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For information on Biola University's coronavirus (COVID-19) response and updates, visit biola.edu/coronavirus.

Coronavirus Updates

rendering of covid-19

Updates and information about Biola University's continued preparedness, action and response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Below is a running log of updates and information about Biola University's response to COVID-19. The updates will be time stamped with the most recent appearing at the top. 

All classes and chapels have been canceled March 16 through March 20. The campus will remain operational, otherwise. Classes and chapels will resume remotely on March 23, 2020. 

If you have any questions, please call (562) 906-4501.

March 20, 2020: How “Safer at Home” Affects Biola University

Yesterday, California Governor Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles County officials announced a “Safer at Home” ordinance for all residents to stay at home starting today and running through April 19 in an attempt to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Schools and colleges are exempt from this ordinance as they are considered essential businesses. In order to do our part in limiting the spread of COVID-19 in our community, however, Biola will comply with the order and suspend all on-campus operations with the exception of those who are needed for essential on-campus tasks that cannot be conducted remotely. This will be effective 11:59 p.m. on March 22, 2020 through at least April 19, 2020.

As local and state governments continue to respond rapidly to the virus, we continue to adjust our response efforts to do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19. Each government announcement brings new challenges for our campus community. We appreciate your flexibility and continued commitment these past couple of weeks to care for the health and well-being of our entire community and our neighbors.

During the next month, Biola will operate remotely with a limited number of staff working on campus. These staff members are those who either 1) need to deliver remotely the quality education our students deserve who cannot do so off-campus or 2) need to be on campus to operate basic functions and support our students staying in university-owned housing.

Although not an exhaustive list and not all personnel delivering these services will necessarily need to be on campus, the following is a list of the services we currently anticipate needing to be performed on campus:

  • Health Center services and corresponding support
  • Student housing and food services with delivery only
  • Facilities management at reduced levels
  • Campus Safety personnel
  • Custodial services at reduced levels to care for the limited number of students remaining on campus and focused on sanitizing common areas
  • IT services associated with onsite support and remote learning
  • Human Resources and the Finance Department at reduced levels
  • Faculty who are unable, either due to technical issues or because of the nature of the course, must be on campus to deliver their courses remotely.

In an effort to help guide you through the foreseeable future, the following is a summary of decisions from Biola’s administration. We expect faculty, staff and students to comply with these emergency measures. They include:

  • Residential students are to vacate campus by Saturday, March 21 at 2 p.m. Only students who were approved to live on campus by the Housing and Residence Life department will be able to live on campus in the designated residence halls. Approved students are also permitted to utilize long-term parking.
  • Biola’s campus will be closed through at least April 19. The gatehouse entrances at Biola Ave. and La Mirada Blvd. will be staffed 24/7, and the gate arms will be down. The gates at all other entrances to campus will be closed. Current students and employees will need to scan or show their Biola ID to enter campus. Visitors will need to check-in at a gatehouse prior to entering campus and will be strictly limited to guests of students residing on campus.
  • Building access will be locked down. Academic and administrative buildings will be locked at all times and access will be limited to authorized individuals who need to access them for pre-approved work or study.
  • All classes will be offered by remote delivery. Starting Monday, March 23, 2020 remote teaching and learning will resume and continue through the end of the spring semester. Professors will be communicating with their students about next week’s class schedule and expectations for the remainder of the semester.
  • Do not come to campus if you have been asked to work remotely. Though some personnel assigned to the essential task functions noted earlier will likely need to continue coming to campus to work, we ask that they first seek approval from their supervisor.

We encourage you to visit Biola’s coronavirus website as updates are posted regularly and watch this video to learn more about misconceptions about COVID-19 from Biola’s Assistant Professor of Kinesiology and Health Science Danielle Walker. If you have further questions please contact the coronavirus hotline at (562) 906-4501.

Your understanding and cooperation during this challenging time is greatly appreciated as, together, we work to curb the spread of COVID-19.

March 19, 2020: Urgent Notice of New Move Out Date

Dear students,

In light of Governor Gavin Newsom’s recent executive order for California residents to stay home, the Department of Campus Safety is strongly recommending that students who were not granted permission to remain on campus leave campus for home by 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. Since this order will take effect tomorrow, Friday, March 20, we want to ensure students are able to get home safely as soon as possible.

Many of you have already moved out, but there are still nearly 800 students who remain on campus yet to check out. We are emailing all residential students so you can help spread the word that the deadline has moved up by a day.

If due to pre-arranged travel plans you are unable to leave on Saturday, we ask that you try to adjust your plans to leave as soon as possible. Many airlines are offering the opportunity to change flights at no additional cost.

