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University-Related Travel to China Now Under Travel Restriction at UM

Graphic from CDC

University of Mississippi Provost Noel Wilkin announced Thursday morning that due to the Centers for Disease Control and State Department recommendations and program cancelations, all university-related travel to China is under a UM travel restriction until further notice.

The CDC recently classified China as a level 3 warning destination, recommending that all individuals avoid nonessential travel to the country. The U.S. Department of State has also issued a Level 3 Alert: Reconsider Travel to China.

The total number of cases reached more than 8,200 worldwide with 170 deaths in China, Chinese and international health authorities said. The majority of cases are in mainland China, with at least 7,801 cases, exceeding the total number of SARS cases in that country during the 2003 epidemic. At least 101 other cases have been reported across more than a dozen countries across the globe. There have been five confirmed cases in the United States.

Graphic from the CDC

“Our academic programs in China have been suspended or canceled by the partners in China,” Wilkins said in a written statement to faculty and staff Thursday morning. “Students may not proceed with UM-related travel to China and should check in with the UM coordinator of their program.”

Faculty and staff are being discouraged from engaging in non-essential travel to China; however, those who must travel to China for essential reasons must notify the Office of the Provost and submit a safety plan with their travel authorization forms for university approval.

“This plan must include assurances that they are aware of the health risks, they have specific strategies to stay safe, and they are prepared to shelter in place should China impose additional travel restrictions,” Wilkins said.

Students, faculty or staff who travel to any region under an alert or warning should check-in with the Office of Global Engagement to receive advice and additional information.

“The safety and well-being of the university community is always our top priority, and we will continue to monitor the situation,” Wilkins said. “If you believe that you have been exposed to the coronavirus, notify your physician, Student Health or Employee Health immediately.”

Staff report

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