**Sent to students and families studying abroad in Italy**
Dear students and families,
We are writing in response to the Centers for Disease Control and US Department of State travel advisories being raised to a level 3 “Avoid non-essential travel”. This is a Lehigh threshold for assessment, and also a threshold used by our overseas partners in Italy to alter or cancel programs. We will prepare additional guidance based on this new information and will be in communication over the weekend. Students should follow directives of their at site abroad program staff at this time. Lehigh will work with these partners so that we may coordinate any new arrangements for return to the U.S.
We’ve heard from a number of students since the alert level 3 has been announced, indicating plans to return home. As a reminder, in our email last night (2/27), we indicated that all students who want to return to Lehigh must first receive approval from the Lehigh University Health and Wellness Center, who are working with the PA Department of Health, US CDC, and Bethlehem Health Bureau. As you will have seen in today’s campus update regarding COVID-19, Lehigh is following the current CDC recommendations of self monitoring for 14 days prior to returning to campus from a “Warning Level 3” or “Alert Level 2” country. This applies to any student who plans to visit campus, including off-campus housing. All students must be cleared by the Lehigh Health and Wellness Center prior to any academic or social presence on the Lehigh campus.
As we move into the weekend, I’m writing to confirm that for urgent needs, our office remains available and can be reached through the Lehigh University Police Department LUPD Dispatch at (610) 758-4200. If you need help after hours, including over the weekend, LUPD dispatch will transfer you to a Study Abroad staff member.
Thankfully, we have no reports of any onsite Lehigh students contracting COVID-19 in any country. As always, the health of our students is our highest priority. We will continue to keep students and families informed of new developments throughout the weekend.
Director, Study Abroad, Lehigh University
For after-hours urgent needs: available through LU Police dispatch at 610-758-4200