WIU cancels summer study abroad trips amid coronavirus concerns

MACOMB, Ill. (NEWS3) — Western Illinois University announced changes to upcoming school travel and trips abroad due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus outbreak.

Officials said all summer study abroad trips are cancelled and international business travel is restricted for faculty, students and staff until Aug. 1.

Officials said there are no confirmed cases of the coronavirus at WIU, but the university has plans in place and is taking steps to ensure the safety of the WIU community. WIU Beu Health Center Medical Chief of Staff Mike Waters said it is recommended that if students choose to travel on their own, they should take precautions before returning.

“If individuals choose to travel to affected areas on their own, we ask that upon their return they closely monitor their health and seek medical attention if they begin feeling ill,” Waters said.

WIU said students are currently in multiple areas worldwide, including Ecuador, Brazil, Galapagos, Denver and Florida. The areas are ranked level one, but if they were to reach level two, students and faculty will be asked to isolate themselves after returning. The university said if any student or faculty member is returning from a high-risk area, they could be required to self-isolate for 14 days.

As a precautionary measure to help prevent the spread of any possible illness, offices on campus are encouraged to keep hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes on hand to wipe down any shared surfaces.

Current information including FAQ’s, illness-prevention tips, and policies can be found on the Beu Health Center’s website.

The Illinois Department of Public Health also has an Illinois Novel Coronavirus Hotline. You can call (800)-889-3931 or email DPH.SICK@ILLINOIS.GOV to see the latest details.