Biola announces reopening for Fall 2021

After a year of remote learning, Biola announces its reopening for the upcoming semester.

Maria Weyne and Natalie Willis

On March 25, Biola Internal Communications sent out an email to all non-graduating students regarding future plans for Fall 2021. President Barry Corey announced that students will be allowed back on campus for fully in-person housing and instruction by Aug. 30. 

BIOLA RETURNS 

Along with in-person classes, campus operations are expected to resume to their full extent including on-campus dining and co-curricular activities with appropriate health and safety measures in place. 

All on-campus eateries will reopen at reduced capacity and provide allowance for appropriate physical distancing guidelines and outdoor dining will be encouraged. The Caf will be open with all stations with the exception of self-serve stations. 

The outlined reopening plan in the email was created with the expectation that Los Angeles County will be moving into the orange tier in upcoming months. COVID-19 cases in L.A. County continue to fall, putting the county on track to move to a less restrictive tier by mid-April, according to NBC Los Angeles

A LESS RESTRICTED ON-CAMPUS LIFE

Residential living is expected to resume at the typical two students per room capacity. The housing application deadline is March 31 for apartment interest and April 16 for residence halls. However, the return of international students is being discussed in lieu of the restrictions on international travel to the United States, the email explained.

To accommodate for physical distancing, chapels will be held indoors at a reduced capacity but will continue to be available to students online. 

Other on-campus services such as the Biola Store and the library will be opened at a reduced capacity. These capacity guidelines are expected to be released over the summer months in compliance with county guidelines. 

HEALTH AND SAFETY

The campus will continue to follow the public health guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the email all faculty, staff and students are to follow physical distancing guidelines and with the exception of eating and drinking, are to wear masks at all times.

In-person classes will be adjusted to meet distancing requirements, and plexiglass shields are installed at tech podiums and lecterns across campus. Every 60 days, desks and other surfaces within the classroom will be treated with a microbiostatic coating, a cleaning system that kills viruses such as COVID-19 for up to 90 days. 

While Biola is not requiring students, faculty and staff to get the COVID-19 vaccine, they are encouraged to according to the email. Those that opt out of receiving the vaccine will be tested regularly. 

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