Indefinite ban on faculty-led, university sponsored trips to some countries issued due to concerns of COVID-19

(Illustration by Allison Evans | Collegian Media Group)

The university will prohibit all faculty-led and university sponsored trips to countries that fall under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention level three travel advisory or the U.S. State Department level four travel advisory.

The ban comes in the midst of growing global concern for the spread of COVID-19, which has been confirmed in nearly 70 countries, including the United States.

The ban is immediate and “will not be lifted until further guidance is provided by federal authorities,” a news release from Kansas State says.

“We do not know how many terms will be affected. The travel ban is in effect until further notice,” Michelle Geering, K-State public information officer, said via email.

Some of the countries included in the ban are Italy, South Korea, China, Iran and Venezuela, per the CDC Travelers’ Health notice. Japan is not currently at the threshold for a level three advisory, but individuals traveling to the country are encouraged to practice “enhanced precautions,” the university says.

“These measures are being taken to protect the university community in an uncertain time,” the news release says. “Personal travel is not affected but strongly discouraged to those countries.”

Geering said it is unclear how this ban will impact K-State’s summer study abroad program to Orvieto, Italy.

“That decision has not been made,” Geering said. “We continue to monitor the situation.”

As for the programs affected by this ban, Geering said “academic continuance” is at the discretion of the colleges in which those programs reside.

The College Architecture, Planning and Design study abroad spring 2020 program in Orvieto, Italy, was suspended officially on Wednesday.

“Education Abroad notified students and families … and is coordinating students’ return to Manhattan with health officials,” the release says.

Those students may be required to remain in a 14-day isolation period upon return to the United States.

Exemptions to the ban are available and must be processed by the K-State International Risk Advisory Working Group, who will review all requests. Provost Charles Taber will get the final say on each case.

My name is Kaylie McLaughlin and I'm the ex-managing editor and audience engagement manager of the Collegian. Previously, I've been the editor-in-chief and the news editor. In the past, I have also contributed to the Royal Purple Yearbook and KKSU-TV. Off-campus, you can find my bylines in the Wichita Eagle, the Shawnee Mission Post and KSNT News. I grew up just outside of Kansas City in Shawnee, Kansas. I’m a senior in digital journalism with a minor in French and a secondary focus in international and area studies. As a third-generation K-Stater, I bleed purple and my goal is to serve the Wildcat community with accurate coverage.