The Fairbank Center is closely monitoring the developing situation in Mainland China concerning the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), as well as how this situation might affect Harvard students, staff, faculty, and affiliates.

We are paying close attention to travel advisories from Harvard University, the U.S. Department of State, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention regarding travel to Mainland China. We are doing our best to share accurate information about the COVID-19 outbreak with our community. Based on our current understanding of the situation, we would like to present the following statements.

First, we trust that everyone at Harvard recognizes that no individual is at fault for this public health emergency, and that any racist comments or actions against Chinese citizens or those of Chinese heritage have no place on our campus.

Second, even though exposure to the virus has been very limited here in Massachusetts, many people here at Harvard are connected to people who have been affected. Harvard has resources in place for any members of the community who feel anxiety or distress about the situation.

Third, we are keeping track of changing policies from both Harvard University and the U.S. government. In light of the U.S. government’s new rules about foreign nationals traveling to Mainland China being barred from re-entry to the U.S., we urge everyone to be fully aware of these policies.

More information about Harvard’s travel guidance can be found through Harvard Global Support Services; health information and resources can be accessed through Harvard University Health Services.

We are in touch with students who have received funding from the Fairbank Center and are currently in Mainland China. At present, we are still receiving summer funding requests for travel to Mainland China, although final funding decisions will be contingent on Harvard University’s travel recommendations. Please note that travel to Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau is currently exempt from Harvard’s travel recommendations, and travel to these locations is still permitted.

The Fairbank Center will hold a public event in collaboration with the Harvard University Asia Center in the coming weeks to update our community about the public health situation in China. In the meantime, we are closely monitoring this rapidly evolving situation, and we will update our recommendations based on advice from Harvard University and the U.S. Department of State.

Last update: February 11, 2020

Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies