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FAU, FIU suspending some study abroad programs over coronavirus fears

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Posted at 3:26 PM, Feb 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-27 11:09:51-05

BOCA RATON, Fla. — As the coronavirus outbreak continues to cause concern around the globe, two South Florida universities are suspending their study abroad programs to affected countries.

Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton announced online that its Exchange Programs to China and South Korea have been suspended until further notice.

In addition, Florida International University in Miami-Dade County is suspending all study abroad programs and university travel to Italy, Singapore, Japan, and South Korea. That includes spring study abroad programs.

FIU is asking students, faculty, and vendors who recently traveled to those countries and China, or anyone who's recently been in contact with people from those countries, to quarantine themselves at home and avoid contact with others for 14 days, which is the incubation period for coronavirus.

"Out of an abundance of caution and our responsibility for duty of care, we primarily want to protect our students’ and employees’ wellbeing," FIU announced in a statement. "At the same time, with the risk of the virus outbreak still not being fully understood, we want to be proactive in calling our students and employees home. The goal is to avoid running the risk of having members of the community remain abroad if further travel restrictions are put in place."

On Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention upgraded its travel warnings for South Korea, Italy, and Iran because of the threat of coronavirus in those countries.

Meanwhile, the School District of Palm Beach County said it's following all CDC recommendations regarding the coronavirus to ensure all resources and procedures are in place for any potential coronavirus impact in our community.

There are no documented cases of coronavirus in Florida, according to health officials.