AUSTIN, Texas — The University of Texas at Austin has suspended undergraduate student travel to South Korea after the CDC issued a travel warning as the novel coronavirus outbreak spreads.
Last month, the university suspended all undergraduate travel to China in light of the the outbreak, which originated in China’s Wuhan. Texas State University, Texas A&M University and Texas Christian University also suspended travel to China, affecting current and future programs in the country.
On Tuesday, UT sent a letter advising its community Texas Global will work with students who are currently in South Korea or planning to participate in spring semester programs this month.
Until future notice, only essential travel to South Korea will be considered for approval, the university said. Any approved travel will require an in-country safety plan and consent to follow protocols set by the university for return to campus, UT said.
After China, South Korea has the second most cases of the virus, with at least 977. Health workers continue to find batches in the southeastern city of Daegu and nearby areas, where panic has brought towns to a standstill.
China reported 508 new cases and another 71 deaths. That brings mainland China's totals to more than 77,600 cases and more than 2,600 deaths.
On Monday, the CDC raised the travel warning to Level 3 for South Korea, advising against all non-essential travel.
“We anticipate that additional countries may receive a CDC travel warning Level 3,” UT said on Tuesday. “Should this be the case, we will follow the same protocol and add these to the UT Restricted Regions List.”
In total, coronavirus cases have been identified in 37 countries. On Tuesday the CDC warned the spread of the virus in the U.S. appears inevitable and communities should prepare for the “disruption of everyday life.”
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