“The University and UNC Health Care has a great responsibility to try to protect our students, protect our faculty and staff,” she said. “Following CDC guidelines on how to approach this and following guidelines of the State Department seem to be very appropriate.”
The ban doesn’t apply to workers at UNC Health Care system’s eight affiliate hospitals, which involve fewer students and faculty, McCall said.
The announcement reminded any students and staff traveling abroad to register their trip in the online Global Travel Registry and specifically asked students with family in the three countries to avoid visiting them.
“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 statement said.
Junior Marlaya Ross said she planned on visiting her father’s family in Liberia for the first time during winter break.
“I was going to go this year for Christmas, but with the whole Ebola situation, I’m probably not going to be able to,” she said.
Senior Moses Richards lived in Monrovia, Liberia, until age 5 and said the majority of his family still lives in Liberia.
Richards planned to return for the first time this December but decided not to travel more than a year ago, saying the outbreak was an issue long before the first U.S. transmission.
He said many Americans have misbeliefs about the virus.
“I think it’s great to be safe, but I don’t feel like America is doing a good job at educating the people on how Ebola transmits, what it is,” Richards said.
“I feel like they made a situation where people just think that, if you’re from Africa, if you’re from West Africa, if you’re from Liberia, you have it innately in your blood, which is not what happens.”
Richards said he understands the ban because an outbreak would spread rapidly.
“Let’s say the Student Union door probably gets touched by an average of maybe 5,000 to 6,000 people a day,” said Richards, who works at the Union. “I definitely understand their precaution.”