I’m writing to you to say THANK YOU for the way you have stepped up to make this transition over the last few days. It really feels like the eve of a new kind of community together. The Trinity community has come together in amazing ways to care for one another and our surrounding community. And…

I just recorded my first vlog for you.

As the weeks unfold, we will work on the production quality of our videos, I promise.  But, honestly, I wanted to offer you something rough cut to tell you TODAY that:

  1. Your Trinity Student Life staff cares for you deeply in this transition to an online community
  2. We are in this with you all the way
  3. We are all going to be learning together how to do this, and it’s going to go better if we continue to reach out and put ourselves out there, rather than isolate.

I’m looking forward to learning alongside you. God is with us.

Peace be with you,

VP Starkenburg

Back to For Students section

Dear colleagues,

With the ongoing news that many of our local school systems are cancelling classes and the likelihood that the list of those schools will increase, we want to talk through the ways in which this will affect members of the Trinity faculty and staff. It is critical that our team be able to care for our families. In some cases, that may mean that faculty and staff need to work from home. If you are in that situation and need to care for children at home, please let Mallory Boyce in the Provost Office/or your staff supervisor know as soon as you can do so. Communicating clearly with the Provost Office/supervisor is critical to ensure that you are able to take care of your family and also continue to support Trinity and your work responsibilities.

As our nation and community’s responses to the Covid-19 situation continue to evolve, there is also a possibility that all staff could be asked to work from home in the future.

To prepare for all of these situations, here are some suggestions that we would urge you to consider:

  1. If you have a Trinity supplied laptop, we would suggest you take it home with you each night.
  2. If you do not have a Trinity laptop but have a computer or tablet at home, here are some links to have handy, which will help you connect to Trinity data/information if you are required to work from home

You can expect an email from the IT Department in the near future with additional information and resources to support working remotely.

Thank you for your ongoing support of Trinity students, faculty and staff. Thank you for your patience as we all live into this evolving situation.

Paul Boice

Back to For Faculty & Staff section

Greetings, faculty and staff members,

Below you’ll find a table describing how your access to the Jennie Huizenga Memorial Library is being changed in light of Trinity’s shift in operations due to COVID-19.

Please note that your access to the physical materials in the library remains largely unchanged, save for a change in hours. This is not the case for students, who will be unable to enter the library’s physical building.


Building Closed.
Circulation Physical collection is unavailable until further notice.  I-Share requests are not being processed.
Electronic Resources Unaffected.  Prioritize use of available e-resources linked from Moodle and the library website.
Reference Services Available Monday-Friday: 8:00 AM-4:30 PM. Schedule virtual reference appointments via the library website. E-mail questions to Phone support: 708.293.4925 (subject to librarian availability)
ILL Article Requests Requests will be accepted, but fulfillment is subject to library closures across the state and nation.
Out-of-state student considerations The library will evaluate needs for return of materials on a case-by-case basis. Please contact as soon as possible.
Reserves Contact Sarah Hoeksema ( ASAP to determine if/how reserve materials can be made available online. Students have been told that materials on reserve are being evaluated.
*Subject to change based on institutional response.


Building Not accessible to students or visitors.
Circulation Physical collection is unavailable to students and guests until further notice.  For borrowers who need materials longer than current due dates, contact the lending library as soon as possible to ask for an extension.
Electronic Resources Unaffected.  Prioritize use of available e-resources linked from Moodle and the library website.
ILL Article Requests Requests will be accepted, but fulfillment is subject to library closures across the state and nation.
Out-of-state student considerations The library will evaluate needs for return of materials on a case-by-case basis. Please contact as soon as possible.
Reserves Materials on reserve are being evaluated. Expect information from professors on a case-by-case basis.
*Subject to change based on institutional response.

Aaron Kuecker, Provost

Back to For Faculty & Staff section

Good morning.

This is the Friday morning update from Student Life. Yesterday was an enormous challenge, and this community has and continues to demonstrate that we will endure through this time. We serve a Living God who is with us. Please continue to ask questions as they emerge and we will share answers with the Trinity community.


First, vacate campus as soon as possible. I recognize that this is a stern word. However…

The only reason we have given a Wednesday end date for housing is to accommodate students with difficult travel circumstances that have forced them to find flights or rides later on. If you have the means (i.e. you have a car on campus), you need to leave campus this weekend. This is not a traditional break. We will continue to strongly encourage you to leave as soon as possible. That is why we canceled classes today – to give you ample time to pack and vacate. Yes, this is incredibly stressful, and we continue to pray for each and every one of you as you move through this process.

