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Ohio State extends travel restrictions to China amid coronavirus. Credit: Amal Saeed | Photo Editor

Ohio state extended previously announced university travel restrictions to mainland China set in response to the coronavirus outbreak to April 20, according to a universitywide email.

The spread of the virus, now officially named COVID-19 by the World Health Organization, is still considered to be low risk in the United States, and there are no confirmed cases in Ohio, the email said. 

“We continue to monitor the guidelines and recommendations from health officials to protect the safety and well-being of our community,” the email reads. 

On Jan. 30, Ohio State announced university-sponsored travel to mainland China was restricted until March 6, 2020. 

According to the CDC website, the disease originated in Wuhan, China, and according to the WHO, there are 75,204 global cases as of Wednesday. 

Of the 75,204 cases 74,280 are in China, and 2,006 of the Chinese cases have resulted in death, according to the WHO. This is an increase from the 6,065 worldwide cases and 132 Chinese deaths since the January 30 initial travel ban. 

We will continue to monitor guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Department of State (DOS), and will share plans prior to April 20 to either end the restriction early or, if needed, extend it,” the email reads. 

The university has also extended the date of reporting personal travel to April 20, according to the email. 

“We continue to take all precautions, but please remember that unless you have recently returned from China, there is no need to change any routine activities or behaviors due to COVID-19,” the email said. 

Any Ohio State student, staff or faculty member who returned from China after 5 p.m. on Feb. 2 is not permitted to attend class or any university-sponsored event for 14 days after leaving China, according to the email. 

The email said students living in residence halls whose spring break plans may be affected by the travel restrictions have until Feb. 28 to contact University Housing if they are unable to make other housing arrangements.