Please complete the Express Check Out process by putting your key and Express Check Out sheet in a sealed envelope and leaving it under your RD’s office or at the Housing Services desk, and completing the final step form. It is critical that you fill out the Express Check Out Final Step form when you leave campus so that we can process your housing and meal plan costs and maintain an accurate headcount. If you have already left campus and didn’t complete the express check out, please contact undergrad.housing@biola.edu

We apologize for the inconvenience this change might cause you and your family. Unfortunately, the situation changes daily and we want to make sure students get home safely and quickly.

Sincerely,

André Stephens

Vice President for Student Development

March 19, 2020: Remote Learning Resources Available to Students

Dear Biola students,

This is a different time for Biola and for you as you finish the remainder of the spring semester remotely. As you transition to remote delivery formats on Monday, March 23, 2020, departments across campus will be available to support you for the remainder of the semester. We want to share how Biola will support you through the next seven weeks.

Your success during this transition is our priority. We’ve put together a page on the coronavirus website that includes resources for remote learning to assist you during this time:

Our faculty and staff are still available to connect with you virtually. See this information to find out how to set up an online meeting or phone appointment with academic departments and services.

Continuing students are still required to complete academic advising in order to prepare for Fall 2020 registration, and will still need a PIN to register. Your academic advisor or program will be reaching out with more details!

Your overall well-being is most important to us during this time. If you are experiencing challenges financially, emotionally, physically or spiritually, there are resources to support you! Some examples include:

As we transition to remote learning formats, please remember that students are still expected to adhere to the Community Standards and the Title IX/Sexual Misconduct policy. In this unique season, our hope is that whether you are on campus or hundreds of miles away, you will be empowered, transformed and thriving. We ask that you continue to commit to living with integrity, accepting responsibility for your actions and words, living in reconciled relationships, submitting to biblical instruction and walking with the Holy Spirit.

In the midst of all of this, we continue to keep the Biola community in prayer. We invite you to visit the coronavirus website for a list of prayers written by Campus Pastor Todd Pickett. Join us in praying for each other.

Sincerely,

André Stephens

Vice President of Student Development

March 17, 2020: Presidential Update on Coronavirus

March 17, 2020

Dear Biola community,

This is a hard season for so many at Biola University, not to mention nationally and globally. I have heard stories from some of you about your anxiousness and heartaches. And as our nation and state continue to impose new guidelines and restrictions, the burdens seem heavier. We are people of faith and hope, yet we are also people who share in each other’s sorrows and bear each other’s burdens (Galatians 6:2). These struggles may go on for a while to come before the burdens lessen.

In this rapidly escalating COVID-19 environment, our desire is to stay ahead of where we see the situation moving. Our first priority is our campus community. We are receiving continuous information from county, state and federal officials. In light of this information, we are making decisions we believe are best for the university and the health of so many, especially those who are most vulnerable. As a result, each of us is being asked to step up in new ways and do things we haven’t done before for the good of the nation and world. Life has temporarily changed. I appreciate our community’s patience and vigilance as we all navigate these unprecedented times. As I shared with you last week, we remain committed to ongoing communication through our website, FAQs and messages from me.

In consultation with the good and thorough work of the COVID-19 University Response Team (C.U.R.T.), the President’s Cabinet has made a number of decisions. These decisions were fully supported last night by the Board of Trustees Executive Committee. As we considered the impact they would have on our community, our overriding desire was for the health and benefit of our students, faculty, staff and others. These decisions were made seriously, and please know that as a Cabinet we have prayed, are praying and will continue to pray for divine wisdom and Spirit-led discernment in all we do. The following are our decisions as of March 17:

  • We are instructing students to vacate Biola’s residence halls and university-owned apartments, so that they may return home as soon as possible but no later than Sunday, March 22. We believe this is in students’ best interest as President Trump has hinted at restricting travel to and from California. We don’t know how federal and state regulations might ramp up in the coming days. We also understand that students may have real and significant reasons why they cannot return home. Students who believe they must stay on campus and continue meals here due to extenuating circumstances should fill out the form Request to Stay. As all students are now being asked to return home, students no longer need to complete the “Plans for the Rest of Spring 2020” form. For students moving home, Biola will fully credit their student accounts for housing and meals on a prorated basis. This supersedes previous communication regarding housing cancellation costs. Housing and Residential Life staff will follow up later today with residential students via email to provide additional details on the move-out process as well as to provide support to students who need to remain on campus.
  • While there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Biola, we want to minimize the risk of members of the Biola community contracting the virus. Beginning tomorrow, with their supervisor’s approval, any faculty or staff with non-essential “on-campus” tasks will work remotely until at least April 3. Similarly, all business meetings should transition to an online environment, with additional support as needed from IT. We will continue to assess and update staff and faculty if this return date changes. Divisional vice presidents will determine who on their teams will need to be present on campus to continue serving the community. We are asking those employees who do come to work to practice strict hygiene, social distancing and health consideration protocols.
  • The campus will be closed to outside visitors effective March 23 through at least April 3 with the possible exception of certain vendors and contractors. The university will no longer host in-person visits to campus, but instead campus visits will be managed virtually or by phone. This visitor restriction timeframe will be evaluated on a regular basis.
  • Our 2020 Spring Commencement May 8-9 will be postponed with more information coming as contingency decisions are made. This honors the input of graduating students whose feedback we solicited. All other in-person campus events through the end of the spring semester are canceled or will be reconstituted virtually.

