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Stanford Reverses Choice to Bring Freshmen, Sophomores to Campus

Stanford University this weekend scrapped plans to bring freshmen and sophomores back to campus for its winter quarter, citing the worsening COVID-19 situation in California. For undergraduates, only those with special circumstances will be approved to live on campus. Most instruction will take place online. 

“We are now at the worst point of the pandemic so far. Health officials said this week that before Thanksgiving, each day there were four-to-five positive COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population here in Santa Clara County. Recently, it has been approximately 50 cases per 100,000 population — a tenfold increase,” Stanford officials said in a message to campus. “Stanford’s hospital is now caring for its largest number of COVID-19 patients during the pandemic, including patients transferred from hospitals in other hard-hit parts of California.”

Additionally, as of Jan. 8, 43 graduate and undergraduate students are in isolation at Stanford. (Those undergraduates were approved to live on campus for resident assistant positions or other special circumstances.)

The university said those cases are not related to community spread, but rather to students arriving on campus. The week of Dec. 28, the campus saw 11 positive test results, a new weekly record. 

Stanford found itself in a similar situation this summer, when after announcing tentative plans in June to bring freshmen and sophomores back to campus, the administration reversed those plans in August.

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