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COVID-19 & Disability

Two students walking with masks on

Stanford University's Health Alerts website provides comprehensive COVID-19 news and resources. Stanford community members should educate themselves on the current policies and status of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on Cardinal Recovery as it relates to the phased approach of re-opening the campus. Mandatory self-reporting of COVID-19 status to Stanford can be found here. Below is information describing the policies, protocols, and guidance that may be of particular importance to students, faculty, staff, and the broader Stanford community with disabilities. 

Stay Safe Signage

Public Health requirements issued 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.” Standardization of university-wide communications will clarify expectations for faculty, staff, students, and visitors. Stay Safe signs and graphical tools have been installed throughout campus. These signs indicate what types of activities are allowed inside facilities, as well as throughout the exterior campus. Existing signage on University buildings is compliant with state and local regulations and include expectations for everyone entering the building. Signage is placarded on main entrances to buildings and additional signage is located within the building providing guidance. 

stay safe signage face covering required even if vaccinatedstay safe signage maintain physical distance and wash hands

  • Primary Entry Guidance – Stay safe by doing the following: use the Stanford Health Check Tool (if required/not vaccinated) before coming to campus, wear a face covering (even if
  • vaccinated), wash your hands often, avoid touching your face, and clean surfaces you touch.
  • Personal Care – Stay safe by doing the following: wear a mask (if required/not vaccinated) and wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Water Fountain – Stay safe by doing the following: do not drink directly from the fountain, and use only for filling bottles and cups.
  • Workstation Cleaning – Stay safe by doing the following: wipe the keyboard and mouse with the cleaner provided and leave it wet to air dry.


Gatherings are generally permitted for faculty, staff and students, both indoors and outdoors, with special approval required for outside visitors at special events. All getherings are required to comply with current COVID-19 event modifications. Further information can be found here.

Face Coverings

Face coverings are required whenever inside any Stanford building. Stanford's current policy on face coverings can be found hereAll faculty, staff, students, contractors, and visitors must continue to wear face coverings in the following settings:

  • When in a classroom
  • When on public transportation
  • When in healthcare facilities, and
  • In the case of an outbreak.
  • While eating or drinking; or
  • Children 2 years old or younger

For fully vaccinated individuals, face coverings will still be required indoors. In workplace settings, departments are to continue providing face coverings upon employee request.

Unvaccinated persons will need to continue to wear their face coverings in shared indoor public/workplace settings (i.e., lobbies, breakrooms, restrooms, shared office suites) and in vehicles.

For unvaccinated persons, face coverings are not required to be worn in the following situations:

  • When outdoors,
  • When alone in a room or University vehicle/cart
  • When eating/ drinking outdoors, or indoors while physically distancing from others,
  • For children 2 years old or younger,
  • When wearing a face covering would cause an unsafe condition*, or
  • If there is a medical or mental health exception*.

*In these cases, such individuals must maintain physical distancing from others, OR are required to complete COVID-19 testing on a weekly basis.

Clear facing coverings are also available upon request. For anyone who has been advised by a medical professional not to wear a face covering: Students in this situation should follow up with the Office of Accessible Education (OAE) to receive an accommodation, and employees should contact their HR manager. The process for requesting an exemption to the face covering policy or requesting an alternative face covering is outlined below.

Students Requesting Disability Accommodations Related to COVID-19

Students needing an exemption to the face covering policy or an alternative face covering should contact the Office of Accessible Education. Additionally, students should consult with their disability advisor and/or register with the OAE if they need any COVID-19-related academic and/or housing accommodations. If a disability is not obvious, the OAE will require documentation from a licensed health care provider. Updates about OAE's response to COVID-19 can be found here. Note: clear face masks are available upon request and as needed for disability-related purposes.

Employees Requesting Disability Accommodations Related to COVID-19

Employees needing an exemption to the face covering policy, an alternative face covering, or other disability workplace accommodation requests related to COVID-19 should first review the Administrative Guide Policy: 2.2.7 Requesting Workplace Accommodations for Employees With Disabilities, and then contact their supervisor or human resources manager (HRM). This policy outlines the process for requesting a workplace accommodation, including the type of documentation that may be required, the evaluation of the request and how to resolve disagreements related to the request. Note: clear face masks are available upon request and as needed for disability-related purposes. As a reminder, the primary source of COVID-19 transmission continues to be person-to-person. Frequent hand-washing is advised. Additional prevention and self-care information can be found here.

Cardinal at Work has assembled a Safe Return to the Workplace FAQ please take a moment to review this information and reach out to with any questions.

Visitors Requesting Disability Accommodations Related to COVID-19

Visitors and the Stanford community are welcome to outdoor areas across campus and in buildings currently open to the public (i.e. Cantor Arts Center, Anderson, Stanford Bookstore, etc). Visitor parking is available in all parts of the main campus and information about public restrooms can be found hereVisitors to academic and research buildings and facilities are largely restricted to those approved to be onsite for education, research, and official business purposes. Visitors coming to a Stanford campus for academic, business, or research purposes must be hosted by a department or unit. For more information please visit this page. If you are enrolled in any continuing education course as a non-matriculated student and/or attending an online event or activity and need a disability-related accommodation please contact the Diversity & Access Office

Reporting COVID-19-Related Concerns

Members of the Stanford community should submit concerns to the Ethics and Compliance HelplineFor 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). 

Updated July 2021