About 200 students impacted as Texas A&M suspends travel to China

Published: Jan. 29, 2020 at 11:32 AM CST
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The coronavirus was first detected in China on the last day of 2019. Since then, it's spread to about 6,000 people in the nation and at least 18 other countries.

Now, Texas A&M University is keeping students and faculty from visiting not just the Wuhan area, but the country as a whole.

"So, the CDC guidance comes out that nonessential travel should be avoided. We think that's serious enough that our students to not go there," said Kevin McGinnis, the university's compliance officer.

He says about 200 students are no longer making the trip overseas.

"One of the reasons why we put it out now is the summer is coming, spring break is coming, a lot of things are upcoming. So we want those people to have some lead time to find opportunity elsewhere. We don't want to take opportunity away, we just want to divert it elsewhere."

He says it's harder to put a number on how many faculty members are affected because just about every department is involved in research in China.

"It's the largest nation in the world and it's a hot button right now. It's a place where a lot of good research is going on."

McGinnis says the university will continue to work with the CDC and other agencies to decide when to open travel again.