Governor suspends study abroad programs in response to novel coronavirus concerns

Governor suspends study abroad programs in response to novel coronavirus concernsOn Wednesday, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, pictured, held a briefing to announce the suspension of SUNY and CUNY study abroad programs in China, Italy, Japan, Iran and South Korea, effective immediately. Photo provided by the Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.

During a briefing on the novel coronavirus on Wednesday, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the State University of New York and the City University of New York’s study abroad programs in China, Italy, Japan, Iran and South Korea have been suspended, effective immediately, in response to concerns over novel coronavirus – or COVID-19. 

In a press release, the governor wrote, “The decision was made based on recommendations from the New York State Department of Health. SUNY and CUNY are making arrangements to bring back all non-essential students, faculty and staff currently studying or working in those countries and begin 14-day quarantine. All five countries have either been issued a Level 2 or Level 3 travel notice from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

For SUNY and CUNY students in impacted countries who have yet to return to the U.S., SUNY is currently arranging chartered flights from South Korea, Italy and Japan to New York Stewart International Airport. 

The governor’s release, added, “Upon arrival and in accordance with Department of Health guidelines, local and state health representatives will screen passengers and SUNY will arrange transportation to designated SUNY campus dormitories to begin 14-day quarantines. SUNY and CUNY will then work closely with campuses, the DOH, and local health departments to provide medical monitoring, remote course study, and various resources to help individuals during the quarantine period.” 

This news arrived on the same day that five additional cases of coronavirus were confirmed in Westchester County, bringing the statewide total to 11, as of this reporting. That number, several hours later, doubled to 22.

In a release regarding the additional cases, the governor explained that a person who was being tested came in contact with a 50-year-old lawyer who had tested positive. According to the release, the person was a friend of the lawyer, and had been working with and in close proximity of the lawyer in a number of situations. They then tested that person’s wife, two sons and daughter, and they all tested positive. 

Of the discoveries, the 50 year old is the only person to date, according to the governor, who is hospitalized because he also had a respiratory illness. 

New Yorkers can call the State hotline at 1-888-364-3065, where experts can answer questions regarding the novel coronavirus. In addition, the Department has a dedicated website,, which was created as a resource with updated information for New Yorkers. 

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