SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- There will be no Bienvenue for French and Spanish exchange students who were bound for the U.S. to stay with the families of Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School students because of concerns about the spread of the deadly Coronavirus.

According to a letter sent home to parents by principal Dr. David Heisey, Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School was set to host two groups of students from Barcelona, Spain and Vannes, France, later this month.

Dr. Heisey wrote: "We received word from our partner school in France that the students will not be traveling to the United States by government order."

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Coronavirus also put the kibosh on plans that SPFHS students had for visiting Europe this month. 

"Our Spanish Exchange Program is a partnership between a high school in Barcelona together with Piscataway High School and Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School. After consulting with administrators from Piscataway High School, we have both agreed to postpone the travel plans of the students," Dr. Heisey wrote.

"Unfortunately, the Coronavirus has created unpredictability as travel restrictions continue to be recommended or mandated by certain governments. Given the uncertainty of future travel restrictions due to the Coronavirus, we felt it prudent to suspend both visits," the letter concluded.

There are now cases of Coronavirus on every continent except Antarctica, the CDC reports. Some airlines waiving fees for all flights, while others are focusing on flights to regions heavily impacted by the outbreak, according to a report today by MarketWatch.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in people and different species of animals. Widespread transmission has been reported in China, Iran, South Korea, and southern Italy according to the CDC. Coronavirus was first detected in China and has now been detected in 60 locations internationally, including in the U.S. The disease is abbreviated “COVID-19”, according to the CDC.

Global case numbers are reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) in their coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation reportexternal icon. For U.S. information, visit CDC’s COVID-19 in the U.S. 

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