In the past 48 hours, we have learned of many new restrictions issued by L.A. County, the State of California, the White House and the CDC pertaining to COVID-19. In addition, the City of La Mirada reported two confirmed cases last night. They are not, however, connected to Biola. These have led to Biola’s stricter standard on housing and employment, resulting in the above decisions.

Let me reiterate again that Biola University is not closing. On Monday, March 23, classes and chapels will resume remotely for the remainder of the spring semester. Other student services will be available remotely such as academic advising, faculty office hours, library services, the Learning Center, pastoral care and counseling services, among others. Regardless of where our students reside, we remain committed to care for them through this unprecedented time of social distancing.

Biola’s faculty members are embracing this moment and delivering through creative and innovative ways their courses and student care. I am delighted and encouraged by the ways in which they continue to educate our students in their intellectual, professional and spiritual development. They do this out of love for their students. These hundreds of professors are receiving outstanding support from the Office of Digital Learning to serve our students and minimize the disruption to their academic experience.

As I said in the opening sentence, this is a hard season. Yet we refuse to live in fear or lead by fear. We are determined to live and lead as Christ has called us, and that is by love. As we care for our own wellbeing — which we all must do — we are also loving our neighbors. As we exercise these precautions, we are protecting the health of our community and those with whom we come in contact. In all we do, we continue to live into our Biola mission as a biblically centered university to educate men and women in mind and character to impact the world for the Lord Jesus Christ. This disruption will not change who we are and what we do.

I was reminded on a phone call this morning with a dear friend and Biola dad of God’s promise. This brother has assured me that we do best when we lead and live into Joshua 1:9. “Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

On behalf of the Cabinet, I want to thank you for your understanding and cooperation. We will continue to keep you posted on new developments all the way through until this COVID-19 challenge recedes. We serve a sovereign God who is more than capable of protecting and providing during this season.

God bless you.

With great appreciation and love,


Barry H. Corey

President

March 15, 2020: Biola University Cancels Spring Competition, Team Activity

Following new reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and continued discussion with health officials and campus and department leadership, Biola University Athletics will cancel all remaining spring competition and team activity, effective immediately.

The school and PacWest Conference had announced previously a suspension to all athletic events through at least March 30. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to progress and expand, a full cancelation has been deemed most prudent.

This includes all team practices and strength training sessions, effective immediately.

“With the new recommendations from the CDC and health experts, we must use an abundance of precaution and cancel all athletics activities for the good of our students and our community,” said Dr. Bethany Miller, senior director of athletics. “This is heartbreaking, in particular for our spring season senior student-athletes, however, we are confident it is the right call.”

The PacWest Conference will have continued discussion on its official response to COVID-19 on Monday afternoon, but Biola is taking proactive steps to ensure the well-being of its student-athletes, staff and extended community.

For more information on Biola’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, view Biola’s Coronavirus webpage. This provides information and resources available to Biola’s campus community.

March 14, 2020: Update on Housing Refund

Dear students,

Last evening you were notified that at this time, Biola is intending to keep residence halls and university-owned housing open for the remainder of the spring semester and that students have the option to remain on campus or return home. The communication last night also stated that there would be no refunds for housing although there would be prorated refunds for meal plans.

We have been receiving questions from students and parents about a housing refund. After considering the input from these groups, we have decided to provide a refund in compliance with our housing handbook. We will provide refunds in the form of a credit to the student’s account. The amount of the refund will be the prorated room rate minus applicable cancellation fees (e.g. equal to one month’s housing charges). The terms of cancellation are found online. At this point in the semester, the approximate range of the housing refund per student would be $340 - $550 after cancellation fees.

If you choose to return home, complete the “Plans For the Rest of Spring 2020” form by Thursday, March 19, 2020 and complete the Express Check Out process no later than 5:00 p.m. Sunday, March 22, 2020.