Requests for housing on campus:
All students who have submitted requests using this form for housing during the coming period of time will be contacted today. We know that some of you are still on the fence about your housing needs. We encourage you to make a request as soon as possible so that we can begin a dialogue with you about options – even if you are still looking for options. EARLIER requests will allow Student Life staff to help you today and over the weekend think about what this might look like.

Transition to online:
Faculty are working as we speak to get classes transitioned to an online format. At this point, we envision there will be asynchronous and/or synchronous sessions. However, if this is impacting your decision to leave the residence halls and move to another time zone, please know that faculty will work with you to accommodate significant time zone shifts.


Please complete this form if you have concerns about access to electronic devices or WiFi access. We would like to support you as much as possible in securing what you need to be a successful online student. Additionally, use the form to tell us about your concerns in general about moving to online – student life staff are working to provide extra academic support for you, as we know not everyone loves the online format for courses. It would help us to know this is an issue for you, and you can fill out this form to tell us. Just use the “other” category to describe those needs.

Peace be with you,
VP Starkenburg

Back to For Students section

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

I write to give you an update on our efforts to keep you safe, get you home, and transition Trinity Christian College to deliver a quality education entirely on-line for the remainder of this semester.  First, however, permit me to offer a few sentences of reflection about this week.

Monday seems like an eternity ago.  At that time, I gathered the faculty and staff together for an update on what we knew about the COVID-19 virus (largely from external sources like the CDC and our own internal COVID-19 Impact Preparedness Group) and together we began to wrap our heads around what it would take for us to move Trinity into an on-line institution for a temporary period of time.  That meeting followed up on some earlier emails that both Provost Kuecker and Vice President Starkenburg had sent to faculty and staff late last week.

Neither last week nor even on Monday did we have any inkling that, by Thursday, we would be putting any of this into motion.  Rather, we wanted to think about what it would take to accomplish such a herculean feat and formulate the outlines of plans that we hoped we would not use and surely did not expect to use so quickly.  Frankly at that point, we hoped that such “planning” would be a worthy exercise but one whose results could simply be added to the manual of contingent plans that the College maintains for a host of possible-but-not-likely scenarios.

Over the course of the week, and especially by Wednesday afternoon, the situation changed.  Rapidly.  The COVID-19 virus continued to spread and health agencies intensified their warnings.  Many organizations began to act, including significant sporting leagues modifying their schedules and large research universities starting to close their campuses (some for the first time in their centuries-old histories).  Still, we were hopeful even as of Wednesday morning that, aside from bringing home students studying overseas in potential COVID-19 hot spots, we could carry on if we were careful and prudent.

Unfortunately, by Wednesday evening, many prominent public health experts and agencies encouraged social distancing and the enactment of extraordinary preventative measures.  Hundreds of organizations, including some of the most prominent in the world (e.g., NBA, MLB, NCAA, Broadway theaters, etc.) undertook actions that seemed unthinkable even 48 hours earlier.  (A week ago, who among us could have imagined a March without Madness?

The senior administration at Trinity, after many meetings and conversations – not to mention, much prayer – made the difficult decision that I announced yesterday.  We were not the first college or university to do so and more have done so after we did.  The Governor of Illinois, who previously issued a disaster proclamation, yesterday announced restrictions, and in some instances outright prohibitions, on social gatherings above a certain size.  (  This afternoon, the Governor announced the closure of K-12 schools in Illinois beginning next week.

This truly is an unprecedented and constantly-changing situation!

At the same time, I have been so overwhelmingly impressed by your incredible attitude and spirit.  We are a Romans 12:12 people!  Yesterday’s outdoor worship service of sending was something that I will never forget.  There may well be other very memorable moments yet to occur in this roller coaster experience, but I am confident that the most enduring memories I will have of this period in our history will include worshipping with you in the amphitheater yesterday afternoon.

Your emails of encouragement (even those with suggestions!), your prayers for this campus, your positive-if-disappointed demeanor in departing campus early, your simply going about what you are called to do differently in very challenging times has been evident to those both on and off campus.  Yes, this is hard and, no, we do not have all of the answers at this point.  But you have demonstrated in word and deed that we will do what needs doing.  You already have proved that, together, the Trinity community will remain strong and deep learning will continue to happen.

