IPO postpones international spring break trips due to coronavirus

Spring break trips led by Augustana faculty to London, Scotland and Greece have been postponed over “rapidly changing reports regarding the coronavirus,” according to an email sent by Erin Kane, assistant director for the International Programs Office (IPO).

Coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a virus that causes a respiratory illness including fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In older adults, young children and individuals with weakened immune systems, coronavirus can cause life-threatening pneumonia and even result in death.

So far, there have been almost 91,000 diagnosed cases worldwide, with the death toll surpassing 3,000, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Joe Lust, a senior government major, was planning to travel to Greece on an Augustana faculty-led trip.

“Work has absolutely sucked for me the last couple days and all I was looking forward to was this trip,” Lust said in a tweet Monday night.

Students will receive a full refund for their trips according to Kane’s email. The IPO also said it hopes to provide the planned trips at a later date. No details are currently available.

“You are so close to departing and likely so excited for the adventures your were about to have,” Kane’s email to students said. “[The IPO] did not come to this decision lightly and want to offer our full support.”

This is a developing story. Check back regularly for updated information and follow us on Twitter @augiemirror

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