Connecticut universities suspend study-abroad as a result of the coronavirus

Michelle Brodsky, News Editor

As fears surrounding the coronavirus proliferate, the University of Hartford has announced a few new developments.

While no cases have yet been identified in Connecticut, the university leadership is working with their partners at Hartford HealthCare to monitor the situation.

Cases have recently been identified in Rhode Island, New York, and Massachusetts, causing many students and parents to worry.

Additional hand sanitizer dispensers have been installed around the campus and masks are available for students who feel sick.

The facilities team is continuing to disinfect both the academic and residential sides with hospital-grade disinfectants.

They released a statement advising students to do the same in their own living spaces.

There is no current advice for wearing masks but they are available at Residential

Life and Health Services. In addition, it is recommended that students wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water, using an alcohol based sanitizer if water is not available.

They also recommend avoiding close contact with sick individuals, not touching your face with dirty hands, and covering your sneezes and coughs.

As a result of the pandemic, both the University of Hartford and Sacred Heart University have suspended their travel abroad programs to Italy.

The students who just returned from Italy are being observed for a few weeks until they are declared symptom-free. Other schools, such as Fairfield University and the University of Connecticut have enacted similar protocols.

According to Fairfield’s vice president, “this is not a decision we take lightly. We know study abroad is a hugely enriching learning experience for our students and it’s important to their formation.“

Nonetheless, Connecticut universities are coming together to protect their students from possible exposure to COVID-19.

The 300 UConn students who were supposed to travel abroad this semester have been sent home for monitoring, with specific restrictions placed on the 88 who were in Italy.