Public Relations  >  News Center  >  News Releases  >  February 2020  >  February 26, 2020  >  Update on Coronavirus and Travel
Update on Coronavirus and Travel

Creighton University student travelers (currently abroad or soon to be):

Creighton University archCreighton University’s Global Engagement Office (GEO) is closely monitoring global reports of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. GEO routinely reviews reports from the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. Department of State, and the United Nations Security Council, among others.  

While cases have been reported in Asia, Europe, Australia, Northern Africa and Europe, there is some expectation that the situation will reach pandemic proportions (reaching all countries). Therefore, this information is relevant to all students, regardless of location.  

Currently, the agencies listed above recommend that all international travelers “practice usual precautions” to reduce the general risk of acute respiratory infections. The links below provide details of such advice from these agencies:         

Consistent with Creighton University’s Travel Policy, Creighton may request travelers to cut their trips short if a warning is elevated to “Level 3: Reconsider Travel” or above. That is not currently the case for any country other than China and South Korea.  

Also consistent with the university’s travel policy, students who are studying abroad should register themselves for the U.S. Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program in order to receive advance notices regarding  procedures for emergencies issued by the U.S. Government or the local U.S. Embassy. Additionally, the U.S. Department of State publishes travel advisories for countries around the world, including advisories related to the COVID outbreak. Although the only currently published travel restrictions are for China, there is concern that the virus will continue spreading to other countries. Therefore, you should be prepared regardless of your location.

According to Creighton University’s policy, the decision to cut your program short and return to the US because of concerns over your health is YOURS to make when there is not travel advisory form the U.S. Department of State. Should you decide to return, we will do everything we can to assist you. Please note that:

  • Our supplemental travel insurance company has indicated they do not cover changes in travel plan due to pandemics, so airlines may charge you an itinerary change fee that will not be reimbursed;
  • Reimbursement for housing and other costs at your host university will depend on that institution’s policies;
  • There are too many variables at the moment for us to predict if you will be able to complete the semester at Creighton (instructors may decide it is too late to catch up, local health officials may require you to quarantine yourself voluntarily, etc.). We would likely not be able to confirm any adjusted academic plans until after you return;
  • There may not be space in the Creighton residence halls to accommodate students returning from study abroad locations mid-semester; you may need to make alternative housing plans.

The nature of COVID-19 merits additional precautions for travelers globally. Many countries have implemented health screening procedures, and some have advised travelers to request a clean bill of health from a medical professional and take this document when travelling internationally.    

Students may experience closings of public offices and administration, cancellations of large gatherings, and precautionary measures during travel. We encourage all students traveling to follow the health and safety guidelines of the WHO.   

The WHO currently offers the following advice: 

  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water  When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw tissue away immediately and wash hands. 
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough. 
  • If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider. 
  • When visiting live markets in areas currently experiencing cases of novel coronavirus, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals. 
  • The consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, milk or animal organs should be handled with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.    

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact a GEO Global Programs Coordinator:
Lizzy Curran at (402) 280-2221 or
Kelly O’Hanlon at (402) 280-2221 or
Jill Muegge at (402) 280-4185 or


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