Stanford to restrict activities for students returning from Thanksgiving trip

Stanford will restrict college-related activities for unvaccinated students and all students returning from international travel after the Thanksgiving vacation, according to a Friday email from Dean of Students Mona Hicks and Executive Director of Vaden Health Services, Dr. Jim Jacobs. Hicks and Jacobs defined restricted activity as students who do not attend in-person classes and who only leave their residence for COVID-19 testing, for medical reasons, for outdoor exercises in solo, for laundry / garbage chores or for meal pickup services.

The new directive comes as some students and community members were increasingly skeptical about resuming in-person teaching during the period between Thanksgiving and the winter break.

Unvaccinated students returning from domestic or international trips after the Thanksgiving vacation will be required to restrict their activities until they receive a negative COVID-19 test result on Day 5 of their return. Fully vaccinated students returning from international travel should restrict their activities until they receive a negative test result on Day 0 (the day they return to campus). They must wait until they receive a negative result on day 5 to visit indoor public restaurants.

“There will be no special arrangements in place to accommodate students who cannot attend classes due to the Thanksgiving trip,” wrote Hicks and Jacobs. “For this reason, we do not recommend international travel during the Thanksgiving vacation so that you can continue your studies in week 10.”

Fully vaccinated travelers returning to campus from national sites will not be subject to a restriction period. The email announced, however, that all students returning from an out-of-state trip were to be tested twice upon returning to campus, regardless of their immunization status. Students will be required to take a test on the day they return, and then again 3 to 5 days after returning to California, Hicks and Jacobs wrote. Students staying in California for the Thanksgiving vacation are not subject to these testing requirements.

Although the new restricted activity and testing rules aim to reduce the spread of COVID-19 on campus after the Thanksgiving vacation, students returning from travel before November 27 are still subject to these updated protocols, according to Student Affairs spokesperson Pat Harris.

Hicks and Jacobs encouraged community members to continue wearing face coverings, especially in large groups. They also stressed the importance of getting the flu shot; Free flu vaccination clinics are available to students across campus until November 3.

“We want to thank all of you for continuing to do your best to keep you, your friends and everyone at Stanford as safe and healthy as possible,” wrote Hicks and Jacobs.

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