Sunday, October 24, 2021

Coronavirus halts additional MSU travel abroad

February 21, 2020
<p>First aid kit. Design by: Genna Barner</p>

First aid kit. Design by: Genna Barner

Photo by Genna Barner | The State News

The university physician sent out an update on coronavirus to the Michigan State community Thursday suspending all university-sponsored travel to China, Singapore and Hong Kong through the end of July.

"This suspension takes effect today and includes all study abroad programs in those countries," said University Physician Dr. David Weismantel.

After the World Health Organization declared coronavirus a global health emergency, MSU halted nonessential travel to China.

The email described a newly formed task force that will regularly meet to monitor the spread on coronavirus from its origin in Wuhan, China.

The virus has already created a global economic impact, which could reach $1 trillion if the virus continues to spread. MSU set up a website to follow updates on the disease.

There have been zero cases of coronavirus on campus, and zero in Michigan. Weismantel said it is highly unlikely any MSU faculty, staff, student or visitor has recently returned from China without a 14-day quarantine issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the state health department.

There is some cause for hope after researchers published an unedited manuscript with a map of the coronavirus 'spike' protein, a potential step toward a vaccine.

"MSU will continue to pay close attention to this developing issue, as we would with any infectious disease, to ensure the safety and welfare of our students, faculty, staff, scholars and visitors," Weismantel said. "The University Physician and the Office of International Health and Safety at Michigan State University continue to closely monitor the outbreak with the assistance and guidance of local, state and federal partners."

The email also asked the MSU community to remember that many international students have been impacted by this outbreak, and that it is important to create a supportive community.

"As Spartans, we value inclusivity," Weismantel said. "We welcome students, scholars, faculty and staff from all parts of the world. We take pride in the diverse perspectives that move our community and the world forward. And we will continue to live those values today, tomorrow and into the future."

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