Coronavirus Message to Marist Italy Students February 24, 2020
Dear Marist students in Italy,
As you likely know, there has been an increase in the number of novel coronavirus cases in Northern Italy, clustered in several small towns in Lombardy, and one in Veneto. Authorities have introduced safety measures banning entry and exit from the affected towns.
Please note that at this time, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and other health-focused organizations have not advised international travelers to modify plans to travel to Italy. However, the Italian government has taken additional pro-active steps to try to contain the coronavirus. Marist will fully comply with the new measures implemented by the Italian authorities, and is adding additional precautionary steps and recommendations.
In addition to the new Italian travel restrictions to and within several towns in Northern Italy, as a precautionary measure, the Italian government has introduced a temporary ban on all school field trips. This covers field trips and educational excursions within Italy as well as to other countries. As such, all Marist and LdM excursions within Italy and internationally have been temporarily suspended. We will keep you updated on any changes in this regard. It is our hope that we will be able to re-commence educational excursions during the semester.
Additionally, Marist is implementing the following measures and recommendations:
- Travel to Lombardy and Veneto Provinces in Northern Italy is disallowed until further notice. Please note that Milan, the largest city in the Lombardy region and Venice the largest city in Veneto have not been included in the Italian government’s travel restriction, but Marist considers both Lombardy and Veneto Provinces off-limits at this time.
- To help minimize potential exposure, students are strongly encouraged to avoid close contact in crowded, public spaces. Examples include sporting events, nightclubs, crowded piazzas, markets, and cultural events. Avoid close personal contact.
- Students are reminded of the importance of developing and maintaining a strong immune system to help ward off viruses or other sickness. Please ensure that you are continuing to take care of yourself by eating well and getting adequate rest and sleep. Late nights, undue stress, excessive alcohol consumption, and poor nutrition can lead to increased risk for becoming ill from any cause.
Further, students are reminded of the prudent steps recommended by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to decrease the spread of all 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 with at least 60% alcohol content (and note hand sanitizers are not effective against all germs); 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; and do not share household items such as dishes, glasses, utensils, towels, and bedding without thorough washing/disinfecting.
We will continue to monitor the situation though ongoing review of Italian, CDC, WHO, and other reports, and remain in close contact with local and international governmental organizations; educational affiliates in Italy and elsewhere; our professional networks; and the private sector. We will keep you up to date on pertinent changes or additional steps that may be taken, as well as any modifications to the field trip/excursion and Lombardy/Veneto travel restrictions. As previously noted, our highest priority is the health, safety, and security of students and the rest of the Marist community. Thank you for prioritizing your health and safety while abroad.
Istituto Lorenzo de’ Medici (LdM) has sent an informational message on the coronavirus to students as well. I am pasting LdM’s message below mine – please take a read of LdM’s message as it also contains important information.
Please let us know if you have any questions.
Dr. John E. Peters
Dean, International Programs
Acting Dean, Marist Italy
Associate Professor, Economics