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UIW cancels study abroad trip to Italy, urges precaution for other international travel

The faculty-led Italy trip was scheduled for May

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SAN ANTONIO – The University of the Incarnate Word has suspended a faculty-led study abroad trip to Italy in light of a coronavirus outbreak in that country, and school officials are urging others to consider the CDC’s travel warnings before making plans to travel internationally.

A statement issued Friday by the university said the decision to cancel the Italy trip was made “out of an abundance of caution for all those involved.”

The trip, which was scheduled in May, involved 16 students and two faculty members.

School officials are not sure if the trip will be rescheduled.

UIW officials also sent a message to student and faculty about international travel plans during Spring Break.

University officials urged students and faculty to consider the following before making a decision for international travel:

  • purchase travel insurance in case of a disruption to your plans;
  • consider the possibility that countries you are visiting may decide to implement restrictions while you are outside the U.S.;
  • the potential cancellation of flights;
  • and the possibility of additional quarantine measures or restricted re-entry into the United States

Students and faculty were urged to keep in mind the CDC’s Level 2 travel warnings for Iran and Japan, and the Level 3 travel warnings for travel to China, South Korea and Italy.

They were also encouraged to “evaluate non-essential travel throughout the Asia region during the Spring semester.”

Students from China were asked to contact the Office of International Services to advise of international travel plans in advance. Students returning from China are asked to notify UIW Health Services.

The residence and dining halls will be open and fully operational during Spring Break for students staying on or near campus.

UIW officials shared the following CDC recommendations for preventing the spread of respiratory viruses:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

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