Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Stanford creating campus zones?
Public Health requirementsissued by the State of California call for colleges and universities to "limit, to the greatest extent permitted by law, external community members from entering the site [campus grounds] and using campus resources, as the number of additional people onsite and/or intermixing with students, faculty, and staff increases the risk of virus transmission." Reducing the density of individuals on the main campus to support physical distancing is essential for maintaining a safer and healthier environment as Stanford gradually resumes on-campus teaching and research.
Are the campus zones necessary if undergraduate students are not returning for the autumn quarter?
Yes. Public health requirementsfrom the State of California call for institutions of higher education to limit nonessential visitors and campus activities. Research activities and graduate education are resuming as planned for the autumn quarter. In addition to graduate students, a reduced number of undergraduates are also living on campus. Approximately 6,300 students are expected on campus during the autumn quarter.
When do the campus zones take effect, and how long will they last?
The campus zones were established on Sept. 1, 2020 and are in effect 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Stanford anticipates that the program will be temporary and looks forward to lifting restrictions in accordance with state and local public health orders as conditions improve.
How are the different campus zones defined?
Different areas of the main campus, with the exception of the Stanford Medical Center and faculty and staff housing areas, will be designated as one of four types of zones:
- The Academic Campus Zone at the center of campus includes many academic buildings, the Main Quad and the Oval.
- The Campus Zones on the east and west sides of campus include student housing and academic and cultural facilities. Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve is also designated as a Campus Zone.
- The Athletics Zone includes varsity athletic and supporting facilities.
- The Campus Arts Zone covers the Arts District, including Cantor Arts Center, Rodin Sculpture Garden, the Anderson Collection, Frost Amphitheater and Bing Concert Hall.
- The Community Zones encompass the Arboretum, the Dish area, the Sand Hill Fields along Sand Hill Road and the Stanford Golf Course and Stanford Golf Learning Center & Driving Range.
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Who is allowed in the different zones?
Stanford is restricting the Academic Campus Zone, the Campus Zones, the Campus Arts Zone and the Athletics Zone to students, faculty, staff and postdoctoral scholars approved to be on campus. The program does not affect access to the Academic Campus Zone and Campus Zones for faculty and staff and their families and other affiliates who already live in the zones or the 94305 ZIP Code.
While the current restrictions for these four zones are similar, the university is maintaining the different designations to preserve greater flexibility to adjust restrictions in different parts of campus as public health conditions improve. For example, the Campus Arts Zone may be opened to visitors before other zones.
The Community Zones are open to visitors and all faculty, staff, students and postdocs.
In response to questions from the Stanford community, neighboring residents and prospective visitors, the university has worked to provide additional clarity by identifying specific categories of individuals approved to access restricted campus zones. In defining these categories, the university has sought to be inclusive of who is approved to be in restricted areas, while also adhering to state and county requirements. This list may be revised based on local public health conditions.
Categories of persons allowed in the outdoor areas of the Academic Campus Zone, Campus Arts Zone, Athletics Zone and Campus Zones:
- Students who live on campus or are enrolled and approved to be on campus. Graduate students and postdocs living off campus may come to campus. Only undergraduates approved to live in on-campus housing may come to campus. The exception is student athletes who are living off campus and approved by DAPER; they may come to the Athletics Zones only.
- Faculty, staff, and postdocs who are approved to work on campus or have business that requires them to be on campus.
- Faculty (including emeritus), staff, students and visitors who are conducting required short-term essential business or ancillary affairs (e.g. post office, banking, voting, etc.) on campus.
- Employees (including postdocs and retirees), their spouses, significant others, children, family members, and caregivers, who live in the Academic Campus Zone, Campus Zones or the 94305 zip code.
- Official monitors of clinical studies and other research monitors.
- Essential research collaborators and participants, as approved by the School Dean or their designee.
- Hospital residents, hospital employees and hospital fellows for the purposes of parking and outdoor recreation during their workday.
