WEST HAVEN, Conn. — Two Connecticut universities are urging students studying abroad in Italy to come home, because of concerns over the coronavirus. The University of New Haven recommended students studying abroad at its Tuscany campus in Prato, Italy come back.
"Health and safety is foremost in our minds and we thought this was the prudent decision," said Doug Whiting, the associate vice president for marketing and public relations.
Out of the 80 students currently abroad, 60 are choosing to come back home. The university says if students do come back, they shouldn’t return to campus until after spring break.
"Presumably they won’t require screening at that point past the incubation period according to the CDC guidelines," said Whiting.
Other students say they feel badly for their peers but think the university is doing the right thing.
"That’s terrible, I felt so bad to hear that because they were probably so excited to study abroad and they already have to come home and it’s also really scary to know that it’s that serious too," said Kourtnie Page, a sophomore.
UNH says another priority was to keep the interruption to school minimal, so in both cases, students will begin online classes on Monday. Fairfield University is taking a different approach and requiring all 142 students studying abroad to come back. The school says it’s working to get those students back by mid-march so they stay on track for graduation.