UW suspends South Korea study abroad program over coronavirus fears

Workers wearing protective suits spray disinfectant as a precaution against the coronavirus at a bus garage in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020. The number of new virus infections in South Korea jumped again Wednesday and the U.S. military reported its first case among its soldiers based in the Asian country, with his case and many others connected to a southeastern city with an illness cluster. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- As the coronavirus continues to spread, the University of Wisconsin canceled its study abroad program to South Korea for the coming Spring semester.

A UW spokesperson, John Lucas, told NBC15 the university’s Vice Provost and Dean of the International Division made the call after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention raised its Warning Level to 3, which warns people to avoid nonessential travel to the Asian nation.

Five students were slated to head to Seoul as part of exchanges with Yonsei University and Korea University, Lucas said. All five students and the other universities were alerted to the decision Tuesday night.

Lucas noted that UW had already suspended the study abroad program to China, where the outbreak started. He said university officials continue to monitor the situation to see if other program changes are needed.