Cornell University has banned all school-related travel to mainland China, a reaction to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak that has claimed the lives of dozens of Chinese people over the last several weeks.
Cornell made the announcement to the campus community on Wednesday, Jan. 29 explaining the restrictions with a letter to the campus community from Provost Michael Kotlikoff and an article in the Cornell Chronicle. Kotlikoff said the decision was made in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's new advisory that all non-essential travel to mainland China should be suspended or postponed.
“While there are currently no reported cases of the virus in New York state, it is important that we are prepared,” said Sharon McMullen, assistant vice president of student and campus life for health and wellbeing, quoted in an article in the Cornell Chronicle. “Cornell Health has procedures in place to quickly identify anyone who might require evaluation and care for coronavirus, as well as an operational plan in the event of a national outbreak.”
Of course, Cornell has a significant student population from China, or with family there, and Kotlikoff encouraged those students who might want to return to China in the coming weeks in a personal manner to consult the most up-to-date CDC guidelines. Cornell is also maintaining an updating page on their health website to track coronavirus updates both in the US and China.
“Cornell is committed to working with all travelers to find alternative solutions that meet academic objectives impacted by this decision, but your health and safety are our top priority in cases like this,” said Wendy Wolford, vice provost for international affairs.