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Coronavirus Prompts Suspension of Education Abroad in Italy; Returning Students Asked to Self-quarantine

By Maryland Today Staff

The university yesterday canceled Education Abroad programs in Italy after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned against nonessential travel to the country as novel coronavirus cases continue to multiply.

Italy is the third country to receive the CDC’s Warning Level 3 over coronavirus; UMD earlier in the week suspended Spring 2020 Education Abroad programs in South Korea and in January stopped them in China, where the outbreak started.

In a campuswide email, Provost and Senior Vice President Mary Ann Rankin said students in the programs will receive immediate guidance from the Education Abroad office about returning to the U.S. and possible online study options.

“As most students will be completing their work online, we are requesting that they return to their homes away from campus and follow CDC guidelines to self-quarantine for 14 days and seek medical support and advice as needed,” she wrote.

There have been no confirmed coronavirus cases at UMD or in the state of Maryland, Rankin noted, saying the university is closely monitoring the situation and relying on information from the CDC, the World Health Organization, the U.S. State Department, state and local health departments and on-campus public health experts.

Students abroad should follow CDC precautions and limit additional travel as much as possible. Those in Japan, which is at Alert Level 2, should watch for notices from the Education Abroad office and be prepared to return to the U.S. should the CDC issue a Warning Level 3 for Japan. Updates will also be posted to umd.edu/virusinfo.

UMD will work individually with any student studying in a country with an Alert Level 2 advisory who is concerned about remaining abroad; or any student abroad with a chronic health condition or who is immunocompromised.

“Our thoughts are with our students and everyone in the UMD community who has been directly or indirectly affected by this virus,” she wrote.

Maryland Today is produced by the Office of Strategic Communications for the University of Maryland community weekdays during the academic year, except for university holidays.