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CT colleges, universities to immediately suspend or cancel travel to several countries amid coronavirus fears

Officials say the issued guidance to the state's colleges and universities come as Connecticut works to prepare for potential impacts.

HARTFORD, Conn. — Coronavirus concerns are continuing to grow, as do the number of international cases and now Connecticut State Colleges and Universities are responding with how they hope to protect students, faculty, staff and administrators.

CSCU announced Thursday all state campuses must immediately suspend or cancel institutionally-sponsored travel to countries designated Level 3 (warning) and Level 2 (watch) by the CDC.

Officials say the issued guidance to the state's colleges and universities come as Connecticut works to prepare for potential impacts.

Any students currently traveling in the those countries should return as soon as possible, an official CSCU letter read.

While the international impact is likely to grow, according to officials, students are expected to return from the following countries:

  • China
  • South Korea
  • Iran
  • Italy
  • Japan

State health officials say Connecticut does not have a confirmed case of the novel coronavirus at this time.

However,  the CDC warns that residents should prepare for “community spread” of the disease.  

CSCU also said in its officials letter that campuses are in talks about remote learning or telecommuting.

"College and university leaders are working with CSCU staff to develop individualized plans to prepare for the possible necessity of canceling all in-person classes on our campuses. In the interim, schools will need to determine what courses would be good candidates for rapid conversion to a fully online format..."

State campuses that provide student housing must also be prepared to take additional precautions to keep students and staff safe, according to CSCU.

"At the moment, we must continue to practice commonsense measures, such as staying away from other people when sick, covering coughs and sneezes, and washing hands often."

CSCU says campus officials are working closely with Governor Lamont administration on coordinating the statewide response to the coronavirus outbreak.