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NYU closes Florence campus as coronavirus concerns grow

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Posted at 11:30 AM, Feb 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-25 11:30:25-05

FLORENCE, Italy — As concerns continue to grow over the coronavirus outbreak, New York University announced it will close its campus in Florence, Italy, and have urged students to leave.

The number of coronavirus cases in northern Italy has steeply climbed, and the Italian government has been taking swift action to try and prevent its spread.

As a precaution, school officials announced Monday that classes at the Florence campus would be canceled for the rest of the week. Operations at the campus would also be suspended on Thursday, Feb. 27.

Classes will resume and will be held remotely starting Mar. 2 until at least Mar. 29.

Students have also been advised to leave Florence for this period of time — staff from NYU Florence will be available to assist students in marking arrangements, the school said in a statement.

“While we do not believe there is a pressing health threat to the NYU Florence community, the past month has taught us that countries may swiftly and unexpectedly make decisions that can significantly affect one’s ability to travel,” the school said in a statement.

There are currently no cases of coronavirus at any of NYU’s locations, including its Shanghai location, the school said in a statement.

The country is reporting a 27% increase in the number of coronavirus cases.

Authorities have set up roadblocks in Italy, called off soccer matches and shuttered sites including the famed La Scala opera house.

Several cities in the northern part of the country have also been quarantined.