TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – As the coronavirus continues to spread, travelers are on high alert. The CDC has even urged the public to avoid all nonessential travel to China.
The University of Tampa is now taking that warning into consideration and has canceled its upcoming study abroad trip to China.
“We would never put our students at risk. Looking at the situation in China with the CDC warning, travel warnings, flight cancellations, it just was not feasible to take students there,” Professor Kristen Foltz said.
University of Tampa student Michaela Thomas was headed to China with the program and tells 8 On Your Side the virus is concerning.
“You never know how things across the seas can affect you, so for me when I first heard it, when it started gaining traction, that’s when I did get a little worried,” the senior theater major said.
The University of Tampa’s study abroad program will now travel to Singapore in May.
“What we have done is work with our travel provider and meet with university representatives and we decided to change locations to Singapore which has a much better health system. It’s a much safer place to take students. They will get the same academic opportunity, just in a different location,” Foltz said.
Thompson says the new destination is a welcomed change as virus concerns continue to loom.
“At least with this trip, we are going to be safe. I’m still really excited about it, it’s just getting adjusted to a whole new place you are going to,” she said.
In the meantime, while there are no reports of the university’s students with symptoms related to the coronavirus, university officials encourage them to call the Dickey Health and Wellness Center at (813) 253-6250 if they feel sick.