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UVa Spring Break guidance includes coronavirus warning

Ahead of spring break, the University of Virginia is notifying students, staff and faculty about the potential impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) to study abroad programs and travel.

The university is recommending students traveling during the upcoming break from March 6-14 not go to locations with Centers for Disease Control or State Department warning level 3 or higher.

Currently, only China and South Korea have a CDC level 3 warning, which recommends people avoid nonessential travel.

“While we have not cancelled any current or existing study abroad programs, the university will cancel any such programs, even if already under way, at any location for which the CDC sets a warning level 3, or the State Department sets a warning level 3 or 4,” Dean of Students Allen Groves wrote in a email to students.

The CDC set level 2 alerts for Iran, Italy and Japan on Sunday, as those countries began experiencing outbreaks.

UVa offers dozens of study abroad programs and internships of varying lengths, including several in countries that have begun experiencing outbreaks.

The university also is asking that faculty and staff notify their supervisor or department chair if they plan to travel over the break.

The university also noted that fear or stigmatization of particular people groups can occur during a viral outbreak, and asked readers to prevent stigmatization by sharing facts, rather than stereotypes, about the disease. Being Asian American does not increase the chance of getting or spreading coronavirus.

No cases of the disease have yet been reported at UVa, according to the university. While several people have been screened in Virginia, no cases have been confirmed in the state at this time, according to the Virginia Department of Health.


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