- Faith group religious advisors who are approved to be on campus by the Office for Religious Life to provide rites and rituals that cannot be conducted remotely.
- Individuals moving students into and out of residences, as permitted by Student Affairs or Residential and Dining Enterprises.
- Essential visitors: spouses/partners and minor dependents of students who live in R&DE Stanford housing, caregivers, nannies, and tutors providing support for residents who live in on-campus R&DE and FSH Stanford housing within the Academic Campus Zone, Campus Zones or the 94305 ZIP Code. These essential visitors will be issued individualized approval letters which will be subject to renewal each academic quarter.
- Visitors to private homes on campus including resident fellows’ and athletic coaches’ homes, and visiting equestrian patrons (i.e., those boarding horses at the Red Barn). RF visitors may not enter the dining halls or dorm spaces outside of the private home or yard of RFs.
- Personnel of sponsored programs that operate on campus (e.g., Hillel and Carnegie).
- Post office and essential business personnel performing approved work on campus (i.e., USPS, Stanford Federal Credit Union, Wells Fargo, and outside vendor dining facilities).
- Contractors performing approved work on campus (i.e., maintenance vendors, testing vendors, research support vendors, state and federal agencies (e.g., Army Corp of Engineers, Division of Safety of Dams, etc.) and construction workers).
- Delivery personnel performing deliveries on campus (e.g., FedEx, UPS, etc.).
- Food and grocery delivery services personnel, rideshare and ride hailing services personnel.
How can I find out if I am approved to be on campus?
Students: Contact your Residence Dean or Graduate Life Dean.
Faculty, staff and postdocs: Contact your local Human Resources Manager or Director of Financial Administration.
Essential Visitors and vendors: Contact your Stanford business partner.
What is the protocol for people coming to campus?
Anyone coming to campus is required to observe COVID-19 protocol, including:
- If presenting COVID-19 symptoms, please do not come to campus
- Maintain six feet of distance at all times from people not in your immediate household
- Wear face coverings inside (except in individual offices and residential units), and outside when six feet of physical distancing is not possible. Employees working outside are required to wear face coverings at all times.
- Avoid gathering in groups
- If working on campus, you must: (1) complete the COVID-19-specific training on hygiene best practices developed by Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S); and (2) use the Health Check tool to report health status before arriving each day; and (3) starting January 4, 2021, through the winter quarter, participate in Stanford's required surveillance testing program for all Stanford, faculty, staff and postdocs authorized to work on-site at a Stanford location in Santa Clara or San Mateo counties (which includes the main Stanford campus and Stanford Redwood City).
How will Stanford provide in-person education about the campus zones program?
The purpose of the campus zones is to comply with state requirements that call for reducing public use of campus spaces and resources. The program is in effect 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Stanford is asking our neighbors to voluntarily abide by these new restrictions and is prioritizing education over penalties. The university will first request that people not approved to be in restricted areas leave those areas immediately. It is hoped that this request will be sufficient. If, regretfully, individuals do not comply with this request, or in the event of repeated noncompliance, they could be cited for trespassing. Violations of county and state Public Health Orders could also result in a citation.
Parking violations are subject to a parking citation.
Who are the Safety Greeters?
Beginning on December 18, 2020, Stanford will station Safety Greeters at the Oval, with additional greeters added in other high-traffic areas in mid-January, 2021. Safety Greeters will focus primarily on educating any visitors who happen to enter certain locations about the temporary campus zones program. They will also be an information resource for campus community members and approved visitors navigating COVID-19 pandemic-related health measures on campus, such as protocols for gatherings, physical distancing and the use of face coverings.
The greeters will focus on being visible and accessible in popular gathering places and other high-traffic areas to provide information about the zones program. They will have small stations set up with postcards that describe the campus zones program, and will be available to answer questions and direct people to resources with additional information. However, they will not enforce campus rules, and they will not check for Stanford IDs or otherwise attempt to proactively determine whether or not individuals are authorized to be in restricted campus zones.
