Chinese students visiting Columbus unable to return home due to Coronavirus outbreak

Chinese students visiting Columbus unable to return home due to Coronavirus outbreak

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The impact of the Coronavirus is spreading far and wide. It’s even touching the Chattahoochee Valley.

A group of students from Beijing are stuck in Columbus for the foreseeable future.

The group of a dozen Chinese students and three teachers are in Columbus as part of their tour of American high schools.

Their trip was supposed to end Tuesday, but the earliest potential day they could go home is at the end of March.

“We are in a really bad situation,” Alicia Wang said.

Wang is just one of a dozen Chinese students from Beijing visiting high schools in several American cities.

Their trip was originally scheduled to last less than three weeks. It’s now taking a different direction.

“Well, there is a Coronavirus and evidently, there was an outbreak in one of the provinces in China," said Pam Bone from Christ Community Church. "That province happens to be about 750 miles from where these students are from which is about the same distance as from Columbus to Dallas, Texas.”

Although these students show no sign of illness, flights to and from China are restricted because of the Coronavirus, which has killed more than 1,000 people in China and spread to several American citizens.

“They can’t go back to China until the end of next month, the end of March,” Bone said.

“My mom told me it’s not really good in China," Wang said. "They can just go outside for buying things like two days [a week].”

For now, the group is staying with host families in the Fountain City, and continuing their education with their three teachers on the trip.

Wang said she’s 50 percent happy to be here and 50 percent sad.

“I can’t meet my parents and my families and I miss Chinese foods," she said. "The 50 percent of happy is because I got more chance to like visit more museums and study American culture.”

Christ Community Church and several other organizations are making sure the students keep busy during their time here.

One important thing to note is these students and their teachers are showing no signs of any illness, so there's nothing to worry about if you see them.

If you want to help support the group while they’re here, you can contact the director of communications at Christ Community Church via email at Haley@ccclive.org.

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