Since the beginning of the new year, the Coronavirus has been a widely discussed topic as many are concerned about the potential impacts it could have.
These impacts can be felt at Pierce College, as a recruiting trip to Shanghai in fall 2020 was recently cancelled due to concerns of safety.
To understand why it was necessary to cancel this trip, it is important to understand the Coronavirus. The Coronavirus originated within Wuhan, China.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the emergence of this disease was likely from an animal reservoir. Early patients were linked to a live animal and seafood market, reinforcing the idea of where this disease emerged. The CDC said the virus was initially spread from animal-to-person, then moved from person-to-person leading the disease to spread outside of not just Wuhan, but China as a whole.
The virus was concerning enough that the outbreak was considered a “public health emergency of international concern” by the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee.
Following this, the United States Department of State issued a level four travel ban, stating any and all flights from the U.S. to China have been suspended until at least March 28.
A level four travel advisory is the highest level the Department of State can issue. In short, it means do not travel. The Department of State officials say this level is issued when the likelihood of life-threatening risks is much higher and the U.S. may be unable to provide assistance within this particular country.
This prompted Pierce College to send out an email stating the recruiting trip to Shanghai would be cancelled.
According to Brent Leavell, the manager of international outreach and partnerships at Pierce College, Pierce had signed up for an Education USA fair within Shanghai to recruit international students and meet with Chinese partners. Leavell also stated there are plans to return to China later this year after things settle down. Until then, Pierce plans to abide by the travel advisory. As of right now, it seems this was the best course of action for Pierce to take.
Currently, there have been 1,369 fatalities and 60,391 confirmed cases of the coronavirus according to worldometer. If these numbers continue to follow the current trend, it can be expected these numbers will continue to rise. With that said, there are new systems currently being implemented to help decline these numbers.
As stated by the New York Times, these systems include a new criteria for confirming patients with the Coronavirus, disinfecting public areas within Wuhan twice a day and a plan that requires residents to scan a code on their phones to enter public areas.
How concerned Pierce College students should be about the Coronavirus is uncertain, however it is recommended by the college to cancel any plans until the travel advisory is lifted.
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