If you have any questions regarding the Check Out process, contact Housing & Residence Life at undergrad.housing@biola.edu.

For questions related to the Contract Cancellation policy, please contact Beth Braley in Auxiliary Services beth.braley@biola.edu, 562-944-0351, x5813.

Sincerely,

André Stephens

Vice President for Student Development

March 13, 2020: Message from President Corey

March 12, 2020: Coronavirus Update on Classes

March 12, 2020

Dear Biola community,

As was mentioned in President Corey’s briefing yesterday, the university is taking careful steps to best serve our community in these challenging days by moving towards a remote class environment in light of COVID-19. We have engaged in extensive conversations and sought expert advice and counsel in order to arrive at the best protective options possible. I would like to announce three important decisions and provide an update on housing, commencement and students taking part in international study programs.

First, we will transition to a remote delivery format for all “in person” classes for the remainder of the semester effective Monday, March 23, 2020. Students will be receiving communication from their professors or academic administrators by Friday, March 20. Faculty will continue to provide academic advising and hold office hours to support our students through the end of the semester. University living areas will continue to remain open and food services will be available through the end of the academic year.

Second, in order to adequately transition the university to remote delivery, classes will be suspended on Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17 for all students. The campus will remain open on those days as the faculty and administration test and transition courses to remote delivery formats. This will include working on courses that are more suited for in-person instruction such as art, film, music, science and others. Our aim is to ensure that our remote courses are offered with the highest quality possible. We want to maintain academic continuity for our students and research activities to the greatest extent possible as we complete the spring semester.

Third, Missions Conference and chapels have been officially canceled for next week and conference credit will not be required this semester. We want to acknowledge the hard work and planning that has gone into this conference. We will instead be integrating the planned content of the conference into the streaming chapels this spring.

Chapels will begin streaming on Monday, March 23 (not March 16 as previously communicated) and continue through the rest of the semester. Two credits will be granted to all students automatically to make up for the lost week of chapels.

Housing

At this time, the Residence Halls will remain open. However, we do realize that with classes moving to remote delivery formats, students may want to return home to finish out the semester. We understand this may be a decision you and your family may make, and Biola’s Housing and Residence Life team are here to support students whether they choose to remain on campus or not. More information will be sent to residential students later today explaining the options available to them.

Graduating Seniors

Last night, Governor Gavin Newsom ordered Californians to cancel or postpone gatherings of 250 or more attendees statewide through the end of March to slow the spread of COVID-19. In light of his decision, we will continue to assess and evaluate the likelihood of Spring Commencement taking place in May as scheduled. We will communicate any changes to Commencement to graduates as soon as information becomes available.

International Study Programs

Students taking part in the CCCU Best Semester programs will be returning home to finish their courses online, as a result of the CCCU’s announcement today that their residential programs are closing. At this time, Living and Learning Ecuador is remaining open and students will have the option to stay in the program or return home.

We encourage our Biola community to stay healthy and follow these steps to protect yourself. Thank you for your partnership, patience, and understanding during this challenging time as we continue to support the success of our students and the well-being of the Biola community.

Sincerely,

Dr. Deborah Taylor

Provost and Sr. Vice President

March 12, 2020: Follow Up Email from Housing & Residence Life

Dear Students,

As you learned in Provost Taylor’s email earlier this evening, classes will be suspended next week and moving to remote delivery formats as of March 23, 2020. While classes will not be meeting in person, Residence Halls and Apartments will remain open and services will be available through the remainder of the semester. We will continue to evaluate as events unfold; students can remain updated by visiting biola.edu/coronavirus.

At this time, we invite students who would like to head home to complete our Express Check Out process, detailed below. So that we can plan and provide sufficient support, we also ask that all students complete the “Plans for the Rest of Spring 2020” form communicating your plans via My Housing Self Service by Thursday, March 19, 2020. Residence Halls are not closing and your assignment will remain in effect through the rest of the year whether you choose to remain on campus or return home. In addition, all policies will remain in effect during this time.

If you plan to remain on campus, please be sure to complete the “Plans for the Rest of Spring 2020” form so we can know how to best support you through the remainder of the semester.

If you would like to check out early, please complete the Express Check Out process:

  • Collect your Express Check Out packet from the front desk of your Residence Hall during RA duty hours, or from your Graduate Assistant if you live in the Apartments.
    • Express Check Out packets will be available beginning at 4 p.m. tomorrow, Friday, March 13.
    • If you need to check out earlier than this, please contact your Resident Director or Graduate Assistant.
  • Fill out all included forms and complete necessary cleaning to your residence.
  • Drop your Express Check Out packet with forms, including your room key, in the designated location in your Residence Hall lobby.
  • If you live in an apartment, you can drop your Express Check Out packet at the lock box located outside Student Services, or you can deliver your packet to the Housing Services desk during office hours.
  • Students planning to check out need to complete their Express Check Out no later than 5:00 p.m. Sunday, March 22, 2020.

