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Stanford avoids spike in COVID cases as students move in for spring quarter

Weekly student COVID cases remain low; slight increase from previous weeks

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The University reported three new student COVID-19 cases and four new faculty, staff and postdoc cases for the week of Mar. 22, according to the COVID Dashboard

These test results come as juniors and seniors, along with freshmen and sophomores with approved special circumstances, have moved into their on-campus residences during spring break — a significant decrease from the 54-person surge in cases during the winter quarter move-in.

University spokesperson E.J. Miranda confirmed that the March 22 data includes undergraduates who arrived on campus just last week. When asked why the total number of tests conducted decreased from 11,280 to 9,628, Miranda said that spring break contributed to lower testing numbers during the earlier stages of the week. 

The seven total new positives mark small uptick from the week before, where Stanford reported zero student cases and two faculty, staff and postdoc cases during the week of Mar. 15.

Student move-ins are occurring at a time of increasing vaccine eligibility for those living in California and around the nation, as well as a risk reduction signalled by Santa Clara County’s move to the Orange Tier. 

On Mar. 25, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that the state will provide vaccines to people 50 years and older beginning Apr. 1, and 16 years and older starting on Apr. 15. 

The University is reviewing whether vaccinations will be required and how they will affect campus protocols, according to a previous statement from Miranda. Miranda wrote Monday that the administration is encouraged by the relatively low amount of positive COVID results, but expects to see a fluctuation in numbers with more people living on campus. 

“It remains critical that we continue the practices that have helped keep our campus community safe, including face coverings, physical distancing and frequent handwashing, so that we can limit the spread of COVID-19.”

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Vol. 260 Academics Desk Editor
Tom Quach '24 serves as the Academics Desk Editor for Vol. 260 and previously covered startups for The Daily's SciTech section. Tom also serves as Account Manager for The Daily's Marketing Team. He's from San Francisco, CA, and enjoys biking and watching Stars Wars on his spare time. Contact him at tquach 'at' stanforddaily.com.