The University reported eight new student and seven new employee COVID-19 cases for the week of Sept. 27, according to the COVID-19 dashboard.
This week’s count is a significant decline from last week’s 26 new student cases and marks the lowest student case count in six weeks. The decline in cases comes even as COVID-19 restrictions on student activities have continued to loosen, with registered outdoor gatherings and parties permitted as of Oct. 1. Indoor student parties, however, are still prohibited until Oct. 8.
The case count also marks a decrease in the University’s seven-day positivity rate, which fell to 0.06% from last week’s 0.14%. This percentage is lower than Santa Clara County’s 1.1% positivity rate and California’s 2.6%.
The University did not immediately respond to a request for comment on how the low case count may affect safety precautions and rules moving forward.
Over the past 57 weeks, Stanford has completed over 390,000 student and 219,000 faculty, staff and postdoc tests via the University’s surveillance testing program, resulting in 345 total positive student cases and 262 faculty cases. With a 95% vaccination rate across all Health Check users, many of the new COVID-19 cases are breakthrough cases, with affected individuals experiencing mild symptoms, according to the dashboard. Since students were required to turn in two swabs to a drop-off site in Week 1, the total is higher despite the same number of students.
Weekly COVID-19 testing and indoor masking are still required, regardless of vaccination status. The University continues to reinforce that “vaccines, especially when combined with wearing a face-covering, provide strong protection against serious illness,” as on the dashboard.
This article has been updated to include that the University required double testing in Week 1 (Day 0 and Day 5), which is why the total is higher, notwithstanding that the number of students remains the same.