Important update: student COVID cases
Vaden Health Services offers information and guidance for students on keeping themselves and others healthy and safe given an increase in the number of positive cases.
As you have seen in the national news, cases of COVID-19 have been ticking upward. We are seeing some of this in our own community, where we are experiencing an increase in the number of student COVID cases, including among fully vaccinated individuals. We have seen 7 new positive student cases this week, beyond those already reported on the Stanford COVID dashboards from previous weeks. All 7 students were symptomatic.
Cold and COVID-19 symptoms are similar, but COVID-19 can have a more severe impact on you and those around you. If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, please do not just assume that you have the common cold or allergies.
We are providing more information and guidance below so we can work together to keep everyone as safe and healthy as possible.
All 7 new positive student cases were fully vaccinated for COVID-19.
- While vaccination continues to be our best defense against severe COVID-19 infection, breakthrough infections are possible.
- Face coverings, physical distancing and hand hygiene remain powerful ways to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. Even if you test negative for COVID-19, we recommend wearing a face covering if you have cold symptoms to keep others healthy.
- Avoid indoor social gatherings and crowded gatherings generally.
- With case counts increasing regionally, Santa Clara County now recommends face coverings in all indoor public settings. Stanford has posted a related update.
Here’s what we need you to do if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms:
- You should take a Color Genomics test immediately, avoid contact with other people, and wear a face covering to protect your friends. If you live off campus, avoid coming to campus except for medical care.
- If you test negative, you should re-test in a few days if symptoms persist. If you test positive, you’ll be contacted by a Vaden clinician and provided with guidance particular to your situation.
- You are also required to complete a Health Check if you experience symptoms, have a positive COVID test, or are exposed to household members who have tested positive.
- Spouses and partners who are living with graduate students in R&DE-assigned housing are eligible to test with Color Genomics.
We ask for this information so we can take steps to limit exponential viral spread. All information entered is secured and protected. Color Genomics testing is available free of charge to all students. More information on the test, how to register, and where to pick up and drop off testing kits is here for undergraduates, and here for graduate and professional students.
Here’s what we need you to do if you believe you are a close contact of a positive case and you are fully vaccinated:
- Take a Color Genomics test immediately and wear a face covering to protect your friends. If you test negative, re-test on Days 5 and 8.
- If you test positive, you’ll be contacted by a Vaden clinician and provided with guidance particular to your situation.
- If you develop symptoms while waiting for your test results, contact Vaden.
Here’s what we need you to do if you believe you are a close contact of a positive case and you are NOT fully vaccinated:
- Contact Vaden Health Services immediately.
- Take a Color Genomics test immediately.
- Wear a face covering to protect your friends.
Here’s what we are doing:
- Vaden Health Services is connecting with each student who tests positive and working with the individual to notify close contacts and encourage close contacts to test for COVID-19 as soon as possible. Our goal is to prevent the spread of disease and ensure students feel safe and supported.
- Vaden is working with Residential & Dining Enterprises and the Dean of Students Office to provide medical care and isolation space for students who test positive. This will include carefully communicating with each student their individual timeline for isolation. As needed, we will provide wi-fi, laundry, linens, meal delivery, care kits, disability accommodations, gender-neutral bathrooms, and similar amenities and services to meet students’ daily needs.
As noted in this message sent on Monday, fully vaccinated students who complete the three action steps described in the message are no longer required to test weekly for COVID-19. Again, vaccinations are effective at preventing severe illness. However, we need everyone to be vigilant. The variants remain of concern. Following the requirements and preventative measures described above and here will help us to contain the virus and keep everyone as safe and healthy as possible.
Vice Provost for Student Affairs
Dr. Jim Jacobs
Executive Director, Vaden Health Services