Stanford is currently in Stage 2 of the restart process. Only essential workers, authorized researchers and laboratory support personnel and those with permission to be on campus to prepare the campus for restart should be on campus at this time. All work that can be done from home should continue to be done remotely.

Positive Case Response Procedures

Stanford has established a process to respond to positive COVID-19 cases which satisfies requirements within the Santa Clara County Health Officer’s Risk Reduction Order dated 7/2/2020. 

The following describes the general process of how cases are managed and the corresponding responsibilities of involved groups.

1. Positive Case Isolation

The infected person is instructed to immediately leave campus and told to stay home and isolate for 14 days from the date their symptoms began AND for 7 days with improvement in respiratory symptoms and no fever.  The EOC Medical Support Team provides specific recommendations on when the individual is allowed to safely return.

2. County Notification

The County Public Health Department is notified by the EOC Medical Support Team within 4hours of learning of the positive case.

3. Area Closure

EOC Safety Team to work with lab/ department management to identify and close rooms/ areas (e.g., office, lab, shop) used by the infected person within the last 48 hours until disinfection and sanitization of these areas is complete. Work in these locations must cease until disinfection and sanitization is complete.

4. Area Cleaning

EOC Safety Team to work with lab/ department management to disinfect and sanitize each area used by the infected person within the last 48 hours as required by Santa Clara County Public Health, focusing on frequently touched surfaces. All cleaning and disinfection procedures are consistent w/ specifications from the US Center for Diseases Control (CDC).

5. Contact Tracing

Any University personnel who had close contact with the infected person will be identified and promptly contacted by the Medical Support Team within 24 hours of the initial positive case report. A close contact is someone who was within six feet of the infected person for at least 15 minutes, beginning two days before the person had symptoms or tested positive and ending the last day they came to work.

NOTE: All close contacts will be instructed to stay home for 14 days from their last contact with the infected individual, even if they test negative for COVID-19. Close contacts should be tested for COVID-19.

6. Local Notification of Positive Case

EOC Safety Team will work with lab/ department management to notify occupants of the building(s) where the infected person was present to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days after the last day the infected person was at work.

Responsibilities of Involved Groups

Positive Case Individual

    1. Re-submit daily HealthCheck to report the positive test result as soon as possible.
    2. Notify the Supervisor/ PI that they will not be coming to campus.
    3. As required by the Medical Support Team investigation, provide requested information including but not limited to:
      • visited locations on campus within the previous 48 hours, and
      • identity of close contacts.
    4. Remain isolated per instruction by the Medical Support Team and County Public Health.

Individual’s PI/ Supervisor

    1. Upon being contacted by the EOC Medical Support Team, the PI/ Supervisor will verify who is the best point of contact for exposure tracing and determine areas occupied by personnel who tested positive (Supervisor, PI, or Lab Safety Coordinator).
    2. EOC Safety Team contacts the PI/ Supervisor to verify locations of concern, and where cleaning is required, to clarify any sensitive locations that are not to be disturbed during a cleaning effort.
    3. For identified locations that require site cleaning and disinfection, the PI/ Supervisor will promptly close the applicable room(s) by posting door signage and sending group and building notification.
    4. Once cleaning services have been performed, the EOC Safety Team will notify PI/ Supervisor that closed spaces may be reopened.

Facilities/Department Management

    1. Based on the assessment of information collected, the EOC Safety Team determines the level of cleaning and disinfection that may be necessary for affected area(s) and informs Facilities Management (or another Department-specified contact).
    2. Facilities/ Department Management to promptly notify building occupants of the positive case using a template provided by the Safety Team. The document informs building occupants:
      • the timeframe of the recent positive case in the building;
      • that occupants who were close contacts w/ the positive case have been individually notified; and
      • that all occupants should continue to self-monitor for symptoms per daily HealthCheck, at least for a 14-day period.

Close Contact Employees

    1. The Medical Support Team will reach out directly to individuals deemed close contacts (defined as within 6 feet for >15 mins) to advise them on self-quarantine and testing requirements and recommendations.
    2. Close contacts are not allowed to come back to campus until instructed they can do so. More information is available on Health Alerts.

General Building Occupants/ Non-Close Contacts

    1. Building occupants will receive a notification that a positively-tested individual had been inside their building, which explains their level of risk and offers further guidance (see below for details).

COVID Notifications for Building Occupants

Out of an abundance of caution, building occupants are being provided email notification of any local positive case that has been identified. People known to have been within 6 feet of a positive individual for more than 15 minutes are considered close contacts and are promptly notified directly by medical professionals for further evaluation. All other persons who may have occupied a building in the same general time period as the positive individual are not close contacts as defined by the US Center for Diseases Control and California Department of Public Health, and are not considered as having elevated risk of exposure.

What should I do?

Given the level of community spread in the county and broader Bay Area, COVID-19 cases are expected to occur on campus. The University is taking steps to isolate identified cases, test their close contacts, enhance cleaning of common areas across campus, and perform periodic screening to keep transmission rates low. The campus community is urged to continue complying with the Social Distancing Protocol requirements, including physical distancing, use of face coverings, and hand hygiene, as these measures significantly reduce the risk of acquiring and spreading COVID-19.

In addition, remember to complete your daily submission to Stanford’s Health Check if you are coming on-site. Health Check is an automated symptom tracker to keep our onsite population healthy through early self-reporting of COVID-like symptoms, exposures to sick contacts, and positive COVID testing.

  • You are advised to self-monitor for symptoms.
  • If you develop COVID-like symptoms, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, contact your primary health care provider and report this through Health Check.
    • Stanford offers voluntary COVID surveillance testing to confirm that onsite individuals are well. For information on surveillance testing, Faculty, Staff, and Post-Doctoral Fellows, should visit the HealthAlerts web page.
  • If you are tested for COVID-19 or test positive for COVID-19, notify Stanford via Health Check and make sure to follow-up with your personal physician.

For the most up-to-date information about Stanford’s policies on and response to COVID-19, please visit