Office of International Programs - Update on the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Europe

February 26, 2020

We are writing today with an update on the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on the Preview and GFS courses that are scheduled to travel next month. As students and families are aware, there has been notable increase in reported COVID-19 cases in various countries particularly Italy and Japan, and to a lesser extent in several other European countries. 

What is Arcadia’s approach to this global health situation? As the COVID-19 situation is highly fluid and Preview travel launches in less than three weeks, we are approaching this situation  with caution and concern for the safety of our students, faculty and staff. We do this in consultation with U.S. and overseas  sources of information, and we will continue to provide updates, as needed,  to students and their family who are listed as emergency contacts.  

The University’s International Travel Policy outlines a protocol for consideration of all University sponsored travel. An institutional Travel Advisory Committee considers relevant travel health notices identified by the U.S. State Department and the Center for Disease Control.  The University’s travel assistance provider – International SOS – provides additional non-governmental resources from its global network of security and healthcare teams.  

At this time, the University has cancelled Preview travel to China and South Korea based on the information conveyed by the aforementioned resources; we continue to carefully monitor the outbreaks of confirmed cases in additional Preview countries/cities.

Travelers to Sicily and Florence: The CDC on Feb. 23 designated Italy with a Level Two: travel health notice: practice enhanced precautions. Anyone with chronic medical conditions should consider postponing nonessential travel.  

Travelers to Vietnam: the CDC has not changed its travel health notice for Vietnam. It is currently a Level One: practice usual precautions. “Currently, CDC is not advising people to change their travel plans to Vietnam.”  

Travelers to Japan: The CDC on Feb. 22 designated Japan with a Level Two travel health notice:  practice enhanced precautions. Anyone with a chronic medical condition should consider postponing nonessential travel.

We continue to remind students of the CDC’s tips for preventing the spread of illness and to contact Student Health Services staff or International SOS if they have health concerns. The safety and security of our students is, as always, paramount, and we will continue to keep you updated. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the University’s Travel Health and Safety Manager, Dan Devery (deveryd@arcadia.edu) or myself.