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ASU cancels study abroad programs in South Korea due to coronavirus fears

(Facebook Photo/Arizona State University)

PHOENIX — Arizona State University canceled its study abroad programs in South Korea after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention elevated the country’s coronavirus warning, the university announced Wednesday

The CDC recently designated the coronavirus’ presence in South Korea as a Level 3 Warning, encouraging travelers to forgo all nonessential travel to the country, according to the agency’s website.

For ASU students already in South Korea, the university is working to formulate the necessary travel arrangements to ensure their safe return home.

ASU currently has no plans to cancel its study abroad programs in Europe, but the university “will continue to closely monitor COVID-19 updates and will respond accordingly,” a spokesman said in an email.

On Jan. 26, an unidentified male with ties to the university was isolated after testing positive for the coronavirus.

Following several negative test results, the individual was then released from isolation on Feb. 21.

Amid growing concerns over the spread of the coronavirus, President Trump held a press conference on Wednesday where he declared  “We’re very, very ready for this, for anything.”

Rather than appointing a czar to coordinate America’s response to the potential spread of the coronavirus, the president explained that Vice President Mike Pence would be overseeing the effort to be carried bout by the CDC, the National Institutes of Health and other government agencies.

More than 81,000 cases of COVID-19, an illness characterized by fever and coughing and sometimes shortness of breath or pneumonia, have occurred since the new virus emerged in China.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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