Coronavirus concerns disrupt study abroad programs for Lehigh Valley colleges

Written by on March 6, 2020

 Coronavirus concerns disrupt study abroad programs for Lehigh Valley colleges

By Jim Deegan and Jen Rehill

March 6, 2020

Photo | PBS39

The global coronavirus outbreak is disrupting spring break travel and study abroad classes for local colleges.

Lehigh University is among schools requiring students studying in Italy to return home.

Media Relations Director Lori Friedman says the move affects about 30 Lehigh students in Milan, Florence and Rome.

“The decision to bring the students who were studying abroad in Italy home was made after the CDC increased the threat level. So it’s now a threat level or a Warning Level 3 country, which includes China, South Korea, Italy and Iran at this point,” says Friedman.

Lafayette College in Easton and Muhlenberg College in Allentown also have an additional 26 students in Italy. They, too, have advised students to come home and complete their coursework online.

None of the students from any of the schools are allows back on campus immediately.

In keeping with CDC guidelines, the schools are requiring students to self-monitor for 14 das and get clearance from schools’ health centers before getting back on campus.

Meanwhile, PA officials are asking those traveling from countries with known coronavirus outbreaks to call the health department.

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