Thank you so very, very much for all of this.

Now, let me update you on some particular items and policy changes in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.  This surely will not be the last such update, but I want to keep you up to date as best as possible.

Official College Travel (Primarily for Faculty and Staff)

We have suspended all College-sponsored domestic and international air travel effective today and until further notice.  Anyone seeking exceptions to this policy must submit them, in writing, to the President’s Office (  Waivers will be rare at best, and granted only for especially compelling circumstances.  Non-essential college travel by other means (e.g., passenger vehicle, bus, train) also is strongly discouraged.

Personal Travel

We urge all members of the Trinity community to carefully consider their intended destinations for personal trips and check on any restrictions or quarantine measures that may be recommended or required by the CDC upon arrival or return.  Obviously, we want our students to get home as expeditiously as is possible.  Personal international travel for U.S.-based persons is strongly discouraged.

Leah and I have taken this advice to heart.  We had planned trips over the next two months to, among other places, Michigan, Iowa, South Dakota, Central Indiana, Florida, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.  As of yesterday, we are going on none of them.

For faculty and staff, what if you must travel?  The CDC has recommended that places like Trinity keep a record of such travel (especially international) in the event that the future spread of the virus necessitates increased precautionary measures.  We would ask that you let our Human Resources office ( know if you will be traveling (1) internationally, (2) domestically by flight or common carrier (e.g., train or bus (other than CTA, Metra, or other public transit services); or (3) outside of the Tri-State area (Chicagoland, Southeastern Wisconsin, and Northwest Indiana).  I recognize that item (3), in particular, is not described with exactitude.  I ask that you use common sense and prudence in registering such travel with Human Resources.  Please also know that the College will keep reported information confidential and solely for this purpose – and will dispose of that information as quickly as the public health conditions warrant.

Events at Trinity

Trinity has cancelled all events scheduled to occur on campus through the month of April.  That date could be extended, depending upon future conditions.  This cancellation includes Trinity events (e.g., theater performances and athletic contests) as well as outside organizations (e.g., the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra and the Southwest Symphony).  This cancellation also extends to official Trinity group gatherings or meetings that occur off campus (e.g., the 60th Anniversary Alumni gatherings and the Concert Choir tour).  Please adhere to the spirit of this policy as well as the letter of it:  do not evade this policy by moving something off campus that under normal circumstances would have occurred on campus.  Please contact your divisional vice president with questions or particular issues related to this policy change.

Visitation Policy

While most students have departed campus, will do so this weekend, and need to do so by Wednesday, March 18 at 5 p.m., we will have a small group of students who, for exceptional reasons, have been permitted to remain in Trinity housing.  In order to better protect the health and welfare of these remaining students, as of Wednesday, March 18, visitors will no longer be allowed in any Trinity Residence Hall, including any such facility used to house students who remain on campus.  Of course, our remaining students living in residence will be free to come and go as they please (exercising appropriate precautions), but no visitors will be permitted in the residence halls themselves.  We understand that this might be an inconvenience; the nature of this public health pandemic, however, compels us to implement such a policy for the foreseeable future.

Student Worker Policy

We have undertaken these extraordinary campus actions in order to best ensure the health, safety, and welfare of our students and the campus community.  That is also why we are insistent and adamant that as many students return home as possible.  For these reasons, and consistent with these actions, departments are not allowed to utilize student workers without approval from their divisional vice president.  To obtain such an approval, which will not be readily granted, please contact the appropriate vice president in writing and explain the exceptional circumstances that you believe warrant an exception.

Chicago Semester

Today, Trinity’s Chicago Semester program announced that it is suspending its residential operations and transitioning to online learning, similar in nature to what we announced for Trinity’s Palos Heights campus yesterday.  The Chicago Semester staff is in full communication with the affected students to facilitate this transition.

• • • •

That is all for now!  More updates are sure to follow, so please continue to check your Trinity email.  We also will cross-post these important updates at and have created (and will be regularly updating) an “FAQ” section for your convenience.  Continue also to follow Trinity’s social media accounts for additional ways to remain up to date with these fast-moving events.

God’s blessings to you in this time of transition.  We are embarking together on something new, an adventure we neither asked for nor predicted.  Yet, here we are – and from here we will go.  Extending abundant grace to one another and providing genuine care for one another is a reflection of our character, Trinity’s essential nature, and the love that has been granted us in Jesus Christ.

