The University of Wyoming has canceled its summer term study-abroad programs to China and South Korea due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), a university spokesman said Monday.
“The situation is dynamic and others could be canceled, that’s what we have in place now,” Chad Baldwin said.
The same restrictions apply to faculty and staff as well as students based on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Do Not Travel” or “Avoid Nonessential Travel” warnings, Baldwin said.
If an unusual situation arises for a the need for a student or faculty or staff member to travel to China, South Korea, Iran or Italy arises, the university president must approve that request, he added.
So far, no cases of coronavirus have been identified in Wyoming, Baldwin said.
Meanwhile, the university is working closely with local and state public health officials, and is following CDC guidlines to address infectious disease and other public health concerns on campus.
The university is instructing its students, faculty, staff and other personnel who are returning to the United States from mainland China, South Korea, Iran and Italy to self-isolate for 14 days, according to a news release.
Likewise, anyone who may have been in contact with someone who has been infected by COVID-19 or who exhibits symptoms consistent with COVID-19 infection should also self-isolate. The university will work with students to minimize disruptions to their studies during the isolation period.
COVID-19 appears to impact most seriously those over 60, those who are chronically ill and those with respiratory diseases. So far, it has many fewer life-threatening consequences on young children, teens and young adults.
Given the rapid spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), UW is preparing if some students, staff and faculty campus get sick or are under quarantine in the coming weeks and months.
The university immediately ordered instructors for each course to prepare for possible illness to set up class grade books for their academic unit heads; ensure final exam papers can be collected and graded; adjust attendance policies to not penalize students who become ill or are quarantines; place key course documents in their appropriate websites; and if possible arrange for recording lectures and podcasting their courses.
Administrators also are to make sure courses will continue if instructors become ill or are quarantined, and develop a plan to increase summer course offerings.