Important COVID-19 Community Update – July 17

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Pepperdine’s highest priority is to preserve and protect the health, safety, and well-being of every current and future member of Pepperdine University while keeping our commitment to delivering an exceptional educational experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently, we continue to closely monitor all guidance issued by local, state, and federal agencies. The purpose of this communication is to inform our Pepperdine community about a significant shift in California’s guidance for educational institutions released today by California governor Gavin Newsom that may impact the start of our fall semester.

Governor Newsom Update

At a news conference this afternoon, Governor Newsom provided guidance for K-12 schools that casts serious doubt on the ability of the vast majority of these schools to begin in person instruction in August. And while this guidance was not specifically directed at colleges and universities, it provides clear evidence the state is taking an increasingly aggressive approach to addressing the spread of COVID-19. During this news conference, Governor Newsom indicated that further guidance for colleges and universities, which was expected to be delivered no later than today, will be issued next week for all California colleges and universities.

Pepperdine’s Response

Pepperdine’s decision-making framework alluded to above remains consistent, and will remain consistent, as we adapt to the fluctuating environment caused by the virus’ unpredictable course. We understand that faculty, staff, students, and their families will be impacted by any revised decisions the University may be compelled to make about in-person instruction and on-campus housing for the fall term.  Pepperdine is committed to keeping the community informed as new developments occur.

In the meantime, students and their families are advised to defer the purchase of travel and lodging and making off-campus housing arrangements until Pepperdine, after receiving and evaluating Governor Newsom’s directives, provides further guidance to our community. For those seeking on-campus housing this fall, the University will suspend its current housing deadline until further notice. Additionally, the information regarding move-in date and housing assignments for new students that was expected to be sent out today will be delayed.  

Pepperdine Community Case Update

The University was notified this week of five new confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the Pepperdine community, including three staff members, a Graziadio student, and a GSEP student. All were reported to the Student Health Center and investigated through the University’s contact tracing protocols. Close contacts were notified. 

One of the staff members is a Mail Services employee who last reported to the Malibu campus on July 10. Although this staff member’s risk of spreading the virus while in the mailroom was low, and although no close contacts were identified for this case, the University is taking extra precautions and has closed the mailroom for today through Monday to allow for a deep cleaning and disinfection of the space. During this time, Mail Services will not be operating. If you have any questions related to an expected delivery or need for service, please contact Stan Jones, manager of mail and automation services, at 310.506.4293.

Although the CDC states it is unlikely the virus will spread from mail or packaging, the University has implemented additional precautionary measures. Additional details are available on the Mail Services Community page.

The University will continue to keep the community informed on COVID-19 developments as new information becomes available. The latest updates can be found on the University’s COVID-19 website and Emergency Information Page. For additional questions, please contact the COVID-19 Information Line at or 310.506.8111.