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Stanford ends surveillance testing requirement as positivity rates rise

April 14, 2022, 12:05 a.m.

Stanford will no longer require COVID-19 surveillance testing for vaccinated and boosted students, the University announced in an email to the community Wednesday.

The announcement follows a relaxation of other COVID-19 measures in recent months, including the elimination of to-go boxes at dining halls and a county-wide removal of the indoor masking mandate

The prevalence of COVID-19 on campus has been on the rise since students returned from spring break. Cases reached 204 during the first week and dropped to 194 last week. But while case counts seem steady, testing has starkly declined, leading to a steep increase in the positivity rate. Only 3,384 tests were conducted last week, compared to the 10,154 tests that were conducted this time last quarter.

The increased positivity rates come as health experts grow increasingly worried about the spread of the omicron BA.2 subvariant, which now accounts for 86.2% of new cases.

“We would like to reassure you that we have plans in place should we see a substantial increase of positive cases among students,” wrote Mona Hicks, Senior Associate Vice Provost and Dean of Students.

Students who are not fully vaccinated are still required to test twice weekly with Color. Color test pick up and drop off remains available at select locations across campus, and rapid antigen testing kits are available for pick up from Arrillaga Family Dining Commons. 

Masking continues to be required in classrooms, at Vaden Health Center, and on public transportation such as Marguerite buses. University guidelines strongly recommend wearing masks indoors.

Sarah Raza is a staff writer for the News section. She is a junior from Michigan studying International Relations and Human Rights, and she loves to talk about her cat. Contact Sarah at sraza 'at' stanforddaily.com.

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