2.29.20: Update from Lehigh: Italy risk level 2/29

The university senior leadership and medical professionals in the Health and Wellness Center continue to monitor the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak and to provide updates.

**Sent to students and families studying abroad in Italy**

Dear students and families, 

We are following up with additional guidance for students studying in Italy. At this time, we are directing students to return to the United States, effective immediately. 

In a press conference this afternoon, it was announced that President Trump authorized the expansion of travel restrictions, moving Italy to “the highest level advisory — which is Level 4 — advising Americans: ‘Do not travel to specific regions in Italy and South Korea.’” 

This is a rapidly changing situation, and we recognize that having to arrange alternate plans may cause stress for families. Our Study Abroad staff will be reaching out to every student individually this afternoon to discuss arrangements and support available. We will also be working with students on a case-by-case basis to mitigate both the academic and financial impact of this decision.

In the meantime, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • As you make travel arrangements please be sure to keep your receipts for possible insurance reimbursements.
  • If you have additional questions after speaking with us after we reach out this afternoon, we will be available in the office through 5pm at 610-758-3351.
  • Through the weekend, our office will remain 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. 
  • Please remember the requirements for returning to campus that were sent in the campus message Friday afternoon: 
    • Upon return to the U.S., contact the LU HWC at 610-758-3870 to review recent travel history and current symptoms for follow-up guidance; and
    • Self-monitor for 14 days before returning to campus. The CDC is recommending self-monitoring for 14 days after visiting “Warning Level 3” or “Alert Level 2” countries, and now Level 4, and as shared yesterday, Lehigh is requiring students to do so before returning to campus.  During this period, students should monitor for fever, cough, or shortness of breath. The HWC will be in contact with you as soon as possible to review your self-monitoring activities once we are notified you are returning to the United States (610-758-3870).  HWC will review your health status/symptoms and make a determination about your return to campus. Staff and Faculty will work with students who need to complete academic work remotely.

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. 

Katie Radande
Director, Study Abroad, Lehigh University
Phone: 610-758-3351
For after-hours urgent needs: available through LU Police dispatch at 610-758-4200