Campus Zones

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Stanford creating campus zones?

Public Health requirementsissued 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." Reducing the density of individuals on the main campus to support physical distancing is essential for maintaining a safer and healthier environment as Stanford gradually resumes on-campus teaching and research.

Are the campus zones necessary if undergraduate students are not returning for the autumn quarter?

Yes. Public health requirementsfrom the State of California call for institutions of higher education to limit nonessential visitors and campus activities. Research activities and graduate education are resuming as planned for the autumn quarter. In addition to graduate students, a reduced number of undergraduates are also living on campus. Approximately 6,300 students are expected on campus during the autumn quarter.

When do the campus zones take effect, and how long will they last?

The campus zones were established on Sept. 1, 2020 and are in effect 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Stanford anticipates that the program will be temporary and looks forward to lifting restrictions in accordance with state and local public health orders as conditions improve.

How are the different campus zones defined?

Different areas of the main campus, with the exception of the Stanford Medical Center and faculty and staff housing areas, will be designated as one of four types of zones:

  • The Academic Campus Zone at the center of campus includes many academic buildings, the Main Quad and the Oval.
  • The Campus Zones on the east and west sides of campus include student housing and academic and cultural facilities. Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve is also designated as a Campus Zone.
  • The Athletics Zone includes varsity athletic and supporting facilities.
  • The Campus Arts Zone covers the Arts District, including Cantor Arts Center, Rodin Sculpture Garden, the Anderson Collection, Frost Amphitheater and Bing Concert Hall.
  • The Community Zones encompass the Arboretum, the Dish area, the Sand Hill Fields along Sand Hill Road and the Stanford Golf Course and Stanford Golf Learning Center & Driving Range.

    Who is allowed in the different zones?

    Stanford is restricting the Academic Campus Zone, the Campus Zones, the Campus Arts Zone and the Athletics Zone to students, faculty, staff and postdoctoral scholars approved to be on campus. The program does not affect access to the Academic Campus Zone and Campus Zones for faculty and staff and their families and other affiliates who already live in the zones.

    While the current restrictions for these four zones are similar, the university is maintaining the different designations to preserve greater flexibility to adjust restrictions in different parts of campus as public health conditions improve. For example, the Campus Arts Zone may be opened to visitors before other zones.

    The Community Zones are open to visitors and all faculty, staff, students and postdocs.

    What is the protocol for people coming to campus?

    Anyone coming to campus is required to observe COVID-19 protocol, including:

    • If presenting COVID-19 symptoms, please do not come to campus
    • Maintain six feet of distance at all times from people not in your immediate household
    • Wear face coverings inside (except in individual offices and residential units), and outside when six feet of physical distancing is not possible. Employees working outside are required to wear face coverings at all times.
    • Avoid gathering in groups
    • Faculty, staff, postdocs and students approved to be on campus, and family members and other affiliates living on campus, will be required to display their Stanford ID cards when in the Academic Campus Zone, the Campus Zones, the Campus Arts Zones and the Athletics Zone. Campus residents without a Stanford ID are asked to carry identification with their campus address. Approved vendors and sub-contracted workers without a Stanford ID are required to wear an appropriate uniform. The ID requirement has been delayed. More information will be shared soon.
    • If working on campus, you must: (1) complete the COVID-19-specific training on hygiene best practices developed by Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S); and (2) use the Health Check tool to report health status before arriving each day.

    How will the campus zones program be enforced?

    The purpose of the campus zones is to comply with state requirements that call for reducing public use of campus spaces and resources. The program is in effect 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    Stanford is asking our neighbors to voluntarily abide by these new restrictions and is prioritizing education over penalties. The university will first request that people not approved to be in restricted areas leave those areas immediately. It is hoped that this request will be sufficient. If, regretfully, individuals do not comply with this request, or in the event of repeated noncompliance, they could be cited for trespassing. Violations of county and state Public Health Orders could also result in a citation.

    Clearly identified Stanford personnel will maintain a presence in popular gathering places located in restricted zones, such as the Oval, Meyer Green, Wilbur Field, Roble Field, Cobb Field, the athletic fields along El Camino Real and Lake Lagunita. Individuals not visibly displaying their Stanford IDs or other approved forms of identification may be asked by uniformed safety officers to show their identification. Stanford personnel in these roles have undergone training, including anti-bias training, to facilitate respectful engagement and to prevent differential treatment of individuals or groups based on protected characteristics.

    Parking violations are subject to a parking citation.

    Why do I need to visibly display my Stanford ID?

