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Coronavirus and Study Abroad Updates

February 26, 2020

Dear Campus Community,

The University continues to actively monitor the novel Coronavirus ("COVID-19") outbreak. We are staying up to date on the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and being proactive in implementing measures to keep our community safe. The University's Incident Response Team, International Risk Management Committee, Campus Infectious Disease Management Committee, Student Affairs leadership and Council of Deans are meeting regularly to evaluate the current situation and make decisions to safeguard the health of our community. At this time, there are still no confirmed cases of coronavirus at the University of Maryland or in the State of Maryland.

Since our last communication, the CDC has issued new travel guidance. The CDC identifies three levels of travel advisories: Warning Level 3 (avoid nonessential travel); Alert Level 2 (practice enhanced precautions---those with chronic medical conditions and older adults should consider postponing travel); and Watch Level 1 (practice usual precautions).

There are currently two countries with Warning Level 3 advisories for COVID-19: China and South Korea. The university previously announced that it is not authorizing travel to China, and has suspended Education Abroad programming in China for spring 2020. In light of the CDC's change to Level 3 for South Korea, the University has suspended Education Abroad programs in South Korea for spring 2020. Students in these programs have received direct communication and additional guidance from the UMD Education Abroad office. We are closely monitoring the situation in Italy and Japan (both Level 2), and other parts of the globe affected by COVID-19. The University is also notifying individuals of cancellations of some spring break and summer programs.

The University will immediately suspend Education Abroad programming for any country that is upgraded to a Warning Level 3 advisory by the CDC. Students studying abroad in countries with an Alert Level 2, currently UMD programs in Italy and Japan, should be prepared to return to the U.S. should a CDC designation change occur or other circumstances change. Decisions to suspend a program and instructions on next steps will be communicated directly to students and their parents in the affected program.

We rely on information provided by the CDC, the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. State Department, state and local health departments, and on-campus public health experts to guide decisions concerning where we operate study abroad programs in the world.

We encourage students abroad to follow the precautions issued by the CDC and the advice of their program providers regarding health and safety measures. We also urge students studying abroad to limit additional travel as much as possible.

The university is ready and willing to work individually with any student abroad with a chronic health condition, who is immunocompromised, or who is otherwise concerned about continuing their studies abroad. We are working with our education partners to evaluate online learning solutions should students have to depart a program early.

Lastly, we continue to urge all members of our community at home and abroad to practice preventive actions to help stop the spread of germs. For the latest information and updates from the university, visit If you have questions specific to coronavirus, please contact


Mary Ann Rankin
Senior Vice President and Provost

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The University of Maryland, College Park is the state's flagship university and one of the nation's preeminent public research universities. A global leader in research, entrepreneurship and innovation, the university is home to more than 40,700 students, 14,000 faculty and staff, and nearly 400,000 alumni all dedicated to the pursuit of Fearless Ideas. Located just outside Washington, D.C., we discover and share new knowledge every day through our renowned research enterprise and programs in academics, the arts and athletics. And we are committed to social entrepreneurship as the nation’s first “Do Good” campus.


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Spanning 12 schools and colleges, Maryland offers more than 300 degree-granting programs, many of them ranked among the best in the country. Our faculty includes two Nobel laureates, three Pulitzer Prize winners, 58 members of the national academies and scores of Fulbright scholars. And our students, who include the highest achievers in the state and nation, enjoy experiences unique to our location just outside the nation’s capital, including internships, research, and leadership and service opportunities.

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