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UW-Milwaukee shuts down South Korean study abroad program due to coronavirus outbreak

Posted at 5:16 PM, Feb 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-25 21:31:38-05

MILWAUKEE — UW-Milwaukee is shutting down its study abroad program in South Korea because of the coronavirus outbreak. The university is now working to get students home.

This comes after the Centers for Disease Control raised the travel threat level in the country to "red alert," the highest level. Under the alert level, authorities can order the temporary closure of schools and reduce the operation of public transportation and flights to and from South Korea.

The CDC says more than 2,400 people have died from COVID-19 worldwide, with a majority of the deaths in mainland China. However, other countries are now battling sizable outbreaks as well, including South Korea, with more than 970 cases.

UWM's Study Abroad Director says they are actively working to get students on planes to get back to U.S. and as of right now, no students are sick.

The university is working on a plan to get students into classes back on campus. The students have all been on a year-long study abroad program.

UWM sent the following statement on the study abroad program:

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has been working with local, state and other officials to closely monitor the outbreak of coronavirus. Today, the university asked two students studying abroad in South Korea to return to the United States. The students are not in the area of South Korea where travel is restricted, and there is no reason to believe they have been exposed to the coronavirus. The university asked them to return to the United States as a precaution after the federal Centers for Disease Control issued a Level 3 advisory for South Korea, advising travelers to avoid all nonessential travel there. The students are scheduled to fly back to the United States on Friday.

The health and well-being of our students is UWM’s top concern. We will continue to monitor conditions in other countries where students are studying abroad and will take appropriate action based on the advice of health officials. We do not have any students studying abroad in China, the other country with a Level 3 advisory due to coronavirus, this semester.

The UWM Zilber School of Public Health will hold a panel discussion on Wednesday to talk about the novel virus. The discussion runs from 4:30-6:30 p.m. and is free to attend.

Zilber School Triplex, Room 119
1240 N. 10th Street
Milwaukee, WI 53205 United States

Click here for more information.

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