By: Victor Jorges / News Director
FIU canceled education abroad programs in Italy, Singapore, Japan and South Korea effective immediately after the coronavirus crisis continues to spread.
On Feb. 24, University Provost and Executive Vice President Kenneth G. Furton sent an email
informing the FIU community of the restrictions.
“At the same time, any students who are currently on university business in those countries, must return to the U.S. immediately,” said Furton on the statement sent out at about 6:30 p.m.
According to Furton, the decision comes after carefully examining the latest reports from the Center for Disease Control and the advisement of the International Travel Committee.
Similar to previous updates and announcements from the university regarding the epidemic, Furton is asking everyone in the University community, including vendors, who have traveled to China, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, and now also Italy, to go into a 14-day quarantine. This is asked for even if there are no symptoms of illness.
“The goal is to avoid running the risk of having members of the community remain abroad if further travel restrictions are put in place,” said Furton.
In regards to the study abroad programs, the Office of Education Abroad “will work with any program director and students on reparations and program cancellations.”
FIU’s campus in Tianjin remains closed indefinitely, as PantherNOW reported a little under a month ago. The hospitality program is located at the Tianjin University of Commerce campus, about 700 miles from Wuhan, China where the virus outbreak is centered and hosts students from China to take FIU courses.
CDC officials are saying that now it is not a matter of if the virus will reach the U.S., but rather when.
The CDC continues to monitor the virus, especially the U.S. cases on its website.
According to their latest update on Jan. 24, 456 people have been tested for the virus in the U.S. Out of these, 12 have been confirmed due to travel, and 2 because of person-to-person spread.
Additionally, the first case of the virus in Latin America has been confirmed. A 61-year old man from Brazil traveled to Italy and back, making him the first confirmed case of contagion in South America.
If students have questions, they can reach out to the Chair of the International Travel Committee, Alejandra Parra via email at email@example.com. Faculty and university employees can reach out to Gitta Montoto at firstname.lastname@example.org.