In a statement issued by the hallowed academic institution Friday night, Stanford University announced a student tested positive for COVID-19. As a means of precaution, college officials have asked that "as many students as possible" vacate the campus by Wednesday, March 18th.
(10/10) Once again, we encourage you to take steps to ensure your personal well-being. As events develop, we will continue to update https://t.co/LlNXeyLPbn with guidance.— Stanford University (@Stanford) March 14, 2020
SFGate and NBC Bay Area broke the news yesterday an unnamed student at Stanford University tested positive for novel coronavirus. To safeguard the rest of the student body from unnecessary exposure, the South Bay college has asked undergrads to "leave campus" by this coming Wednesday, a decision made as well over concerns about how they’ll be able to adequately feed and house scholars amidst new Santa Clara County restrictions.
"[Stanford University] will only be able to provide on-campus undergraduate housing and dining for a very limited number of students – those who have no other option than to be here," writes University President Marc Tessier-Lavigne in the letter. "We profoundly regret having to arrive at this place, which will mean further disruption for you, [and we are] taking these new actions to support your health and safety and to align our operations with quickly changing developments."
Those "new actions" include asking instructors to make winter quarter final exams optional for undergraduate students, increasing the number of employees who can work remotely, only serving pre-filled to-go containers of food and bottled or canned drinks during meal services, among other changes.
SFGate also noted the student who tested positive is self-isolating and campus staff is working to identify possible points of contact. The school also said international students — "who cannot go home" — students that have known health or safety risks, and learners who are homeless can remain on campus... as long as they submit a request to do so.
However, all other Stanford students have been formally asked to vacate the campus.
This news comes after Santa Clara County issued orders to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, which included the closing of public schools, banning gatherings of more than 100 people, and imposing new restrictions on smaller meetings.
There are now over 153,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the globe, according to data gathered from John Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering.