As positive cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) continue to make global headlines, the University of Dallas is thankful no cases have been reported on or close to our Rome campus (roughly 13.5 miles southeast of Rome) nor on or close to our home campus in Irving, Texas.
As previously shared on Wednesday, February 26, Vice President, Dean and Director of the Rome Campus Dr. Peter Hatlie has implemented a number of protective measures for the health and safety of all university students, faculty, and staff. I continue to have full faith and confidence in Dr. Hatlie’s leadership and have been in near constant communication with him during this time.
This weekend, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) upgraded its former Level 2 Travel Alert for Italy (“Practice Enhanced Precautions”) to a Level 3 Travel Warning (“Avoid Non Essential Travel”). Italy joins China, Iran, and South Korea as the only countries worldwide under a Level 3 CDC Travel Warning due to coronavirus.
Relatedly, the U.S. Department of State has now issued a Level 3 Travel Advisory (“Reconsider Travel”) for Italy and a Level 4 Advisory (“Do Not Travel”) for certain areas of Northern Italy.
In light of these new warnings from both the CDC and the State Department, Dr. Hatlie and I have decided to bring our UD students back to the United States. We are confident our students remain safe on our Rome campus due to its remoteness from affected areas. However, given the fluidness of the situation in Italy, we will begin to repatriate students immediately.
Spring Rome students will return to their permanent place of residence to reside with their families for the remainder of the semester. The university is unable to accommodate returning students on our Irving campus. Our Rome faculty will teach the remainder of the semester’s classes in an online format so our students do not lose the academic progress they have made.
I will share additional updates as they become available.