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Student travel to mainland China suspended

President Anne Houtman has suspended all Earlham College-sponsored student travel to China for the remainder of the spring semester and the summer of 2020.

The U.S. Department of State issued a Level 4 advisory on travel to China — essentially “do not travel,” and at least three airlines have suspended flights from the U.S. to mainland China. 

The suspension of student travel to China will apply to all types of programming, including off-campus study, internships, research programs, and any other travel that involves Earlham students.

Earlham College administration and Campus Health Services are closely monitoring the ongoing outbreak in China, as well as updates from local and state health departments and the federal Centers for Disease Control. 

Currently, there are no cases in Indiana. The College has been educating students and employees about symptoms and preventative measures. Campus housekeeping employees are trained in proper cleaning procedures and have appropriate supplies in stock to handle a potential outbreak here.

Here are the links to organizations that we continue to monitor:

The New York Times created a graphic to compare coronavirus with the seasonal flu:



What is the Coronavirus?

2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a virus (more specifically, a coronavirus) identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. Early on, many of the patients in the outbreak in Wuhan, China reportedly had some link to a large seafood and animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. However, a growing number of patients reportedly have not had exposure to animal markets, indicating person-to-person spread is occurring. At this time, it’s unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people. 

Symptoms of the Coronavirus

If you have traveled to Wuhan, China or been around someone who has traveled to or from Wuhan, China, be mindful of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Mild to severe respiratory illness, cough and difficulty breathing
  • A history of travel to Wuhan City China, 14 days prior to symptoms or close contact with someone who has
  • If you have these symptoms, see you physician and inform them of any recent travels
  • Most cases of the virus have been mild and most have recovered without issue


There is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Right now, 2019-nCoV has not been found to be spreading in the United States, so there are no additional precautions recommended for the general public to take. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

These are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses.

Closely following recommended prevention measures is the best method for protecting yourself from sickness. Campus Health Services will properly screen for and closely follow any suspected cases of illness, as recommended by the CDC.

Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

Earlham College
801 National Road West
Richmond, Indiana
1-765-983-1200 — Main Switchboard
1-800-EARLHAM (327-5426) — Admission


Earlham admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.