    Stanford is delaying the requirement to display a visible ID at this time, recognizing the challenges for some members of our community in obtaining ID cards and in order to allow more time for education and awareness building about the campus zones program and for further consultation with our community. The information below pertains to when the ID requirement is implemented.

    The intention is to provide everyone in the Stanford community with a common means of visibly identifying their Stanford affiliation with the goal of minimizing any potentially uncomfortable interactions about whether a person or group of people is approved to be on the main campus during this temporary period. The university appreciates that this requirement is unusual at Stanford, though it is common in Stanford hospitals and in other work settings where public access is intended to be managed.

    The university is providing lanyards to those who need them in order to make it easier for Stanford community members to comply with this new rule.

    Information about obtaining a Stanford ID card, including courtesy cards for family members and other affiliates living on campus, is available on the Campus Card Services website.

    How can I get a lanyard to display my Stanford ID?

    Stanford is providing free lanyards to all students, and to any faculty, staff and postdocs who need them. Students living on campus will either receive lanyards as part of their welcome bags or they will be distributed through their on-campus residences. Graduate students living off campus can pick up lanyards at the Graduate Community Center.

    The university is developing a process for providing lanyards to faculty, staff and postdocs. More information on how lanyards will be distributed will be shared via student communications and Health Alerts in the coming days.

    Where can students find additional COVID-19-related information?

    New undergraduate students should consult Approaching Stanford, and returning undergraduates can find more information on the Re-Approaching Stanford website. Graduate students should consult Grad Updates for COVID-19-related news and information.

    Who should I contact with questions or concerns?

    Members of the Stanford community should submit concerns to the Ethics and Compliance Helpline. The public and Stanford community members can contact with questions and suggestions for how the campus zones program can be improved.

    For 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). 

    Academic Campus Zone

    Are events allowed in the Academic Campus Zone?

    All in-person public events in the Academic Campus Zone are canceled through the end of 2020, with many, such as Continuing Studies, being converted to virtual experiences. Events must be approved in advance by Environmental Health & Safety.

    Will there be religious gatherings on campus?

    In-person religious gatherings have been canceled until further notice. If state and county public health orders allow such gatherings in the future, the Office for Religious Life will explore opportunities to hold services. In the meantime, their website includes information about virtual worship and other events. We do not anticipate being able to accommodate visitors for religious gatherings during the autumn quarter. Staff at Hillel are allowed to enter the Academic Campus Zone. Faith leaders delivering religious rites should work with the Office for Religious Life to obtain approval to be on campus, including the necessary COVID-19 protocol required.

    Will the curbside grocery service at Munger Market and the Faculty Club continue?

    Curbside pick-up of groceries that follows appropriate health protocol will be allowed to continue.

    Campus Arts Zone

    Are the museums open to visitors?

    No. The museums will be closed until at least winter quarter and will only open when allowed by state and county health orders and approved by Stanford to do so. Stanford researchers can contact the museums regarding access to objects in the collection.

    Will Stanford Live be hosting any performances?

    Starting in late September, Stanford Live will begin rolling out their digital fall season that includes high-definition performances filmed at Bing Concert Hall, featuring the St. Lawrence String Quartet, pianist Garrick Ohlsson, musician Vân Ánh (Vanessa) Võ, the Kronos Quartet and more. In addition, they will screen new performances by many of Stanford Live’s favorite artists, including the Takács Quartet, Manual Cinema and Taylor Mac. More information will be available in mid-September.

    Athletics Zone

    Who can visit the Athletics Zone?

    Current Stanford students, postdocs, staff and faculty who are approved to be on campus or have been granted permission to be in the Athletics Zone.

    Is special permission required for students, faculty or staff to visit the Athletics Zone?

    Access to facilities, when they are open, is limited to students, staff and faculty approved to be in the Athletics or Academic Zones. These individuals should visibly display their university identification card to establish their university affiliation. Currently, the AEROC pool is limited only to students, faculty and staff. We know this is an important resource and are actively exploring options to expand access. Stanford affiliates might consider reserving a pool lane at the Stanford Redwood City Recreation & Wellness Center.

    Community Zones

    What parts of campus are included in the Community Zones?

    The Community Zones include four main exterior spaces: the Arboretum (including the Cactus Garden), the Dish area, the Sand Hill Fields and the Stanford Golf Course and Stanford Golf Learning Center & Driving Range. The public is also welcome to run, bike or walk along the Stanford Perimeter Trail. Updates on the currently closed museums and performing arts venues in the Campus Arts Zone, including the Rodin Sculpture Garden, will be posted here. The Stanford Medical Center is not included in the campus zones program and has no new restrictions on access.

