Local News

UNC-CH banning student travel to three Ebola-stricken nations

Posted October 29, 2014 1:02 p.m. EDT
Updated October 29, 2014 3:13 p.m. EDT

— University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill officials on Wednesday banned students from traveling to Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea because of concerns about Ebola.

Faculty and staff must obtain approval from their deans and the provost before traveling to those countries, according to a message distributed campus-wide by Chancellor Carol L. Folt and Bill Roper, dean of the UNC School of Medicine and chief executive officer of the UNC Healthcare System.

The provost has a UNC Global Risk Response Team of advisers that will be consulted on whether to grant approval.

Voluntary or personal travel by university employees is “strongly discouraged and should be reported to that individual’s employer.”

“While we are deeply aware of the need for service and research related to Ebola, the University and the Health Care System must also balance those needs against a full commitment to protecting our community,” the message said.

Folt and Roper advised that UNC’s ability to offer medical care or evacuation to anyone exposed to the virus is “extremely limited” and that employees who choose to go on would be traveling at their own risk.

In their message, Folt and Roper also acknowledged that many international students have ties to countries affected by the Ebola outbreak.

“While we recognize the desire to visit loved ones in affected nations, we recommend that you refrain from making this visit until the epidemic passes,” the message said. “Please know that our thoughts are with those who are separated from loved ones facing such struggle.”