Texas Tech cancels spring break study-abroad for COVID-19 safety - FOX34 Lubbock

Texas Tech cancels spring break study-abroad for COVID-19 safety

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

In a letter Monday, Texas Tech president Lawrence Schovanec told students, faculty, and staff the university has canceled all university-sponsored spring break study abroad trips as a precaution against the 2019 Wuhan novel coronavirus.

The letter begins with an assurance "there are no confirmed or suspected cases among the Texas Tech University community, including those who are currently studying and working outside the United States."

With the announcement to cancel, Schovanec stated the university will issue refunds for student deposits through their student accounts and reimbursements for airline change fees, cancellation penalties, and lost travel-related deposits will come through the travel system.

In a separate message to study abroad students specifically, the Vice Provost for International Affairs stated the university will make a decision about summer 2020 programs no later than March 31.

Here's Schovanec's letter in its entirety:

March 9, 2020

Texas Tech University Community,

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to be a global health concern, and Texas Tech University is closely monitoring this ongoing situation. At this time, there are no confirmed or suspected cases among the Texas Tech University community, including those who are currently studying and working outside the United States.

Study Abroad Updates and Cancelations

We are taking all appropriate precautions to ensure the health and safety of all our students, faculty, and staff. Over the last week, we have planned for the return of a few students who were studying abroad in Italy. Today, we have made the decision to cancel all university-sponsored spring break study abroad trips. The University will refund student deposits for canceled study abroad trips through their student account. Reimbursements for prepaid expenses such as airline change fees, cancellation penalties, and lost travel-related deposits will be reimbursed through the TTU travel system. The Office of International Affairs will assist students in processing such reimbursements. Students should cancel any remaining reservations as soon as possible in order to obtain possible refunds and/or unused airfare credits.

We have 106 students currently studying abroad, including 73 at the TTU Center in Seville, Spain. We are in regular communication with these students and will continue to address matters with them as this situation continues to develop. If CDC guidance in these countries changes, we have plans in place for students to return to campus for the remainder of the semester. To ensure we take every precautionary measure, all individuals returning from countries with travel restrictions must self-quarantine for 14 days. All international educational travel is managed and monitored by the Office of International Affairs.

We will make decisions about Maymester and summer study abroad programs on or before March 31.

University-Sponsored Travel

In addition to the cancelation of university-sponsored spring break study abroad trips, we are also canceling all University-sponsored international travel through April 30.

All non-essential, domestic university-sponsored travel through March 31, including activities such as conferences, meetings, and site visits, is discouraged. Please review all essential travel with your Department Chair or supervisor. This applies to university employees as well Texas Tech University System Administration employees.

Personal Travel

We urge you to consider delaying all non-essential personal travel. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid exposure to the virus. The CDC also has resources available for those who must travel during this time.

Those returning from personal travel to countries with travel notices are also required to follow the 14-day self-quarantine.

We continue to plan for all scenarios, including the possible impact on face-to-face instruction and the implications for online course delivery. Additional information is available on the CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 website, and we will be providing ongoing updates on the TTU Coronavirus (COVID-19) website as additional information becomes available.

Sincerely,
Lawrence Schovanec
President
Texas Tech University

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