Campus Life

Update On Coronavirus: Study Abroad And Travel Guidelines

Canceling Spring Break trips to Italy; other programs still on
By Carol A. Fierke, Texas A&M University Provost and Executive Vice President February 28, 2020

Out of an abundance of caution, the University is canceling Spring Break trips to Italy for Texas A&M Education Abroad programs after authorities recommended travelers self-quarantine for two weeks.

University leaders are following developments regarding the coronavirus, COVID-19, and will keep our campus community informed.

Any students, faculty and staff traveling to Italy or any other country considered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be a level 3 risk for coronavirus are required to follow the guidelines to self-quarantine for two weeks, and not return to campus unless they are asymptomatic for that period.

The level 3 warning urges people to avoid nonessential travel if the destination is in an affected area. China and South Korea already were categorized as being at level 3, which put them on Texas A&M’s suspend-all-travel list.

Aggieland low risk

Please keep in mind that while COVID-19 is an epidemic in some parts of the world, the Department of State Health Services says that Texas is considered to be at low risk. Closer to home, the Brazos County Health Department considers Aggieland to be at low risk as well.

At this time, the CDC and World Health Organization are not recommending canceling or postponing other worldwide travel. Therefore, the university is not canceling any other Education Abroad programs already underway or for those planning other trips over Spring Break.

In the coming weeks, Texas A&M will arrange to refund trip costs for the approximately 30 students and faculty who planned to study abroad in Italy over Spring Break.

Those impacted by this decision who need to make alternate housing arrangements over Spring Break, along with students who have questions related to the Education Abroad program, can email abroad@tamu.edu.

A&M planning well underway

Texas A&M University is more than a month into planning for responding to whatever might come our way.

A team of university officials continues to constantly monitor the outbreak of the fast-spreading respiratory illness worldwide. To assess potential risks related to the illness, the university is working with governmental agencies, professional health and security organizations, our academic partners and others.

Texas A&M strongly recommends that everyone reconsider even personal travel to any country with a level 3 advisory based on the novel coronavirus. For countries at level 2 and 3, travelers will be required to self-quarantine for two weeks before returning to campus.

We encourage you to monitor developments through the State Department and CDC websites. Students who are traveling should, in addition to taking recommended measures to prevent getting sick, take basic precautions to prepare for potential travel disruptions.

We will need your help. A few easy things we can all do include:

  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds
  • Use hand sanitizer
  • Avoid shaking hands
  • Disinfect frequently touched objects using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
  • Stay home when you are sick and avoid close contact with those who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

Texas A&M will continue to work with federal, state and local officials to monitor potential risks. If conditions change, we will update our campus community. Please check A&M Student Health Services website for updated information.

You can find updated information about COVID-19 disease activity and recommendations at these sites:

CDC: 2019 Novel Coronavirus
WHO: Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Media contact: Kelly Brown, 979-845-1264, kelly.brown@tamu.edu

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