Univ. expands travel restrictions as COVID-19 threat grows

February 28, 2020

Brandeis administration has expanded the official university travel restriction to include both mainland China and Korea after the continued expansion of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), according to an email sent out by Provost Lisa Lynch on Feb. 26. 

The U.S. Department of State raised the travel advisory for mainland China to “Level 4 — Do Not Travel,” according to an email sent out by Lynch on Feb. 9. The travel advisory for China has since dropped to  “Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel—Widespread Community Transmission,” on Feb. 22. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) increased the travel advisory for Korea to Level 3 on Feb. 24, according to the Feb. 26 email sent by Lynch. 

Countries with warning Level 3 have a high outbreak of COVID-19 and are “of high risk to travelers and no precautions are available to protect against the identified increased risk,” according to the CDC’s travel notice. Venezuela has also been listed as a Level 3 travel advisory, as of Feb. 24. 

While the travel restrictions to China and Korea are only for “university purposes…we strongly recommend that those who are planning travel to Korea or China for personal reasons reconsider such plans,” Lynch wrote in her email.

All foreign nationals who have visited China within the last 14 days are not allowed entry into U.S., according to a White House proclamation issued on Jan. 31. Different measures to assess symptoms and diagnosis COVID-19 have been set in place for all individuals allowed entry into the U.S., which may include quarantine. 

The university is also recommending that students, faculty and staff not travel to Italy and Japan, after the CDC raised the travel advisory of both countries to “Level 2 — Practice Enhanced Precautions.”

Countries with alert Level 2 warn travelers to practice enhanced precautions. “The Travel Health Notice describes additional precautions added, or defines a specific at-risk population,” according to the CDC’s travel notice. Iran is also a Level 2 travel advisory. 

“More specifically, the CDC is recommending that older adults and those with chronic medical conditions should consider postponing nonessential travel to Italy and Japan,” according to the Feb. 26 email. 

The International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-2019 a public health emergency of international concern on Jan. 30, according to the CDC. The U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar declared COVID-2019 a public health emergency for the U.S. on Jan. 31. 

COVID-2019 is a type of coronavirus that is commonly found in different species of animals, including: camels, cattle, cats and bats. Similar to the Middle-East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV), SARS-CoV-2 (more commonly known as COVID-2019) are all transmitted through bats, according to the CDC’s website.

There are currently 14 total confirmed cases of COVID-2019 in the U.S., 12 of which are travel-related and two cases that are person-to person spread, while 45 have been repatriated back to the U.S., according to the CDC. A total of 445 individuals have been tested. 

For more information about COVID-2019, visit the CDC’s website

Menu Title