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COVID-19 testing: follow-up information

An update to the Jan. 20 message regarding COVID-19 testing requirements for graduate and professional students.

Dear students,

We hope you are keeping warm and dry during this wintry week. We are writing to follow up on our Jan. 20 message regarding COVID-19 testing requirements. Here is what we will cover today:

  • Scheduling your tests to comply with our twice weekly requirement
  • Notifying us of your temporary absences from campus
  • Forming student households for the Winter Quarter

In addition, please note the State of California lifted its stay-at-home order for all regions of California on Jan. 25, but Santa Clara County and San Mateo County have now returned to the highest-risk purple tier of the state’s COVID-19 framework, which means restrictions on many activities remain in place. Here is more information on how this affects university operations.

We would like to thank you for all you are doing to keep campus safe, and for sharing your thoughts and concerns with us. Your input is truly helpful, and prompted us to provide the clarifications and information you will find below our signatures.


Mona Hicks
Senior Associate Vice Provost and Dean of Students

Dr. James R. Jacobs
Vaden Medical Services Executive Director

Testing twice weekly

All students living on campus or coming to campus frequently are required to test twice weekly with Verily Life Sciences (student athletes and some medical students have separate testing protocols). For compliance purposes, a week runs from Monday through Saturday. To remain in compliance, you should therefore schedule one test from Monday-Wednesday and one test from Thursday-Saturday each week. Ideally, your tests are separated by 3 days, as your schedules allow. For example, you might test each week on Monday and Thursday, or Tuesday and Saturday. This will help you monitor your health over a 7-day period, and help us monitor aggregate campus conditions on a weekly basis, which we then summarize on the Stanford COVID-19 dashboards. The student testing website has been updated to show the hours of operation for each of our Verily testing sites: McCaw Hall at the Arrillaga Alumni Center and Tresidder Memorial Union. 

Compliance checks will begin on Jan. 31 rather than Jan. 24, as indicated in our earlier message, given the clarifications we are providing today. After missing one and two tests, you will receive an email notification and your Stanford Health Check onsite access badge will turn red. After missing three consecutive tests, you will lose access to most Stanford locations that require a key card for entry, except your campus residence. These locations include departmental buildings and labs. Your access and your green badge will be restored within 24 hours of taking your next test and completing a Stanford Health Check. In addition, after missing any three tests over the course of the quarter, you may be subject to a Dean of Students administrative review for a Campus Compact violation.

Temporary absences from campus

If you will be away from the university campus temporarily, please let us know by completing this form, which will pause automated testing reminders during your absence. Testing compliance messages you will receive (should you miss a test without notifying us of your absence) will also prompt you to provide this information.  

Weekly prize drawings

We are pleased to announce that each week beginning Jan. 28, we will randomly select a few students who are testing responsibly to receive DoorDash gift cards, AirPods, and other student-friendly items. We would once again like to thank the COVID-19 Graduate Student Advisory Committee for this excellent suggestion.

Student households 

Registered student households of up to 8 individuals within a residential area are now allowed for students who arrived on campus by Jan. 10; for students who arrived on campus by Jan. 24, registered households will be allowed Feb. 8. Students are required to have a green Stanford Health Check onsite access badge to participate in their household.


You can reach us here with your general suggestions, comments and concerns about this unique year. If you have a personal question, please submit a ServiceNow ticket.