FGCU changes study abroad plans in wake of coronavirus

Posted at 10:41 PM, Feb 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-28 22:53:00-05

FORT MYERS, FLA — With the spread of the newest coronavirus strain, Florida Gulf Coast University says it's working to protect its campus by preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best.

"We have been working closely to look at the potential impacts, what it would mean if there was an outbreak in Florida and even more locally, specifically on our campus," said FGCU VP and Chief of Staff, Susan Evans.

Part of the school's planning has included some changes to a study abroad trip.

"We did have to cancel one, it was in may and was to china," said Evans.

The U.S. Department of State has placed that country on a level 4 advisory, which essentially bans travel.

The school is also monitoring a choral group that is currently traveling in Italy, which is under a level 3 advisory from the CDC.

That advisory encourages people not to travel to the country unless they have to.

"We are watching and looking closely with them and working with them closely," said Evans.

The school's work is music to the ears of Gracie Dougherty, an FGCU student we spoke to, who says she is concerned about what she's seeing on TV.

"I'm scared and I'm worried for the people in other countries who are really suffering," said Dougherty.

But adds that she's also confident that she'll be safe on campus.

"I feel really safe and healthy here and know that they have my best interest in mind," said Dougherty.