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Coronavirus and Update on Italy

February 28, 2020

Dear Campus Community,

The University continues to actively monitor the novel Coronavirus ("COVID-19") outbreak. At this time, there are still no confirmed cases of coronavirus at the University of Maryland or in the State of Maryland.

Since our last communication, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued new travel guidance for Italy. The CDC categorizes travel advisories into three categories: Warning Level 3 (avoid nonessential travel?widespread community transmission); Alert Level 2 (practice enhanced precautions?those with chronic medical conditions and older adults should consider postponing travel); and Watch Level 1 (practice usual precautions).

This evening the CDC moved Italy from Alert Level 2 to Warning Level 3. In light of this change the university is hereby suspending Education Abroad programs in Italy for spring 2020. Students in these programs will be receiving guidance immediately, directly from the Education Abroad office, regarding return to the U.S. and possible online study options. As most students will be completing their work online, we are requesting that they return to their homes away from campus and follow CDC guidelines to self-quarantine for 14 days and seek medical support and advice as needed.

We continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation world-wide, and will take further action if warranted. We rely on information provided by the CDC, the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. State Department, state and local health departments, and on-campus public health experts to guide decisions concerning where we operate study abroad programs in the world.

I remind students studying abroad in countries with an Alert Level 2 (currently our students in Japan) that they need to be alert to notices from the Education Abroad office and prepared to return to the U.S. should the alert level for that country increase to Warning Level 3. Decisions to suspend a program and instructions on next steps will be communicated directly to students, and their emergency contacts, in the appropriate program immediately should the change in CDC warning status occur. Future updates on changes to education abroad programs will also be posted to

I am reminding our students abroad to follow the precautions issued by the CDC and the advice of their program providers regarding health and safety measures. We also urge students studying abroad to limit additional travel as much as possible.

It is important to restate that the university is ready and willing to work individually with any student studying in a country with a current Alert Level 2 advisory who is concerned about continuing study abroad; or any student abroad with a chronic health condition or who is immunocompromised. We continue to urge all members of our community at home and abroad to practice measures to prevent infection. For the latest information and updates from the university, visit:

Our thoughts are with our students and everyone in the UMD community who has been directly or indirectly affected by this virus.


Mary Ann Rankin
Senior Vice President and Provost


The University of Maryland, College Park is the state's flagship university and one of the nation's preeminent public research universities. A global leader in research, entrepreneurship and innovation, the university is home to more than 40,700 students, 14,000 faculty and staff, and nearly 400,000 alumni all dedicated to the pursuit of Fearless Ideas. Located just outside Washington, D.C., we discover and share new knowledge every day through our renowned research enterprise and programs in academics, the arts and athletics. And we are committed to social entrepreneurship as the nation’s first “Do Good” campus.


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