As health conditions continue to change on campus and in the surrounding communities, so may the role of the Safety Greeters. Should conditions deteriorate, they may be called on to engage more proactively in order to educate individuals not complying with rules governing physical distancing, gatherings and the use of face coverings. Even if their roles do evolve, Safety Greeters will always prioritize education over enforcement.More information about the Safety Greeter program is available here.
Where can students find additional COVID-19-related information?
New undergraduate students should consult Approaching Stanford, and returning undergraduates can find more information on the Re-Approaching Stanford website. Graduate students should consult Grad Updates for COVID-19-related news and information.
Who should I contact with questions or concerns?
Members of the Stanford community should submit concerns to the Ethics and Compliance Helpline. The public and Stanford community members can contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions and suggestions for how the campus zones program can be improved.
For non-emergency situations for which a response is requested, contact the Stanford University Department of Public Safety at (650) 329-2413. For emergencies, call 911 (9-911 from a university phone).
Academic Campus Zone
Are events allowed in the Academic Campus Zone?
All in-person public events in the Academic Campus Zone are canceled through the end of 2020, with many, such as Continuing Studies, being converted to virtual experiences. Events must be approved in advance by Environmental Health & Safety.
Will there be religious gatherings on campus?
In-person religious gatherings have been canceled until further notice. If state and county public health orders allow such gatherings in the future, the Office for Religious Life will explore opportunities to hold services. In the meantime, their website includes information about virtual worship and other events. We do not anticipate being able to accommodate visitors for religious gatherings during the autumn quarter. Staff at Hillel are allowed to enter the Academic Campus Zone. Faith leaders delivering religious rites should work with the Office for Religious Life to obtain approval to be on campus, including the necessary COVID-19 protocol required.
Will the curbside grocery service at Munger Market and the Faculty Club continue?
Curbside pick-up of groceries that follows appropriate health protocol will be allowed to continue.
Campus Arts Zone
Are the museums open to visitors?
No. The museums will be closed until at least winter quarter and will only open when allowed by state and county health orders and approved by Stanford to do so. Stanford researchers can contact the museums regarding access to objects in the collection.
Will Stanford Live be hosting any performances?
Starting in late September, Stanford Live will begin rolling out their digital fall season that includes high-definition performances filmed at Bing Concert Hall, featuring the St. Lawrence String Quartet, pianist Garrick Ohlsson, musician Vân Ánh (Vanessa) Võ, the Kronos Quartet and more. In addition, they will screen new performances by many of Stanford Live’s favorite artists, including the Takács Quartet, Manual Cinema and Taylor Mac. More information will be available in mid-September.
Who can visit the Athletics Zone?
Current Stanford students, postdocs, staff and faculty who are approved to be on campus or have been granted permission to be in the Athletics Zone.
Is special permission required for students, faculty or staff to visit the Athletics Zone?
Access to facilities, when they are open, is limited to students, staff and faculty approved to be in the Athletics or Academic Zones. These individuals should visibly display their university identification card to establish their university affiliation. Currently, the AEROC pool is limited only to students, faculty and staff. We know this is an important resource and are actively exploring options to expand access. Stanford affiliates might consider reserving a pool lane at the Stanford Redwood City Recreation & Wellness Center.
What parts of campus are included in the Community Zones?
The Community Zones include four main exterior spaces: the Arboretum (including the Cactus Garden), the Dish area, the Sand Hill Fields and the Stanford Golf Course and Stanford Golf Learning Center & Driving Range. The public is also welcome to run, bike or walk along the Stanford Perimeter Trail. Updates on the currently closed museums and performing arts venues in the Campus Arts Zone, including the Rodin Sculpture Garden, will be posted here. The Stanford Medical Center is not included in the campus zones program and has no new restrictions on access.
Is the public allowed to pass through the campus?
