Outbreak Affects USA Campus

By: Kayla Smith | Reporter

The World Health Organization has declared the Coronavirus a global health emergency because of the rate in which it spread beyond China’s borders.

As of Feb. 2, over 14,000 cases of Coronavirus have been confirmed in the Hubei province in China alone. The death toll is growing close to 300 with 258 total confirmed deaths on Friday, Jan. 31.

Many of these cases are in Wuhan, China, the city where the outbreak started. As the outbreaks grew, China began to close its borders, mainly any and all transportation in and out of the Hubei province. However, the outbreak has already spread into 28 other countries, the US included. 

The CDC places a series of warnings for a travel health notice. They range based on the level of danger one faces when traveling to the country. At this point in time, China is a level 3, meaning the CDC discourages all travel unless absolutely essential.

What does this have to do with USA’s community? Study Abroad programs could be affected by travel bans induced by this virus. Any summer or fall programs to China may face cancellation.

Bri Ard, Director of Study Abroad and International Education, sent a statement regarding the concerns of the study abroad programs in China.

“At this time, USA study abroad has not been affected by the increased travel advisory due to the coronavirus. We are carefully monitoring the situation in locations where we currently have students studying or planning to study abroad.” 

According to CNN, on Friday, Jan. 31, President Donald Trump issued a suspension on the entry of any foreign nationals into the U.S. from China. Any U.S. citizens returning from China are placed into a mandatory 2-week quarantine upon arrival. While the CDC discourages travel to China, the U.S. government has placed a ban on any travel to China.

President Tony Waldrop sent a university mass email alerting the concern of the coronavirus:

“As we learn more each day about the coronavirus, I encourage students, faculty, and staff to educate themselves about the virus, its symptoms and the geographic areas where the virus is most widespread. In particular, students and employees are urged to use caution when considering travel to areas where the virus is prevalent.”

For more information on the effects of the Coronavirus outbreak, click here to watch a Youtube video released by a citizen in Wuhan and a CNN article released on Jan. 31.