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Update on mask requirements and boosters

Stanford health and safety officials update the community on new masking requirements, which will go into effect on Monday October 24.

Dear Stanford community,

With the level of COVID-19 cases on campus and in the surrounding region remaining low, Stanford’s requirements for masking in classrooms and on Marguerite shuttles will be eased effective next Monday, Oct. 24.


With the change in protocols, masking will:

  • No longer be mandatory in classrooms. However, individual instructors will have the option of requiring masks in classes. Instructors who will require masking should inform students in advance on Canvas, the university’s learning management system, and by email.
  • Be optional on the Marguerite shuttle.
  • Continue to be required in health care facilities, including Vaden Health Center, the Occupational Health Clinic, and Stanford hospitals and clinics.

To help protect classmates and colleagues, Stanford continues to strongly encourage masking in crowded spaces. Individuals who have tested positive but are no longer required to isolate should wear a high-quality mask around others for 10 full days after a positive test, even if released from isolation earlier than 10 full days with a negative rapid test. Also, individuals who are exposed to someone with COVID and are asymptomatic should mask around others for 10 days, according to public health protocols.

Department offices may wish to order mask supplies, using SmartMart or iProcurement, so that instructors can have extras available if students arrive at class without one. (Contact Environmental Health & Safety with questions.) Also, students can pick up masks at Arrillaga Family Dining Commons.

COVID-19 vaccinations, boosters, and testing

COVID-19 vaccinations, boosters, and testing continue to be important tools for controlling the spread of the virus, staying healthy and minimizing chances of becoming seriously ill.

  • Community members are encouraged to stay up to date on COVID immunizations – in particular, the new bivalent booster, which helps sustain immunity to COVID and provide new immunity against the BA.4&5 variants currently circulating in the U.S. and Europe. Boosters are available for free from Stanford Health Care. Additional vaccination locations can be found at
  • Anyone who is concerned about possible exposure should test promptly.
  • Faculty and staff who test positive or experience COVID symptoms should complete HealthCheck and await further guidance. Students who experience COVID symptoms should follow this guidance, and students who test positive should follow this guidance.
  • Although surveillance testing is no longer mandatory, testing options remain available for faculty, staff, students, and postdocs.

The university also urges flu immunizations for our community. Click here for information about flu vaccinations on campus, including for retirees and family of Stanford affiliates.


James R. Jacobs, MD, PhD
Associate Vice Provost and Executive Director, Vaden Health Services

Russell Furr
Associate Vice Provost, Environmental Health & Safety