Students in isolation for COVID-19 can leave after seven days if they test negative on a rapid antigen test and their symptoms are either mild or nonexistent, according to a Wednesday email from Associate Vice Provost for Environmental Health and Safety Russell Furr.
The updated guidance applies to students who are fully vaccinated, have mild or no symptoms, no fever for 48 hours without medication and a negative COVID-19 rapid test result on or after the seventh day of their isolation period. Many students who are currently in isolation received the updated guidance midday on Wednesday, shortly before Furr shared the updates with the community.
The updated guidance comes amid a surge of COVID-19 cases on campus, which has led Stanford to run out of on-campus isolation housing. Some students who are currently in isolation have been moved to off-campus apartments, while others have been instructed to remain in their dorms and use designated COVID-19 bathrooms.
The seven-day isolation period, which is longer than the Santa Clara County and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance of five days for the general public, was “developed by our public health experts in consultation with Santa Clara County public health authorities with specific attention to our campus’ congregate living situation for students,” Furr wrote.
The Santa Clara County Public Health Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the development of Stanford’s policy.
The University also shared options for students in isolation to access rapid tests starting Jan. 13. Most students who receive delivered meals from Residential and Dining Enterprises (R&DE) will receive a rapid test with their meal delivery. Students isolating on campus who receive meal deliveries from UberEats or do not receive meal deliveries from either entity can pick up a rapid test from the EVGR-B Room 141 Color test pickup site. Students isolating off campus who checked into isolation housing before Jan. 13 will receive a rapid test via delivery, while those who enter isolation on or after Jan. 13 will receive a test upon arrival.
Conner Oberhauser ’25, a frosh on his sixth day of isolation, told The Daily that he has “concerns surrounding the new guidance” and the accuracy of negative test results. But Oberhauser added that he is “extremely ecstatic about getting out and seeing friends [he] hasn’t seen since before winter break.”
Like Oberhauser, Daniel Goldberg ’25 expressed health safety concerns about the new protocols but said he is “glad to leave” isolation. Goldberg, who could potentially leave isolation housing tonight because of the updated protocols, said that “isolation sucks” and added that he “can’t do Zoom in here because the WiFi doesn’t work well.”
Goldberg is not alone in his experience. Multiple students recently shared their isolation experiences with The Daily and reported a range of problems from academic disruptions to a lack of clear guidance from the University.