We recognize that loosening up of restrictions across the state that you are anxious as we are to reopen the fitness centers. At this time, we are awaiting further guidance from the University Administration as to when we can open. When we do get permission to open, we will be announcing that immediately through our website, newsletter, and social media channels. Click here to sign up for our newsletters.

It is hard to comprehend the changes to our daily lives due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the order to ‘shelter in place’. It has been heartbreaking to watch the things that we value the most – community, gatherings, fitness and shared experiences – be restricted or canceled, although we know that is the right and necessary thing to do. The University has taken numerous steps thus far to help slow down the spread of the disease. In cooperation with Stanford Administration, the County of Santa Clara, and the State of California, please read below the following changes to our programs.

We ask that you continue to follow the State Order to social distance and practice safe personal hygiene habits and partner with us to keep our community healthy and safe! Click below to learn more as well as view any announcements or upcoming changes from specific program areas.

Please visit our Stanford Recreation & Wellness Virtual Recreation hub to learn about resources for staying active during the ‘shelter in place’ order.


Q: Are any of the facilities open?

  • A: At this time ALL Recreational Facilities and Pools are closed indefinitely (AO, AOERC, SCRA, SRWC, SLAC).

Q: Do we know when we will open?

  • A: No; updates will be sent through our newsletter and posted to our website as soon as they become available.

Q: Can I leave home to exercise?

  • A. If you will be both outdoors and not in close contact with other people, yes. Otherwise, no. Fitness and exercise gyms are not permitted to operate.

Q: I become anxious when cooped up in my house. am I allowed to go to a park or on a hike?

  • A: Yes. Spending time outside improves mood and well-being, and is particularly beneficial to children. You can go for walks, go to the park, and engage in other similar activities, but should maintain social distance (i.e. be more than six feet away from persons who are not part of your household) when on walks and in parks to avoid spread of the virus. View the Santa Clara County's FAQ regarding the 'shelter in place' order as of 3/16.

Q: Does sweat transfer coronavirus?

  • A: Perspiration alone cannot transmit COVID-19, Dr. David Thomas, a professor of medicine and director of the infectious-diseases division of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, told the New York Times. Although, sweat can stay on surfaces for up to 9 days if not cleaned.

Q: What about other programs?

  • Outdoor Trips - canceled through Spring Quarter
  • Outdoor Classes canceled through Spring Quarter
  • Club Sports - canceled through Spring Quarter
  • Intramurals - canceled until further notice
Flu & Cold Season Recommendations

If you have cold or flu-like symptoms, please refrain from leaving your house and, if warranted, contact a healthcare professional.

    • If you sneeze or cough, please cover your mouth with your elbow or a tissue and throw away the tissue.
    • Wipe down equipment before and after use with disinfectant wet wipes, or cleaning solution and towels.
    • Ensure good hand hygiene and appropriate vaccination.
    • Avoid self-inoculation by touching the eyes, nose, and mouth.
    • Do not train or compete with 'below-the-neck' symptoms.
    • Monitor and manage all forms of stress including physical and psychosocial.
    • Aim for more than seven hours of sleep every night.
    • Avoid restricting sleep over many days and 'catching up'.
    • Consider monitoring sleep duration and efficiency using a wearable device.
Feeling sick?
  • If you are sick (have a fever of minimum 100 degrees and cough or shortness of breath) or are awaiting test results (waiting for the results of a COVID test and currently self-isolating):— Contact your local HR representative and let them know if you had symptoms at work, and when they began.
    — Seek care with your regular doctor.
  • If you have tested COVID-positive:— Call or email the Stanford University Occupational Health Center.

If you test positive for COVID-19, Stanford Medicine’s current advice is the following:

  • Can I come to work?
    No, you will need to self-isolate or quarantine at home, following the County orders.
  • If you are a Stanford employee, please call or email your HR Manager. Your HR manager will work with you to arrange your medical leave / sick time and discuss the return-to-work process.
  • Do I need to be tested?
    You will need to be tested again before you return to work, with the local County assisting with this.
  • Where do I go for care?
    If your symptoms are getting worse, you can contact the County and your doctor.
How to cope with the anxiety and mental stress

This information first appeared in an article a guide to self-care published on the BeWell site.

To read the full article please go here

Staying calm, managing anxiety

Even on a “normal day” in history, emotional stress can prove very challenging. So add in COVID-19, and it’s really tough. How can we stay calmer and make wiser choices?

Firstly, bear in mind that as COVID-19 news spreads, it has created heightened stress for many of us. (For others, it has added to existing anxieties.) As James Kendall, LCSW, CEAP, of Vanderbilt University states,sensationalized stories add to our angst and panic. The stock market has responded with a downturn, and many are unsure whether to travel or attend social gatherings. It may be similar to our response to other stressful world events: HIV, H1N1, SARS, mass shootings and 9/11.” It may therefore be wise for some to limit news overexposure: sensational news stories can perpetuate unnecessary anxiety.

On the other hand, staying educated means something more than just watching TV news:

To help your state of mind as you process current events, we hope the following advice from several Stanford experts will also prove helpful:

Self-care: The gift that keeps on giving
Tending to your emotional health
Rough day: Be grateful
Raindrops on roses
Free archived Health Improvement Program (HIP) webinars

As was summed up in an article published by The Greater Good Science Center UC Berkeley:

“One way is to use whatever tools you have at your disposal for keeping a cool head — like practicing mindfulness, which has been shown to both lessen emotional reactivity and help us make better decisions. We might take a walk in the park or nearby woods and let nature soothe us. Or we could talk to a friend — a calm friend, that is — who can help us reduce our anxiety. Of course, our normal ways of connecting socially — like singing together at a concert or going to large parties — may have to change. But whatever we can do to maintain an air of calm, and to spread it to those around us, the better. After all, our emotions tend to be contagious in our social circles, and we should do our best to keep fear and panic contained.”

Lastly, BeWell has also long advocated that each of us carve out “alone time” — enhanced even more when combined with fresh air and exercise. Simplistic as this may sound, now more than ever, this strategy is a useful tool. Take yourself away — both physically and mentally — from coronavirus for at least a while by going out for a run or long walk, alone.

Runners on running at Stanford
Why walk?

Still having difficulty with emotional stress?

  • Faculty, staff, and postdocs can contact the HELP Center at 723-4577.  All scheduled sessions are being held remotely (Zoom).
  • Santa Clara County maintains an anonymous crisis line that is available 24 hours, 7 days a week, at 1-800-704-0900 (Mental Health Services).
  • SAMHSA’s Distress Helpline (related to any natural or human-caused disaster) is accessible 24/7 at 1-800-985-5990 or via text (send TALKWITHUS to 66746; Press 2 for Spanish).

Other Resources