USC students who are studying abroad in South Korea of parts of Italy that have been affected by the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak are being asked to come home, university officials announced in a statement Tuesday evening.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a Level 3 travel advisory for South Korea, which advises against all non-essential travel," said Charles F. Zukoski, the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. "As a result, we are requiring students to leave the country, and we are working actively with them to make arrangements to travel back to USC."
USC students who are attending a study aboard program in Veneto and Lombardy regions of Italy, will also be required to come home university officials said.
"In addition, with the rapidly evolving situation in the Veneto and Lombardy regions of Italy, we are contacting students in those areas to arrange for their travel home," said Zukoski. "Students who are studying in other parts of Italy are not required to leave, but we are asking them to stay in close contact with their program administrators in case travel restrictions are required in the future."
The statement went on to reiterate that there have been no cases of the novel coronavirus at USC.
"Your safety, well-being, and ability to continue your studies and other activities remain the highest priorities for the entire leadership of USC," Zukoski added.
Health officials in South Korea say there have been more than 1,200 confirmed cases in their county, the largest amount outside mainland China. Officials in Italy say there are 374 confirmed cases of the virus, with 12 deaths occurring there so far. Globally, more than 81,000 cases have been detected, with the death toll approaching nearly 3,000 people. The majority of cases have been found in mainland China.
Photo: Centers For Disease Control and Prevention