Campus Communications

Coronavirus Update to Marist Study Abroad Students February 28, 2020


February 28, 2020

To Marist Abroad Program Students:

We write with further updates to College policy and guidelines on the rapidly changing coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. As you know from previous communications, senior leadership at Marist has been actively engaged in monitoring developments hourly with the goal to protect the health and safety of community members in all Marist locations and to keep everyone well-informed.  We have set up a dedicated webpage to make it easier for you to access official updates.

The College is following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in setting policy for the Marist community on this issue. We want to emphasize there have been no confirmed cases of coronavirus at Marist at this time, but we continue to approach this evolving situation with an abundance of caution.

Following a full review of the novel coronavirus situation in Italy on February 25, it was determined that students would be given an option to continue with their studies in Florence in collaboration with our partner Lorenzo de Medici Institute (LdM), or to leave the program, return home, and complete their coursework through distance learning or directed study. We are offering the same to our students studying in Japan.

While most of you currently studying abroad are in locations where there is little evidence of the coronavirus, Marist wants to ensure that all students are cognizant of the fluid nature of  the virus’s spread to other regions in the world:

  • As of February 27, In all Level 3 countries, China and South Korea, all official College travel is prohibited.
  • At this time, only two Marist study abroad locations are designated with Level 2 warnings by the CDC: Japan and Italy. We currently have no abroad programs with a Level 3 designation. To stay updated on these designations by country, please see the CDC’s travel notices, which can be found here.) The College recommends everyone exercise extreme caution in traveling to countries with Level 2 warnings as designated by the CDC.
  • If you are concerned about your abroad program, we will work with any student that wishes to modify their semester plans. Please contact the Marist Abroad Office.
  • Many of your programs are approaching the spring recess period of your academic experience, and students often choose to travel during this period. All students should take the time to educate themselves on the impact the coronavirus is having on the regions you elect to travel to, and respond accordingly. This could include changing plans, staying closer to your program location, or making arrangements that avoid areas known where the virus has been found. This can be done through monitoring local media, consulting the CDC, or the U.S. Department of State’s Travel Advisory system. Please be sure you have downloaded and activated the Alert Traveler app, as discussed during pre-departure orientation. 
  • Individuals who embark on personal travel to or through Level 3 countries and wish to return to the U.S. will be subject to the U.S.’s screening and quarantine procedures, which may include a 14-day quarantine upon return to the U.S. which would bar them from any Marist location. All individuals in this category may not come to Marist locations until 14 days after return to the U.S.
  • Out of an abundance of caution, if you are exhibiting symptoms of illness within 14 days of returning to the U.S. following international travel, we ask that you obtain written medical clearance before returning to any Marist location.  This clearance will need to be submitted to Student Health Services.


The CDC’s full preventative guidelines can be found in this fact sheet. Information about symptoms can be found here. For detailed information about the coronavirus, visit the CDC’s coronavirus FAQ webpage.

According to the CDC, the best preventative guidelines are: 

  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean your hands often by washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.
  • It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.

If you become ill, exhibiting symptoms of a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, consult with a healthcare provider as soon as possible, seek medical attention as necessary.

The health, safety, and security of Marist students remains paramount. The College will continue to monitor this situation closely. We ask that you visit our coronavirus webpage for updates. We understand this situation has been stressful for many in our community. We continue to offer our support and compassion to members of the community who have family, friends, and colleagues impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact

Thomas Wermuth, Vice President of Academic Affairs

John Peters, Dean, International Programs

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