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Taking Care of Ourselves & Each Other

Tile image featuring Ryan James OConnor during a Stanford Educational Farm (SEF) event. Photo: Andrew Brodhead

Color & Rapid Testing Guidance

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In order to maintain a safe, open campus environment during the pandemic, Stanford is focused on efforts that help to identify and prevent the spread of COVID-19 at the earliest possible stages. COVID-19 vaccinations and symptomatic testing are crucial aspects of these efforts to support the health and well-being of our campus community. 

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COVID Exposure & Symptomatic Testing

We strongly recommend that all students test whenever they are experiencing symptoms or are concerned about possible exposure. 


Below you’ll find answers to the following important questions.

How do I get started with COVID testing on campus? 

Register for Stanford’s COVID testing program with our campus testing provider, Color. Color testing is provided at no charge to students. 

Create a Color testing account using your primary Stanford email address, Alias Stanford emails will not be accepted and you should use a different password than your SUNet ID password. If you do not know your primary Stanford SUNet email or are not sure how to access it, please contact University IT Services & Support at (650) 725-4357 or by submitting an online ticket. If you have any trouble registering with Color, please submit a ServiceNow ticket

Student-athletes should check with their administrative units for testing information and should ensure their athlete status is correctly reflected in Axess.

More details on the type of test provided by Color and possible test results.

I just arrived on campus, what are the arrival testing requirements?

Please view these arrival testing updates.

What should I do after traveling?

Please view these travel testing updates.

Where can I pick up rapid tests?

Rapid tests are available at the Arrillaga Family Dining Commons. Each student can receive up to 8 rapid tests per month. 

To pick up rapid tests, you’ll need your Stanford ID and cell phone. You’ll be asked to scan a QR code while in line to display your pick-up authorization badge on your phone. Staff will check your badge before giving you the tests. If you don’t have a phone, a staff member will manually check your records to verify eligibility.

Rapid test kits are also available for purchase at many retail outlets and online. Most health insurance plans now also permit enrollees to obtain kits from some pharmacies at no additional out-of-pocket cost.

Where can I pick up and drop off Color test kits? 

Once you have registered with Color testing, visit test kit pick-up locations.

Students can pick up as many as four Color test kits at a time or pick up a test kit prior to the day they intend to use it. However, be sure to only activate one kit at a time and “Activate, Collect and Drop Off” on the same day. For example, if you pick up a test kit on Monday, but do not want to use it until Wednesday, wait until Wednesday to activate the kit. 

Please bring your Stanford University ID when picking up test kits. 

How do I activate my kit and self-swab? 

  • Activate your test kit online at
  • "Activate, Collect and Drop Off" your kit all on the same day. 
  • You must activate your kit prior to the drop-off in order for your sample to be tested and to receive results from Color.  

What do my Color test results mean? 

  • My test results were negative...
    • No further action is required. Continue to practice healthy campus behaviors and continue to maintain your testing cadence. 
  • My test results were positive… 
  • My results were inconclusive or unsatisfactory…
    • On the rare occasion that you receive an “unsatisfactory sample” or “inconclusive” result notification from Color you will need to repeat the test, immediately. 

I tested positive for COVID outside of Color testing, what should I do?

Immediately following any positive COVID-19 test result, all students should review important guidance on isolation and the COVID reporting process, here

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Additional Questions & Support 

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Data Collection & Privacy 

Learn more about COVID-19 data collection and protection here

Student Spouses, Partners, & Children COVID Testing 

Spouses and partners who are living with students in R&DE-assigned housing are eligible to test at no cost with Color Genomics. Testing information is here. Vaccination resources are here. For testing information for children under the age of 18, please check in with the child's primary care physician.