. (2) Health Check is the only approved channel through which the university asks for faculty/staff vaccination status. Individuals should not be asking peers or employees whether they have been vaccinated.

Campus zones & other outdoor spaces

Campus zones: This temporary program will end and restrictions on access to outdoor spaces will be lifted on June 16. While the campus zones program will end, all visitors entering non-residential campus facilities need to be pre-approved and complete the visitor health attestation form.

Updated 6/11/21

Vaccinations required for fall

Read Stanford's policies for faculty, staff, and postdocs, along with policies for students, below. More updates about the verification process will be coming soon. (Last updated 5/5/21)

COVID-19 testing update

(updated April 29, 2021)

See full health alert

Graduate and professional Students

Required routine surveillance testing will be reduced from twice per week to once per week for students living on campus or coming to campus.

Navigate to Graduate and professional Students

Undergraduate students

Required testing will continue twice per week. (Coterms who have been testing with Verily will continue at twice per week; coterms who have been testing with Color will reduce to once per week.)

Navigate to Undergraduate students

Faculty, staff and postdocs

Required testing for those coming to campus will become voluntary. However: (1) We recommend you continue to test weekly until you are fully vaccinated, and then following travel, if you have symptoms or if you believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19. (2) Postdoctoral scholars living on campus will still be required to test weekly, as is the case for graduate students who are in similar housing.

Navigate to Faculty, staff and postdocs

Follow these steps for limited Stage 2 work return

Be sure to review the five steps below to submit requests for access (Step 3) and schedule your time (Step 4). Don’t forget: Check out Cardinal Recovery, do the one-time training, schedule your time, and do your daily health check! Questions? Contact Katie Dunn at if you have questions about lab access. Work in Y2E2? Visit here.

Step 1 | Familiarize yourself with the CardinalRecovery website.

Read the full Stanford Guide for Returning to Work put together by Environmental Health and Safety.

Navigate to Step 1 | Familiarize yourself with the CardinalRecovery website.

Step 2 | Do the one-time training

Do the one-time, 10-minute Stanford Hygiene Best Practices training in Stars which covers hand-washing, face coverings use, and social distancing protocols.

Navigate to Step 2 | Do the one-time training
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Step 3 | Request lab or office access approval

Only faculty can submit requests for lab access for themselves or members of their research group. Everyone can submit requests for office access for themselves.

Request office or lab access

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Step 4 | Schedule your time 24 hours ahead

Only when approved, schedule your time in an office here or in a lab here at least 24 hours in advance so building density can be managed. Schedules in shared offices may need to be staggered.  

Step 5 | Complete the daily health check

Complete the daily health check each day you plan to work in our buildings. The health check should be done before coming to campus.

Navigate to Step 5 | Complete the daily health check

Travel policy

Find latest updates on the Stanford Health Alerts travel site.

Updated May 14

Navigate to item

Latest Stanford Earth COVID-19 announcements and information

What you need to know - by group

Main Quad and Memorial Church

For the most up to date information from university leadership, check the Stanford Health Alerts page.

Here are just a few of the FAQs available at Health Alerts:

Sign up at Stanford Health Alerts for automated email when new items are posted.

Teaching resources

The most comprehensive source for teaching guidance is Stanford's Teach Anywhere site. Please consult it regularly for new updates. Resources below are added suggestions from our Stanford Earth Educational Affairs team. 

Technology resources


Technologies / Platforms

This is a recap of IT resources. Most can also be found on the Stanford Health Alerts site under Teach Anywhere, Work Anywhere, and Learn Remotely links.
Organizations across campus (including Stanford Earth) will be actively using the following technologies:
  • Zoom (for video-conferencing and multi-party meetings with remote participants. WebEx is a backup alternative)
  • Slack (group and person-to-person chat and person-to-person conferencing)
  • Jabber (Chat, person-to-person conferencing and "work anywhere" voice calling)
  • Microsoft O365 (email/calendar)
  • Google Drive (File Sharing and collaboration tools)
  • Canvas and other teach-anywhere resources (learning management and academic collaboration)
  • Stanford Network - wired and wireless

IT Support Contacts

General Desktop and Laptop Computer Support (CRC)Desktop Support
Research Computing Support
General Information Technology directionJohn Freshwaters
Academic Systems (e.g. Canvas)


More information on COVID-19

Useful resources.

2019 Webby Award Nominee

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