President Corey releases university response to COVID-19

In-person classes and events will continue as scheduled, with certain regulations.

Lacey Patrick, Deputy News Editor

President Barry Corey sent a campus-wide email this afternoon updating the community about the university’s response to COVID-19. 

There are currently no confirmed cases of the coronavirus on campus, according to Corey. However, the university has created a COVID-19 University Response Team, headed by Chief of Campus Safety John Ojeisekhoba and Director of Student Health Services Sarah Templeton, that will be responsible for assessing and acting upon any situations related to the virus.

The university will post further updates on its Coronavirus Update website.


Biola will continue conducting in-person classes as of now, however, the university is continuing to assess the situation. The university is testing formats for fully remote courses, and will update students next week regarding the transition to remote delivery formats. 

For the remainder of the semester, professors will not grade based on attendance. However, professors may still assign alternative work for students with absences beyond what is stated as acceptable in the syllabus.

There will be a 150-attendee maximum for events until the end of March, including the upcoming Missions Conference. The conference will have to adapt to these regulations. Events in April, like Mock Rock, are continuing to be assessed, but the email advised event coordinators to “develop contingency plans such as utilizing streaming services across multiple venues.” 

Chapels will be canceled for the remainder of this week, and beginning March 16 will be moved to a streaming service. 


Students, staff, faculty and visitors are expected to follow the university’s preventative health protocols, which will be posted around campus, as well as on the university’s coronavirus website. 

Staff are advised to continue reporting to work, but have been encouraged to talk to their advisors about taking time off if they have flu-like symptoms.

Bon Appetit has closed self-serve areas in the Caf and is handing out pre-made plates. In addition, they are disinfecting highly touched surfaces hourly and promoting hygiene awareness and policies to staff members.

The custodial team has been sanitizing the campus’s work, study and living environments. Workers are disinfecting areas where there is a likelihood of germ spread such as service counters, conference tables, classroom desks and door handles.

For those experiencing emotional distress from the news surrounding the virus, there is counseling provided by the Biola Counseling Center and spiritual support through the Office of Spiritual Development


All air-travel related to the university will be cancelled beginning March 16, with the exception of athletic teams. Athletic events will continue as usual, as the NCAA has not cancelled any events.

Students who have traveled to Level 2 or 3 risk areas, designated by the Center of Disease Control, must go through a clearance process conducted by the Biola Health Center and the University Office of Travel Safety & Risk Mitigation, according to an email sent out by Templeton and Ojeisekhoba.

Students returning from impacted areas in Washington state have been asked to contact an emergency line at 562-777-4000 if they have any flu-like symptoms.

Student Missionary Union mission trips are currently being assessed to either “cancel or redirect trips to other locations.” Decisions will be made by early April, according to Templeton and Ojeisekhoba.

Students studying abroad are in contact with university leaders and are working case-by-case to assess their return to the United States.

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