Benedictine College announced through a school-wide email on March 3 the closing of the Florence Campus for the college’s study abroad program due to the COVID-19 virus.

Last week, the college offered the 52 students studying in Florence the option to return home and complete their studies by distance education. Fourteen chose to return. Now, however, all of the remaining students must return by March 6. The college’s decision was prompted out of concern that the remaining students may be unable to get flights out of Italy.

Recently, Italy has been recognized as a Level 3 threat by the U.S. State Department. This threat level has forced airliners to reduce the flights to the United States.

The COVID-19 virus has spread globally with the number of infections continuing to rise.

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Current students, Emily Fennewald and John Dana will be providing videos to showcase their journey back to the United States as the COVID-19 virus spreads.

Stay tuned for updates from this situation here.