COVID-19 Prevention Plan Summary

Stanford University is adhering to the California Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 Industry Guidance for Institutions of Higher Education as summarized below. In support of current university operations and in anticipation of further reopening as the pandemic continues, Stanford University is actively implementing a myriad of COVID-19 preventive measures. These measures are summarized in this plan and detailed in the embedded URLS throughout this plan.

Use of Face Coverings

Universal use of coverings is required at all times while inside buildings, as well as outdoors when interacting with others not in one’s own household, with certain exemptions for young children, medical conditions and situations where use of a face covering creates an undue hazard.

Promoting Healthy Hygiene Practices

Personal hygiene practices including frequent and thorough handwashing, sneezing into a tissue or elbow, avoiding touching one’s face and daily cleaning and disinfecting of one’s workplace are stressed through the university’s online training course “COVID-19 Hygiene Best Practices” required for all faculty, staff, postdocs and students paid by the university. These practices are further emphasized in the university’s COVID-19 information clearinghouse portal, Health Alerts.

Intensifying Cleaning, Disinfection and Ventilation

In addition to routine cleaning, the university has implemented enhanced cleaning and disinfection of common areas and commonly touched surfaces in occupied buildings. High-touch surfaces are cleaned at least once daily, five days a week, using EPA-registered disinfectants.

Building ventilation systems are being optimized and ventilation-related enhancements are in place for buildings as they are reopened and includes adjusting control settings to maximize the amount of outdoor air exchange and expanding daily operating hours by as much as 50%.

Implementing Distancing on Campus

The Building Manager Toolkit offers an extensive set of information, recommendations and guidelines to establish safe classroom and workspace configurations including modified layouts, physical barriers, and reconfiguration of communal facility spaces. Additionally, the university has implemented a “Stay Safe” program that provides signs and graphical tools promoting social distancing and indicating what activities are allowed inside facilities as well as throughout exterior campus spaces.

The university’s Safety Ambassador Program further supports physical distancing on campus with its team’s daily presence, interactions with staff and visitors and collection and reporting of observations to appropriate units and departments for follow-up.

Housing Under Authority of the IHE

The university is following CDC guidance on shared and congregate living for students currently on campus and actively developing plans to ramp up safety measures when more students return.

Training Staff & Students

All faculty, staff, postdocs, and students employed by the university or conducting research or other academic work on-site in university buildings and/or laboratories are required to complete EH&S’s online “COVID-19 Hygiene Best Practices” training course, which covers critical COVID-19 prevention, including social distancing, self-care, workspace cleaning and when to seek medical attention. The goal of the training is to provide a baseline set of practices to be followed by everyone returning to campus.

Students have been provided with the campus guidebook that contains extensive guidance for how to stay safe while living on and/or accessing campus including a video on safety and hygiene practices, a campus compact, guidance on safety in community living, information on testing, screening and supplies and additional information on how to respond if another campus emergency (fire, flood, etc.) arises.

Checking for Signs and Symptoms

Health Alerts details the procedures for symptom self-checking, reporting illness, self-isolation and seeking medical care.

Planning for When a Staff Member, Student or Visitor Becomes Sick

The Cardinal at Work web page details options for when a staff member becomes sick. Student illness reporting, self-isolation and medical care are supported through Vaden Health Center. Notification of health officials and close contacts are the responsibility of EH&S’s Occupational Health Center (OHC) for staff and Vaden Health Center for students. Cleaning and disinfecting of workspaces and living quarters where staff or students have reported positives are coordinated through EH&S and Residential & Dining enterprises, respectively.

Maintaining Healthy Operations

Staff at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 are offered options for alternate work, including telework and modified job responsibilities, where possible.

Students at higher risk are offered virtual learning opportunities.

Staff and student activities, events, gatherings and meetings must comply with all statewide and local public health restrictions and are canceled, delayed or held virtually whenever practicable. No indoor or outdoor gatherings are permitted currently, and all events must be registered and approved by EH&S before proceeding. Student groups, clubs and affiliated organizations are subject to consistent restrictions on gatherings.

Current travel policies prohibit non-essential business travel until at least January 2021. Further, any university community member who travels outside of Northern California, for business or personal reasons, is required to self-isolate for 14 days before returning to campus.

COVID-19 compliance contacts are local and departmental unit human resources representatives. Anyone approved to be on campus must complete an online, daily COVID-19 symptom self-check. Vaden Health Center and OHC monitors these reports and communicates with local human resources representatives and residential staff when positive cases arise and isolation, contact tracing and cleaning/disinfecting of workspaces are warranted.

The university is participating in COVID-19 community response efforts through delegated contact tracing and ramping up internal testing site capacity to support essential frontline and researchers currently working onsite.

Staff and students are communicated with regularly regarding updates to the evolving landscape of COVID-19 on campus through Health Alerts and other direct means.

Support, Coping and Resilience

Staff are encouraged to practice self-care to manage pandemic stress through the BeWell Program and Cardinal at Work. Students are provided access to a variety of stress reduction, wellness and mental health support programs through Vaden Health Center.


Testing is required on a weekly basis for students and offered to faculty, staff and postdocs who are on-site. Dashboards provide aggregated results for the Stanford community.

Considering Partial or Total Closures

The university’s phased approach to reopening campus addresses changing local public health orders and includes considerations for partial or total closures.

Athletic Facility-Specific Plan

The university’s Athletic COVID-19 prevention plan is not addressed in this summary but is following all state and county public health guidance.