Stanford to restrict activities for students returning from Thanksgiving travel

Oct. 16, 2021, 11:25 a.m.

Stanford will restrict University-related activities for unvaccinated students and all students returning from international travel after Thanksgiving break, according to a Friday email from Dean of Students Mona Hicks and Executive Director of Vaden Health Services Dr. Jim Jacobs. Hicks and Jacobs defined restricted activity as students not attending in-person classes and only leaving their residence for COVID-19 testing purposes, medical reasons, solo outdoor exercise, laundry/trash chores or meal pick-up services. 

The new guidance comes as some students and community members were growing skeptical of whether in-person instruction would resume for the period between Thanksgiving and winter break. 

Unvaccinated students returning from domestic or international travel after Thanksgiving break will be required to restrict activities until receiving a negative COVID-19 test result on Day 5 of their return. Fully vaccinated students who are returning from international travel must restrict activities until receiving a negative test result on Day 0 (the day they arrive back on campus). They must wait until receiving a negative result on Day 5 to visit indoor public dining facilities.

“There will be no special arrangements in place to accommodate students who cannot attend class because of Thanksgiving travel,” Hicks and Jacobs wrote. “For this reason, we discourage international travel during the Thanksgiving break so that you can continue your studies in week 10.”

Fully vaccinated travelers returning to campus from domestic locations will not have to undergo a period of restriction. The email announced, however, that all students who are returning from out-of-state travel are required to get tested twice upon re-entry to campus, regardless of vaccination status. Students will need to take a test on the day they come back, and then again 3-5 days after returning to California, Hicks and Jacobs wrote. Students staying in California for Thanksgiving break are not subject to these testing requirements.

The new restricted activity and testing rules are meant to reduce the spread of COVID-19 on campus after Thanksgiving break, and students who return from international travel before Nov. 27 must also restrict their activity until receiving their Day 5 test results, according to Student Affairs spokesperson Pat Harris. 

Hicks and Jacobs encouraged community members to continue wearing face coverings, especially in large group settings. They also highlighted the importance of getting the flu vaccine; free flu shot clinics are available to students across campus until Nov. 3. 

“We would like to thank all of you for continuing to do the best you can to keep yourselves, your friends, and everyone at Stanford as safe and healthy as possible,” Hicks and Jacobs wrote.

This article has been corrected to more accurately reflect the testing policy for students returning before Nov. 27. The Daily regrets this error.

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