The Latest: Peace Corps evacuating volunteers, suspends ops

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A member of the Venezuelan civil protection agency explains commuters symptoms and preventive measures for the new coronavirus in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, March 15, 2020. The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. (AP Photo/Matias Delacroix)

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The Peace Corps is evacuating all of its volunteers and suspending operations in dozens of countries worldwide.

Director Jody Olsen says Sunday's decision comes as "international travel becomes more and more challenging by the day." She said the agency wanted to avoid leaving volunteers stranded in host countries.

Her statement stressed that posts would not close, but didn't provide a timeline for resuming operations.

As of September 2019, the service program run by the U.S. government said it operates in more than 60 countries and has more than 7,300 volunteers and trainees. Volunteers in China and Mongolia have already been evacuated over virus concerns.

Olsen says host country staff will remain in their current roles.

The statement didn't provide details about the evacuations and suspensions, which Olsen called “logistically challenging.”