The children in the exchange program are from a city about 175 miles from Wuhan.
Fairfax County School District has halted an exchange student program with Chinese students due to concerns over the coronavirus. The students arrived in New York earlier this week and were scheduled to participate in a student exchange program at Longfellow Middle School in Falls Church, Virginia. Parents were informed Wednesday night by the school that the program had been canceled.
The students are from a city called Yichang, located over 175 miles from Wuhan, the center of the Novel Coronavirus outbreak. The kids were supposed to visit the school for activities and stay with host families in the community. Instead, the Chinese students will stay at local hotels and spend their time visiting local sites.
Parents were notified of the cancelation of the visit Wednesday in a letter sent by the school’s principal, Carole Kihm:
“Student and staff health and safety remain our first priority. While health officials believe the risk of illness transmission of the Novel Coronavirus from these students is extremely low, we felt it necessary to make this adjustment.”
China has placed the cities of Wuhan, Huanggang, and Ezhou on lockdown as they try to contain the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus. The government in China announced that 17 people have died from the virus and more than 600 people have been infected. Lunar New Year events have been canceled across the country, and officials are encouraging people to wear masks to help prevent the spread of the disease.
The virus has spread to other countries, including Japan, South Korea, Thailand, and the U.S. Airports around the world are conducting health checks on passengers arriving from key Chinese cities, and the World Health Organization has called an emergency meeting to determine whether or not to issue a global health emergency.
What do you think about Fairfax County's decision? Did they make the right call? Let us know in the comments!