Sac State travel to China suspended due to coronavirus


Kelly Kiernan

Study abroad material at Sac State’s Office of Global Engagement. The university recently suspended all travel to China over concern of the coronavirus.

Kendra Rivera-Molina, news editor

Sacramento State has suspended all study abroad travel to China due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Sac State President Robert Nelsen notified students of the suspension Wednesday in a SacSend email. 

Anita Fitzhugh, a public information officer for Sac State, said there are no Sac State students or faculty in China this year. 

“The University and the Office of International Programs and Global Engagement will monitor the situation,”  Fitzhugh said.

FOX40 reported Sac State is canceling a planned study abroad program to China due to the virus, but Fitzhugh said, “no study abroad programs have been canceled.”

Fitzhugh added there are two faculty-led study abroad programs scheduled for this summer, which will only take place when and if the California State University system clears the travel ban.

This new coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As of Tuesday, 427 people had died of the virus with all but two of those deaths occurring in China. 

Symptoms of the coronavirus can include fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the CDC website.

Microbiology major Andrew Peterson said he believe.s the virus is similar to other common illnesses. 

“I just think it’s like any flu or cold. It’s being overhyped in a way,” Peterson said. “The only main difference is what it actually does to the respiratory tract but even so, the flu or cold kills people every day.”

There are 11 confirmed infections and zero deaths in the United States as of Monday, according to the CDC. All but one of those cases occurred in people who had recently traveled to Wuhan. 

“We understand that this may be concerning, but based on what we know now, we still believe the immediate risk to the American public is low,” said CDC Director Robert R. Redfield in a CDC press release.

The one case of person-to-person transmission in the United States involved a person who lived with a patient who tested positive for the coronavirus and had traveled to Wuhan. 

“When they started saying people were dying, I thought this was serious,” political science and journalism major Myla Booth said. “I’ve seen a lot of jokes about it on social media which are sad and irritating like, ‘Oh, if you’re Chinese get away from me’ which doesn’t make sense to me.” 

Regarding the safety of Sac State students, Nelsen advised students to seek health services from The WELL on campus.