CARBONDALE (WSIL) -- Across the nation, dozens of universities are suspending study abroad programs in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Here at home, two universities are taking similar precautions.
SIU Carbondale leaders say, to keep staff and students safe, they're canceling study abroad programs in areas that have a Level 3 travel warning, per the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) recommend students avoid traveling to any country with a Level 3 warning. IDPH also says some individuals should avoid non-essential travel to countries with a Level 2 warning.
"Those levels speak to the level of concern about the virus. The countries that includes are Japan, South Korea, China, of course, Italy, and Iran," explains university spokesperson Rae Goldsmith.
Southeast Missouri State University has also made the decision to suspend travel. In a letter Thursday to students, faculty and staff, the university says that "effective immediately until further notice, all University-affiliated travel to China, Italy, Iran, and South Korea is suspended..."
The letter explains that the list could be expanded as the CDC updates its travel guidance.
SIU is also keeping an eye on those travel updates. Goldsmith says the suspension is necessary and won't poorly affect students.
"It should not hurt them through the progress for their degrees."