The University of Kansas suspended all institution-related travel to and from any countries with a CDC Level 3 or Level 4 warning due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, according to an email sent to all students, faculty and staff from Chancellor Douglas Girod.
Last week, the University began suspending study abroad programs in countries such as China, Iran, South Korea and Italy, which are all classified as “Warning Level 3: Avoid Non-Essential Travel” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“It is important to note that global circumstances suggest it is likely this virus will cause a pandemic,” Girod said in the email. “This is a rapidly evolving situation, and the risk assessment will be updated.”
On Jan. 31, the University restricted all travel to China for all students, faculty and staff after the U.S. Department of State issued a “Warning Level 4: Do Not Travel” for China.
Girod asked students to be thoughtful about personal travel during next week’s spring break. Students were encouraged to register with the University via the Student International Travel Registry if they are planning any international travel, so as to protect other students if someone contracts the virus.
“As we respond to this situation, it is important to reaffirm our commitment to a safe, supportive and inclusive educational environment,” Girod said in the email. “Our international community is an essential part of KU, and we have a responsibility to ensure our university is free of discrimination and harassment.”
Currently, there are no known cases of coronavirus in Kansas. A patient who had recently traveled to Wuhan, China — where the virus originated — checked in to Lawrence Memorial Hospital on Jan. 28 with flu-like symptoms, but a test for the coronavirus later came back negative.
Edited by Emma Bascom