Officials extend student travel restrictions to China until the end of March

Officials are extending travel restrictions to China until the end of March as concerns about and cases of the coronavirus increase worldwide, according to an email sent to the community Wednesday.

The University has extended restrictions for GW-affiliated student travel to China until March 31 after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed 60 cases of the coronavirus have hit the U.S. as of Wednesday, the email states. Officials are in contact with students studying abroad in Italy, where the number of novel coronavirus cases has reached 400, according to the email.

“Because the public health situation is dynamic and we know that risk tolerance varies by individual, students and their families should make the final decision about what is best for their situation,” the email states. “The University will work with individual students on a case-by-case basis to support and help students navigate the completion of their academic work whenever possible.”

Students who are currently abroad or will be abroad later this semester should email the Office for Study Abroad with any questions about their status, according to the email.

Officials cautioned students traveling overseas during spring break to be “mindful of potential risk of disruptions” when re-entering the U.S., according to the email.

No confirmed coronavirus cases have been connected to GW, but students should take advantage of the hand sanitizing stations in residence halls and popular campus spots and the sanitizing wipes available in food courts, the email states.

Campus shuttles and SafeRide vehicles are being cleaned on a “regular and frequent basis,” and wipes will be added to on-campus computer labs for students to clean off keyboards, according to the email.

Officials recommend frequent hand-washing, flu vaccines and avoiding close contact with people who are sick to avoid catching respiratory viruses. The University’s public health team and Division of Safety and Security are monitoring the situation and will continue to evaluate GW’s “preparedness actions,” the email states.

“The International Services Office has campus resources available to assist with coping,” ISO director Jennifer Donaghue said. “Diversity is one of the strengths of the GW community, and we are here to support affected students and communities.”


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