Local universities adjust study abroad programs in response to coronavirus

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — Local universities are keeping a close eye on the spread of the coronavirus as students are abroad on semester programs.

James Madison University currently has more than 30 students studying Italy, where the World Health Organization has reported 400 cases of the coronavirus, including 12 deaths.

On Tuesday, the university suspended all program excursions within Italy that take students away from the Florence campus.

"The health and well being of our students is our first priority, so we are taking this situation very seriously," said Caitlyn Read, a spokesperson for JMU. "We've also asked that students embarking on personal travel do not visit the areas in the country that have been affected by the coronavirus."

Read told WHSV the university is working with public health officials to keep its students safe.

Bridgewater College officials told WHSV that one student who was studying abroad in South Korea was recalled back to the U.S.

Mary Baldwin University officials said no students have been impacted.