As a reminder, Housing Selection for Fall 2020 is underway. The Housing Selection process will proceed as scheduled; please watch your Biola email for updates regarding Apartment and Residence Hall Selection times.

We understand the significant impact the coronavirus situation has on you and the remainder of your Spring semester. We appreciate your patience and grace with us as we navigate these swiftly changing dynamics. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your Resident Director, or email undergrad.housing@biola.edu.

Thank you,

Natalie Berger, M.A.

Director of Housing & Residence Life

Division of Student Development

Biola University

March 12, 2020: Biola University Suspends Play of Spring Competitions

As announced at 1:15 p.m. today, the NCAA President Mark Emmert and the NCAA Board of Governors announced that all winter and spring NCAA Championships have been canceled in an attempt to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 via NCAA sporting events.

“Today, NCAA President Mark Emmert and the Board of Governors canceled the Division I men’s and women’s 2020 basketball tournaments, as well as all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships. This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to the spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities,’ as stated in the official communication from the NCAA.

As a result of this decision, the PacWest Conference announced the suspension of all spring competitions through March 30. At that time the situation will be re-assessed.

Effective immediately, all sports at Biola University, regardless of conference affiliation, will suspend play of spring competitions. This includes non-conference and conference contests for all 16 programs. Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.

“The health and safety of our community of student-athletes and staff is our top priority,” said Dr. Bethany Miller, senior director of athletics. “Currently, we are working with officials at the PacWest Conference and NCAA to ensure that we can make the best of this unprecedented situation.”

The PacWest Conference’s decision mirrors decisions made by the rest of the NCAA Division II West Region conferences (GNAC, CCAA).

For more information on Biola’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, view Biola’s Coronavirus webpage. This provides information and resources available to Biola’s campus community.

March 12, 2020: Biola Bound Cancellation Notice

Dear Biola Bound Registrants,

We are writing to inform you that in light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and increased risk of contracting the virus through air travel, we have made the decision to cancel the Biola Bound events taking place March 14-17, 2020 and April 18-21, 2020.

We are sorry that you will not be able to visit our campus as you had planned. Campus visits are such an important step in your college selection process. However, yesterday the university announced new air travel restrictions for its employees that go into effect this coming Monday and will be in place through April. We do not feel it is appropriate to restrict our employee’s travel yet ask you to fly to Southern California for Biola Bound. We apologize for the inconvenience this will cause, but believe it is in your best interest and the university.

We encourage you to contact your airline immediately and ask for a travel credit. Most airlines are waiving change fees and offering travel vouchers that can be used for a set period of time. We will also be working to refund your registration fee in the days to come.

Thank you again for your understanding. We are hopeful you will be able to come and visit our beautiful campus in the future when it is safer to travel. In the interim, be sure to visit our virtual tour online.

Please join us in praying for those directly impacted by the virus, and that God would protect and bring healing to our land. 

Sincerely,

Lee Wilhite

Vice President of Enrollment, Marketing and Communications

March 11, 2020: Update on the Coronavirus from President Corey

Dear Biola Community,

Since early January, we have been monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, preparing internally for how Biola would respond if the virus spreads to the U.S. With COVID-19 now established in the U.S. and an increase of its cases in California, we are intensifying our institutional response. We are responding in a way that is consistent with current COVID-19 guidelines established by the California Department of Public Health. Although there are no known cases of COVID-19 on Biola’s campus, like other colleges and universities in the state we are taking steps to help prevent community transmission. I know this is as important to you as it is to us as decision-makers, and we are grateful for your patience, understanding and flexibility.

As Biola parents, students, faculty and staff, you know this is a situation that affects all of us. It is natural to feel uncertain and anxious not only about the health implications but also the economic impact of this outbreak. While it is clear that disruptions to our community life are inevitable, we intend to continue the work of educating our students and maintaining their curricular and co-curricular opportunities to the greatest extent possible. At the same time, we are exercising caution to keep our community safe and protect the health of our students, faculty and staff as well as those beyond our campus with whom they interact.

The President’s Cabinet and I are grateful to the capable campus leaders whose advice, decisions and ongoing actions are aimed at minimizing the spread of this virus and protecting those who are vulnerable. We have leaned on counsel from the University Health Center, Office of University Travel Safety and Risk Mitigation, University Communications, Educational Technology, Legal Counsel, Spiritual Development, Information Technology and Facilities Management, among others.

