SIU bans university to travel to China due to coronavirus

By Kallie Cox, News Editor

SIU’s chancellor released a statement on Thursday saying no study abroad trips to China will be approved following the rapid spread of the coronavirus.

There are over 28,000 confirmed cases of the virus, according to the Washington Post.

(See more: Mapping the spread of the new Coronavirus)

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Chancellor John Dunn said in the release that SIU has been closely monitoring the spread of the disease and that the school follows in the footsteps of the Center for Disease Control’s level 3 warning to avoid non-essential travel and the do not travel advisories from the U.S. State Department and World Health Organization.

“Given these travel warnings and our desire to maintain the health of our university community, all university travel to China is being restricted at this time,” Dunn said. “No institution-related travel to China, such as study abroad or other academic program visits, will be authorized or approved by the university.”

Policies are in place at the Student Health Center to rapidly identify, test, isolate and treat suspected patients while minimizing the risk of exposure to health providers and other contacts, Paul Bennett, SIU’s Medical Chief of Staff, said in a release about the virus.

Symptoms of this illness include fever, cough and difficulty breathing,” Bennett said. “Reports indicate that the virus is spreading person-to-person, although it’s unclear how easily it spreads between people. Preliminary information suggests that older adults and people with underlying health conditions may be at increased risk for severe disease from this virus.”

There is no current vaccine for this or other coronaviruses, Bennett said.

Dunn said the university does not advise any non-essential travel to affected areas by faculty staff or students and the university will continue to monitor the spread of the virus.

News Editor Kallie Cox can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @KallieECox.

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