Mount St. Mary’s University has suspended its Florence, Italy, study abroad program and brought participating students home in response to COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
There were 19 students in the Florence program, said Donna Klinger, director of public relations and communications at the Mount. They returned to the U.S. once the virus began spreading into Italy. They will spend the remainder of the semester at home completing course work online.
Students at the Mount also spent the last week on spring break. Klinger said in an email that any students who traveled to China, Iran, Italy or South Korea over the break have been required to self-quarantine for 14 days once they have returned to the U.S.
They must also get checked by a health professional before returning to campus. Additionally, any students who traveled internationally over spring break are required to report immediately to the university’s Student Health Center for a risk assessment.
Hood College students began their spring break on Friday afternoon. Laurie Ward, vice president for marketing and communications at Hood, said students will be alerted if anything changes regarding campus operations over the break. She added that protocols for facilities, housekeeping and food services have been escalated in light of the coronavirus.
Frederick Community College is operating as normal. Caroline Cole, communication coordinator for FCC, said in an email that the college is working with the Frederick County Health Department to stay updated on information and any recommendations.
Cole said if the outbreak became severe enough in the area that FCC’s campus needed to shut down, “faculty has been asked to develop ... [through an] electronic platform, a way to continue as much instruction as possible.”
Frederick County Public Schools is operating as normal with no canceled events.
Other organizations such as Visit Frederick, the county’s official visitor guide, is continuing to welcome visitors as normal and has not canceled any events, said Melissa Muntz, marketing and communications manager for Visit Frederick.
She added that the Frederick Visitor Center has added a hand sanitizer station near the exit and that staff are now using styluses to reduce the amount of contact with touch screens.