I have commissioned a COVID-19 University Response Team (C.U.R.T.) under the leadership of Campus Safety Chief John Ojeisekhoba and Health Center Director Sarah Templeton (MSN, FNP) as co-chairs. They will be charged with monitoring our current measures, building contingencies for taking more serious and immediate action if necessary, recommending when to accelerate our measures and when eventually to relax them. C.U.R.T. will have some responsibilities and will also have direct recommendation authority to the President's Cabinet.

In addition, we are implementing the following new preventative protocols and “social distancing” measures effective immediately:

  • The university is limiting the size of events to no more than 150 in attendance at a single location through the end of March, though the university will be reevaluating this limit and timeframe, making and posting adjustments as necessary. Events such as Missions Conference will be adapted and reconstituted to meet this criteria. Events scheduled to take place in April will be evaluated and determined in the next week whether they will continue as planned or need to be reconstituted. In the meantime, staff, faculty or students who are planning events in April or later should develop contingency plans such as utilizing streaming services across multiple venues.
  • All chapel offerings will be canceled for the remainder of this week including AfterDark tonight. Beginning Monday, March 16, chapel offerings will transition from meeting in their on-campus locations and instead be streamed. Students will receive more on how to access chapel offerings and receive chapel credit during the scheduled streaming time.
  • The university’s preventive health protocols will be posted on campus and on the university’s coronavirus website, and students, staff, faculty and visitors are expected to abide by these protocols and take standard precautions, especially as it relates to prudent social distancing. If people feel they may have come into contact with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19, they should contact the emergency hotline immediately at (562)777-4000.
  • At this time, all Biola Athletics NCAA Division II events will continue as scheduled consistent with current NCAA practice. Spectators are encouraged to stream events instead of attending in person. However, if you do choose to attend the events, please exercise health and safety protocols (e.g. social distancing).
  • Beginning March 16 all university-related air travel will be canceled through the end of April. The exception to this is athletic team travel as the governing body of NCAA has not canceled any games or competitions at this point. Faculty, staff and students are responsible for forwarding confirmations for all Biola-related flights, hotels, registrations and rental cars through the end of April to purchasing@biola.edu. The Purchasing department will make cancellations based on the date of the event and will update departments accordingly. Students, faculty and staff already scheduled for university-related air travel or group travel after April are “on hold” until further notice. A final decision regarding post-April university-related travel for students, faculty and staff will be made by April 1. All new travel requests submitted for travel after May 1 will be held by the Purchasing department until this decision is made.
  • University leaders have been in contact with all students studying abroad and they are working with those students on a case-by-case basis to assess when to return back to the United States.
  • In preparation for the campus to move toward fully remote courses, next week the university will be testing remote delivery formats. An update on the move to remote delivery and the start date will be provided next week.
  • For the time being, symptom-free students will be expected to attend classes as scheduled. For the remainder of the semester, so long as courses continue to meet “in person,” professors will not be applying attendance-based criteria in their grading. However, the professor instead may choose to assign an alternative learning activity for the student who misses the class(es) beyond what is stated as acceptable absences in their syllabus.
  • For those in our community who are experiencing emotional distress from the health or financial news surrounding the coronavirus, counseling is available through Biola Counseling Center and pastoral care through the Office of Spiritual Development.
  • Staff are expected to continue to report to work each day. Human Resources is asking all staff who are mildly ill with flu-like symptoms to talk to their supervisor about taking sick time or working from home. All faculty who are mildly ill should connect with their chair or dean to determine implications for their course (the provost will be sending additional details tomorrow after conferring with the academic deans). This is in an effort to prevent the potential spread of an illness. Consistent with CDC guidelines, faculty or staff should not return to work until they are free of fever for at least 24 hours without fever-reducing medication. According to our current policy, faculty or staff who are out for more than 5 days will need to get a doctor's note clearing them to return to work.
  • Many on our teams are working hard to sanitize our work, study and living environments. The custodial team at Biola has been extra diligent in disinfecting areas on campus where there is a likelihood of germ spread such as service counters, conference tables, classroom desks and door handles, and they continue to work above and beyond in sanitizing our campus.
  • Bon Appetit, Biola’s food services provider, has closed all self-service stations in the eating venues out of an abundance of caution. A limited menu is available. All food is being served or pre-plated and portion control is being used for condiments. Bon Appetit is monitoring students’ feedback and making adjustments, as appropriate, in order to provide students with a good eating experience and maintaining preventive health measures. In addition, the Bon Appetit team is disinfecting all highly touched surfaces hourly, emphasizing and enforcing personal hygiene awareness and health-reporting policies to all staff.
  • A regularly updated FAQ section is on the dedicated coronavirus website. This should be considered the “go-to site” for all up-to-date information on Biola’s response to COVID-19.
  • Urgent questions should continue to be directed to the Biola University emergency line (562) 777-4000. All other questions can be funneled through the Biola coronavirus hotline at (562) 906-4501.

