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Stanford recommends masks in crowded indoor spaces on campus, changes testing requirements

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According to a Monday email from senior associate vice provost and dean of students Mona Hicks and executive director of Vaden Health Services James Jacobs, the University now recommends that everyone wears face coverings in crowded indoor spaces on campus and “requires their use in campus spaces that are open to the public, such as the Stanford Bookstore and publicly accessible dining areas and cafes.”

The recommendation coincides with a rise in COVID-19 cases in the region, despite on-campus cases remaining low. The new recommendation also follows the recently updated guidelines set by a number of Bay Area counties, including Santa Clara County. 

The University also set new testing guidelines for students who are either living on campus or frequently coming to campus this summer. 

Those who are vaccinated should upload proof of their vaccination to their Vaden portal and submit a Health Check attesting to their vaccination status. Once students receive an email from [email protected] confirming their vaccination status, students will no longer have to submit a daily health check or get tested weekly and their Health Check badge will be green through August 27, according to Hicks and Jacobs.

Students who are unvaccinated are required to continue weekly Color Genomics testing and daily Health Checks. Effective July 19, they are now required to get tested once a week as opposed to twice a week, according to the email. 

If vaccinated students begin experiencing COVID-19 symptoms after receiving a green Health Check badge, Hicks and Jacobs wrote that they are required to take a Color Genomics test immediately and avoid contact with other people. They added that all students, regardless of vaccination status, are still required to complete a Health Check if they experience symptoms, have a positive COVID-19 test or are exposed to household members who have tested positive.

All students arriving on campus between now and August 27, regardless of vaccination status, are also required to submit a Color Genomics test on the day they arrive and test again within five to seven days, according to Hicks and Jacobs. Students will also be required to complete a daily Health Check starting on the day of their arrival.

Unvaccinated international students will be required to restrict their activities while they await the results of their first and second tests, according to Hicks and Jacobs. Restricted activities include remote learning and research. During this time, unvaccinated international students will be permitted to leave their residence only for activities related to COVID-19 testing, laundry, trash, medical care, solo outdoor exercise and picking up food. 

Hicks and Jacobs reaffirmed the University’s recommendation that students living on campus for the summer get vaccinated, writing that unvaccinated students can still get vaccinated and apply to be released from testing and Health Check requirements.

“We would once again like to thank everyone on campus for doing their very best to follow our health and safety protocols,” Hicks and Jacobs wrote. “The incidence of COVID-19 has been remarkably low. Let’s continue to do all we can to care for one another as we continue through summer quarter and plan for fall.”

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Carolyn Stein is a contributing writer from Los Angeles, California. She is pursuing coursework in psychology, East Asian studies and comparative literature. On campus, you can find her making loud noises with the LSJUMB. Contact her at news 'at' stanforddaily.com.