    Is the public allowed to pass through the campus?

    Visitors are allowed to circulate campus by walking, running, biking or driving along Campus Drive but are asked to not stop in the Academic Campus Zone, Campus Arts Zone, Athletics Zone or the Campus Zones. Commuters and those accessing essential services (e.g. banking, child care) are allowed to pass through campus, as are children traveling to school. There are no restrictions around the Stanford Hospitals and Clinics.

    Can members of the public still access the COVID-19 testing site in the Galvez Lot?

    Yes. Stanford Health Care continues to operate the testing site, and it remains open to all individuals with an appointment. More information is available here.


    Are invited visitors allowed in the Academic Campus Zone or the Campus Zones?

    Students and essential researchers, faculty and staff approved to be on campus are not allowed to host visitors in the Academic Campus Zone. Per guidance from the State of California, students are not currently permitted to host visitors in the Campus Zones, although the university is seeking additional guidance from Santa Clara County public health officials on this issue.

    Can I visit campus as a prospective student?

    Stanford is unable to accommodate in-person visits from prospective applicants at this time. All in-person campus tours and self-guided tours are not permitted until further notice. The Office of Undergraduate Admission has moved to entirely virtual visits. Likewise, the Visitor Center is currently closed and is encouraging prospective visitors to explore its virtual programming instead.

    Are tours allowed on campus?

    In an effort to reduce large groups coming to campus, all organized group tours and self-guided group tours are not allowed until further notice. Tour buses are not permitted to enter the campus at this time, and there is no authorized parking for tour buses.

    Can I organize or participate in a recreation class on campus?

    Outdoor recreational classes (including boot camps) organized by third parties are not permitted on campus. Students, faculty and staff can find more information on recreation classes here.

    Are there visitor restrooms in the Community Zones?

    There are no visitor restrooms in the Dish area or the Arboretum. Restrooms are available at the Sand Hill Fields and the Stanford Golf Course and Stanford Golf Learning Center & Driving Range.

    Can visitors shop at the Stanford Bookstore or the Stanford Athletics Shop at the Track House?

    In-store shopping is currently unavailable at both the Stanford Bookstore and Stanford Athletics Shop at the Track House. Online ordering is available and updates will be provided on the Bookstore website.

    Transportation, Parking and Deliveries

    For additional related information regarding parking, visit the Stanford Transportation FAQ on the campus zones program on the Stanford Transportation website.

    Will deliveries and mail service be impacted?

    Regular package deliveries and mail service will continue in all of the zones, and strategies for reducing the number and improving the efficiency of deliveries are being studied. We are asking all campus employees to help reduce deliveries by not sending personal orders to campus office addresses. The USPS post office in White Plaza remains open and customers not otherwise approved to be in the Academic Campus Zone are permitted to access the post office as a visitor.

    Information about personal food deliveries will be provided soon.

    How will vendor access, such as food deliveries for dining halls and other essential services, be affected?

    Vendors will still be allowed to access restricted zones for business reasons and are expected to continue operating under approved COVID-19 protocols.

    Is there visitor parking in the Community Zones?

    Limited visitor parking is available at the Dish area and the Stanford Golf Course and Stanford Golf Learning Center & Driving Range, and there is visitor pay parking in the vicinity of Sand Hill Fields. While there is limited parking in the Community Zones, all visitor parking has been eliminated in the Academic Campus Zone.

    How do I purchase a visitor parking permit?

    Visitor parking at most campus visitor lots requires a permit purchased through the ParkMobile app. Pay stations and parking meters at visitor lots have been taken offline to avoid the touching of shared surfaces that cannot be adequately disinfected throughout the day in keeping with COVID-19 safety precautions.

    How is Marguerite shuttle service impacted by the campus zones program?

    Marguerite shuttle service is not affected by the campus zones program. For updates and safety tips about Marguerite shuttle service, please visit COVID-19: Marguerite Updates. The public is asked not to access restricted campus zones via the Marguerite Shuttle.

    Are carpools and ride hailing services allowed to pick up and drop off passengers in restricted zones?

    Yes, as long as the driver and anyone else not approved to be in the restricted zone remains in the vehicle at all times.

    More Information

    More information about the campus zones program is available in Stanford Report.

    Didn’t find the information you’re looking for? To suggest an addition to the frequently asked questions, email

Updated on August 29, 2020 4:59 PM