Home GRCC Campus News GRCC cancels spring student trip to Italy amid coronavirus concerns

GRCC cancels spring student trip to Italy amid coronavirus concerns

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Matt Dunn, a researcher for the Center for Vaccine Research at the University of Pittsburgh, holds dead samples of the coronavirus (COVID-19) at the Biomedical Science Tower 3 in Oakland, Pa. (photo courtesy of The Tribune)

With growing concern of the widespread coronavirus, Grand Rapids Community College announced Monday that administrators  cancelled a trip to Italy that was offered to culinary students as part of the college’s Study Away program.  

“The safety of our students and employees is our utmost important priority,” stated Dave Murray, Communications Director, in an email to The Collegiate. “Given the unpredictability and aggressiveness of this virus and the timing and logistics involved with planning a study away trip, the trip to Italy has been cancelled effective immediately.”

The culinary program was planning on sending a 22-student class as well as faculty to Florence, Tuscan region, Rome, Pompeii, Sorrento, and the Island of Capri.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention currently has Italy listed as a level three threat, recommending that people avoid all nonessential travel to the area.

“We are aware of elevated warnings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of State urging Americans not to travel to Italy because of the aggressive spread of the virus,” Murray stated.

As of March 2, there have been a total of 43 cases of Coronavirus in the United States according to the CDC. Meanwhile, Italy has reported 1,694 confirmed cases, with 34 deaths.

Email sent to students on Friday, Feb. 28 from GRCC President Bill Pink.

GRCC President Bill Pink sent out a campus-wide email Feb. 28 reminding students and faculty to take precautions to stay healthy. Ways to do this include washing your hands or using hand sanitizer. Also avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. Also, stay home when you are sick.