As cases of the coronavirus continue to rise, the University of Michigan is taking action on all campuses.
“These trips are planned months, sometimes years in advance. So postponing them is a little disappointing, but I think everyone understands,” said Preeti Malani, University of Michigan chief health officer. “When our government authorities, the CDC, and state department are saying to avoid all non-essential travel to a particular region, we heed that advice.”
Travel has been restricted for undergrads participating in school-related travel to China.
“For the foreseeable future, likely several weeks,” Malani said.
It’s mainly affecting students studying abroad. In addition to the recent outbreak of a potentially severe infection, chances for disrupted travel are high.
“The risk of disrupted travel is likely 100% at this point,” Malani said. “Just given what we're hearing from colleagues on the ground and also our national authorities.”
Although travel has been restricted to undergrads, that does not apply to graduate students
“Graduate students can still go overseas, but it would be on a case-by-case basis with a safe plan in place,” Malani said.
That plan is a safe plan and must be reviewed and approved by the university.
“Just to make sure that people have thought through things and some of the questions are, if your travel is disrupted and you need to shelter in place what resources might you have,” Malani said.
The university said although this may inconvenience some, its what’s best for students.
“Safety has to come before everything for our students,” Malani said.
In Mid-Michigan, Central Michigan University has not issued an official travel warning, but told their students studying abroad in Asia to avoid travel to Wuhan and Hubei Province in China.
CMU also reiterated the need for students abroad to enroll in the U.S. State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive emails on updates.