Physical Distancing

Physical distancing, also known as social distancing, means keeping space between yourself and other people while outside of your home. To practice physical distancing:

  • Stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) from other people
  • Do not gather in groups (group size will be defined as status changes)
  • Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings

Social distancing can be achieved by facilitating work-from-home and otherwise separating desks and workstations wherever possible. Additionally, rotating staff through alternating work shifts, to reduce the number of staff onsite at one time, is implemented where possible.

General Guidance for Indoor Occupants 

As many in the campus community prepare to return to work, your supervisors and managers will be considering how the furniture in open workspaces can be rearranged to accommodate social distancing, and possibly implement a schedule so staff can work in shifts. Other areas that may be considered when evaluating workspaces for social distancing include:

  • Open workspaces or “bullpens” (typically occupied by cubicles)
  • Meeting/conference rooms
  • Lunchrooms (seating areas, near coffee makers, microwaves, etc.)
  • Lobbies or entryways

Elevator Ridership

Employees should do their best to ensure that no more than one individual or family group rides the elevator at a time and while in the elevator, individuals should maintain a safe space of at least 6 feet. If the size of the elevator does not allow for this, individuals should ride alone. When boarding an elevator car, be sure to let the individuals in the car exit first — not only is this courteous, but reduces the likelihood of contact (such as, bumping into or brushing up against one another) and helps to maintain social distance. Buttons should be pressed using the knuckle, elbow, an unused tissue, or pen with the ink filament removed.

Labs and Shops

Labs and shops conducting approved critical activities should consider utilizing a calendar to schedule shifts so that social distancing in the lab can be managed by having fewer members in the lab or shop at one time. Team members should increase the spacing between researchers by consciously maintaining a 6-foot spacing between individuals. To accomplish this, groups can use blue painter’s tape to outline workspaces and avoid sharing benches or worktops. Work that can be completed safely outside the space, such as computations and administrative work, should be done remotely. More detailed information for labs specifically can be found in Research Recovery.

In public open spaces 

While strict social distancing recommendations remain in place, the use of recreational areas with high-touch equipment or that encourage gathering is prohibited. Therefore, Stanford’s basketball, volleyball, and tennis courts among other outdoor spaces will be closed. The use of picnic tables and outdoor barbecues are also prohibited.

In addition, the use of open spaces cannot violate the social distancing requirements, including staying at least 6 feet away from other people. For instance, there can be no informal soccer or other games on our fields or other open spaces.

The use of shared athletic equipment, such as a ball, may only be engaged in by members of the same household or living unit, which for students means those in your dorm room or suite. As a reminder, those who violate this order can be charged with a misdemeanor.