​California Baptist University update on coronavirus developments

Published May 28, 2020

Coronavirus update: 5/28/2020:

CBU to resume some classroom instruction for 2020 Summer Session 2

California Baptist University plans to resume limited face-to-face classroom instruction for the 2020 Summer Session 2, officials announced today.

The notice from the CBU Executive Council comes after the university transitioned all academic programs to remote instruction and shifted many employees to working from home during the spring 2020 semester. That unprecedented move followed an order by the Riverside County Public Health Officer to close all schools, colleges and universities in the county in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The closure order for colleges and universities was rescinded May 9, 2020, permitting CBU to schedule a limited number of in-person classes for Summer Session 2 starting June 29.

CBU plans to reopen student housing and continue face-to-face instruction for the fall semester. A university task force is developing plans and recommendations to welcome students for classroom instruction during Summer Session 2 as well as for the fall terms.

“Our top priority is to provide a safe environment for students and employees as they return to campus,” said Kent Dacus, CBU vice president for enrollment and student services.

“Students are looking forward to a vibrant campus experience and we look forward to welcoming all of our new and returning students,” Dacus said.

Coronavirus update: 5/14/2020:

Message from President Ellis re: Fall Semester

Dear Lancers,

We have reached the end of an academic year unlike anything ever experienced!

On behalf of the California Baptist University faculty, staff and administration, I want to express our admiration for your outstanding Lancer Spirit amid the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Of all the lessons learned this year, flexibility, patience and perseverance arguably mark the CBU experience as never before.

I am greatly encouraged to report that returning students are registering for fall classes at even greater numbers than last year. We are eager to see them all next semester as we also welcome new first-year and transfer students into the Lancer Nation. As always, CBU is committed to help you Live Your Purpose!

Still, I am sure you and your family have many questions. The main question on many minds is simply this: will the CBU campus be open for education this fall?

I want you to know that we are doing everything in our power to be ready to welcome students to our beautiful campus in August—not virtually, but in person! To reopen the campus, however, we need to be coronavirus safe. This includes developing plans for testing, tracing, and containment, as well as new spacing, food service delivery options and enhanced safety guidelines for campus activities.

While there is considerable uncertainty in the battle against this global health crisis, we are nevertheless planning to face the challenges that lie ahead. This spring, I created a task force to develop comprehensive plans for returning to classroom instruction in the fall 2020 semester. We will share details as soon as possible.

I assure you we will continue working diligently to ensure a safe campus environment. Until there is a vaccine, few places in the world will be coronavirus free. We do not know when new waves of COVID-19 may occur, or what health and travel restrictions may be enacted. And any number of reasons—ranging from student and employee safety to State of California public health directives and the potential for a coronavirus resurgence—may necessitate other options.

If significant health and safety risks require, we will be prepared to shift decisively and nimbly to a different scenario than we now envision. We look forward to reopening California Baptist University and enjoying the vibrant campus experience once again.

May the Lord continue to bless!

Ronald L. Ellis, PhD.
President

Coronavirus update: 5/11/2020:

Millions in financial aid helps thousands of CBU students

California Baptist University (CBU) has distributed more than $3.4 million in emergency financial aid grants to thousands of students under a provision of the federal CARES Act designed to help students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CBU-administered grants were made possible by the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) established pursuant to Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

In April, CBU was awarded $7,913,118 from HEERF with the requirement that no less than 50% of those funds be distributed to students as emergency financial aid grants. As of April 30, 2020, the university had disbursed $3,471,200 of emergency financial aid grants to students. CBU also set aside more than $485,000, the remaining HEERF balance, to fund supplemental grants to students who demonstrated higher need.

The estimated total number of students at CBU potentially eligible to receive the emergency financial aid grants is 7,116. The university reports 6,380 students received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant under the CARES Act.

The emergency grant amounts that CBU students received were determined by a formula that incorporated Department of Education guidelines, Pell Grant eligibility, and the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) calculated in FAFSA applications submitted for the 2019/20 academic year.