Let us be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.
Kurt D. Dykstra, President


Back to COVID-19 page

Information for Students and Parents

As Trinity Christian College moves to online learning for the rest of the Spring 2020 semester, the College will be updating this page frequently.

Will we have classes on Friday, March 13?
No. Thursday is the last day of in-person classes, so that students will have time to make travel arrangements and pack up their rooms anticipating weekend travel.

Is this permanent or does it have an end date?
We are moving to online for the remainder of spring semester 2020. We will provide re-opening updates as we are able.

Does this apply to adult and graduate classes as well as traditional undergraduate classes?
Yes, this applies to ALL programs at Trinity.

What about out of state students?
Out of state students should make arrangements to return home. If that is absolutely not feasible, please complete this form by Monday, March 16 at 8 am.

I don’t know if I need to request on campus housing or not, please help.
You don’t have to know until Monday whether to request housing. So just breathe, you have a little bit of time to think about it.

What about Troll athletics?
Thursday, March 12 will be the final day of spring athletics contests. No games or matches will be held after March 12.

Will there be housing/meal plan refunds?
We will be in touch about meal plan/housing refunds after this departure period ends. We have a variety of circumstances to navigate.  Please know we are working to provide some kind of pro-rated meal plan/housing refund, and we will have to assess that for each individual student once the departures have been made.

What about rental books?
Regarding the rental books that would have been due on May 1st.   Please take the books back home with you – you will need them to complete your classes.   We will extend the due date for the rentals to SEPTEMBER 3rd.

What about commencement?
We have not yet determined plans for Spring 2020 commencement. More information to come as soon as possible.

What about on-campus work?
We anticipate all in-person, on-campus work will cease during this period of time. Our Financial Aid office will evaluate, in light of federal guidelines, the impact on student aid.

More information will be available to students as we are able to assess the range of scenarios that exist for individual students.

What about my campus mail?
Campus mail will function as normal. If you are currently expecting packages or mail to your campus address and would like to forward it to your home address, you should contact the Mail Center and use the normal mail forwarding service. Please CHECK YOUR MAILBOX before you leave campus.

When will I hear about department-specific communication?
Faculty are currently working on communications and more information will follow soon.

Representative from the Student Life Office will be available throughout the weekend to assist and answer your questions.

VP Starkenburg

Back to For Students section

Dear Trinity Community,

The flourishing of our campus community and its health and safety are of utmost importance to us at Trinity. With that priority in mind, and after consultation with the entire President’s Council and the COVID-19 Impact Preparedness Group, we believe that it is in the best interest of our community and our neighbors near and far to suspend in-person, on-campus classes for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester beginning on Friday, March 13.

After a week of transition, all classes will resume in distance delivery formats beginning on Monday, March 23. We see this decision as the best way to care for our campus and the best way to collaborate with public health officials working to limit the spread of COVID-19.

It is important to state, as I have in previous communications with the campus, that currently there are no known cases of COVID-19 amongst Trinity students or employees.

In light of the decision to move to distance delivery of instruction, the following immediate actions will occur:

• Trinity classes will be held via Moodle and other online resources. Faculty will provide details to students relevant to each particular course, though students should initially expect that classes will be held at their regularly scheduled times – if they are utilizing real-time engagement. Faculty can expect further communication from the Provost in support of the transition to distance education. The suspension of classes for the week of March 16 – 20 will allow time for a transition to distance learning. Also, student academic support services will be moving to an on-line format.

• For Residential Students: Residential students will need to move out of the residence halls as quickly as is reasonably possible, but no later than 5pm on Wednesday, March 18. Residents will need to complete a check out with Residence Life Staff prior to departure. Students can begin signing up for a check-out time later this afternoon. Communication regarding sign-ups will be sent by Residence Life staff. At the time of check-out, students will need to turn in their room keys and demonstrate that all personal belongings have been removed from the suite and the suite has been reasonably cleaned. We recognize that there may be some students in particularly unique or difficult circumstances whose situations may necessitate extending their on-campus housing. Student Life shortly will send a follow up email with instructions on how residential students in unique and extreme circumstances may petition to continue living on-campus beyond 5pm on Wednesday. Please understand that for safety reasons, the college will be limiting the number of students remaining on-campus to as small a number as possible, so only the most unique or extreme of circumstances may be considered. Please also understand that any students who are permitted to remain in on-campus housing may be required to move to a different room and/or residence hall.

