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Stanford Medicine dean emphasizes importance of back-to-school precautions


Masks, social distancing and surveillance testing are all on the table for the upcoming fall quarter, Stanford Medicine Dean Lloyd Minor said during a Tuesday virtual town hall.

“We’re going to be living with COVID for a long time,” Minor said. “The thoughts that we could eradicate it, and it would just disappear from our environment — that’s still a long way away.”

The University recently announced all students must be tested weekly for COVID-19 — even if they’re fully vaccinated. New campus arrivals will be tested on the day they arrive and five days afterward.

Though Stanford administrators are more prepared to handle the virus than they were last year, safety precautions are “going to need to remain present, and may need to morph, as the situation changes in the future,” Minor said.

Students will be encouraged not to eat or drink in class, he added. They will also be expected to wear masks if they are not alone. Most classrooms are also in buildings with air circulation systems, according to Minor; those that aren’t will have their windows open for ventilation.

Because 95% of students are fully vaccinated, Minor said he believes an on-campus fall quarter will not pose any major health threats as long as safety measures are followed.

“We believe that the campus will be safe, and the incidence of infection, particularly infections coming from the work environment, will be exceedingly low,” Minor said.

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Camryn Pak is a news managing editor. Contact her at cpak 'at'