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Fairfield University closes study abroad program in Italy due to coronavirus concerns

Students on campus said they are taking every safety measure possible to make sure their health is not jeopardized.

FAIRFIELD, Conn. — Fairfield University announced it has cancelled their study abroad program to Italy in light of the Coronavirus outbreak there. 

The University has required all of their students in Italy to return back home within the next couple of days. They said it was not an easy decision to make but it had to be done to protect the students' health. 

Students are working to come back by mid-March to continue their studies on campus so they stay on track for graduation. 

"Students are currently working with our travel agent. We have students in all of our study abroad locations use a travel agent for these specific purposes and in an emergency if we had to return them home. Our travel agent is working with all 142 students in our Florence locations," said Jennifer Anderson, Marketing and Communications Vice President for Fairfield University. 

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Students on campus said they are taking every safety measure possible to make sure their health is not jeopardized.

"We got an email today from the school like warning us about traveling over spring break," said Natalie Nolan, a freshman. 

"Just making sure that I’m like washing my hands after touching things in public places and washing my hands before I eat," said Julia Korn, a freshman. 

"There hasn’t been that many like cases here so I’m not really worried about it but if I was like abroad, I’d be pretty mad that I’d have to come home early," said Jack Prudente. 

Fairfield is not alone. University of New Haven also pulled students from its Tuscany campus in Prato, Italy and they must return to their homes until March 22.

UConn currently has 88 students in Italy, most of them are in Florence. A spokesperson said the University has not officially made a decision yet but has kept in touch with students there every day.

The current guidance from the CDC is that travelers returning from Italy do not need to quarantine unless they are showing symptoms.