By Will Foster ’20
Payton called off all spring foreign exchanges and trips Friday evening, a dramatic but expected move in the wake of the worldwide coronavirus outbreak.
The virus originated in December in Wuhan, China, and its spread throughout China resulted in the late January cancellation of the Payton concert choir’s planned trip to Beijing and Shanghai. The concert choir was able to schedule a replacement trip to Costa Rica, and for a time it appeared that other Payton trips — to Rome, France, and Australia, among other locations — would go on as planned. But initial efforts to stymie the virus’ spread proved fruitless, as cases multiplied in countries from South Korea to Italy.
Payton’s move Friday came on the heels of similar announcements from universities including Loyola and Northwestern over the past week, recalling students from foreign exchanges.
The announcement was met with disappointment from Payton students, many of whom had worked for months to fundraise for trips.
Also Friday, CPS announced that a staff member at Vaughn Occupational High School has been confirmed to have the coronavirus. This is the first known case connected to a CPS school.