Visitors are allowed to circulate campus by walking, running, biking or driving along Campus Drive but are asked to not stop in the Academic Campus Zone, Campus Arts Zone, Athletics Zone or the Campus Zones. Commuters and those accessing essential services (e.g. banking, child care) are allowed to pass through campus, as are children traveling to school. There are no restrictions around the Stanford Hospitals and Clinics.
Can members of the public still access the COVID-19 testing site in the Galvez Lot?
Yes. Stanford Health Care continues to operate the testing site, and it remains open to all individuals with an appointment. More information is available here.
Are invited visitors allowed in the Academic Campus Zone or the Campus Zones?
Students and essential researchers, faculty and staff approved to be on campus are not allowed to host visitors in the Academic Campus Zone. Per guidance from the State of California, students are not currently permitted to host visitors in the Campus Zones, although the university is seeking additional guidance from Santa Clara County public health officials on this issue.
Can I visit campus as a prospective student?
Stanford is unable to accommodate in-person visits from prospective applicants at this time. All in-person campus tours and self-guided tours are not permitted until further notice. The Office of Undergraduate Admission has moved to entirely virtual visits. Likewise, the Visitor Center is currently closed and is encouraging prospective visitors to explore its virtual programming instead.
Are tours allowed on campus?
In an effort to reduce large groups coming to campus, all organized group tours and self-guided group tours are not allowed until further notice. Tour buses are not permitted to enter the campus at this time, and there is no authorized parking for tour buses.
Can I organize or participate in a recreation class on campus?
Outdoor recreational classes (including boot camps) organized by third parties are not permitted on campus. Students, faculty and staff can find more information on recreation classes here.
Are there visitor restrooms in the Community Zones?
There are no visitor restrooms in the Dish area or the Arboretum. Restrooms are available at the Sand Hill Fields and the Stanford Golf Course and Stanford Golf Learning Center & Driving Range.
Can visitors shop at the Stanford Bookstore or the Stanford Athletics Shop at the Track House?
In-store shopping is currently unavailable at both the Stanford Bookstore and Stanford Athletics Shop at the Track House. Online ordering is available and updates will be provided on the Bookstore website.
Transportation, Parking and Deliveries
Will deliveries and mail service be impacted?
Regular package deliveries and mail service will continue in all of the zones, and strategies for reducing the number and improving the efficiency of deliveries are being studied. We are asking all campus employees to help reduce deliveries by not sending personal orders to campus office addresses. The USPS post office in White Plaza remains open and customers not otherwise approved to be in the Academic Campus Zone are permitted to access the post office as a visitor.
Information about personal food deliveries will be provided soon.
How will vendor access, such as food deliveries for dining halls and other essential services, be affected?
Vendors will still be allowed to access restricted zones for business reasons and are expected to continue operating under approved COVID-19 protocols.
Is there visitor parking in the Community Zones?
Limited visitor parking is available at the Dish area and the Stanford Golf Course and Stanford Golf Learning Center & Driving Range, and there is visitor pay parking in the vicinity of Sand Hill Fields. While there is limited parking in the Community Zones, all visitor parking has been eliminated in the Academic Campus Zone.
How do I purchase a visitor parking permit?
Visitor parking at most campus visitor lots requires a permit purchased through the ParkMobile app. Pay stations and parking meters at visitor lots have been taken offline to avoid the touching of shared surfaces that cannot be adequately disinfected throughout the day in keeping with COVID-19 safety precautions.
How is Marguerite shuttle service impacted by the campus zones program?
Marguerite shuttle service is not affected by the campus zones program. For updates and safety tips about Marguerite shuttle service, please visit COVID-19: Marguerite Updates. The public is asked not to access restricted campus zones via the Marguerite Shuttle.
Are carpools and ride hailing services allowed to pick up and drop off passengers in restricted zones?
Yes, as long as the driver and anyone else not approved to be in the restricted zone remains in the vehicle at all times.
Didn’t find the information you’re looking for?
- See the Stanford Report story about the new campus zones program.
- To suggest an addition to the frequently asked questions, email email@example.com.