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COVID-19 Surveillance Testing Policy

Published Nov. 20, 2020; updated March 24, 2021

The health and safety of our community is our top priority. To align to the required student testing program and to provide increased safety for individuals working on-site, and that of their families, the university will expand its COVID-19 surveillance testing program for employees and postdoctoral scholars. Starting January 4, 2021, through the winter quarter, surveillance testing will be required for faculty, academic and non-academic staff, contingent employees and postdoctoral scholars who are approved to work on-site. Since introducing the voluntary program in late August, testing along with other safety protocols has minimized the prevalence of COVID-19 at Stanford. The expanded testing program will be an added safeguard as we prepare for the gradual increase of on-site activities in the winter quarter.

Effective date

January 4, 2021, through the winter quarter, with potential adjustments such as strengthening, focusing or relaxing the testing program as results are evaluated and local context is considered (e.g., state and county COVID-19 tier status). 

Other details

  • Regular benefits-eligible employees (including faculty, academic and non-academic staff), non-benefits eligible and contingent (temporary and casual) employees, and postdocs who work on-site at least one day per week, regardless of the number of hours or type of work performed, must test once per week at least through winter quarter.  

  • Employees and postdocs who work on-site infrequently (less than one day each week or every other week, for example) are required to test once during each week they work on-site, ideally on the first day they are scheduled to be on-site.

  • Faculty, staff and postdocs who are approved to come on-site on a one-time basis (e.g. to pick up office equipment, drop off paperwork, etc.) are required to test on the day they are scheduled to be on-site.

  • On-site work must be authorized by the school/unit dean, vice provost, vice president or assigned delegate and such authorization is recorded within the On-site Role Management System (ORMS).

  • Employees and postdocs must record their health status in Health Check prior to starting work on each day scheduled to be on-site.

  • The testing program will continue to use self-collection test kits from Color Genomics.

    • Employees and postdocs who cannot utilize the technology for Color testing due to language or technical barriers (e.g., access to a computer) may go to Environmental Health & Safety, 484 Oak Road, for additional support.
  • Employees and postdocs will be required to have their Stanford ID badge with them for test kit pick up.

  • Test kit pick up and drop off sites are open now

    • Individuals scheduled to return to on-site work for the first time on January 4, or later, may pick up test kits during their first week back. Note: Please see the university’s Travel Guidance for requirements for returning to the main campus or Stanford Redwood City campus after traveling more than 150 miles from Santa Clara County or San Mateo County.

    • Non-exempt employees should record their time for picking up/dropping off test kits, as well as the testing time required when administered through Occupational Health. This should be done during regular work hours unless approved in advance by the employee’s supervisor.


All regular benefits-eligible employees (including faculty, academic and non-academic staff), all non-benefits eligible and contingent staff (temporary and casual), and postdocs who work on-site at the main campus, Stanford Redwood City (SRWC), or any Stanford location in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties are required to test according to the requirements of this policy.

SLAC employees will also be required to test and should refer to details posted in the SLAC Intranet.

About Stanford’s Surveillance Testing program 

Visit the Surveillance Testing program page on Health Alerts for details on the testing registration process, how the test is administered, locations, etc.

Also read "Your COVID-19 testing program questions answered" for responses to frequently asked questions.