Gonzaga University suspends classes at Florence campus amid coronavirus outbreak

Gonzaga In Florence Campus
Credit: Sean Morton

FLORENCE, Italy — Gonzaga University has suspended all academic courses at its campus in Florence, Italy in the wake of the Novel Coronavirus outbreak.

Gonzaga is one of several American universities to suspend their study abroad programs, including Syracuse University, New York University, Fairfield University and Elon University.

COVID-19, which was first identified in Wuhan, China, has spread rapidly across northern Italy. According to CNN, Italy has confirmed 322 cases of the virus.

“Gonzaga University is closely monitoring the spread of the coronavirus and following the lead of public health officials to do everything possible to keep our community safe and healthy,” the university said in a release.

Spokeswoman Mary Joan Hahn said most students are currently traveling throughout Europe for spring break. Students have been told to immediately make plans to travel back to the United States and avoid returning to Florence.

Their apartments and homestays will be closed for the semester starting on March 6 and the university has offered to ship students’ items back to the U.S.

Students will not be returning to the Spokane campus. Officials are working to create academic plans, but Hahn said it is likely that students will finish their courses online. Those plans will be finalized at the beginning of March.

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