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Florida State to close study-abroad center in Italy

Students being advised to return to U.S.
Posted at 5:37 PM, Mar 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-04 17:37:32-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Florida State University is closing it's study-abroad center in Florence in anticipation of an escalation of coronavirus cases in Italy.

The study center will close on March 9 and all 93 students in the program are being advised to return to the United States to complete their semester courses online.

FSU is also asking the students to self-quarantine and report any potential illnesses.

The university is focusing efforts on prevention and preparedness in anticipation of the coronavirus potentially reaching the Capitol, or even campus.

Housekeeping crews are working overtime to clean high traffic areas including dorms, dining halls, libraries, and gyms.

FSU's director of emergency management, Curt Sommerhoff, says in January they began working on plans, updating procedures, checking their stock of supplies, and making sure everything is in order should the virus make its way here.

He says it's all about taking proactive steps to keep the campus as clean as possible.

"Our communications staff is keeping parents and students aware of what we're doing," said Sommerhoff. "Should we need to take next steps should anything happen in the county or on campus, we'll be ready to go."

Sommerhoff says they're also posting signs around campus encouraging students to practice good hygiene, keep their own surfaces clean, and not to attend classes if they are sick.

FAMU has also suspended all University-related travel to China, South Korea, Italy, Iran and Japan. School officials are asking any students who've recently traveled to one of those countries, to self-quarantine and not return to campus for 14 days.

As for Valdosta State, ABC 27 is waiting on a call back aout what safety measures they are taking.