• The continuation of off-site practicums, clinical rotations, or student teaching required for licensure or by accrediting agencies will be treated on a department-by-department basis. Additional information will be forthcoming in a follow up email relevant to students in these unique circumstances. All other internships or field education will be addressed in collaboration with academic departments and employers.

• Trinity’s campus will remain in operation during this period in order to support the ongoing education of our students. Faculty and staff are expected to report to work in the normal course of operations, while carefully following the health protocols established in communication from the Human Resources Office. Any faculty or staff having concerns related to their own health should contact the Human Resources Office.

This is a rapidly changing, fluid, and unprecedented situation. This email cannot cover every particular situation that will arise, nor is it intended to. Faculty, staff, and students, please continue to check your email regularly. Important campus-wide updates will also be cross-posted at

We also ask for your prayers, patience and grace as we, together, navigate this extraordinarily unique situation. In the coming hours, days, and weeks, additional information will be forthcoming that deal with the many logistical details that arise from an unprecedented situation like this. As we wade through these events, please be assured that the well-being of each member of our campus is of paramount concern.

As I wrote last evening, let us all keep in mind the Apostle Paul’s words in Romans 12:12:

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Paul’s short admonition in this verse notes first that our posture is one of hope, without negating the very real existence of affliction, all while calling us to pray without ceasing. In our shared life together, and especially in the coming days and weeks, let us make this verse our verse as a Trinity community.

In closing, let me answer a question that you might be asking: Why are we taking this action at this time, especially where there are no known cases in our campus community? That is a fair and legitimate question.

Health experts from around the globe have noted that social distancing is one of the best protections against the virus. Social distancing is very difficult at a residential college, where not only do we learn together, but we eat, live, worship, and recreate together as well.

Furthermore, the number of new cases is now increasing exponentially. The population density and global connectivity of the Chicago metropolitan area makes our region especially susceptible for further spread of the virus.

Additionally, and candidly, should an outbreak occur at Trinity during normal operations, we would have limited ability to effectively implement a quarantine. Ultimately, this is a preventative measure undertaken to combat a new and highly contagious virus.

We recognize that our commitment to the Christian liberal arts experience deeply values community and that these actions may have an impact on the Trinity experience. That is deeply disappointing to all of us – but it is a necessity under these extraordinary circumstances. Trinity has endured societal challenges before, whether financial downturns, wars, or political turmoil. This is a moment where we will be tested. May we also be found faithful by those who will come after us.

Let us be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Kurt D. Dykstra, President

Back to COVID-19 page

Dear Trinity Community:

I write to update you on the COVID-19 situation and its impact at Trinity Christian College.  This is an unprecedented situation and the situation is changing rapidly.

The safety and security of our campus community is a paramount concern.  We also are a people of faith in the God of all Creation, all Peoples, all Nations, and all of History.  God remains in control.  We take comfort in that reality even as we plan and make decisions using our best judgment and wisdom.  All of the decisions that we have made – and will make – are guided by these principles and beliefs.

First, there are no known persons among Trinity students, faculty, and staff, who have tested positively for (or are suspected of having) the COVID-19 virus.  For that, we give thanks to God.

Second, this morning, we announced to the 27 students attending Trinity’s Semester in Spain program (from 14 different institutions) that we were suspending the program in Spain and bringing those students back to the United States and their sending institutions.  We are in communication with our colleagues in Spain, the students studying there, and their families – and are doing our very best to bring those students home as quickly as possible.

We also have Trinity students studying at other, non-Trinity, international sites this semester.  We are actively considering the circumstances and well-being of these students.

Please especially be in prayer for students overseas as they face additional challenges in returning home.

Third, as you know, more than a few colleges and universities have announced closures and a transition to online instructional delivery.  The COVID-19 Impact Preparedness Group, as well as the Senior Administration, have been actively monitoring the situation and formulating plans and best practices for Trinity.  In fact, the Senior Administration is meeting tonight even as I type this email.

Tomorrow at around noon, via email, I will provide the campus community with a more comprehensive update on Trinity’s plans moving forward.  Trinity also is updating our website (available at so you also may regularly refer to that site for information.  For our students in particular, please feel free to share that link with your families.

Fourth, tomorrow is Advising Day – which will be held as scheduled.  Please make a point to take advantage of this wonderful day in the Trinity calendar to work on your future plans of study and vocational preparation (students) and assist our students in those important efforts (faculty and staff).

