By Tom Quach
Stanford will require all employees, students and visitors to wear face coverings while indoors on campus regardless of vaccination status beginning Aug. 3, according to an email from associate vice provost for environmental health and safety Russell Furr.
Individuals are not required to wear a mask if they are working alone in a private office or room or actively eating or drinking, according to the email. Outdoor mask-wearing continues to be optional, though “recommended.”
This announcement comes after Santa Clara County, San Mateo County and six additional Bay Area counties, including San Francisco, released updated guidance on Monday that requires individuals to wear face coverings when indoors in public settings. The mandate also comes days after the University announced that they strongly recommended people wear masks indoors, though it was not required.
The mandate is in place due to the rise in hospitalizations connected with the Delta variant, according to Furr. While Furr wrote that vaccination rates among employees and students currently on campus are “very encouraging” and “well above 90%,” he added that wearing masks provides an additional layer of protection and safety for the Stanford community.
Furr also reiterated that all faculty, staff, students and postdoctoral scholars returning to campus this fall will need to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Faculty, staff and postdoctoral scholars who are not fully vaccinated will follow a weekly testing protocol beginning Aug. 9.
Furr acknowledged the difficulties brought about by the pandemic and shared resources for vaccination sites and health alerts for future updates.
“We continue to be grateful for your patience, your vigilance and your efforts to keep one another safe as we plan for exciting times ahead,” he wrote.