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Photo by Celia Mitchell (2015/16 Semester Photo Contest Entry), Indonesia Semester.

Update Regarding the Coronavirus Outbreak

Dear Dragons students, parents, and extended community,

We wanted to send an overview of the ongoing 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak and current impact on Dragons programming. While the majority of attention has been focused on China, we understand that concerns may exist for other parts of the world as well, as the virus is affecting air travel and airport transit. In addition, 2019-nCoV has spread to other countries and regions in small numbers, which has prompted a Global Health Emergency declaration from the World Health Organization.

In reviewing reports from International SOS, the Center for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization, we currently assess the risk to travelers outside of Hubei province, China, to be very low, even as it poses an increasing public health concern globally. We do not anticipate that this outbreak will affect any of our programming outside of China at this point, although we are continuing to monitor the global spread and will update you accordingly.

From a global public health perspective, 2019-nCoV has certainly raised a lot of concern; in large part, this is because it is new and because global health experts are still in the process of learning about the disease, how it began, and how it spreads. As of January 30th, the disease has affected over 7000 people in over a dozen countries; the vast majority of infections are still in China and, specifically, in Hubei province, where Dragons does not run programs. There are currently close to 200 deaths associated with the disease.  That being said, it is important to remember that the flu kills an average of more between 10,000-40,000 people each year in the US alone. While data is still emerging, this disease still has a relatively small reach and impact outside of China, although it has had a significant impact on travel and medical resources as well as a strong presence in news media. 

For students who are currently on programs in China this winter and spring, we are in the process of moving them out of the country. 

For all other courses (spring semester as well as summer 2020), we plan to continue with programming as usual, while training instructors, students, and community members to increased precautions, including the following (per ISOS and CDC recommendations):

  • Heightened awareness of signs and symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath and others), while keeping some distance from people who are obviously sick.
  • Avoid direct contact with animals (live or dead) and their environment.
    • Do not visit wet markets or farms.
    • Do not touch surfaces that may be contaminated with droppings.
  • Maintain good personal hygiene.
    • Wash hands frequently.
    • Carry hand sanitizer for use when soap and water are not readily available.
    • Avoid touching your face.
  • Ensure food, including eggs, is thoroughly cooked.
  • Do not travel if you are sick – note that some locations have implemented screening, and travelers may face quarantine and testing. 

This is a rapidly changing and evolving situation, and we understand that it has put people around the globe on edge. Our goal is to continue to work with you all and our robust network of resources to stay ahead of this, continue to run meaningful programming, and communicate with you all in a timely, thorough, and transparent way.

If you would like more information, the best online resources on Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) can be found on the websites of the US. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization. Please do not hesitate to contact the Dragons office at 303-413-0822 or via email at should you have questions or concerns about the information provided. 


Tim Hare
Director of Risk Management