Finally, in all of what we will face together, let us keep in mind the words from Romans 12:12:

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

If you attended the December Commencement or my January chapel, you will recognize that as a theme of mine of late.  Paul’s short admonition in this verse notes first that our posture is one of hope – but without negating the very real existence of affliction, all the while calling us to pray without ceasing.  In our shared life together, and especially in the coming days and weeks, let us as a Trinity community make this verse our verse.

With care and admiration for you,
Kurt D. Dykstra, President

Back to COVID-19 page

Dear Colleagues,

As our college community lives into this spring semester amid the steps we are all taking to avoid illnesses, including colds, flu and Covid-19, we would like to encourage everyone to follow the tried and true practice of staying home when you are feeling ill.  We understand that there are times when important classes or meetings make it tempting to come to campus, even when you are not feeling well, but we would urge you to avoid doing so.

For faculty:
Trinity faculty typically receive their regular compensation even if they are unable to teach because of illness. For the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester, it may be the case that Covid-19 causes more extended absence. We want you to know that, should you become ill, the institution supports your staying home and getting well.  And in fact, for the rest of this Spring 2020 semester, if faculty have sick children and dependents, sick days can and should be used to stay home and care for your children and dependents as well.

For staff:
Trinity staff have sick days that can be used when they are not able to come in to work because of an illness.  Please use those sick days.  And in fact, for the rest of this Spring 2020 semester, if staff have sick children and dependents, the accrued sick days can and should be used to stay home and care for your children and dependents as well.

If it appears that you may use up all of your accrued sick days, please talk with your supervisor.  For the Spring 2020 semester, exceptions will be made to ensure that staff do not run out of sick days in those rare circumstances where they may run out of accrued days.

Finally, if you have an underlying condition for which COVID-19 creates particular concern of increased personal risk, please contact the Human Resources Office immediately so that we can support you and your health.

If you have any questions, please contact Julia Foust in Human Resources.

Thank you.

Paul Boice
Vice President of Admissions, Communication and Strategic Initiatives

Julia Foust
Director of Human Resources

Back to For Faculty & Staff section

The safety and well being of our Trinity community is our highest priority.

This web page is intended to provide our students, faculty, staff, and visitors with the latest information about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation in the Chicagoland area, and measures implemented to reduce its spread. We are committed to the safety of the campus community.

Trinity has formed a COVID-19 Planning Group, encompassing staff from Student Life, Safety/Security, the Provost’s Office, Marketing/Communication, Admissions, Athletics and Semester in Spain; and faculty from the Nursing and Biology Departments. This planning group is meeting regularly to review the evolving situation and current recommendations from government and public health agencies, including the U.S. Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This group is working across campus to implement recommendations immediately (such as cleaning, hygiene education and other preventive action) in addition to the ongoing, regular planning for a variety of possible scenarios.

This planning group, working with members of Trinity leadership, maintains close contact with the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Cook County Health Department regarding preventive care and treatment recommendations as well.

The College also has a trained multi-disciplinary Emergency Response Team, and that team is ready to engage if needed in a wide range of emergencies, including a health crisis. Trinity is also well-connected to local partners in the Palos Heights community for emergency response.

About Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

What is novel coronavirus?
2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a virus (more specifically, a coronavirus) identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China (source: CDC). Read more about 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

How is it transmitted?
Most often, spread from person-to-person happens among close contacts (about six feet). Person-to-person spread is thought to occur mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread (source: CDC). Read more about how COVID-19 spreads.

What are the symptoms?
Commonly reported symptoms of COVID-19 infection include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and pneumonia. While the exact incubation period for this coronavirus has not yet been determined, it is believed that most infected people will develop symptoms two to 14 days after they were exposed (source: Maryland Department of Health).

What should you do if you have symptoms?
If you feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, you should seek medical care right away from a healthcare provider. Call ahead to let the healthcare provider know your symptoms and recent travel history. Please avoid contact with others until you have been evaluated by a healthcare provider.

What measures can you take to minimize risk of exposure? There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. The World Health Organization (WHO) provides recommendations to reduce exposure to and transmission of a range of illnesses. Read WHO advice for the public.

