Students may share rooms with COVID-positive roommates this fall

Sept. 8, 2022, 7:32 p.m.

COVID-19-positive students will isolate in place this fall, according to a Wednesday email from the Office of the Vice Provost. Roommates without critical health conditions are instructed to take precautions if the person they share their living space with tests positive but continue to live with them, Vice Provost Susie Brubaker-Cole, Dean of Students Mona Hicks, and Senior Associate Vice Provost of Residential & Dining Enterprises Shirley J. Everett wrote in the email.

The move is the latest attempt from University administration to relax COVID-19 guidelines ahead of the 2022-23 school year. But this is not the first time Stanford has asked students to isolate in place. When Stanford ran low on isolation housing during the omicron surge in January, the University told some students to wait the virus out in their room. Now, that policy will be in place for nearly everyone.

Temporary housing may be available for students with certain critical health conditions if they have been instructed by their medical care team not to share a living space with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. These students should contact Student Support, according to the email. The University did not respond to questions about how much space was available and how it would be allocated. 

The University also announced that they have plans in place to care for students who test positive for monkeypox. Students with symptoms of monkeypox or positive test results were asked to contact Vaden Health Services. The University did not respond to a question regarding the type of care that would be provided.

If sharing a room with a COVID-positive individual, students were instructed to wear face coverings as much as possible, keep their windows open, wash and sanitize hands often and avoid sharing personal items. If sharing an apartment, students should stay inside their bedrooms with doors closed, avoid entering bathrooms within 15 minutes of each other, disinfect shared spaces and eat in separate rooms. 

The email also reminded students that new arrivals should use Color to test for COVID-19 on the day of their arrival as well as five days afterward. Rapid tests kits will be available at Arrillaga Family Dining Hall. Masking is required in common spaces, classrooms, healthcare facilities and on the Marguerite. 

“We are looking forward to seeing all of you in a few short weeks. Fall is a very exciting time. It can be challenging, too,” Brubaker-Cole, Hicks and Everett wrote.

Contact Oriana at news ‘at’ stanforddaily.com.

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