MUSC Issues Travel Restrictions to and From China

A Message from David J. Cole, M.D. FACS, & Lisa K. Saladin, PT, Ph.D., FAPTA - February 28, 2020

Dear MUSC family,

Due to the rising level of concern regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19, formerly known as 2019-nCoV), the U.S. Department of State has elevated its risk assessment to a level 3 for all of China (not just the Hubei province where the virus was first identified). Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced a warning level 3 alert and recommends that all nonessential travel to China be avoided, and many airlines have already suspended flights to and from China.

In light of these and other considerations, MUSC senior leadership has made the decision that effective immediately, no institution-related travel to China such as study abroad, academic program visits, or research collaborations will be authorized or approved by the university until further notice.

This travel restriction is similar to the restrictions that many universities, businesses and organizations across the U.S. have already implemented. It does not restrict personal travel, but we do advise that individuals traveling to China for personal reasons carefully review the latest health information from U.S. government sources. Be aware that anyone returning from China may be subject to national screening and quarantine guidelines in place at the time and that flights leaving China will be limited for a period of time.

The decision by MUSC to restrict travel to China was made to ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff and to reduce the possibility that our activities with colleagues in China could put the larger Charleston community at risk. As always, the safety of our MUSC family is our No. 1 priority.

Anyone experiencing a fever and cough, sore throat or shortness of breath within 14 days of departure from China should call ahead to his or her doctor’s office and advise them of recent travel and symptoms. Students with these symptoms should contact Student Health at 843-792-3664, select option 2 and ask to speak to a triage nurse.


MUSC Health is also closely monitoring the virus and has established a Web page with updated information related to our clinical operations and other general information about the outbreak for patients and visitors.

General information related to the virus is available from the CDC through the following links:

Information for Travelers to and from China
Frequently Asked Questions
Coronavirus Fact Sheet (PDF)
Map with confirmed cases

Our thoughts are with all of those affected by the coronavirus and those MUSC family members with loved ones, friends and colleagues in affected areas.

Yours in service,

David J. Cole, M.D., FACS
MUSC president

Lisa K. Saladin, PT, PhD, FAPTA
Executive vice president for Academic Affairs and provost


Last updated: 1:00 p.m. 3/4/2020