Some study abroad programs suspended due to coronavirus

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — As concerns surrounding the spread of the coronavirus continue to rise, some study abroad programs have been suspended.

Skidmore College posted to its website informing their study abroad students that some programs in Italy and South Korea have been suspended.

A spokesperson for Skidmore said decisions about the programs affected are made by the host institutions, not Skidmore. Still, the staff is closely monitoring the situation and are in contact with students and their parents addressing concerns on a case-by-case basis.

“Students in current programs who may return to the U.S. would not return to Skidmore this semester,” said Diane O’Connor, the Director of News and External Relations in Skidmore’s Office of Communications and Marketing.

The University at Albany suspended its spring semester programs in China, but a spokesperson said they have nine students in Italy and 10 in South Korea.

The university released the following statement:

“Since concerns about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) first began, the University at Albany has been closely monitoring the situation with guidance from our local health departments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and communicating with our campus community. While the University has suspended spring semester programs in China, at this time we are not suspending additional programs. However, we continue to monitor the situation with our partner universities abroad and will reassess as needed.”

A spokesperson for Siena College said they are also carefully monitoring the situation, but as of Thursday afternoon, they have not called for anyone to return home.

Syracuse University also announced that they are arranging to bring home more than 300 students from Italy. They’re able to do so because Syracuse has its own campus in Florence.

Many other universities, however, send their students to Italian universities, and it is up to those particular host institutions to make the decision to suspend the program.

According to CNN, the viral outbreak that originated in China has now infected more than 80,000 people globally. At last check, according to Johns Hopkins University, there are 1,766 confirmed cases of coronavirus in South Korea. The Head of Italian Civil Protection said there are more than 650 confirmed cases in Italy, most of which are in the northern portion of the country near Milan and Venice.

Many of the colleges are reiterating that this is a fluid situation and could change at any point.

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