Don’t forget to protect yourself from another common virus, the flu (influenza). Everyone six months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season with rare exceptions. Vaccination is particularly important for people who are at high risk of serious complications from influenza. See People at High Risk of Developing Flu-Related Complications for a full list of age and health factors that confer increased risk. To be clear, the influenza virus is a different virus from COVID-19, and getting your flu shot will not protect you from COVID-19. But both viruses are spread in the same fashion, and there is currently a vaccine available to help prevent the spread of the flu. At this time in the United States, your risk of getting the flu is much greater than your risk of contracting COVID-19.

Travel Information

Travel restrictions and advisories may change frequently. Please be aware of travel restrictions to and from China issued by the U.S. government, as well as policies and guidelines affecting Trinity students, faculty, and staff.


  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash, immediately
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are often touched
  • Take care of your health overall. Staying current on your vaccinations, including flu vaccine, eating well, getting adequate sleep, and exercising all help your body stay resilient
  • Consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) travel website for any travel advisories and recommended steps to protect yourself if you plan to travel outside the United States

Diversity and Civility

As a Christian institution committed to treating all individuals as image-bearers of Jesus Christ, we stand in prayerful support for students, faculty, and staff whose home communities, families, or churches have been affected by the outbreak.

Avoid making assumptions about individuals who you believe may or may not have come into contact with someone who is carrying the virus. In some cases, public reactions to the virus have been sensationalized, and there have been individuals at institutions of higher education who reported encountering discrimination and harassment due to biased assumptions and overreactions. We treasure our international community members, our racial and ethnic diversity, and everyone who may be affected by this situation. We want to remind all members of our community to stand together in support, encouragement, and respect.

How to stay informed

Students or parents with specific concerns or questions related to student safety, health, or well-being should call Student Life at 708-239-4704 or email

Trinity will update this website as the situation evolves. Students should also continue to check email and text for updates should the situation change.

Some facts and tips from the World Health Organization (WHO)

The World Health Organization, a division of the United Nations that specializes in international public health, offers these answers to frequently asked questions about the novel coronavirus.

Are hand dryers effective in killing the new coronavirus?
No. Hand dryers are not effective in killing the COVID-19. To protect yourself against the new coronavirus, you should frequently clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Once your hands are cleaned, you should dry them thoroughly by using paper towels or a warm air dryer.

Can an ultraviolet disinfection lamp kill the new coronavirus?
UV lamps should not be used to sterilize hands or other areas of skin, as UV radiation can cause skin irritation.

How effective are thermal scanners in detecting people infected with the new coronavirus?
Thermal scanners are effective in detecting people who have developed a fever (i.e. have a higher than normal body temperature) because of infection with the new coronavirus.

However, they cannot detect people who are infected but are not yet sick with fever. This is because it takes between 2 and 10 days before people who are infected become sick and develop a fever.

Is it safe to receive a letter or a package from china?
Yes, it is safe. People receiving packages from China are not at risk of contracting the new coronavirus. From previous analysis, we know coronaviruses do not survive long on objects, such as letters or packages.

Can pets at home spread the new coronavirus (covid-19)?
At present, there is no evidence that companion animals/pets such as dogs or cats can be infected with the new coronavirus. However, it is always a good idea to wash your hands with soap and water after contact with pets. This protects you against various common bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella that can pass between pets and humans.

Does the new coronavirus affect older people, or are younger people also susceptible?
People of all ages can be infected by the new coronavirus (COVID-19). Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.

WHO advises people of all ages to take steps to protect themselves from the virus, for example by following good hand hygiene and good respiratory hygiene.

Are antibiotics effective in preventing and treating the new coronavirus?
No, antibiotics do not work against viruses, only bacteria.

The new coronavirus (COVID-19) is a virus and, therefore, antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment.

However, if you are hospitalized for the COVID-19, you may receive antibiotics because bacterial co-infection is possible.

Are there any specific medicines to prevent or treat the new coronavirus?
To date, there is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the new coronavirus (COVID-19).

However, those infected with the virus should receive appropriate care to relieve and treat symptoms, and those with severe illness should receive optimized supportive care. Some specific treatments are under investigation, and will be tested through clinical trials. WHO is helping to accelerate research and development efforts with a range or partners.

Some facts and tips from the World Health Organization (WHO)

Students or parents with specific concerns or questions related to student safety, health, or well-being should call Student Life at 708-239-4704 or email

Trinity will update this website as the situation evolves. Students should also continue to check email and text for updates should the situation change.

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