Stanford reported 494 new student and 535 new faculty, staff and post-doctoral scholar COVID-19 cases for the week of Jan. 3, according to the COVID-19 dashboard.
The cases mark a new pandemic milestone for the University, with Stanford joining the ranks of schools such as Cornell that have crossed the 1,000 cases threshold. The University anticipates that positive cases will continue to increase as more students return to campus, according to the dashboard.
“We anticipated increases in cases as more students arrived and planned in a way that would allow students to continue their academic progress,” wrote University spokesperson E.J. Miranda in an email to The Daily. “We implemented rapid testing to allow us to quickly identify and isolate positive cases as students returned from the winter break and we have announced a phased return to in-person instruction.”
The new student and employee case counts are significantly higher than the 136 student cases and 100 employee cases reported during the week of Dec. 27. In total, approximately 600 students are isolating in campus housing as of Monday, according to the dashboard, compared to 146 students on Jan. 3.
More COVID-19 tests have been administered as students continue to return to campus, with 10,234 Color tests administered during the week of Jan. 3, compared to 2,273 tests the week before. The reported number of tests taken do not include rapid antigen tests, which are administered to all students upon their arrival to campus, according to the dashboard.
Of the 535 new employee cases, 359 are included in the University’s testing count, and the remaining individuals tested outside the University’s surveillance testing system, such as rapid antigen testing, or tested positive earlier than last week but just reported their results to the University, according to the dashboard.
Compared to the week of Dec. 27, Stanford’s seven-day positivity rate fell from 7.7% to 4.83% for students as more students returned to campus and rose slightly from 2.6% to 2.86% for faculty, staff and postdocs. The seven-day positivity rate on campus remains lower than Santa Clara County’s 16.7% rate and California’s 22.1% rate.
Many peer institutions that are also in their second week of the winter quarter are experiencing increases in their positivity rates. Dartmouth reported a 5.97% student positivity rate, a 1.6% increase from last week, and Northwestern reported a 5.54% student positivity rate — both above Stanford’s 4.83% positivity rate.
A total of 1,071 students and 843 faculty, staff and postdocs have tested positive through Stanford’s surveillance testing system since the beginning of the 2020-21 academic year, according to the dashboard.
The University continues to monitor the COVID-19 variants and enforce weekly COVID-19 testing and masking requirements, regardless of vaccination status. Stanford also continues to emphasize that vaccination, testing and masking can prevent serious illness, according to the dashboard.
This article has been updated to include a comment from University spokesperson E.J. Miranda.
This article has been updated to clarify that only the number of tests taken last week do not include rapid antigen tests, not all of the testing numbers.