Update: January 27, 2020

The situation in China continues to evolve rapidly.   We at Middlebury are following updates from the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control, and the US Department of State, as well as consulting our security advisors, Global Rescue, and our staff in China.

  • Middlebury students currently in China are fine;
  • Students who were traveling outside of Beijing for the Lunar New Year have been asked to return to Beijing, in case further travel restrictions are applied to the city.  All have now safely returned;
  • There are now over 2,700 reported cases of what is now being called Wuhan coronavirius, and there have been 80 deaths;  
  • On Sunday, January 26th, the CDC upgraded its Travel Notice for China to Level 2 “Practice Enhanced Precautions”;
  • Chinese authorities extended the Lunar New Year holiday through Sunday.  (It was suppose to end on Thursday.)
  • Middlebury International Programs Staff and China-based staff met this morning (Monday January 27), and Middlebury staff met with our partner, CET Academic Programs this afternoon.  We are working with campus partners to finalize a plan for the spring semester and expect to communicate that with students on Tuesday.

Update: January 24, 2020

The World Health Organization met yesterday, and decided not to declare the situation in China a Global Health Crisis.  The council will meet again to reassess the situation in another ten days.

Chinese authorities announced today that the number of cases in the country exceeds 900, with 26 deaths so far.  The government is expanding the travel lockdown to a total of eleven cities: Wuhan, Suizhou, Ezhou, Huanggang, Chibi, Xiantoa, Zhijiang, Qianjjiang, Huangshi, Xianning, and Yichang.

The US Department of State and CDC continue to support regular travel to China, except for Hubei Province. The CDC encourages all in the region to practice normal precautions for preventing colds and other respiratory illness, including frequent hand washing, not traveling while feeling ill, and seeking medical care if one has a fever or other flu-like symptoms.

Original Posting: January 23, 2020:

Middlebury is closely monitoring the recent outbreak of the novel coronavirus in China. The virus was first detected in the city of Wuhan (in central China) and there are currently a handful of cases in other major Asian cities including Beijing, Shanghai, and Osaka.  At the time of writing, there are four reported cases in Thailand and one in the United States, in Washington state, as well.  All individuals currently infected are believed to have contracted the virus while in Wuhan.

Currently, the World Health Organization (WHO) supports normal travel to China.  The CDC recently (January 23, 2020) elevated its travel notice to Level 3 (“Avoid Nonessential Travel”) for the city of Wuhan.  The CDC maintains a travel notice of Level 1 (“Practice Usual Precautions”) for the nation of China, as a whole. The WHO encourages all in the region to practice normal precautions for preventing colds and other respiratory illness. For more detailed information, please see the sites below:

Considering these recommendations, Middlebury plans to run its programs in China as planned for the spring term. We will continue to monitor this health issue daily through government, open access, and local informational channels.  We will update students with recommendations from our health care providers should the need arise.