Updated on Tuesday, April 4 at 2:13 p.m. to include information regarding the Global Education Center's decision to suspend its European study abroad programs.
An Elon University student who was studying abroad in Europe is presumed to have tested positive with the coronavirus also known as COVID-19. According to an email from Jon Dooley, vice president of student life, the student did not come to campus. But directly returned to home on March 12, where they were later diagnosed.
“This diagnosis is concerning news, but not surprising given the global spread of the virus. We anticipated that the coronavirus could ultimately impact members of our community,” Dooley wrote. “We are prepared to follow response protocols spelled out in our pandemic flu emergency plan and to follow advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We are committed to keeping the community apprised of any additional information we may receive from health officials.”
The university had 101 students studying abroad in eight European countries; the United Kingdom, Ireland, The Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Spain and Sweden.
The university suspended the majority of its European study abroad programs on March 12 in response to the CDC issuing a "level 3 - avoid nonessential travel" warning for all of continental Europe. A day before, President Donald Trump signed a proclamation, that “suspends the entry of most foreign nationals who have been to certain European countries at any point during the 14 days prior to their scheduled arrival to the U.S.”
Students studying abroad in Europe are completing their coursework online. While students were originally given the option to return to campus after a 14-day quarantine period, Dooley said in his email that those students are not returning to campus for the remainder of the semester.