The health and safety of our Biola community is of the utmost importance, and the success of our opening and staying open in the spring will rest upon our community’s adherence to Biola’s health and safety measures. These are measures required by local and state authorities.
We care about the health, safety and well-being of our community and aim to foster a caring community, putting the health of others first. Protecting our individual and collective well-being will require the commitment and cooperation of everyone who returns to campus in the spring.
Please review the requirements and protocols we’ll be implementing on campus:
Students, faculty and staff are not required to get the COVID-19 vaccine in order to return to campus, but they are encouraged to get it.
Students, faculty and staff who elect not to receive the vaccine will likely be required to undergo regular mandatory COVID-19 testing in order to return to in-person teaching, learning and working. There may also be other requirements for those not vaccinated such as mandatory quarantine in the event of an outbreak.
Required COVID-19 Testing
During the spring semester, all faculty and students with on-campus engagement are required to participate in a free saliva-based COVID-19 baseline test and ongoing twice monthly testing. Departments have been consulted to help identify a testing day and time that does not interfere with courses. Therefore, it is expected that test participants come on their assigned day.
In the fall 2021 semester, students, faculty and staff who elect not to receive the vaccine will likely be required to undergo regular mandatory COVID-19 testing in order to return to in-person teaching, learning and working.
Mandatory flu vaccine
As required by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, this year the flu vaccine is mandatory for all students with reason to be on campus to conduct a permitted activity (see page 5, section B of L.A. County protocols). Flu vaccines will help to reduce the burden of the flu on our community in the midst of COVID-19. Students will be required to submit vaccine records by December 15, 2020.
Sometimes people feel unsure about the safety of vaccines, particularly as unknowns are shared about the development of a vaccine for COVID-19. Please refer to this handout from the CDC on facts about the flu vaccine. The flu vaccine has been utilized for many years, has an excellent safety profile, and has been administered safely on Biola’s campus for decades.
If a student has a medical reason (i.e., allergic reaction to the vaccine) and religious reasons for not getting the vaccine, they will need to apply for a waiver (available at the Health Center) to be considered for a vaccine exemption. The applications will be evaluated by the Student Health Center staff. There is no guarantee of waiver approval. Waivers will be limited to substantiated, critical reasons in order to reduce the transmission of the flu and support the health of our community during the pandemic.
Face mask requirement
Students, faculty and staff are required to wear cloth face coverings on campus at all times, unless they are in their office or room alone or eating.
Biola community members must keep a distance of at least 6 feet from one another at all times.
Health documentation requirement
All graduate and undergraduate students who intend to resume in-person classes in the spring are required to submit following health requirements via biola.medicatconnect.com on or before December 15, 2020. Students in fully online programs are excluded since they do not access campus.
- Complete health history form provided online – only one submission is needed.
- Upload your complete vaccine records including TWO age-appropriate doses of the Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccine, and a 2020-2021 influenza vaccine.
- All residential students will need to submit proof of a meningitis vaccine (ACYW135) given at or after 16 years of age. This is a new requirement of all residential students this year. Complete meningitis advisory form – only one submission is needed.
- Complete tuberculosis screening form – REQUIRED ANNUALLY
In addition, students who plan to resume in-person classes in the spring will be required to complete Health Module on Canvas, follow all health and safety protocols and get a flu vaccine before the start of the semester.
Faculty, staff and students are expected to self-screen daily by asking themselves the following questions:
- Do I have a cough?
- Do I have shortness of breath or difficulty breathing?
- Do I have a fever or chills or any other symptoms as listed below?
- Have I been in contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days?
- Am I under current isolation or quarantine orders?
If the answer is a yes to any of these questions and there is not another reasonable explanation for the symptoms such as allergies, asthma, etc., then the person should not report to campus. COVID-19 symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. It is also helpful to know that people with the following symptoms may have COVID-19:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
COVID-19 Case Dashboard
Biola University’s COVID-19 reporting dashboard exists to provide timely and accurate information about the health of our on-campus community. Please review the dashboard for the latest case numbers for on-campus members of the Biola community, as well as health protocol information and more.