Stanford reports 26 new COVID-19 cases, a decline from spike last week

Jan. 18, 2021, 9:05 p.m.

The University reported 13 new student COVID-19 cases and 13 new faculty, staff and postdocs cases for the week of Jan. 11 — a drop from the previous week’s 82 combined new cases — on its COVID dashboard.

Still, the week marked the second-highest number of cases within Stanford since the beginning of the pandemic. The record was set the week of Jan. 4, when the new total was around four times any previous week.

The new cases come amid a surge in the COVID-19 both in Santa Clara County and nationwide, and as Stanford welcomes undergraduates with special circumstances and graduate students to campus for winter quarter. The University recently reversed plans for frosh and sophomores to return due to worsening conditions.

The University also added 24 positive cases from previous weeks to the staff, faculty and postdoc running total. According to the dashboard and health alert updates, there is no information regarding clusters of these cases and it is unclear whether more cases appeared among athletes, business school students or other groups as they have in the past.

A University spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment asking if new cases resulted from community spread.

Six of the infected students are in isolation. Regular at-least-weekly surveillance testing is required per the program’s policy.

Of the additional 24 positive cases in faculty, staff and postdocs that have been added to previous week totals, 19 were recorded as being “on campus” within the last 14 days.

Stanford dropped messaging from the COVID-19 dashboard that they do not see evidence that new cases are linked to community spread, but did not specify if they had contact-tracing evidence that community spread was occurring.

The Bay Area has now registered cases of a more contagious variant of COVID-19, over which experts have recently expressed concern, during a time when 6% of intensive care unit (ICU) beds are available as of Friday. The region is currently subject to a Stay Home Order and will be so until ICU capacity climbs to 15%.

Santa Clara County has been an “epicenter” in the nation for cases, with over 100,000 cases thus far and an overall positivity rate of 4.75%. As of now, the University still plans to bring back juniors and seniors for spring quarter.

Contact Sam Catania at samcat ‘at’ stanford.edu and Matthew Turk at mjturk ‘at’ stanford.edu.

Sam Catania ’24 is the Volume 262 Editor in Chief of The Daily. Previously, he was Chief Technology Officer, the producer of the weekly video roundup, a news beat reporter covering COVID-19 on Stanford's campus and the assessment team leader of The Daily's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) team. Sam hails from Philadelphia and is studying Symbolic Systems. You can follow him on Twitter @sbcatania. Contact him at scatania 'at' stanforddaily.comMatthew Turk ’24 is the Chief Technology Officer of the The Stanford Daily and is majoring in computer science. He has previously served as a desk editor in News and managing editor of The Grind. This summer, he is a software engineering intern at The Washington Post. His novels, An Invincible Summer (2021) and Baba Yaga (2022), are in stores. Ask Matthew about astrophysics, football and the automotive industry. Contact him at mturk ‘at’ stanforddaily.com.

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