Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation

Help Keep Our Campus Safe

Banner image featuring signage directing students to various Lagunita Court dorms.

Essential Visitors

Main content start

What is an Essential Visitor?

As part of ongoing discussions with the county, Stanford students are now allowed to identify and register essential visitors to grant them permission to be on campus. Read a message from the Dean of Students about student households and essential visitors. This change reflects a need for flexibility to allow limited campus visitors with essential roles an opportunity to support students while prioritizing the health and safety for the entire community.  County guidance allows for essential visitors on campus.  This means that students residing on campus may have care workers (home care workers who provide essential services such as health and/or child care), spouses/partners and dependent children visit their campus residences. Students who wish to discuss special circumstances for essential visitors should contact their Residence Dean or Graduate Life Office dean. 

Registering Essential Visitors

If I have an apartment-mate, will I need to get their consent for my essential visitors? Yes.

How do I register an essential visitor? Once you identify your essential visitor(s) just fill out the registration form; it should take less than 5 minutes.  Once you complete the form, you will immediately receive an email including a letter and a badge that your visitor can print or store on their phone and can present to University personnel if asked.  

How will the information I fill out on my essential visitor(s) be used? As the sponsoring student, Stanford assumes you will manage the health and behavior of your essential visitor appropriately but reserves the right to follow up with you and/or with them if concerns arise. Importantly, information collected through the registration process for essential visitors will also help with exposure notification in the event of positive COVID-19 tests in the campus community.  

Do other family members (such as siblings or parents) qualify as essential visitors?  No, unless the family member is performing essential child or medical care functions or is a minor dependent.

How many essential visitors can I register? Currently we are limiting the number of essential visitors to 1 spouse or partner, 1-2 essential care workers, and any number of minor dependants (no limit). 

What happens if my essential visitors change? No problem, you can fill out the form with updated information for your new essential visitor.  

When does the registration for essential visitors expire? Registration for an essential visitor is valid for the quarter during which the visitor was registered and approval expires at the end of that quarter. 

What if I don’t have a partner or children or require care from an essential worker? Does that mean I can’t have essential visitors? Yes. As soon as county or university guidance changes, we will promptly let you know.  

Campus Access for Essential Visitors

Can essential visitors access common areas in a building? Be in an apartment without a mask? Essential visitors should not access common areas in a building. Essential visitors may utilize communal restrooms if the sponsoring student lives in a communal residential space. Essential visitors do not need to wear a mask within the apartment of their sponsoring student but there may be situations where wearing a mask in an apartment is warranted.

Can an essential visitor come from either on or off campus housing? Yes. However, any essential visitors arriving to to Santa Clara County after traveling more than 150 miles away must quarantine for 10 days and comply with all current University travel guidance.  which currently includes a self-isolation period of 14 days before coming to campus.

How many times can an essential visitor come to campus? If they are registered there is no limit to the number of times an essential visitor can come to campus but they are required to follow all health guidelines outlined by the University, as well as adhere to all guidelines outlined in the Residence Agreement

Do essential visitors need to perform a Stanford Health CheckNo. However, essential visitors should check their temperature before coming to campus and if they are experiencing symptoms they should refrain from coming to campus entirely and be promptly tested by a healthcare professional.  Essential visitors should pursue COVID-19 testing options available to them and should be in regular communication with their sponsoring student to share their health status.  Essential visitors should also avoid coming to campus if they have been exposed to COVID-19 or are awaiting test results. 

How long can an essential visitor stay on campus? Essential visitors are subject to the rules for guests outlined in the Residence Agreement.  

Do essential visitors have to display a badge?
Essential visitors are not required to wear the badge but they are required to have a copy of the badge with them at all times. Essential visitors can print or store the badge on their phone and present to University personnel if asked.  

If I am currently following isolation or quarantine procedures, am I allowed to have essential visitors?
No. If you require a home care aid or other essential service, you may discuss your specific circumstances with the clinical personnel at Vaden Health Services to review arrangements that may be appropriate. 

Essential Visitors and Student Households

Do essential visitors count as members of my student household? Essential visitors only count as members of your student household if they are in your residential facility/area and you register them as a member of your household.  Some important things to remember:

  • Family members who live in the same residence are automatically included as members of the household. 
  • Essential visitors coming from off campus who are not family must follow the guidelines for guests outlined in the Residence Agreement and cannot reside on campus outside the limits of those guidelines.  
  • Forming a student household is intended to support safe social interaction between proximal campus residents in accordance with county guidance.  
  • Because essential visitors who live off campus cannot be part of your student household as described here, they cannot attend household gatherings with members who are not apartment-mates.

Reporting Violations

How do I report a student who appears to be violating the spirit of this essential visitor privilege? You can submit a concern to the University at any time by filling out this form.