Stanford to eliminate isolation housing for COVID-positive students

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COVID-positive students will self-isolate in their residence halls this fall term, according to a Monday email from Vice Provost for Student Affairs Susie Brubaker-Cole. Roommates of people who test positive may be eligible for alternative temporary housing provided by Stanford, based on medical need or registered housing.

A University spokesperson declined to provide additional details on how eligibility for alternative temporary accommodation would be determined.

The decision to end isolation housing is part of a series of changes to COVID-19 policies that the Stanford administration is making ahead of the start of the academic year. In the email, Stanford also shared updated move-in, testing, isolation and masking protocols for the upcoming quarter.

Although many elements of campus life have returned to normal over the past few months, the University will continue to require certain pandemic precautions when students return to campus.

Here’s what that means for students living on campus this fall:

  • Students should plan to take a PCR or rapid tests within 48 hours of arriving on campus. Anyone who tests positive should not come to campus and self-isolate on site and submit a copy of their test result to the COVID-19 Medical Care Team using the Vaden Patient Portal.
  • Family members or guests can help students move into residence halls. However, in all indoor residential spaces, indoor masking is mandatory for everyone.
  • Unlike past years, students living in undergraduate accommodation do not need to make an appointment for a check-in date and time. Students living in graduate housing, however, must select a date and time for check-in.
  • New arrivals are required to test on days 0 and 5 using a free rapid or color test kit provided upon move-in. Unless they have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 90 days, students should use Color for arrival testing.
  • Surveillance testing is no longer required for vaccinated or unvaccinated students. Color testing and antigen testing will continue to be available.
  • Students who test positive will be isolated in their residences. Alternate temporary housing may be available for roommates of people who test positive, based on medical need or housing registered by the Office of Accessible Education.
  • Rather than imposing a restricted activity period as in previous years, face coverings will be required in residential common areas.
  • Face coverings will continue to be mandatory in classrooms, healthcare facilities and on Marguerite buses.

The administration is also taking steps to stem any further spread of the monkeypox virus as students return to campus. The email asked students to take preventative measures to help protect the community and shared that the isolation period for monkeypox is between two and four weeks.

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