Marist Abroad Program Students and Parent Communication, February 28, 2020
Dear Marist students in Italy,
As you know, Marist operates with an abundance of caution, and health, safety, and security is our top priority. Decisions are made with careful consideration, and are informed by the CDC, WHO, and other important stakeholders.
Following a full review of the novel coronavirus situation, LdM has determined that classes will continue in Florence as well as at LdM’s other locations in Rome and Tuscania. This decision was made after careful consideration of available data. As you know, situations such as these can be fluid and evolve over time. But LdM’s intention is to remain open, and to continue to assess the situation going forward.
At the same time, it is recognized that some students may wish to return home. Students wishing to return home are encouraged to speak with their Advisor. Please note that some courses, particularly those primarily focused on practical application may need to be modified for distance delivery.
We recognize that the novel coronavirus situation is a stressful one. Italy has taken a pro-active stance in relation to the coronavirus, including more extensive testing of members of the public than has been done in some other countries. Many countries, including the United States, are working through the situation with careful consideration given the situation’s evolving nature.
Reviewing the US Department of State and CDC’s notice systems may be helpful:
The US Department of State has a four-level advisory system: Level 1 – Exercise Normal Precautions; Level 2 – Exercise Increased Caution; Level 3 – Reconsider Travel; and Level 4 – Do Not Travel. At this time, Italy is listed as Level 2 – Exercise Increased Caution.
Similarly, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has a three-level advisory system: Level 1 – Practice Usual Precautions; Level 2 – Practice Enhanced Precautions; and Level 3 – Avoid Nonessential Travel. At this time, Italy is listed as Level 2 – Exercise Enhanced Precautions.
The CDC Level 2 Advisory for Italy emphasizes “Special Precautions for High-Risk Travelers,” noting that older adults and those with chronic medical conditions should consider postponing non-essential travel: https://it.usembassy.gov/coronavirus-in-italy/. The CDC continues to offer the well-known, published precautionary advice regarding the washing of hands, avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, and covering nose and mouth with a tissue or your sleeve if sneezing or coughing. Marist and LdM have shared these precautions with you
several times and will continue to do so. If you have any questions on the precautions, please speak with a member of staff.
Students who wish to remain in Florence will continue to be fully supported by LdM and Marist administration, staff, and faculty. Students who wish to return home are asked to make an appointment as soon as possible to talk to their Advisor to discuss completing the semester remotely.
I appreciate your patience as LdM and Marist work through the challenging context of the coronavirus. We will continue to monitor the situation and make any changes that are deemed necessary.
LdM has prepared a message for students as well, and it can be found below.
Please let us know if you have any questions.
Dr. John E. Peters
Dean, International Programs
Acting Dean, Marist Italy
Associate Professor, Economics