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Central Texas universities prepare amidst growing coronavirus concerns

Posted at 7:46 PM, Feb 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-26 20:46:44-05

A CDC warning of the coronavirus is affecting Central Texas universities.

Dr. Xin Wang, a Baylor professor who specializes in Chinese studies, tells 25 News the university is closely following warnings from the CDC. He says they've gone as far as canceling all study abroad programs to China.

Baylor university is a melting pot of students.

"I've seen a lot of student's wearing masks recently. Yeah it's a scare but they're just taking measures to make sure they're not gonna take any chances," said Baylor freshman Jared Rodriguez.

News of the coronavirus infecting people globally has some saying the diversity of university's student body puts Baylor that much more at-risk to the virus.

"That makes me scared cause you don't know when it'll hit or if they'll be able to contain it," said Baylor freshman Cassie Davis.

Last month a Baylor student was quarantined after a coronavirus scare. Thankfully CDC results came back negative, but it raised some flags within the university.

"We try to tell our students that we need to be aware of what are some symptoms of the virus. In the last several years, we've been seeing an increase of students from China," said Dr. Wang.

Dr. Wang coordinates study abroad programs to China, but because of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, the university decided to shut down study abroad programs to the Chinese cities of Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai, and Xi'an.

"I think now a lot of students are very concerned or parents are very concerned about their safety," said Dr. Wang

He says Baylor currently has over 500 students from China, with over 50 from Wuhan.

None of those students have been infected by the coronavirus symptoms, but with summer just around the corner, he wants all students to do their research before taking any trips.

"We don't have students in China at this moment. Last fall we had students who were planning to go this spring, and I'm kind of glad they didn't go because otherwise it would be a concern for a lot of people here," said Wang.

Dr. Wang says there is no restriction by the university on students from traveling home to China.

For now the university is just reminding everyone to look out for the symptoms and practice proper hygiene.