BREAKING: Biola will remain closed for fall semester

Los Angeles County health updates force university campus to remain closed.

Photo+by+of+Maria+Weyne

Photo by of Maria Weyne

Ashley Grams and Maria Weyne

This story was edited on Sept. 17 at 3:15 p.m. with more information.

On Thursday, Sept. 17, Biola Internal Communications and the University Compliance Task Force announced the continued closure of campus through the end of the fall semester via email. 

“For the balance of this semester Biola will not be able to welcome back any more students on campus or make modifications to on-campus services,” the email said. “We are obviously disappointed by this news, as we had hoped to phase students on campus this semester.”

COUNTY GUIDELINES

On Aug. 19, Biola confirmed that Los Angeles County put guidelines in place for colleges and universities in order to avoid an outbreak. The original statement implied that colleges and universities would be able to begin opening six weeks after the announcement was made. However, LA County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer announced that the county will not review or modify the original orders until the end of November.

Overall, coronavirus case numbers are downtrending. The seven-day average testing positivity rate is around 3.2% in Los Angeles County. However, the transmission of COVID-19 among students aging between 19 and 25 has remained constant which prompted the county to keep their original guidelines.

FUTURE PLANS

Biola confirmed their plans to open campus at the start of spring semester in January 2021, although other colleges and universities in LA County have decided to remain online for the school year, according to the Los Angeles Times. Students can expect updates regarding future plans via Biola’s coronavirus webpage

The webpage will also have information about positive cases within the Biola community. The email confirmed there are no current positive cases among residential students. However, an article from The New York Times stated that Biola has had two confirmed cases of COVID-19.

STUDENTS REACT

“I’m trying to remember to practice Philippians 4:4, which tells us to rejoice in the Lord always, even when situations aren’t what we’d hoped for,” said sophomore communication studies major and Resident Advisor Ian Fralich in an email. “This is a great opportunity to do just that. I’m thankful for all the work Biola has done to try to get us back on campus as soon as possible, but understand that this is simply out of their hands.”

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