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COVID-19 IN ITALY – UPDATES FROM FEB 24th

At ISI Florence, we are dedicated to ensuring the health & safety of all of our students. We are currently monitoring the COVID-19 situation in Italy with the relevant authorities and have been in contact with our students as well as with partners with students currently in Italy.

As of 24 February (at 11 am), no cases of COVID-19 have been detected in the region of Tuscany. Italian authorities have been extremely proactive in addressing the discovery of the virus hours to the North of Florence. Further information about the virus can be monitored on the COVID-19 website.

ISI is in regular contact with the local Department of Health (Ministero della Salute), the American Association of Colleges and Schools in Italy (AACUPI) and the US Embassy and will follow all policies, procedures, and directives advised in response to this situation.

ISI Florence’s response to COVID-19

ISI Florence has taken the following preventative measures:

  • ISI Florence is closely monitoring information provided by Italian Health authorities. This week, students are busy with midterms and there are no academic field trips scheduled.
    Italian Universities in Tuscany are still open as of the publication of this article.
  • ISI Florence is in regular communication with students to communicate the following:
    • That we understand the unknowns of this situation can cause stress and anxiety. Our counseling services are available and students are encouraged to reach out.
    • To utilize safe hygiene practices, as one would in the height of flu season: wash their hands, don’t share glasses, forks, bottles, or cosmetics, cover coughs and sneezes with the elbow. We emphasize sleep, nutrition, and physical activities to maintain a healthy immune system.
    • ISI Florence will continue to communicate with students the latest developments and protocols to be followed in response to this situation.
  • ISI Florence has canceled all field trips to Northern Italy for the remainder of the semester or until it has been determined that these destinations are safe for travel.
  • ISI Florence requires all students to submit Independent Travel Forms. This weekend marks the start of spring break. Students are being asked not to travel to Northern Italy, in particular to Lombardia (Milan) and Veneto (Venice) to avoid possible exposure and avoid being quarantined within an impacted region. The impacted regions include:
    • Regions impacted include Region of Lombardy: Codogno and surrounding towns of Castiglione d’Adda, Casalpusterlengo, Fombio, Maleo, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo, and San Fiorano; Region of Veneto: Vo’Euganeo. Currently, individuals are not permitted to enter or exit these regions.

What should you do if you think you may be ill?

  • Contact ISI Florence’s emergency phone to communicate your symptoms with staff. We will help you coordinate your care with local medical professionals and provide support as you need it.
  • Continue to use safe hygiene practices and eat well to boost your immune system and safeguard yourself through recovery.

If you did not sign up for the US State Department’s STEP Program prior to arriving in Florence, we encourage you to do so now in order to receive some of the same updates that our staff is receiving on a regular basis.

Students are asked to monitor their emails and the ISI Florence App regularly to stay in the loop with notifications from our staff.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us directly at [email protected].

UPDATED: FEBRUARY 24, 2020