FIU Takes Proactive Steps To Contain Coronavirus

Florida International University is restricting travel to Italy, Japan and South Korea over coronavirus concerns. Kenneth G. Furton, provost and executive vice president, issued a statement:

Upon careful review of the latest reports by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) on the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), and under the advisement of our International Travel Committee, I am advising the university community that all travel on behalf of FIU (individual trips or study abroad programs) to Italy, Singapore, Japan and South Korea is restricted effective immediately. Education abroad spring programs to these countries are cancelled. At the same time, any students or employees who are currently on university business in those countries, must return to the U.S. immediately.

As communicated on February 21, 2020, FIU is asking members of the campus community – including vendors who work on campus and other FIU locations -- who have traveled to China, Singapore, Japan and South Korea, and now also Italy, as well as those who have recently been in contact with anyone recently arrived from those countries, to quarantine at home and avoid contact with others during a period of 14 days, even if you have no symptoms of illness.

Out of an abundance of caution and our responsibility for duty of care, we primarily want to protect our students’ and employees’ wellbeing. At the same time, with the risk of the virus outbreak still not being fully understood, we want to be proactive in calling our students and employees home. The goal is to avoid running the risk of having members of the community remain abroad if further travel restrictions are put in place.

The Office of Education Abroad will work with any students and program directors on repatriation and program cancellations. In recognition of the potential for financial hardship caused by travel cancellations, we ask that students and employees report specific financial losses to the Office of Education Abroad.

As we continue to monitor education abroad programs scheduled for summer 2020, we urge each college administration to proactively review the feasibility of each program and consider whether to cancel to avoid potential financial losses.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Chair of the International Travel Committee, Alejandra Parra at alejandra.parra@fiu.edu in regard to student travel and/or education abroad programs, or Gitta Montoto at gmontoto@fiu.edu in regard to employee travel.

As the Coronavirus situation continues to develop, additional countries may be added to the list of countries to avoid. Please look for updates in the coming days and stay alert to information regarding this important health issue.

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