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U of M suspends study abroad programs in China, Delta to stop flights

MSP Airport does not have direct service to China.

The University of Minnesota has announced it will be suspending all study abroad programs to China in the spring semester amid the coronavirus outbreak.

A public health alert issued by the university on Thursday says that all student travel to the country will also be postponed in response to growing concern about the spread of the respiratory disease.

The announcement comes as Delta Air Lines said it will suspend all flights to and from China starting Feb. 6 through Apr. 30 "due to ongoing concerns related to the coronavirus."

Customers looking to exit China have options to do so through Delta until Feb. 5. 

"The last China-bound flight departing the U.S. will leave on Monday, Feb. 3 with the last return flight back to the U.S. departing China on Feb. 5," the announcement says. 

"The airline will continue to monitor the situation closely and may make additional adjustments as the situation continues to evolve."

Travelers affected by the stoppage will be able to re-accommodate flights after April 30, request a refund or contact Delta to discuss other options. 

MSP Airport doesn't have any direct flights to China, however Delta does have direct routes to Tokyo, Japan, and Seoul, South Korea, and MSP Airport is also one of Delta's major hubs for connections to and from scores of domestic airports.

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Because of that, the Centers for Disease Control added MSP to its list of airports required to screen international travelers for the coronavirusThe Star Tribune reports that MSP Airport has a CDC quarantine station, at which medical staff can detain those at risk of carrying a serious infectious disease.

The coronavirus has not been found in Minnesota, although two suspected cases were tested with the Minnesota patients kept in isolation until test results came back negative. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) has deemed the coronavirus a global emergency, with its death toll now over 200 and the respiratory virus confirmed in nearly two-dozen countries, although the majority of confirmed cases are in China. 

You can find the latest WHO situation reports about the coronavirus right here

Nationally, Delta operates 42 weekly flights between the U.S. and China, including daily service from Seattle and Detroit to Beijing, and from Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles and Seattle to Shanghai. 

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