CBU sent notices by email to eligible CBU students about how the grants were being disbursed and provided updates to its public website.

NOTE: California Baptist University is providing this information to demonstrate compliance with requirements of the CARES Act for institutions receiving allocations from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.

Coronavirus update: 4/2/2020:

Duration of CBU remote instruction lengthens as closure order is extended

Remote instruction at California Baptist University will continue at least through June 19, following an extension of school, college and university closures by Riverside County public health officials.

The CBU announcement on April 2 followed an order by Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser, extending closure of the county’s schools to June 19 in response to current conditions of COVID-19.

The CBU campus remains closed to the public with all academic programs transitioned to remote instruction after all public and private schools, colleges and universities initially were ordered on March 13 to close until April 30. Today’s extension will include all locations until June 19.

Coronavirus update: 3/25/2020:

HOUSING

Due to the mandated campus closure, California Baptist University Students in campus housing will receive a prorated housing refund for the five weeks remaining in the original Spring 2020 Semester, based on an analysis of the individual student’s account. It is anticipated that refunds will be processed within six weeks and mailed to the student’s permanent address on file with the University.

MEAL PLANS

Students on a University meal plan are eligible to receive a refund for unused meal swipes and Dining Dollars, based on an analysis of the individual student’s account, not to exceed one-third of the current amount charged. It is anticipated that refunds will be processed within six weeks and mailed to the student’s permanent address on file with the University.

TUITION & FEES

CBU understands the concern over tuition and the financial strain that this pandemic is putting on so many. The University is focused on getting all students into the remote environment to preserve their credits, enable them to complete the semester, and to graduate on time, which is important financially to students and their families. 

We expect the cost of fulfilling CBU’s educational commitment through remote instruction likely will be higher. Consequently, there are no plans to issue tuition and/or fee refunds. The University is delivering on its educational promise to CBU students and will continue to do so.

Coronavirus update: 3/20/2020:

California Baptist University extends move to remote instruction through the end of the spring term during COVID-19 emergency

California Baptist University is transitioning to remote instruction of all traditional undergraduate and graduate academic programs effective March 30, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic guidelines from public health authorities.

CBU officials announced plans to teach classes remotely for the remainder of the spring term after Riverside County Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser ordered all schools and universities in the county closed from March 16, 2020 through April 30, 2020.

In compliance with the county order, the CBU campus will be closed to the public as classes move to remote instruction for traditional undergraduate and graduate classes.

As previously announced, the university has extended the spring semester schedule a week through May 2 to make up for the one-week spring break extension.

Operations for the CBU Division of Online and Professional Studies will continue according to the published OPS calendar.

Coronavirus update: 3/16/2020:

CBU spring commencements postponed until August due to COVID-19 pandemic

California Baptist University has announced spring commencement ceremonies will be rescheduled for later in the year due to travel and public assembly restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

CBU officials said ceremonies originally scheduled on April 28 and April 29 are being moved to August 19 and August 20, 2020. Summer commencement ceremonies scheduled for August 18 will continue as planned. The decision comes amid issuance of strict new guidelines from local, state and federal authorities to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

University leaders decided to delay spring commencement activities just hours after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended canceling or postponing in-person events involving 50 or more people throughout the United States for the next eight weeks.

CBU officials acknowledged the move is disappointing, but said it is the right thing to do along with other significant actions prompted by the rapidly developing COVID-19 pandemic.

Last weekend, CBU officials announced that all academic programs are being transitioned to online delivery beginning March 30, at the end of an extended spring break currently in effect.

Additionally, after the Riverside County Health Director last week ordered the closing of all public and private schools and colleges in the county, the CBU campus is now closed to the public. Student residences remain open and critical campus operations such as safety and food services continue.

The latest information about COVID-19 developments at CBU is being updated regularly on the university’s website, calbaptist.edu.

