Seven fully vaccinated students tested positive for COVID-19 last week, the University wrote in a Thursday email. The sudden uptick in cases puts this week’s COVID-19 positivity rate on campus above Stanford’s average rate throughout the pandemic.
“Avoid indoor social gatherings and crowded gatherings generally,” the email read. “If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, please do not just assume that you have the common cold or allergies.”
The infections came just days after Stanford eliminated its twice-weekly testing requirement for inoculated students and relaxed dining hall food serving protocols, opting for self-serve buffet style rather than the pandemic-era pre-portioned meals. When asked if the new cases would cause University officials to reinstate the former restrictions, including indoor mask-wearing, Stanford declined to comment.
“Stanford continues to provide testing, adhere to face covering guidelines recommended by the Bay Area County health officers, and provide information to our community about the precautions needed to keep one another safe,” University spokesperson Dee Mostofi wrote in an email to The Daily.
Though all seven students who tested positive showed symptoms, the “breakthrough” cases raise questions about asymptomatic spread and the possibility of a broader on-campus prevalence of the virus. The University encouraged anyone who thinks they may have been in close contact with a positive case or feels any symptoms to get tested immediately and retest a few days afterward.
The University declined to comment on whether the positive cases are connected or if students living around those who tested positive will be notified.
“Vaccination continues to provide effective prevention against serious illness from COVID-19, but some ‘breakthrough’ cases are occurring here and around the country, driven in large part by COVID-19 variants,” Mostofi wrote.