February 27: State of Global Travel

The disease has spread to several countries, including: Italy, South Korea, Japan and Greece. 

  • The State Department has issued a “Do Not Travel” advisory for China.
  • The Centers for Disease Control have placed South Korea on Alert-Level 3, urging against any nonessential travel there.
  • Iran, Italy and Japan are on Alert-Level 2 Status. That means that older adults and those with chronic medical conditions should consider canceling travel there, and all should exercise enhanced precautions. See the guidelines for preventing the coronavirus. 
  • Hong Kong has been placed on an Alert-Level 1 watch list. That means the number of cases remains small, but the rise in numbers has prompted an increased level of monitoring.
  • Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam are listed as destinations with a risk of the disease spreading.

The situation globally is evolving and this will likely cause additional travel disruption. CDC officials are cautioning that the virus’s spread to, and within, the United States is only a matter of time.

Guidance for Travelers 

All students traveling outside the United States on a Davidson-affiliated trip over spring break must register their travel via Davidson’s Office of Education Abroad system: Davidson International Travel Registration. The continued spread of the virus means that, at any time, further travel restrictions could be imposed on travelers returning from certain areas outside the United States. 

Faculty and staff should inform Naomi Otterness, Director of Education Abroad, regarding their international travel plans, at naotterness@davidson.edu

We strongly encourage anyone traveling outside the United States, even if the trip is not affiliated with Davidson, also to provide information through the channels listed above.

Anyone traveling should monitor the State Department and CDC webpages. In addition, all U.S. citizens traveling abroad should register their plans through the Department of State’s Safe Traveler Enrollment Program.

College Response

We remain in contact with state and federal health officials to ensure we have taken all possible proactive steps, including plans and protocols that follow CDC guidance. Administrative offices will be fully staffed during spring break.

Campus officials have consulted with faculty and staff who are scheduled to lead student trips during spring break. The planned trip to Italy has been cancelled. We know this is disappointing, but we believe it is the right decision. The CDC has placed Italy at a Level 2 alert. We are acting out of an abundance of caution, due to the uncertainty around the community transmission of the virus, uncertainty about the group’s ability to return should conditions deteriorate further, and an obligation to protect the safety and well-being of the rest of campus. 

We have no students or faculty studying or working in China, and two students who had planned semester studies there, made alternate plans. We are monitoring the situation with students and faculty in other study abroad programs and are prepared to assist and make alternate plans as needed.

Everyone is urged to follow the preventive steps used during flu season, including frequent hand washing and covering coughs and sneezes.

Davidson is a close and strong community, and during this time we ask that you please remember that we have classmates or colleagues who may have family in affected areas or who are experiencing unreasonable scrutiny. College officials have reached out to students from affected areas. We encourage you also to provide support to your classmates and colleagues.

The leadership team is planning for multiple potential scenarios and will offer information and guidance as the situation evolves. 

Thank you for the care and attention you are giving to this situation and the health and safety of you and the rest of the Davidson community.

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