Stanford reported 138 new COVID-19 cases among students and 63 new cases among faculty, staff and postdoctoral scholars for the week of March 28, according to the COVID-19 dashboard.
Case counts have increased by 73% among students and increased by 117% among employees compared to the prior week, during which several students were away from campus for spring break. According to the dashboard, 208 students are in isolation as of Monday, compared to 91 last week. This number is higher than reports from the last five weeks, but fewer than reported at the beginning of winter quarter. The University attributed this uptick in cases to students returning to campus from the break, according to the dashboard.
“We anticipated a rise in positive test results as students returned from spring break,” University spokesperson E.J. Miranda in a statement to the Daily wrote. “We strongly recommend masking on-site, regardless of vaccination status. We will continue to closely monitor the public health situation on campus and will update the community on any new developments or policy changes.”
Stanford continues to provide students with Color COVID-19 tests and require weekly testing for vaccinated students and biweekly tests for unvaccinated students. The University plans to lift the testing requirement for fully vaccinated students on April 11, but it continues to emphasize that vaccination, testing and masking can prevent serious illness.
The University’s seven-day positivity rate fell from 3.80% last week to 2.01% this week for students and rose from 0.34% to 0.92% for employees. The seven-day positivity rate for students is greater than Santa Clara County’s 1.80% rate and California’s 1.60% rate.
Of the 63 new employee cases, 32 are included in the University’s testing count. The remaining 31 individuals tested outside the University’s surveillance testing system through rapid antigen tests or tested positive earlier than last week but just reported it to the University, according to the dashboard.
Peer institutions are experiencing various changes in student positivity rates. Harvard reported an increase to 0.91% positivity rate, and the University of California, Berkeley reported a decrease to a 1.9% positivity rate. Stanford’s 2.01% positivity rate remains above that of Harvard and Berkeley, but is closer to the two schools’ positivity rates than it was last week.
A total of 2,687 students and 1,938 faculty, staff and postdocs have tested positive through Stanford’s surveillance testing system since June 29, 2020, according to the dashboard.