Iowa state prohibits student and employee travel to China due to novel coronavirus


The Campanile and the carillon are frequently known as the “Bells of Iowa State.” The Campanile stands tall with 50,000 bricks and 50 bells.

Jake Webster

President Wendy Wintersteen responded to the ongoing-novel coronavirus outbreak Tuesday by sending an email to the Iowa State community that said the university is prohibiting travel to China by students and employees until it is safe to do so.

The Iowa State president outlined the steps the university is taking in response to the outbreak, which Wintersteen said in the email “[t]he Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers the immediate risk to be low [in the U.S.].”

The novel coronavirus was first identified in Wuhan, China, according to the CDC.

In line with travel advisories from the State Department and the CDC, “[t]o limit any potential risk, Iowa State is prohibiting student and employee business travel to China, until travel is deemed safe,” Wintersteen said in the email.

The CDC and the State Department updated their travel advisories regarding China on Monday to warn against “nonessential travel” to China due to the outbreak.

Wintersteen said in the email if anyone has recently traveled to China or has plans to go this spring, they should contact the Office of Risk Management through their email [email protected] or by phone at (515) 294-7711 for further information.

“To keep you informed as the situation changes, we will regularly post updates and health information at:,” Wintersteen said in the email. “There you will find links to the CDC and Iowa Department of Public Health. Employees are encouraged to contact their medical providers with additional questions.”

Included in the email were “infection control strategies,” advising people to regularly clean their hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer and to cover their nose and mouth with a tissue or flexed elbow while coughing or sneezing.

In the fall 2019 semester, there were 1,082 students from China enrolled at Iowa State, according to the university fact book.

“It is also important that we are supportive of our colleagues and students from China who may be concerned for family and friends in areas significantly affected by the outbreak,” Wintersteen said in the email. “For those in need of additional support, please reach out to our campus resources.”