University travel to China suspended due to coronavirus

coronavirus

On Jan. 30, Oklahoma State University sent out a message that announced all university-sponsored travel to China has been suspended in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

University-related travel to China has been banned due to increased spreading of the coronavirus.

The coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has rapidly spread through parts of China with minimal cases in the United States.

According to apnews.com, there are over 30,000 reported cases in China and over 600 deaths. There have been no reported cases in Oklahoma.

Chris Barlow, Senior Director of University Health, Counseling & Accessibility Services said that it is important to stay informed as the virus spreads.

“There is a lot of misinformation about the disease in general so we would encourage the community to follow the developments from a trusted source like the CDC website (cdc.gov),” Barlow said.

The university sent out a message regarding travel to China.

“OSU has suspended all travel to China for university related purposes and has encouraged all OSU community to avoid personal travel to globally impacted areas,” Barlow said.

The outbreak began after the start of spring semester, which prevented the spread among those traveling throughout the holidays. Stillwater remains unaffected, but the future of the virus is unknown.

Tim Huff, Administrator of International Students and Scholars, said globally and locally, proper guidelines have been followed.

“The screening process that’s going on now...both in China and to leave the country as well as the U.S. to get into this country are quite thorough,” Huff said. “I think both governments have got a pretty good handle on screening of the individuals who are traveling and what they need to address.”

The future of international students at OSU could be affected. This depends on the time frame of the virus. Time will give a more insight on the situation.

“When we start approaching the spring break period, middle of march, we ought to have a handle on what’s going on and whether or not we’re actually going to have an effective recruiting season to bring in students from China,” Huff said.

Vivian Wang, ISS Manager of Chinese Development, said Chinese students at OSU remain unaffected, but it is important to stay informed and show support.

“Since the outbreak happened in China we’ve been trying to stay in touch with students that’s hometown is Wuhan,” Wang said. “We are periodically checking with them to make sure they have all the support that’s needed from our side.”

Call University Health Services with any questions about sickness or the coronavirus at 405-744-7665.

news.ed@ocolly.com