Responding to a written question by Anadolu Agency late Friday regarding the fate of J-1 exchange programs this year, a U.S. State Department official said the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) wants to play it safe amid coronavirus outbreak in the U.S.

“The situation regarding COVID 19 continues to evolve rapidly. The health, safety, and welfare of exchange participants, and of the Americans with whom they interact, remains the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ (ECA) highest priority,” the official said in an email statement.

“ECA has asked that all sponsors of J-1 Visa exchange visitor programs

Read more: US: Statement on J-1 visa programs amid COVID-19 crisis