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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


COVID-19: SUNY flying home students abroad

Advisory levels provided from the United States Department of State, from low to high regarding safety and security risk. South Korea, Italy, China and Iran are issued level three travel advisory. PUBLIC DOMAIN

The State University of New York (SUNY) and City University of New York (CUNY) are chartering flights from South Korea, Italy and Japan to bring home students studying abroad in the wake of the coronavirus, or COVID-19.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued level three travel advisories for South Korea, Italy, China and Iran. Japan is currently a level two.

The school systems are chartering flights into New York Stewart International Airport for approximately 300 students currently studying in South Korea, Italy and Japan. Students will be screened on arrival, and then quarantined for 14 days at SUNY campus dorms where they will be provided “medical monitoring, remote course study” and other resources, according to a press release.

“With close coordination with the New York Department of Health and the safety and health of our students, faculty and staff overseas in mind, we are suspending study abroad programs in impacted countries and have directed our SUNY family to return home,” SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson said in a statement.

She added that students will be provided with “financial and academic resources and work to minimize any disruption today’s action may cause, while we work aggressively with all our partners at the local, state and federal level to protect our entire campus communities.”

SUNY and CUNY have both cancelled all “campus-sponsored travel outside of the United States to impacted countries for the spring semester,” according to a press release.

Stony Brook University Interim President Michael Bernstein said in a March 4 email that any planned travel to counties with level two or three travel warnings is not advised.

“If any Stony Brook students faculty or staff choose to ignore these guidelines, we have been advised that these travelers will be subject to a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine upon return to the United States,” he wrote in the email. “If self-quarantine isn’t an option at home, campus residences will work with the Suffolk County Department of Health Services and Department of Social Services to assist with following the appropriate quarantine protocols.”

Stony Brook students studying abroad in the Florence University of the Arts program received an email shortly after the governor’s announcement assuring them that Stony Brook University is working on “next steps and detailed communication.”

“We are awaiting directives from administration here at SBU (who is awaiting information from SUNY and the Governor’s office),” Jessica Feliz, international programs coordinator at Stony Brook, wrote in the email.

Students were instructed to continue monitoring their email through the afternoon for further instructions.

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