OU is closing all of its study abroad programs in Italy due to the spread of coronavirus.
According to a statement from the university, the decision, effective on Thursday, March 5 at 5 p.m. local Italy time, was made because the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of State issued Level 3 travel warnings “discouraging all nonessential travel to Italy” due to an increase in the virus’ transmission.
“Students are strongly encouraged to return to the U.S. as soon as arrangements can be made,” the statement read. “Ideally, students will arrange to fly out by no later than Friday, March 6 to their respective home base.”
Administration is “exploring the answers” for financial aid and scholarship questions for students returning early, according to the statement. Students who need help making return arrangements should contact OU Student Affairs.
All employees and students who return to the U.S. have to complete a medical screening over the phone through their student or employee health service, self-isolate for 14 days and complete a follow-up telephone screening before returning to the university, according to the statement.
“The self-isolation period begins on the date of your arrival in the U.S. or your last contact with an individual arriving in the U.S. from or through any of the impacted countries, whichever is longer,” the statement read.
OU will be working with students in completing the hours they are enrolled in for the spring semester, according to the statement. As of now, summer OU study abroad programs have not been canceled.