We will continue to post regular updates to students, parents and employees on Biola’s coronavirus website. We hope this information will be helpful to you in protecting the health and well-being of all who spend time on this campus.

I know that both the spread of COVID-19 nationally and our consequent protective decisions affect not only Biola’s programs and planning but the lives of our students, families and employees. For many of you, the steps we are taking to protect the health of the community may involve inconvenience and personal sacrifice. Please know that the decisions we have made may change as we monitor the campus affects daily, and there is a possibility we could step up our restrictions even more.

I am extremely grateful for your prayer and concern, not just for Biola but for the tensions this is creating globally. Biola has long been known as a praying community, an expression of the body of Christ defined by compassion, grace and respect. Let us continue to saturate this campus with prayer and work together, all as one.

“Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).

I’m grateful to the Biola teams for working relentlessly on this situation and continuing to protect our community.

Blessings in Christ.

Warmly,

Barry H. Corey

President

March 11, 2020: Important Changes to Chapel Due to the Coronavirus

Dear students,

Chapels are a central part of the spiritual, educational and communal life at Biola. With that in mind, but also with the intent to create a safe and healthy environment for all, Biola Spiritual Development has made important changes to the chapel format in light of COVID-19. Please be assured that there are no cases of the coronavirus on Biola’s campus at this time, and according to the Department of Public Health there is no imminent threat to our campus. The changes to chapel are being made in an abundance of caution.

Starting Monday, March 16, 2020, chapel will move to a streaming format which will continue through the end of the semester, allowing students to satisfy this integral part of the Biola education. Due to guidelines for large gatherings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in-person chapel gatherings are suspended for the remainder of the semester, effective immediately. Tonight’s After Dark has been canceled. Chapel will move to a streaming format beginning Monday, March 16 at 9:30 a.m.

Streaming Chapel Format

Each chapel will now be streamed on Canvas and will be available to the entire student community. All chapels except AfterDark and Singspiration will be available for streaming. Since the central contributions of AfterDark as a student-run chapel and Singspiration as an all-worship/prayer chapel cannot be honorably replicated online, these two chapels regretfully will be suspended for the rest of the semester.

Streaming chapels will be hosted on Canvas. In order to view chapel, please enroll into the course on Canvas titled, “Enroll in the Chapel Canvas Course.”

M/T/W/F Morning Chapels and T/Th Fives have been selected for streaming. Chapel streaming opportunities will begin and end as follows:

  • Monday: 9:30 - 10:15 a.m.
  • Tuesday: 9:30 - 10:15 a.m. and 5 - 5:35 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 9:30 - 10:15 a.m.
  • Thursday: 5 - 5:35 p.m.
  • Friday: 9:30 - 10:15 a.m.

How to Receive Chapel Credit

Receiving chapel credit will require quality engagement from the very beginning of the streaming until its end. The process for receiving chapel credits will be explained during each stream, and students are encouraged to attend as many as they can online. Since physical space is no longer a factor, attaining the required 20 credits is even more possible with the new format.

Students should be aware of the following:

  • Credit will only be earned if you log into Canvas at the beginning of the streaming, stay logged in for the entire chapel, and complete feedback that will be explained at various times during the streaming.
  • This streaming format does not mean chapel will be available on-demand. Students will only be able to attain credit during the designated times listed above.
  • MyAccount will still be the place to track your chapel credits, and these will be updated within 48 hours after the completion of the chapel. If there are any issues, please contact chapel.accountability@biola.edu.
  • If you do not have a computer, phone or access to the internet, or if you have any other questions, please contact spiritual.development@biola.edu immediately.

At this point, the above changes apply to chapels only. As the university continues to evaluate preventative measures due to COVID-19, more information about Missions Conference adjustments and conference credits will be sent to students by the end of the week. Please continue to check biola.edu/coronavirus for up-to-date information.

If you want to speak with a Campus Pastor about any concerns that are arising in regards to the coronavirus, please make an appointment on the Pastoral Care website.

We realize that for some these adjustments might be inconvenient and may disrupt the ways we’ve grown accustomed to worship together. Please know that these decisions were made with great care and a desire to keep your health and safety a priority, while still providing the spiritual nurture and rhythms of our chapel programs. We are grateful for your understanding, cooperation, and patience in these changes.

