Joni and Friends COVID-19 Response

For Immediate Release: Agoura Hills, CA 3/10/2020

Joni and Friends takes the safety of their volunteers, interns and Short-Term Missionaries seriously. We analyze health and security risks daily and apply mitigation protocols to provide the safest possible environment for all travelers supporting our programs.

Joni and Friends is continuing to serve families affected by disability domestically and internationally based on assessment of the potential health risks involved with traveling to a certain area.

Joni and Friends is cancelling events in areas classified as Level 3 or 2:

Warning Level 3: CDC recommends travelers avoid all nonessential travel to destinations with level 3 travel notices because of the risk of getting COVID-19.

*Currently: China, Iran, South Korea, and Italy

Alert Level 2: Because COVID-19 can be more serious in older adults and those with chronic medical conditions, people in these groups should talk to a healthcare provider and consider postponing travel to destinations with level 2 travel notices.

*Currently: Japan

Joni and Friends is monitoring events in areas classified as Level 1:

Watch Level 1: CDC does not recommend canceling or postponing travel to destinations with level 1 travel notices because the risk of COVID-19 is thought to be low. If you travel, take the following routine precautions:

  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.
    • It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.

We employ a support system of health and security providers to ensure all participants are provided an exceptional standard of care for any situation at all Joni and Friends events.


Once traveler’s arrangements are made trip cancellation refunds are handled solely by the insurance provider. If Joni and Friends cancels the event we will refund or reallocate the donations in accordance with our current policies.

For more information you can visit the CDC webpage on international travel at

If you need additional support, contact:

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Joni and Friends cancelling events?
We are cancelling and notifying impacted volunteers based on changing risks provided by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and our Global Risk Mitigation program. *See STM notification for countries

How late could an event be canceled?
Based on the daily risk changes and guidance from the CDC, WHO, and our Global Risk Mitigation program we will make the decision as soon as possible, but we may cancel up to the day of an event to ensure the safety of our participants.

Are layovers avoiding areas of concern included in Joni and Friends travel arrangements?
Joni and Friends travel arrangements will avoid layovers to Level 3 and Level 2 areas at time of booking. If return flight layover location becomes a Level 3 or 2 area after booking, travelers are advised not to leave the airport.

Travelers with layovers in Level 3 or 2 areas may still be subject to screening and monitoring when entering the United States.

What is the risk of getting COVID-19 on an airplane?
Because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes, most viruses and other germs do not spread easily on airplanes. Although the risk of infection on an airplane is low, travelers should try to avoid contact with sick passengers and wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer that contain 60%–95% alcohol.


Keeping this in perspective, below are current statistics (as of 3/9/2020 @ 1:00 PST)

Novel Covid-19: Worldwide 113,584 cases, 3,996 deaths, 62,496 recoveries

United States 607 cases, 22 deaths,  8 recoveries

*In comparison

2018-19 U.S. Flu A: United States 35.5 Million experiencing symptoms, 490,561 hospitalizations, 34,157 deaths.

*So far in the first 7 weeks of 2020 The U.S. has reported 2,695 deaths due to the common Flu.

Data sources: WHO, CDC, ECDC, NHC and DXY.