Coronavirus update: 3/14/2020:

California Baptist University moving all classes online during COVID-19 emergency; remote instruction begins March 30 with spring semester extended one week through May 2

California Baptist University is transitioning to online delivery of all academic programs effective March 30, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic guidelines from public health authorities.

CBU officials announced plans to teach classes exclusively online after Riverside County Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser ordered all schools and universities in the county closed from March 16, 2020 through April 3, 2020.

In compliance with the county order, the CBU campus will be closed to the public as classes move online and student residences remain open.

“This is uncharted territory for almost all of us,” said CBU President Dr. Ronald L. Ellis. “As we move forward together and adapt to this extremely challenging and fluid situation, I appreciate the cooperation of everyone affected by these decisions.”

Remote academic instruction will continue until further notice, a university spokesman said. While the CBU campus is closed to the public, student residences will remain open and critical functions such as safety services and food service will continue.

The health officer’s order closing all Riverside County schools supersedes an earlier CBU decision to extend the university’s normal spring break schedule. As a result, the university now is extending the spring semester schedule a week through May 2 to make up for the one-week spring break extension.

The changes announced March 14 apply to CBU traditional undergraduate and graduate programs. Operations for the CBU Division of Online and Professional Studies will continue according to the published OPS calendar.

“This unprecedented public health crisis clearly is impacting every member of the CBU campus community—students, parents, faculty and staff—and society at large,” President Ellis acknowledged. “I want to thank the entire Lancer Nation for your understanding and patience as we make significant adjustments to address a difficult and dynamic situation.”

Coronavirus update: 3/12/2020:

After careful consideration of the events concerning the coronavirus, especially in the past 24 hours, and out of an abundance of caution, California Baptist University leadership has announced they are extending spring break starting tomorrow March 13 through March 27. This affects traditional in-person undergraduate and graduate students. The Division of Online and Professional Studies will continue to operate under its normal schedule.

There are still no cases of COVID-19 on campus or directly impacting anyone associated with the university at this time. The extended spring break will allow university leadership to plan out an effective path for the remainder of the semester taking into account the rapid spread and unpredictability of COVID-19.

Furthermore, all outside group meetings, conferences and events are canceled through the end of the month. This includes the men’s basketball game on March 17.

Students are strongly encouraged to return home for spring break. There is also a recommendation to bring your textbooks and study materials in the event you are requested to study through an alternative method.

CBU’s business operations will remain open during normal business hours.

Students are asked to frequently check their campus email and calbaptist.edu/news/cbu_update_coronavirus_1 for the latest campus updates and information regarding CBU’s plan moving forward.

Coronavirus update: 3/11/2020:

California Baptist University continues to monitor the developments of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). It is important to note that there are no reported or suspected cases of COVID-19 on campus. While there are several confirmed cases of coronavirus in Riverside County, there are no confirmed cases in the City of Riverside.

The emergence of new cases of COVID-19 within the county has increased concerns within the CBU campus community. University leadership reaffirms its commitment to protecting the well-being of the Lancer Nation and working to ensure a safe campus environment.

University leadership is in regular communication with the Riverside County Public Health Department and the California Department of Public Health. Neither agency has recommended that CBU discontinue on-site classes or on-campus events. Therefore, classes and events that are planned for the next 30 days will go on as scheduled. This includes all CBU athletic events. Currently, the only exception is Grandparents Day, which has been canceled.

CBU understands this is a fluid situation and university leadership from across campus is convening regularly to monitor developments and identify steps that may be needed in the foreseeable future. As with any crisis that can change quickly and without warning, the university’s response to COVID-19 will be flexible, thorough and evidence based.

COVID-19 Facts

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states the COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that is spread through human-to-human transmission—including sneezing, coughing or close contact. The complete analysis regarding COVID-19 is not fully known, however, the information so far suggests that most illness arising from COVID-19 is mild. Older individuals and those suffering from severe underlying health conditions seem to be at risk of developing more serious effects of the virus.

