Local College Students Abroad Among Those Affected by Coronavirus Concerns

Students at Emerson College, Stonehill College and Assumption College have all been impacted

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As the world continues to worry about the spread of coronavirus, college students are among those being affected.

Students abroad at Emerson College's castle, Kasteel Well, in the Netherlands, are now restricted from traveling out of that country until March 15.

The school has also cancelled an upcoming trip for those students, who were planning to visit Milan, Italy.

Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar says the immediate risk of COVID-19 to Americans is low but we need to be ready for that to change quickly.

"I think it's ruined the trip for a lot of people and it's terrible," Emerson student Miles Schuman said.

He thinks the school made the right move, but he knows those in the Netherlands are disappointed.

"They're heartbroken," he said. "This is the entire reason why people go on this trip. I mean, just to go travel, and they're not allowed to travel outside of the Netherlands, either."

The virus, which causes the COVID-19 illness, has infected more than 79,000 people globally, and caused more than 2,600 deaths, most of them in China.

Stonehill College in Easton is also recommending its two dozen students in Italy leave the country and return to home within 48 hours, then self-quarantine when they get back.

And Assumption College in Worcester is suspending all college-sponsored travel to the northern region of Italy.

Students in Boston are also worried, knowing officials say we should prepare for a coronavirus crisis here in the U.S.

"My mom is constantly sending me articles about it, so it's a little nerve-racking, of course," Emerson student Elena Plousadis said.

Emerson says it will continue to monitor the situation, adding that more travel restrictions could be put in place after March 15.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stepped up its call Tuesday for the public to start preparing for a possible pandemic outbreak of the coronavirus in the U.S.

Last week, U.S. health officials started warning businesses, schools and parents to start preparing for the deadly new coronavirus that’s infected more than 80,000 and killed at least 2,700 to become a global pandemic. The localized outbreaks in places such as Italy and Iran are fueling concerns among infectious disease experts and scientists that the virus is spreading too quickly and may be past the point of containment.

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