UH restricts travel to China due to federal coronavirus warnings
The UH System has prohibited all travel to Wuhan, Hubei Province, China and non-essential travel to China outside of Hubei Province in adherence to U.S. federal government travel warnings resulting from the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, known as 2019-nCoV.
“While the UH System places great value in our work and on our many partnerships in China, including exchange programs, and intends to continue these initiatives, our highest priority is the health and well-being of our UH System community,” said Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs Paula Myrick Short in a Jan. 28 statement from the University.
Short said the health risks associated with the uncertainty about where in China and how rapidly the virus is spreading outweigh UH’s academic and research endeavors, thus require travel restrictions.
“While we regret any temporary disruptions to our endeavors in the region, we look forward to fully re-engaging at such time the health risk to our UH System community associated with the new coronavirus has diminished,” Short said in the statement.
The U.S. Department of State on Jan. 27 issued a Level 3 Travel Advisory to China, recommending reconsideration of travel to anywhere in the country, as well as a Level 4 Travel Advisory to completely restrict travel to Wuhan and Hubei Province.
The Department of State on Jan. 23 ordered the departure of all non-emergency U.S. personnel and their family members from Wuhan, and Chinese authorities have imposed travel restrictions in the area.
Also on Jan. 27, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended its Warning Level 3 from Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, where the first case of the new coronavirus was identified, to now include all of China.
A Warning Level 3 instructs individuals to “avoid all nonessential travel to this destination. The outbreak is of high risk to travelers and no precautions are available to protect against the identified increased risk.”
A Jan. 27 statement from the University said they have not identified any cases at the UH campuses., and they have been closely monitoring the emerging outbreak since its announcement to the public this month.
“Raising awareness and keeping the University community well informed of this rapidly evolving situation is very important,” said Dr. Vanessa Tilney, the chief physician at the Student Health Center in the statement.