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UH Prohibits Non-Essential Travel To China As Coronavirus Outbreak Continues

The university says their decision is based on travel warnings from the U.S. Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

 

A map showing where cases of coronavirus have been confirmed.

The University of Houston system is restricting travel to China, as a deadly outbreak of a new strain of coronavirus continues to grow.  

The university is prohibiting all travel to Wuhan, China, where the outbreak is believed to have originated, and all non-essential travel to other areas of China, UH system leaders announced in a letter Tuesday to faculty, staff and students.

“At this time, the health risks associated with the uncertainty about where in China and how rapidly the virus is spreading, outweigh our institutions’ academic and research endeavors and necessitate travel restrictions,” Paula Short, Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at UH System, wrote in the letter.

The university says their decision is based on travel warnings from the U.S. Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). On Monday, the CDC extended its travel warning to all of China, instructing people to avoid all non-essential travel.

So far, the outbreak has mostly been limited to China, which as of Tuesday reported a total of 4,515 cases and 106 deaths.

The U.S. has five reported cases. No cases have been reported yet in Texas — four suspected cases tested negative for the virus, including one student at Texas A&M and one at Baylor University.

On Monday evening, Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental airport announced it would begin screening passengers for the virus, along with 19 other airports. 

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