Western Michigan University sent a campuswide email on Friday notifying students and staff that university travel to China will be prohibited due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
The announcement comes after the U.S. State Department issued a Level 4, “Do not travel to China,” advisory, the highest possible warning level.
According to the press release, the decision was made to “preserve the health and safety of (the) community.”
The university will not approve travel authorizations and advises students and staff to avoid personal travel to China until further notice. In addition, the university will not reimburse personally incurred expenses for travel to China.
Going forward, WMU will follow Center for Disease Control and Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services guidance for containing the spread of the respiratory illness. This calls for symptomatic individuals to stop attending work and classes if they have traveled to China since the current outbreak of the virus began in December 2019.
The statement concluded by encouraging community members who plan personal travel to China to “closely monitor the CDC’s Travel Health Notices website and the State Department’s Travel Advisories website.”
Dear Campus Community:
Western Michigan University has been monitoring the coronavirus situation this week. Late Thursday, Jan. 30, the U.S. State Department issued a Level 4, "Do not travel to China," advisory.
The warning is intended to limit the spread of coronavirus, which the World Health Organization calls a global health emergency. Level 4 is the highest travel warning issued by the State Department. This is in addition to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's highest warning, Level 3: Avoid non-essential travel, which was issued on Monday.
WMU is following this guidance in order to preserve the health and safety of our community, which is always the first priority. With that goal in mind, all WMU travel to China is prohibited, effective immediately and until further notice. Travel authorizations to China, which are to be completed in advance, will not be approved. Personally incurred expenses for travel to China will not be reimbursed.
The University also encourages faculty, staff and students to avoid personal travel to China. WMU will follow CDC and Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services guidance for containing the spread of the respiratory illness. Such guidelines could call for a symptomatic individual to have curtailed attendance at work or in class if they have traveled to China since December 2019, when the current virus outbreak began.