After reviewing recommendations from the CDC, the University of Virginia canceled all outbound study-abroad programs in light of coronavirus concerns.
In light of coronavirus concerns, the University of Virginia has canceled all outbound study-abroad programs scheduled for this spring break. On Sunday, March 1, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued recommendations that universities "reconsider" international travel in study-abroad programs, and UVA took that to heart. On Tuesday, March 3, Provost Liz Magill made the announcement in a school-wide communication.
“We feel this is the best decision to protect our students and our local community where students will return after their travel,” Magill says in the announcement. “We are in close, regular communication with those students who are currently abroad on exchange and other programs, regarding how to monitor and assess their current situations based on conditions in the country they are visiting.”
In the release, Provost says faculty program directors and students have been notified. The school will work with students to arrange an alternative way to complete their coursework.
The announcement comes just four days before the beginning of break. UVA's spring break is scheduled for Saturday, March 7, through Sunday, March 15.
"The decisions we are making rely heavily on the guidance we are receiving from the CDC and the Virginia Department of Health and are intended to protect the health and welfare of our faculty, staff, students, and local community," Magill says in the report. "We recognize the uncertainty this global health issue is creating and are committed to keep you informed and up to date as this situation evolves."
As of Wednesday, March 4, no known coronavirus cases have been announced in Virginia. The university's decision was not a response to a threat, but a proactive safety measure in light of the current global health environment.
In a press conference Wednesday morning, Governor Ralph Northam and other government officials confirmed that we have no documented cases in the state yet. Out of the 17 Virginians tested for the coronavirus, none came back positive, they said in the announcement.
The University of Virginia has not canceled any program beyond spring break, but says it may if the CDC or State Department issues a Warning Level 3 or higher. The University advises students currently studying abroad to keep in touch with their program and host school for updates. It also urges them to take note of contact information for emergency officials, international health/emergency assistance insurance, and the nearest U.S. consulate.
UVA study-abroad programs scheduled for this spring break include:
- Israel: UVA Commerce: Technology Innovation & Entrepreneurship in the "Start-Up Nation" in Israel
- Belgium & the Netherlands: UVA in Belgium and the Netherlands: Sustainability Reporting and Assurance
- England: UVA in England: International Residential Colleges
- Ireland & North Ireland: UVA in Ireland & N. Ireland: Policies for Conflict and Peace
Countries with known outbreaks include
- United States (Washington, Oregon)
- United Kingdom
- Hong Kong
- South Korea
- United Arab Emirates
Other schools have also canceled study-abroad trips in light of the CDC's recommendations on the coronavirus threat.
Has your school or workplace issued recommendations about the coronavirus? Let us know; we'd love to hear from you.