CDC has confirmed 34 cases of novel coronavirus in the US

(WFSB) -- Local colleges and universities are monitoring the coronavirus outbreak and taking precautions as needed, regarding school trips.

Earlier in the week, the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system (CSCU) said all student trips to China and South Korea have been canceled indefinitely.

Officials said they were consulting with Centers for Disease Control travel guidance in advance of other trips.

On Thursday, CSCU provided an update to its community, saying all colleges and universities "must immediately suspend or cancel institutionally-sponsored travel to countries designated Level 3 (warning) and Level 2 (watch) by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)," including the countries of China, South Korea, Iran, Italy, and Japan.

That list of countries included in this could expand in the coming weeks and months.

“It’s about planning, and hope is not a plan. Our plan is to be prepared, so when it does come, we have the tools in place so we can take care of our students, faculty and staff,” said Sal Centerino, interim chief facilities officer at Central Connecticut State University.

He said he’s not trying to start a panic on campus, but just bring about awareness and an expectation of precautions that should be followed.

“it’s about being prepared and taking great measures. We’ve tripled the sanitizers, having other supplies and being ready,” he said.

Earlier in the week on Tuesday, Sacred Heart University said it recently made the decision to cancel a choir trip to Rome because of the spread of the virus in Italy.

The group was set to travel there for spring break.

“We hope to reschedule the trip, but for now, the health and safety of the choir and the entire SHU community is our priority,” school officials said in a statement.

The University of Connecticut canceled this semester’s Hong Kong study abroad trip, and said it would be monitoring the situation at other locations over the coming months before the fall offerings.

On Friday, the university announced it has canceled all official travel to China and South Korea. Officials added that all non-essential institutionally sponsored travel to those nations is suspended.

"The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is our highest priority as we assess UConn’s preparedness and response plans regarding COVID-19. The situation regarding this illness is fluid and can change quickly. The university will send regular updates to the community as we receive new information and guidance from the CDC," a letter from UConn said.

At this time, UConn has more than 300 students participating in overseas academic programs in 29 nations, including a handful in South Korea. The university said those students are returning to UConn. There are no students in China at this time.

Copyright 2020 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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