Westmont will continue to provide campus-wide updates as we respond to COVID-19. Please see below for general FAQ or visit one of our resource pages to find FAQ that are relevant to you.
The next Q&A phone call with President Beebe will be on Tuesday, June 2, at 5:15 p.m. PST.
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department has confirmed 1,520 total cases of COVID-19 in Santa Barbara County at this time. Westmont continues to report no confirmed cases among its faculty and staff who remain on campus.
The quick summary is: Avoid sick people, wash your hands thoroughly prior to eating or touching your face and after using the restroom, and if you begin to feel ill don’t put yourself in a position to infect others.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if hand-washing is not available.
- Wear a mask if you must go to public indoor areas such as the grocery store or pharmacy.
As a result of the spread of the coronavirus, many people are working and studying remotely, and all of us have heightened levels of concern. Unfortunately, unscrupulous bad actors are working to exploit this situation, as indeed they exploit any major source of fear and anxiety or disruption to our normal procedures.
Here are a few examples of what you can expect:
- Phishing and scam attacks via email, phone call, and text message preying on your fears.
- False information about the spread of COVID-19 spread, treatment, and causes intended to increase anxiety.
- Faked communication from your peers, subordinates, or supervisors.
- Emails ostensibly from organizations such as the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), or the WHO (World Health Organization) that actually contain malicious phishing links or dangerous attachments.
- Emails asking for donations for studies, doctors, or victims affected by COVID- 19. Scammers often create fake charity emails after global phenomena occur, like natural disasters or health scares like COVID-19.
- Emails that claim to have a new or updated list of cases of COVID-19 in your area that contain malicious links and information designed to scare you into clicking on the link.
What Should I Do?
Remain vigilant! Follow these best practices:
- Never click on links or download attachments from an email that you weren’t expecting.
- If you receive a suspicious email that appears to come from an official organization such as the WHO or CDC, report the email to the official organization through their website.
- If you want to make a donation, go to the website of the charity of your choice to submit your payment. Type the charity’s web address in your browser instead of clicking on any links in emails or other messages.
- Consider never clicking on a link sent to you when you are browsing email on your cell phone. You can’t preview the URL in links in most cell phone email clients
- Make sure your computer is healthy. Use Malware Bytes to scan your computer for viruses, especially if your computer is acting weird or slow.
- Be particularly suspicious of any request for ID, Social Security number, birthdate, password, bank account number, or credit card number.
- If you receive an email or text that makes your heart race and the tingle of fear crawl up your spine, be aware that bad actors use our emotions to manipulate us. Breathe deeply, and don’t respond immediately to anything that makes you feel this way.
- When you use VPN from off-campus to access services like Vendorlink, turn it off once you’re done.
Where you can go to learn more:
If you need more information, please contact Westmont Information Technology
As of May 11, the stay-at-home order is in effect until May 31. It is likely that restrictions will begin to lift during the last week of May. The California government website has FAQs about the stay-at-home order.
Here are some helpful links:
The Santa Barbara Public Health Department holds COVID-19 press conferences every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 4:30 PM.
The best way to stay informed is to listen to the monthly phone calls with President Beebe. The next call will occur on Tuesday, June 2, at 5:15 p.m. PST.
Phone number (United States): 323-794-2558
Phone number (Canada): 800-289-0459
Participant Passcode: 438235
One-Tap Format: 323-794-2558, 438235#
Westmont fully intends to hold the entire fall 2020 semester on campus. Orientation is set to begin on August 27 as originally planned. Regular classes will begin August 31.
More details will be forthcoming during the phone call with President Beebe on June 2.
We are not yet sure when Commencement will be held. It may be held later this summer, but if that is not possible, it will most likely be held on Homecoming weekend, October 16-18.
Westmont will follow the guidelines of the government and the lead of large sports organizations such as the NAIA and the GSAC as well as professional sports associations. Sports seasons may be delayed or otherwise affected. If your team does not compete in Fall 2020, your athletic scholarship will not be affected: you will receive it as normal.
At this time, we are still planning for the soccer team to arrive on campus early in August.
The College Choir’s scheduled tour to Scandinavia in May and the Westmont Orchestra’s scheduled tour to Vienna in June have both been cancelled. Students who were intending to go on tour will be invited to participate in Westmont’s next international musical tours, whenever those are able to occur.
All Mayterm/Summer Session programs for 2020 have been cancelled.
All international off-campus programs for fall 2020 have been cancelled or postponed.
- Europe Semester fall 2020 postponed until fall 2021.
- England Semester fall 2020 postponed fall 2021.
- Westmont in Mexico fall 2020 cancelled/postponed until fall 2021. (Program offered every fall.)
- Global Health Uganda fall 2020 cancelled but offered both spring 2021 and fall 2021. (Program offered every fall.)
Westmont in San Francisco and Westmont Downtown for fall 2020 are scheduled to run.
Affiliate program updates are available at the institutions’ websites.
The Martin Institute’s center Conversatio Divina has compiled a list of resources to encourage you in this time:
- A series of 15 videos on the Via Lucis or "Way of Light," focusing on Jesus' appearances after his resurrection.
- 12 Practices for the Pandemic, a series edited by Michael Di'Fuccia
- Practices in the Time of Coronavirus, by Jean Nevills
- Discipleship in the Time of Coronavirus, by senior fellow Steve Porter
See also the Westmont COVID-19 chapel page.
Westmont reported no confirmed COVID-19 cases among its students, faculty, and staff who stayed on campus through the end of the spring 2020 semester. There have been no confirmed cases among staff who remain there now.
No students are currently living on campus, though a few students are still making arrangements to pick up their belongings. Students with summer jobs on campus or who cannot return home (such as international students) are living in Ocean View.