Coronavirus impacts WVU staff, students

MORGANTOWN,W.Va. – The impact of the coronavirus pandemic is being felt on the campus of West Virginia University. WVU director of global advancement, Hank Oliver was a guest on Talkline and said the impact is still being evaluated.

“Most recently we had a wind symphony group scheduled to tour China and they have postponed that,”Oliver said,”We have had other travel that people have elected not to go, but overall there’s no major student scheduled until May and it’s too early to decide if that should go.”

There are more than 17,000 confirmed cases worldwide, 11 of those in the United States. U.S. officials have declared a public health emergency that prohibits foreign nationals, who are not permanent residents or family members of U.S. citizens are temporarily banned from entering the country and anyone entering the U.S. who has been in China’s Hubei province in the last two weeks will be subject to a two-week quarantine.

Oliver says they are advising students, staff and faculty to avoid traveling to China.

“We of course advising our staff and faculty not to travel and for students there is no university endorsed travel to China at this time,”Oliver said,”We can’t tell faculty and staff they can or cannot go, but we can try and make sure they all the information available when they make decisions.”

Oliver says students, faculty and staff are required to register travel plans, so university staff can direct important information to them about the region they going to or coming from. Oliver says they work with multiple agencies and WVU medicine to maintain the most up-to-date information possible.

“When are personnel are abroad, if situations were to occur we have resources and experts that can take care of those situations,”Oliver said,”They are all recommending that travel to region is not worth it, provided you can even get there.”

Most U.S. airlines have cancelled air travel to China until March.