Connecticut State Colleges and Universities requiring public campuses to cancel trips abroad amid coronavirus fears

Coronavirus

(WTNH) — As coronavirus concerns continue to escalate around the country, Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) is now requiring their public campuses to suspend or cancel school-sanctioned travel to multiple countries.

The countries included in that list are those designated Alert Level 2 and Warning Level 3 per the Centers for Disease Control. CSCU is requiring all of its universities and colleges to immediately suspend or cancel student international trips to countries designated by the CDC.

Countries listed in the CDC’s Level 2 category include Iran, Italy, and Japan. Those listed in the Level 3 category are China and South Korea.

CSCU is asking all of its public universities and colleges to help develop plans to prepare for a potential outbreak, starting March 2, including curriculum and plans for remote learning.

Eastern Connecticut State University partners with CIS Abroad for their students’ international trips. CIS announced Wednesday they have canceled the Spring 2020 semester trip to South Korea. They are working to refunding students and rescheduling the trips to an upcoming semester.

Quinnipiac University, though a private university, is also taking precautions. QU sent a letter to families with students studying in Italy on Thursday, that read, in part:

Quinnipiac officials have been closely monitoring the continued spread of the coronavirus, a respiratory disease also known as COVID-19. The most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports confirm the virus has spread to several areas of the world, including Italy. The CDC has escalated its travel alert for Italy to Level 2, which means it has confirmed sustained community transmission of the virus.

The CDC has also said it expects to identify more confirmed cases in the coming days in Italy and other countries. Based on this information, and out of an abundance of caution for our students’ health and the impact potential future travel restrictions may have as Italy works to manage COVID-19, Quinnipiac is strongly urging all students studying in Italy to return to the United States.

Quinnipiac University letter to families of students studying in Italy

The letter continued, “Please understand this is not a recommendation we are making lightly. We have been consulting regularly with federal and state health officials to ensure we have the latest information about the coronavirus’ impact and spread both here in the U.S. and abroad. These recommendations are also consistent with actions peer academic institutions have been taking. If your family decides that your QU student will remain in Italy, you are required to respond to this email confirming your decision. This will enable us to monitor any Quinnipiac student remaining in Italy.”

The state university system is reviewing all study abroad trips.

This is a developing story. Stay with News 8 for details.

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