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SMC students studying in Rome to return to the U.S., remain off campus for 14 days

| Saturday, February 29, 2020

Saint Mary’s students studying abroad at John Cabot University in Rome for the spring semester will be sent home, vice president for student affairs Linda Timm announced early Saturday morning in a campus-wide email.

The announcement follows a report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the State Department, escalating the advisory against non-essential travel for Italy to a Warning Level 3 as coronavirus continues to spread throughout the country.

This statement was made just hours after Notre Dame announced the suspension of the University’s Rome program, and ordered the return of the 106 students studying there.

“With the safety of our students as our highest priority, this has prompted Saint Mary’s officials to make the difficult but necessary decision to bring all students from Rome for the remainder of the semester,” Timm said in the email.

The students were notified of these changes on Friday evening, Timm said in the email.

Upon returning to the U.S., the students will complete their academic semester from home, via “remote learning established by John Cabot University,” and will not return to campus.

“Out of an abundance of caution, and consistent with protocols established by the CDC, those returning are required to stay home for 14 days and receive a physician’s clearance prior to campus visit,” Timm said.

The College is monitoring the status of all countries, and Timm said officials are prepared to take “additional and immediate action,” as needed.

“Our students from the Rome Program will be disappointed by this news,” she said. “Please keep them in your prayers and be supportive of them during this time of transition.”

This is an ongoing report.

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