The CDC states: “For the majority of people, the immediate risk of being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to be low. There is not widespread circulation in most communities in the United States.”

The risk of contracting the virus is higher for people in places where ongoing community spread of the virus has been reported. Individuals who have come into close contact with persons with the COVID-19 and travelers returning from restricted areas are also at an elevated risk of exposure. The risk of contracting COVID-19 is strongly correlated to location of an outbreak.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/summary….

Preventative measures

The CDC recommends practicing vigilant hygiene measures in addition to avoiding contact with sick individuals to avoid the transmission of the disease.

To help implement these recommendations, CBU will conduct deeper cleans on campus, particularly in student housing areas, eateries and classrooms. Additionally, there is a food delivery program for students as needed. Please contact Student Services at 951.343.4217 for more information or to request a delivery. CBU is also in the process of ordering a large supply of non-perishable food as precautionary measure.

University leadership also urges faculty members, staff and students to stay home if they are feeling ill. Here are some recommendations from the CDC on how you monitor your symptoms:

Symptoms compatible with COVID-19 include fever, cough or difficulty breathing.

If people feel feverish or develop a cough or difficulty breathing, they should take their temperature, self-isolate, limit contact with others, and seek advice by telephone from a healthcare provider to determine whether medical evaluation is needed.

In a worst-case scenario, CBU has identified quarantined housing areas for students who have either been confirmed to carry the COVID-19 or suspected of coming in contact with a person with the COVID-19.

Travel Restrictions

CBU has been and will continue to monitor travel within its community and take precautionary measures when deemed necessary. Therefore, CBU is continuing to enforce travel restrictions for its faculty members, staff and students for Alert Level 2 and 3 areas according to the CDC.

If you have traveled outside the U.S. in the past month or plan to travel abroad, please let our Student Services office know at 351-343-4217.

Community response

The continued vigilance of everyone is important to minimize the potential impact this virus and other diseases can have on the campus community. As CBU leadership strives to foster a safe campus environment, everyone’s participation is encouraged, and we thank you in advance for all you do to keep our campus community safe.

Coronavirus update March 3, 2020

CBU is closely monitoring the developments of the coronavirus (COVID-19). It is important to note that there are no confirmed cases or suspected cases on campus nor in Riverside County. The risks associated with catching the COVID-19 in the U.S. are still minimal.

With that said, CBU is aware of the growing public concerns for the COVID-19. To address concerns, CBU has been in contact with the Riverside County Health Department Center for Disease Control to monitor their responses to the virus. Additionally, CBU is forming a COVID-19 task force that will meet frequently to discuss the developments surrounding the COVID-19. The group will also keep the CBU community aware of the important information associated with the virus.

CBU is also continuing to enforce travel restrictions for its faculty members, staff and students that now include Alert Level 2 and 3 areas according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The areas for restricted travel include:

  • Italy
  • South Korea
  • Iran
  • China
  • Japan

Tracking travel abroad

As a cautionary measure, CBU would like to keep track of our community’s recent travels. If you have traveled outside the U.S. in the past month or plan to travel abroad, please let our Student Services office know at 951-343-4217.

Our continued alertness is important to reduce the potential impact this virus and other diseases can have on the campus community. As we strive to foster a safe campus environment, we encourage everyone’s participation and we thank you in advance for all you do to keep our campus community safe.

WHAT IS CORONAVIRUS

According to the CDC, the COVID-19 virus is a respiratory illness that is spread through human-to-human transmission―including sneezing, coughing or close contact.

In reported illnesses, patients have had symptoms such as:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

CARE

Contact the CBU Wellness Center or your healthcare professional if you develop any of these symptoms. Please note that we are experiencing a strong flu season that has similar symptoms. You are more likely to catch the flu than the COVID-19 virus.

*Preventative measures against respiratory illnesses include:

  • Flu shot
  • Good hygiene – by washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth frequently

*The previous information was taken from the CDC website.