Stanford U. Bans Indoor Parties, Calls for ‘Masking Outdoors’

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If students at Stanford University thought life was returning back to normal now that 95 percent of the campus is vaccinated, it’s time for them to think again, as the university has announced that it is banning indoor parties, and “strongly recommending masking outdoors.”

The university says that while “vaccination and face coverings together offer a high degree of protection against COVID-19,” and symptoms typically “range from nonexistent to mild to moderate, and do not involve hospitalization,” students can still expect a “highly vaccinated, with mask wearing” environment on campus this fall.

In this April 9, 2019, file photo, pedestrians walk on the campus at Stanford University in Stanford, Calif. The Education Department released a report Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020, amid its effort to enforce a 1986 law requiring U.S. universities to disclose gifts and contracts from foreign sources. The department’s findings are primarily based on investigations it has opened at 12 schools, including Harvard, Yale, Stanford and Georgetown universities. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

In this April 9, 2019, file photo, pedestrians walk on the campus at Stanford University in Stanford, Calif.  (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

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(Photo by THOMAS SAMSON/AFP via Getty Images)

“Indoor student parties will be prohibited until October 8, the end of the third week of the fall quarter for most students,” said Associate Vice Provost Russell Furr in a recent announcement regarding the school’s update on coronavirus preparations for the fall semester.

This new prohibition will “help limit the potential for virus transmission in this period when we are returning on-site,” Furr said, adding that students will only be allowed to have small apartment or dorm gatherings.

As for masks, Stanford is now “strongly recommending masking outdoors.”

“In addition to the indoor mask requirement already in place, we are strongly recommending masking outdoors in crowded settings when 6 feet of distance from others cannot consistently be maintained,” Furr advised.

The university, nonetheless, encouraged students to “take advantage of our outdoor spaces,” but reminded them that attendees of outdoor gatherings must remain masked at all times, except when eating.

“Outdoor events with food are still allowed, and you can lower a face covering to eat — but use good judgment and maintain distance from others when doing so,” Furr said.

In a separate announcement, Stanford said 95 percent of its students have submitted proof that they have been vaccinated against the Chinese coronavirus.

“Since the inclusion of the vaccination question into Health Check starting May, 2021, approximately 95% of all users submitting have indicated being vaccinated,” the university said.

Stanford is one of the several schools across the country requiring that all of its students get the jab in order to attend in-person classes during the fall semester.

Other institutions including Rutgers University, Columbia University, the University of Virginia, and Ohio State University have also mandated that their students be fully vaccinated against the Wuhan virus before returning to campus.

Other universities — like Quinnipiac University and the University of Michigan — have gone as far as punishing their students who do not comply with vaccine mandates by fining them and cutting off their internet access.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.

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