As the world continues to cope with spread of coronavirus, Loyola University Chicago students who are studying abroad in Rome are having their stays cut short as more cases of the virus are reported in Europe.
The university will send students home from its John Felice Rome Center by Wednesday, March 4, school officials announced Saturday.
All students will have to stay at home for a 14-day observation period, under guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“This decision coincides and aligns with a number of other U.S. universities and partner schools with programs in Rome,” the statement said.
The university is deferring midterms for returning students and is expected to help offset additional travel costs, officials said.
Loyola University had previously placed a moratorium on school-sponsored travel to China.
The students will return to the Chicago area as the region is dealing with concerns about COVID-19. A third case of the novel coronavirus has been confirmed by area officials, with authorities seeking out those close to the infected individual.
A total of 230 Loyola students were instructed to get home by Wednesday.
"They are very anxious. They have a lot going on," student Morgan Clow, whose roommate is in Rome, said. "They have to be out really fast and they have to go home and they may have to do online classes."
Italian authorities on Saturday reported more than 1,100 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the country, including eight additional deaths since the outbreak was identified, bringing the toll to 29.
The first U.S. death attributed to the virus was confirmed Saturday in Washington state. A second death was confirmed Sunday as authorities grow increasingly concerned about virus cases in the state.
Loyola isn’t the only Chicago school taking measures in response to the outbreak.
DePaul University has canceled future study abroad programs including a spring break trip to Japan and a summer trip to China, according to its website.
The University of Illinois at Chicago suspended all summer 2020 programs in China and Spring 2020 programs in Korea.