13 more students test positive, with Stanford reporting no evidence of community spread

Jan. 25, 2021, 10:11 p.m.

The University reported 13 new cases in students and 10 in faculty, staff and postdoctoral scholars for the week of Jan. 18, marking a slight decrease from the previous week’s 26 new cases. 

With the latest student cases, Stanford’s “contact tracing and other observations do not provide evidence of on-campus community spread during this period of time,” Stanford said, without specifying the source of the infections. 

Among employees, however, the University noted that there was a “secondary case” that was confirmed to be linked to another Stanford community member. A University spokesperson referred The Daily to the COVID-19 dashboard when asked to comment further about community transmission on campus. 

Days after RAs and students with special circumstances began arriving to campus on Jan. 4, the University reported that 43 students had tested positive for COVID-19, which it attributed to students coming to campus — not community spread.

Sine last week, 17 positive cases have been added to the “total confirmed positive cases” for faculty/staff/postdocs. Ten of the positive employee cases were detected through the University’s surveillance testing program while the remaining seven tested positive through providers not facilitated by the Stanford Occupational Health Center (OHC). Some of the latter tests were performed earlier than last week, but were only reported to the University this week. 

Of the 17 positive employees, 13 had been on the Stanford campus within two weeks of diagnosis. Nine student cases are currently in isolation on campus. The University did not specify the reason for the discrepancy between the number of positive tests and students in isolation.

This rise in cases comes as California lifted its stay-at-home order, returning Santa Clara County to the so-called purple tier and loosening previous state-based restrictions. The county is currently reporting a 7-day rolling average of 1,036 new cases.

Although indoor gatherings are prohibited in the county, Stanford now allows all students who have moved onto campus by Jan. 10 to meet those in the same registered student household, along with their essential visitors. For students who arrive by Jan. 24, households and essential visitors will be allowed to meet starting  Feb 8. 

Amid growing case counts and concern over new variants, the University strengthened COVID-19 protocols on Jan. 24, threatening disciplinary action for students who do not follow the Campus Compact. At least two gatherings with 20 people or more, though, occurred on Saturday.

Contact Denise Hui Jean Lee at deniselj ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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