Sincerely,

Todd Pickett, Dean of Spiritual Development & Campus Pastor

Mike Ahn, Assistant Dean of Chapels & Worship

March 10, 2020: Grandparents Day 2020 Canceled

March 10, 2020

Dear Biola grandparents,

It is with deep regret that we write to inform you that we are canceling Biola University’s Grandparents Day this Friday, March 13, 2020.

This was not an easy decision to make because we know how much you love and care for your student at Biola. However, as the university has monitored the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, and the CDC’s strong recommendation that “older adults and travelers with underlying health issues should avoid situations that put them at increased risk for more severe disease. This entails avoiding crowded places, avoiding non-essential travel such as long plane trips...” we determined it would be best to cancel the event altogether.

We have been wrestling with this decision the last few days as some grandparents have asked we not cancel it, and others have been surprised it was still scheduled. In the end, we do not want to put anyone at risk. And while there are no known cases of COVID-19 on Biola’s campus, we felt it was best to exercise an abundance of caution especially to our beloved Biola grandparents.

Some have asked if they can still come and visit their grandchild on campus. We are not restricting visitors to campus as it remains open to the public, but there will be no official programming for Grandparents Day.

In the coming days we will be in touch with you to refund your registration fee. All guests who were registered for the "meal option" will receive a full refund unless our families notify us otherwise. All registrations not refunded will be considered donations. Please allow 7-10 business days for refunds to be processed.

Again, we are deeply sorry for this news and trust you will understand our reasoning.

Thank you for supporting your grandchild at Biola! If you have any questions, please email parents@biola.edu.

Sincerely,

Lily Tsau, Senior Director of Alumni and Parent Relations

Stephanie Ramirez, Assistant Director of Parent Relations

March 6, 2020: COVID-19 Update to Students

(the following email was sent out to students on March 6, 2020)

Dear students,

As the news of the Coronavirus, COVID-19, increases and cases in L.A. County and neighboring counties multiply, the Office of Student Health Services and University Travel Safety & Risk Mitigation would like to provide the Biola community with information regarding Coronavirus in order to equip the community with tips and proactive measures to help prevent the spread of the virus. 

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated publicly that community spread of COVID-19 in the United States is likely to occur. On March 4, 2020, the County of Los Angeles declared a state of emergency and confirmed six new cases of COVID-19 in L.A. County, which has increased to 11 as of March 6. The state of emergency was not to cause alarm but was declared in an abundance of caution in order to enhance the county’s preparedness and increase support from the state and federal partners. There are currently no cases in the city of La Mirada and no cases at Biola University.

Preventive Health Measures

Whether you have been on campus this past week, or you have been away, here are some important tips for you to follow.

  • Avoid handshakes. Use verbal greetings.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. An additional 22 hand sanitizers have been installed in residence halls, the gymnasium, Sutherland Auditorium and other high traffic buildings.
  • Cover your cough with your sleeve, not your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects in your living areas and surfaces using a regular household disinfectant spray or wipe.
  • Don’t share food or drinks.
  • If you feel sick, stay home and rest.

Travel from Impacted Regions

If you are returning from international regions designated by the CDC as a Level 2 or 3 risk (i.e. Italy, Korea, China, Japan) you will need to complete a clearance process coordinated by the Student Health Center and the University Office of Travel Safety & Risk Mitigation. Please contact the university emergency line 24/7 at (562)777-4000 to initiate this process before returning to campus.

If you are returning from an impacted region from Washington state, have flu-like symptoms or questions, please contact the emergency line at (562)777-4000 before returning to campus.  

If you are returning from international travel from other countries not heavily impacted by the COVID-19, pay attention to your health for 14 days after returning to the U.S. If you get sick with fever, cough or difficulty breathing, stay home and seek medical advice by the emergency line at (562)777-4000 or your personal physician. 

Campus Preparedness Plan

Over the past two months, the university’s Emergency Management Team (EMT) has developed a proactive university-wide plan to address issues related to COVID-19. The plan includes area-specific preparedness and response procedures and the purchase of essential supplies. If the spread of COVID-19 increases in LA County, the ERT will assess if large events on campus will need to be rescheduled or cancelled. Summer international mission trips are being assessed in partnership with SMU leadership and decisions about whether to cancel or redirect trips to other locations will be made by early April. 

Our commitment is to support the Biola community through this rapidly evolving global health situation, and we will continue to provide updates as new information becomes available and if things change. We have a dedicated website that will be updated as soon as we have new information. If you have any questions, please call (562) 906-4501.

Join us in continuing to pray for the areas and individuals impacted by COVID-19. 

Sincerely,

Sarah Templeton
Director, Student Health Services

Chief John Ojeisekhoba
University Emergency Preparedness
Office of University Travel Safety & Risk Mitigation

Helpful External Resources