Park University monitors international students, travel plans closely to safeguard school from coronavirus

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PARKVILLE, Mo. -- Like many colleges across the nation, Park University is making decisions about how the coronavirus is impacting students traveling abroad or seeking to return to the United States.

The school said it's keeping close tabs on all of its students.

Park University has a history of attracting a lot of international students. And there are currently nearly a dozen students here from China.

The school says it checked with all of them in January to make sure they were well before allowing international students to return to campus following winter break.

Park has about 10 students scheduled to travel to Japan next week. The school is considering canceling or postponing the trip based on travel warnings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A level three warning means avoid all non-essential travel, and that would prompt the school to take action. The school says Japan currently is at level two.

"If they move up and start closing down community spaces, landmarks, historic spaces, where we are going to see, it could affect our ability to want to go there," said Jayme Uden, dean of students at Park University. "We don’t want to send students there and then they are spending time in a hotel and not able to go anywhere because of what’s going on there."

The school does have a couple of international students scheduled to arrive for spring term in March.

Uden says if they are coming from a level three country, the school would require medical documentation verifying they are well, and then would require the students to spend 14 days in quarantine before arriving on campus.

Park does have a pandemic plan should the coronavirus spread to its campus in Parkville, Mo.

As a leader in online education, the school could quickly cancel classes and continue learning through online programs to prevent the spread of infection.

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